Employment Opportunity

North Cascades Institute

Forest School Program Instructor


North Cascades Institute is seeking instructors to teach Forest School—a third-grade outdoor program focusing on habitat needs and the interdependence between plants, animals and humans within the forest community. In partnership with the Bellingham School District, Forest School is held at the District’s Gordon Carter Conservation Site. The 100-acre forested Site is located about 30 minutes south of Bellingham near the south end of Lake Whatcom.

Forest School instructors will work under close supervision by the School Day Programs Coordinator. Primary duties will include facilitating a positive outdoor experience for small groups of third graders and teaching and implementing program lessons. Instructors will receive training in program curriculum and logistics and will receive support from the supervisor who will observe, advise and assist as needed. Participation in the Forest School program is a unique opportunity to participate and provide programmatic feedback to help further develop and strengthen the Institute’s newest school program.



  • Enthusiasm for learning and teaching about the natural world
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent training/experience in a related field
  • Be available to attend training and teach the scheduled program dates
  • Comfortable being in the outdoors in all weather conditions
  • Ability to hike for 2 miles in uneven terrain while carrying a 10-lb pack
  • Excellent organization and communication skills
  • Good judgment, flexibility and ability to work independently and reliably
  • Ability to practice and enforce policy and safety practices as trained
  • Reliable, independent worker and team player
  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Final offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check that may include employment history, national criminal background check, national sex offender registry search and a driving history check.


  • Experience teaching elementary age youth
  • Familiarity with forest ecology
  • CPR/First Aid Certification or advanced certification (Wilderness First Aid or Wilderness First Responder)
  • Ability to adjust teaching methods to accommodate different audiences and learning styles
  • Culturally competent and able to connect with students from a variety of backgrounds
  • Creative, energetic, professional, motivated, cooperative team player willing to have fun


Teaching (80%):

  • Serve as a Forest School program instructor for all scheduled program dates
  • Attend all scheduled trainings
  • Create a safe learning environment for youth through positive reinforcement, rolemodeling and cultural sensitivity
  • Instruct lessons in natural and cultural history, science, the arts and other subjects

Administration and operations (20%):

  • Report any risk management incidents
  • Participate in program briefings and debriefs
  • Assist with managing and maintaining inventory of program educational materials
  • Assist with other duties as required

Program Dates

A day-long training will be held the week of April 15 (exact date TBD). Program dates are scheduled for each Wednesday and Friday starting April 24 through May 24.


This is a temporary, part-time, non-exempt position, from late-April through late-May, 2019. The wage is $13.00 per hour.

Application Deadline

April 10, 2019

To Apply

Please apply online on our website at: http://ncascades.atsondemand.com/ Complete the online application and upload a cover letter and resume.

Equal Opportunity Employer

Recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce is a high priority at North Cascades Institute. The Institute does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender,
gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, military, genetic information, ancestry, marital status, age, citizenship or any other basis prohibited by
law in any of its policies or programs.

About North Cascades Institute

The Institute’s mission is to inspire and empower environmental stewardship for all through transformative educational experiences in nature. Since 1986 we have helped connect people, nature and community through science, art, literature and the hands-on study of natural and cultural history. Our goal is to help people of all ages and backgrounds experience and enjoy the mountains, rivers, forests, people and wildlife of the Pacific Northwest – so all will care for and protect this special place. The Institute is committed to innovation and excellence in environmental learning and leadership in the nonprofit community. We believe that sustainable communities are built on healthy environments, vibrant economies and social equity.

North Cascades Institute (www.ncascades.org) is a respected, national leader among U.S. environmental education organizations. The Institute is in sound financial health with a $4 million budget, strong reserves, and more than a decade of Four-Star ratings from Charity Navigator. The Institute was voted “Best Place to Work” in the 2013 Bellingham Alive – Best in the Northwest annual readers’ poll. Our administrative office is co-located with the National Park Service and US Forest Service in Sedro-Woolley, WA. The North Cascades Environmental Learning Center is located on Diablo Lake in North Cascades National Park.