Institute Program Manager

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Gardiner, MT
United States

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Position:              Institute Program Manager
Location:             Gardiner, Montana
Reports To:         Institute Director
Status:                 Full-time/Exempt
Compensation:   $66,000 - $75,000 DOE

Summary Description:

Yellowstone Forever (YF) is the official nonprofit partner of Yellowstone National Park. Our mission is to protect, preserve, and enhance Yellowstone National Park through education and philanthropy. YF connects people to Yellowstone through outstanding visitor experiences and educational programs and translates those experiences into lifelong support of the park and philanthropic investment in its future. Our educational programming and products help people enhance their understanding and appreciation of the wildlife, natural wonders, and cultural history of the park. YF’s operations include Park Stores in and around Yellowstone; the Yellowstone Forever Institute, which offers in-depth educational programing for people of all ages; and a supporter program which raises funds for priority park projects.

The Institute Program Manager plays a critical role in Yellowstone Forever’s mission to create opportunities for all people to experience Yellowstone. This position reports to the Institute Director and is responsible for executing the vision of the Yellowstone Institute and leading the field education team in delivering world-class education programs in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. 

The Institute Program Manager is part of the Institute management team. This position leads the Institute team in establishing all content and curricula for Institute programs; leads the development and growth of youth, college, and teacher programs; leads the development and delivery of Yellowstone professional development and leadership programs, in addition to virtual programming. They also play an essential role in collaborating and training with Yellowstone National Park’s education and resource staff to develop unified educational priorities and programs. This position is responsible for supervising, training, and mentoring field education staff.

Success in this position requires a strong educational background, creativity, excellent communication skills, close attention to deadlines and details, and a dedication to supporting Yellowstone National Park.

Primary Responsibilities:

Program Development

  • Assist and support the Institute Director with developing programmatic vision of the Yellowstone Forever Institute.
  • Develop content and curricula for all Institute program offerings that embody the importance of the Yellowstone ecosystem, address conservation challenges, highlight cultural diversity, and integrate Yellowstone National Park’s priority educational initiatives.
  • Develop formal and informal Yellowstone environmental education programs for students and teachers from kindergarten through high school that meet educational standards including Common Core and Next Generation Science standards.
  • Develop college-level courses designed to engage learners in natural history, cultural history, ecology, and conservation issues of Yellowstone National Park and align with college credit requirements.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with other formal and informal educators – college professors, schoolteachers, etc.
  • Lead the development of world-class Yellowstone Institute professional development, leadership, and certification series of programs.
  • Lead the development of Institute virtual programming programs.
  • As needed, teach a combination of essential training programs including National Association for Interpretation certification courses, Leave No Trace, and other professional development training and certification programs.

Field Education Supervision and Training

  • Supervise and mentor Institute field educator staff through regular communications, observations in the field, feedback, and support.
  • Develop and deliver a comprehensive seasonal educator training for field educator staff, in addition to continuing field education/training throughout the year.
  • Develop comprehensive teaching materials that highlight the varied cultural contributions and diversity in Yellowstone.
  • Assist in the development of a field education mentorship program, alongside Lead Field Educator team.

Institute Management

  • Act as the Institute department lead when Institute Director is absent.
  • Work closely with the Institute management team to assist with the day-to-day functions of the Institute.
  • Assist in developing and managing a detailed program budget that includes projected enrollment, revenues, and expenses.
  • Maintain professional, collaborative relationships with Yellowstone Forever staff and volunteers.
  • Cultivate and maintain a strong working relationship with external partners, including National Park Service staff, professional organizations, and peer organizations to creatively explore additional opportunities to expand and improve programs.
  • Collaborate with Institute management team and marketing team to coordinate strategic efforts for marketing of Institute programs and recruitment of program participants with an emphasis on diversifying participants.
  • Support the curation of educational content for the marketing department.
  • Serve on the Yellowstone Education Collaborative, creating unified educational programming in the park.
  • Represent Yellowstone Forever and its mission accurately and positively.
  • Travel into Yellowstone, throughout the Greater Yellowstone area and other, as required.
  • Other duties as assigned by Institute Director, or other designated leadership.

Basic Qualifications: 

  • A master’s degree in teaching, environmental education or related field from an accredited institution, OR equivalent experience.
  • Minimum of 8 years of relevant employment in interpretation, environmental education, outdoor education, guiding, tourism or a closely related field, including program development, implementation, and evaluation, with at least some years serving in a management and/or supervision capacity.
  • Experience working with and meeting the specific needs of classroom teachers and youth audiences and knowledge of current pedagogical methods and curriculum development standards including Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards.
  • Proven leadership in staff training, supervision, mentoring, and performance evaluation, ideally in the field of environmental education or related discipline.
  • Experience conducting workshops for educators including classroom teachers and informal science educators.
  • Program and project management experience.
  • A strong commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in all aspects of our work.
  • Certification in NAI training programs including Certified Interpretive Guide Trainer, Certified Interpretive Host Trainer, or willingness to obtain these certifications within first year of employment.
  • A collaborative attitude with demonstrated ability to work effectively, and professionally as a part of a team.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Strong organizational and planning skills with attention to details.
  • General knowledge of natural history and conservation issues, preferably in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
  • A strong commitment to the educational, philanthropic and conservation mission of Yellowstone Forever.
  • Ability to represent YF in a courteous and professional manner.
  • This position may involve driving YF vehicles, therefore applicants must be 21 years of age or older, maintain a valid US driver’s license, and maintain a favorable driving record for insurance purposes.
  • The ability to pass and maintain YF Driver Training and a Department of Transportation medical exam.
  • A satisfactory criminal background check are conditions of employment, continued every two years.

Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Active contributing affiliation with professional groups such as the North American Association for Environmental Education, National Association for Interpretation.
  • Experience as a classroom teacher and/or environmental educator.
  • Experience giving presentations at professional conferences.
  • Experience working in a non-profit environment.
  • Experience working with a residential education operation.
  • Experience working in a National Park or similar setting.
  • Experience working with volunteers and field employees.
  • In-depth knowledge of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and familiarity with Yellowstone National Park’s logistical and operational landscape.
  • Wilderness medical training, Wilderness First Responder certification.


This is a full-time, exempt position, which will be based in Gardiner. Travel between the offices and throughout the park may be required. Salary is based upon experience pay range $67,000 - $75,000. Competitive benefit package is available with this position, in addition to the knowledge that your efforts directly benefit Yellowstone National Park and having the opportunity to work in one of the world’s premiere wilderness areas.


Yellowstone Forever is an equal opportunity employer. It is our policy to comply with all applicable local, state, and federal laws prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, political beliefs, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.

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