Lead Field Instructor

Wildlands Studies Published: June 24, 2024
Skill Level
Mid Level
Job Type
Education / Other
(Number of Job Posting Views: 1)

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We believe connecting to their beauty satisfies a basic human need that is important to our hearts as well as our heritage. And we believe in the transformative effect they have on people.  

We first started introducing students to this beauty through immersive field studies in 1979, and over the years have continually refined and improved our programs to provide both rich learning experiences and deep connections to the environment.

For forty-four years, Wildlands Studies has offered exciting and challenging opportunities. Our field studies programs put students in the field. Hike across mountain meadows, ford streams and camp in the forest. Swim in warm ocean waters and examine coral reefs and sea life. Experience nature in the wild.


Renowned for its accredited researched-based undergraduate field programs, Wildlands Studies seeks candidates holding a PhD or MSc to be the Lead Instructor for new field programs. Students consistently report that their Wildlands Studies experience added depth and meaning to their on-campus classes and “changed their lives”. Wildlands Studies instructors enhance their own credentials with unique opportunities to teach in the field while engaging students in active research.

The Lead Instructor will direct students on an academically rigorous, wilderness-based six-week field study to explore habitats and cultures of specific USA-based and international locales. We are specifically seeking new international and USA-based locations that will attract students and cover a wide variety of topics and terrain within our mission. In addition to our open call, we specifically welcome proposals to replace our lead instructors in Australia, Belize, Chile, Iceland, and Thailand, and we are seeking proposals for new locales in the Pacific realm, Southeast Asia, Japan and South America; countries where the US Department of State Travel Advisory is a Level 1 or 2. Students earn 5-15 quarter credits for three field classes covering Environmental Studies, Field Research Practices, and Environment and Culture. Lead Instructor is responsible for on-going seminars, lectures, instruction, guided field work and field methods, and assessment of all student work, as well as group dynamics and the overall well-being of participants. Review our Lead Instructor description on our website. Compensation is competitive.


Knowledge and experience of field study location required. Applicants must have master’s degree in hand; PhD Candidates and/or completed PhD preferred. A qualified Lead Instructor will have experience leading field study programs and teaching at the undergraduate level, specifically upper division environmental studies classes; a good sense of humor, flexibility, patience; be a physically fit experienced outdoorsperson capable of leading students on day hikes and multi-day overnight backpacking trips; a capable and skilled group facilitator able to spend 24 hours per day, 7 days per week with up to 16 students aged 18-23 for the duration of the program managing associated interpersonal dynamics; an accomplished logistical planner capable of managing the overarching and day-to-day logistics, program finances and communications; certified in First Aid and CPR (preferably WFR) and able to competently and confidently manage medical emergencies and other medical situations should they arise. Our program staff transport students in vehicles, which means we require a clean driving record, manual transmission experience, knowledge and competence driving in international locations and, if needed, the ability to drive a right-hand drive vehicle on the left side of the road. Reference checks, fingerprinting and background checks are required before any offer is finalized.

Program Dates

We are currently accepting proposals for our 2025-2026 academic year (Summer 2025, Fall 2025, Winter 2026, Spring 2026), as well as replacement instructors for Australia, Belize, Chile, Iceland, and Thailand.  Locations that include a wildlife study or marine focus always preferred.  Review our website www.wildlandsstudies.com for details. 

Application Process

Review website and current course offerings to ensure understanding of program requirements. Complete an online application and upload a CV, cover letter detailing experience with course topics/field study experience and a paragraph that includes an introduction to your study region, general itinerary, and key topics and species that meet the requirements of our three courses. We are working very quickly to identify suitable candidates and move forward with new programs.

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