Position Announcement

2020 NOLS Custom Education Spring Fellowship

The Spring/Summer Fellowship program is designed for People of Color with a strong interest in becoming a NOLS Expedition Instructor.

NOLS defines People of Color as individuals who self-identify as ethnically American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, or Multiracial (categories defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, U.S. Census Bureau).

The six-to eight-month Fellowship program combines one-on-one mentorship, in-town work, and backcountry experience to provide a structured pathway for People of Color to become NOLS Expedition Instructors.

Upon conclusion of the in-town portion of the Fellowship in early May 2020, Fellows will spend an intensive summer in the backcountry, either as a student or an Instructor-In-Training. At the end of August 2020, Fellows will exit the backcountry with the institutional experience and wilderness skills training to make them competitive candidates for a NOLS Instructor Course.

IN-TOWN DURATION: February 10, 2020 - May 10, 2020 (~12 weeks) plus 6 to 8 weeks of participation on a NOLS student course and/or summer field training



COMPENSATION: $400/week plus a reimbursement for travel up to $600


FOOD AND LODGING: Each Fellow will be provided a room at the Noble Hotel, NOLS’ dormitory-style lodging for students and instructors. Fellows will have communal use of kitchen and living areas. Meals are provided when students are at NOLS Rocky Mountain headquarters, about 15% of the time. Other food is purchased and prepared by the Fellows.

POSITION DESCRIPTION: This fellowship is designed to provide Fellows with an opportunity to learn about NOLS’ administrative functions with NOLS Custom Education. NOLS Custom Education works with external organizations to create customized and innovative programming for specific groups of students. NOLS Custom Ed courses include field expeditions, Leave No Trace master educator expeditions, classroom-based courses, and customized staff training for other organizations.

Fellow will work in NOLS World Headquarters. Throughout the program, the Fellow will gain experience and institutional knowledge that will strengthen their candidacy for an Instructor Course.


Direct support for course logistics:

  • Register students for courses and manage course rosters, contacting students for application follow-up, medical reviews, welcome calls, and missing course paperwork. Assist students in changing their student status: Course transfers, cancellations, enrollment from wait lists, etc.
  • Support NOLS Custom Ed faculty with course travel and logistics, secure travel arrangements for staff to include flight itineraries and ground transportation.
  • Assist in the preparation of NOLS Custom Ed and Leave No Trace courses, including: rations, site selection, travel plans, vendor communication, and pack and ship supplies to remote course locations.

Other opportunities that may exist depending upon course schedules:

  • Participate in the Custom Education instructor briefing and debriefing process at NOLS Rocky Mountain
  • Present information to students informally or formally through classes
  • Participate in NOLS school meetings, seminars and trainings
  • Attend defensive driving training and serve as an evacuation driver for NOLS courses (evacuation driving is paid separately, in addition to the weekly stipend)

Other opportunities that may exist based on Fellow’s skill set:

  • Research specific target organizations and market segments, creating                                                                                       materials and message points for these prospective clients
  • Create internal materials designed to tell clients stories to other NOLS audiences
  • Write blog posts, articles, white papers, etc. designed to engage external audiences
  • Create content to support the NOLS Custom Education story
  • Identify opportunities for ongoing connection with alumni of long-term clients


  • Strong interest in becoming a NOLS Expedition Instructor
  • Self-directed and motivated
  • Ability to work well in a dynamic environment and adjust priorities quickly
  • Thorough, punctual, and dependable
  • Excellent communication and decision-making skills
  • Competent with Google Drive technology
  • Appreciation for the NOLS mission
  • Physically able to bend, stoop, crouch, lift (up to 40 pounds), frequently walk, and stand for extended periods of time.
  • Able to effectively work in a team environment as well as independently

MOTOR VEHICLE RECORD: Applicants must be at least 21 years of age by the position start date, possess a valid driver’s license, have a clean driving history and be able to meet the criteria for NOLS vehicle insurance coverage.

CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK: A criminal background check is required for all NOLS employees.

E-VERIFY: NOLS participates in E-Verify.


The NOLS Fellowship is a 2-step application process.

Step 1.

Complete the form at the following link: Start your fellowship application here!

Step 2.

Email cover letter, resume, and one (1) professional reference to:
Justin Forrest Parks, NOLS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Manager


Please contact Justin Forrest Parks at the above email or phone number with specific questions about the application process or the work and living environment at NOLS Headquarters.

Thank you for your interest in the NOLS Fellowship program. Please consider providing some optional, anonymous information by visiting this link.