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Mono Basin Outdoor Education Lead Instructor Job Details

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Employer:  Mono Lake Committee.
Categories:  Education/Training
Travel Required:  None
Job Type:  Contract
Preferred Degree:  Bachelors
Experience Required:  2-3 years
State/Province:  CA - California
City:  Lee Vining
Salary:  $2,150/month
Job Description: 

TITLE: Mono Basin Outdoor Education Lead Instructor
SALARY: $2,150/month
STATUS: exempt, full-time, seasonal
DURATION: May–November
ORGANIZATION: Mono Lake Committee
LOCATION: Lee Vining, California
SUPERVISED BY: Education Director

Since 1995, the Mono Lake Committee has operated a successful outdoor education program connecting youth from all over the City of Los Angeles to the northern terminus of their city's aqueduct and watershed 335 miles distant. The program is called Outdoor Experiences (OE) and it combines watershed education, experiential education, muscle-powered recreation, and stewardship projects to build understanding and appreciation for Mono Lake and the Los Angeles watershed. The program uses the historic Cain Ranch and the former aqueduct foreman's house, now the site for the Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center (OEC). The site is leased on a long-term basis from the City of Los Angeles.

The surrounding Eastern Sierra region is the outdoor classroom. Mono Lake and its surrounding 700 square miles of Sierra Nevada and Western Great Basin provide endless opportunities for learning, rewarding experiences, and stewardship activities. The program operates in partnership with the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, and operates under a priority special-use permit with the Inyo National Forest.

Groups participating in the outdoor education program at Mono Lake include Los Angeles schools and community groups and regional school groups from elementary school to college level. Approximately 18 groups participate from late May through early November. Groups comprise all ages, but are often middle school to high school ages. The Lead Instructor works with other OEC staff in the field, primarily the OE Instructor and the OE Program Manager.

• Lead hikes, interactive education programs, team-building activities, and occasional canoe trips on Mono Lake.
• Site supervision and field leadership in coordination with group leaders and chaperones.
• Overnight stay with groups in rotation with OE Program Manager.
• Assist with program site set-up, clean up, kitchen/meal supervision, and some light maintenance and improvement of site grounds.
• Individual program development and preparation.
• Assisting with various projects associated with the Outdoor Education Center, Mono Basin Field Station, and Mono Lake Committee Office and Information Center & Bookstore in Lee Vining in the event of group cancellations.

• Strong interpersonal communication skills.
• At least two years of experience leading or educating youth in an outdoor setting.
• A bachelor's degree or equivalent combination of work, education, and life experience.
• Applied knowledge of the natural sciences in the field.
• Interest in teaching natural history and environmental water issues to ethnically and culturally diverse youth.
• Ability to understand environmental problems from a solution-oriented perspective.
• Ability to work physically outdoors with various stewardship projects and grounds improvement at the OEC site; e.g., planting trees, carrying water buckets and equipment over uneven terrain, invasive weed removal, and light trail maintenance.
• Ability to regularly hike over uneven terrain at elevations between 6,400–9,000 feet with occasional hikes between 9,000–12,000 feet. Program hikes range between one and six miles, easy to strenuous.
• Ability to occasionally lift heavy loads up to 40 pounds.
• A car is required for occasional, work-related travel (mileage is reimbursed).
• Current Wilderness First Responder and CPR certification is required by the time the position begins.
• Final hiring is contingent on a fingerprint background check and driving record check.
• Ability to speak some Spanish is a plus.
• Canoe paddling experience is a plus.

The Lead Instructor position is exempt and full-time. Hours can be variable and some days can be long. Most days off will span 2–4 consecutive days depending on schedule. The position runs from May through October with some flexibility into November.

The OE program serves youth from different parts of Los Angeles, of varying ages, ethnic backgrounds, education levels, and physical fitness. Many have never experienced a wild place beyond the city, and some groups have little or no science background. The OE program adapts to meet the needs of these youth. Staff on duty share meals, activities, housing/camping, and clean-up. There is a community atmosphere within this program that requires a myriad of staff roles—instructor, naturalist, janitor, trip leader, mentor, friend, counselor, supervisor, first-aid provider, diplomat, comedian, etc.

• Employee discount on merchandise in the Information Center & Bookstore.
• Mileage is paid for all job-related travel (this does not include travel to and from the Outdoor Experiences site).
• Shared housing may be available in Lee Vining.
• Working at Mono Lake!

The Mono Lake Committee is a 16,000 member non-profit citizens' group dedicated to the permanent protection and restoration of the Mono Basin ecosystem; educating the public about Mono Lake and the impacts on the environment of excessive water use; and promoting cooperative solutions that meet real water needs without transferring environmental problems to other areas.

The local area is comprised of sagebrush steppe, pinyon-juniper, and Jeffrey pine forest plant communities, 46,000 acres of Mono Lake, numerous 12,000+ foot Sierra peaks, and plug-dome volcanoes. The Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore is in the town of Lee Vining (pop. 400, elev. 6,780'), on the eastern edge of Yosemite National Park near Mono Lake. The town is located adjacent to the Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area, and the Ansel Adams and Hoover Wilderness areas. Lee Vining is situated along Highway 395, 27 miles north of Mammoth Lakes, California and 110 miles south of Carson City, Nevada.

The Outdoor Experience Program position is full-time, exempt, and seasonal, from May through mid-November. Housing is available through the Committee at $200/month (sorry, no pets). Staff receive a discount on merchandise from the Information Center & Bookstore, and get the great benefit of working for a successful environmental non-profit.

Applications will be accepted starting January 1, 2013. To apply, send a cover letter and resume via email to Bartshe Miller, Education Director before March 22, 2013. For more information, please contact Bartshe at the Mono Lake Committee, P.O. Box 29, Lee Vining, CA 93541, (760) 647-6595 x 121. Cover letters and resumes will be accepted until all positions are filled.

Click here to download the Outdoor Education Lead Instructor job description (PDF).


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