Position Announcement

2020 NOLS Southwest Spring Fellowship

2 positions available!

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: December 28, 2019 – May 7, 2020 (~19 weeks, the NOLS Southwest operating season) plus 4 to 8 weeks participation on a NOLS student course and/or summer field training



COMPENSATION: $480/week plus a reimbursement for travel up to $600


FOOD AND LODGING: Fellows will be provided a private cabin with a bed and basic furnishings. A communal kitchen, bathrooms and other living areas are located nearby in a separate building. Meals are provided when students are at NOLS Southwest headquarters, about 15% of the time. Other food is purchased and prepared by the Fellows.

POSITION DESCRIPTION: Fellows will rotate through the equipment, rations and program departments, learning the skills needed to support students and staff embarking on extended wilderness expeditions. Fellows will also work with the facilities and transportation departments as opportunities arise.

Throughout the program, Fellows will gain the practical experience and institutional knowledge that will strengthen their candidacy for an instructor course.


  •  Direct support for course logistics:
    • Plan and organize food for backcountry rations
    • Assist in planning and preparing in-town meals for staff and students
    • Issue and de-issue students the necessary gear for their courses
    • Maintain and repair equipment
    • Update map inventory and print maps
  • In-direct support of branch operations:
    • Coordinate NOLS participation in community events
    • Create relationships with local organizations working in the outdoors
    • Attend defensive driving training
    • Update blog and social media sites
    • Other projects and duties as assigned
  • Other opportunities that may exist depending upon course schedules:
    • Participate in the instructor briefing and debriefing process
    • Present information to students informally or formally through classes
    • Evacuation driving
    • Participate in NOLS school meetings and trainings
    • Visit a course in the field


  • 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.

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 with any specific questions about the application process or the work and living environment at NOLS Southwest.