High Alpine Field Instructor

This job has been Expired
Rocky Mountain Field Institute
Job Overview


The High Alpine Field Instructor (HIFI) works under the supervision of the RMFI Program Manager and in close coordination with the RMFI Field Coordinators. The HIFI aids in the planning and implementation of RMFI’s trail, restoration, and education field programs. The HIFI will be a primary member of the field staff working the Kit Carson Peak-Challenger Point Trail Improvement Project. This is a multi-year project in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service to reconstruct the summit trail to Kit Carson Peak and Challenger Point in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness. This project requires stays of up to 21 days in the backcountry, completing highly technical trail construction and restoration projects at elevations up to 14,000 feet. RMFI works in partnership with youth corps and college students to complete project objectives. In particular, the HIFI will be expected to work in partnership with program staff to run RMFI’s undergraduate field studies course, Earth Corps, as well as providing supervision to youth corps crews from the Southwest Conservation Corps.

The HIFI may also be asked to assist RMFI with completing objectives for other single and multi-day field projects, in addition to the Kit Carson project. This may include instructing volunteers (including school-age children) in trail and restoration techniques; assisting with the oversight of tool, equipment, and food logistics in the field; and assisting with the maintenance of project work logs. The HIFI works with fellow Field Instructors, Field Coordinators, and senior program staff to ensure quality work standards, the highest degree of safety, and an enjoyable experience for all RMFI program participants.


  • Supervise youth corps crews, college students, and volunteers in the completion of the Kit Carson-Challenger Point Trail Improvement Project.
  • Serve as a member of a stewardship work crew during project days that do not include volunteers. The proportion of days with and without volunteers is variable.
  • Instruct and manage volunteers, students, and other program participants in trail and restoration techniques, field safety, and project objectives.
  • Assist with the management of field work days by providing project orientation to participants, properly estimating volunteer and staff requirements, completing work in a timely and efficient manner, and ensuring safety at all times.
  • Assist with the management of program safety in the field by ensuring the safety policy and Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) is followed at all times.
  • Assist with the management of tool, equipment, and food logistics in the field.
  • Participate in pre-and post-project activities including briefings, evaluations, and trainings.
  • Document work completed, including photographs and detailed work logs.
  • Assist in training new field staff and interns.
  • Assist in promoting and conducting outreach for RMFI programs.
  • Assist in implementing environmental education curriculum on select programs.
  • Participate in staff trainings and develop new skills and techniques as necessitated by projects.
  • Provide clear, effective, and timely communication with the Program Manager, Field Coordinators, and additional staff.


  • Strong conservation ethic and passion for public lands stewardship.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license and good driving record.
  • Ability to participate in vigorous physical activity for extended periods of time at altitudes up to 14,000 feet.
  • Ability to lift and move a minimum of 40 pounds.
  • Current Wilderness First Responder certification.
  • Trail building and maintenance, including strong rockwork experience.
  • Natural area restoration including social trail closure, erosion mitigation, post-wildland fire restoration, and invasive species control. High alpine restoration experience is preferred.
  • Experience working with rigging equipment such as griphoists, highlines, and bear hangs.
  • Experience working with mule and/or llama pack strings.
  • Proficiency in traveling and living in mountain backcountry environments.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science, Natural Resource Management, Geography, or related field.
  • Must pass a pre-employment background check.


  • Experience supervising youth conservation corps, AmeriCorps, or other volunteer groups in an outdoor setting.
  • Experience in environmental education, volunteer stewardship, outdoor guiding, or related industry preferred.
  • Ability to work safely in sometimes-stressful conditions.
  • Self-starter who demonstrates the ability to take initiative, set goals, and achieve them both independently and cooperatively as a team member.
  • Ability to respectfully work with a variety of volunteers and students of varying ages and abilities to effectively accomplish project goals. Excellent people skills, a sense of humor, and a positive attitude are a must!
  • Ability to solve problems quickly and independently.
  • Ability to prioritize and work on multiple projects simultaneously.


The HIFI should expect work on the Kit Carson Peak-Challenger Ridge Trail Improvement Project to commence on or around June 8th, 2019. She or he should expect a variety of scheduling throughout the summer field season, but multiple hitches between 9 and 21 days are to be expected. The Kit Carson project concludes on or around September 15th, 2019. Though this position is primarily for the Kit Carson project, there is potential of work on other projects prior to and/or after the Kit Carson project. Interested applicants may apply for the entirety of the field season that runs from late March through mid-November.


The High Alpine Field Instructor position is paid hourly. Pay is consistent with industry standards and will be determined based on experience. For overnight programs, the HIFI will be paid a day rate and food and field supplies are provided. Benefits include discounts on outdoor gear and equipment. Employees meeting certain tenure requirements are eligible to participate in RMFI’s SIMPLE IRA retirement plan, including employer contributions of up to 3% to match the employee’s contributions to the plan. Travel with a personal vehicle, if required, is reimbursed at the federal rate.



Complete the RMFI Employment Application by visiting this webpage: https://goo.gl/8HYjqt

  1. Send cover letter to [email protected] with “RMFI High Alpine Field Instructor_YourName” in the subject line.
  2. The successful candidate will be required to complete and pass a pre-employment background check. RMFI will notify you of the steps involved in this process after an official hiring offer has been made.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all positions are filled.  Interviews of well-qualified applicants are anticipated to begin in late January/early February 2019.