Title: Environmental Instructor 

Employment Status: Non-exempt employee, .75 FTE

Wage: $26.50/hr + benefits

Application Deadline: Wednesday, March 8th, 2022

Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. / Wisdom Workforce Development, LLC. (WWD)

Our WWD program offers internships based on Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and STEAM curriculum. Program staff works together on a small team to coordinate and train each intern cohort. The Environmental Instructor is key to providing job skills training for each intern on-site in natural areas around Portland. They are also tasked with ensuring Wisdom’s mission, community goals, and grant deliverables are met. The Internships are offered in a 12-week segment 2 times a year for a total of 24 weeks commencing in graduation from our TEK Program. Graduates may be hired onto our WWD, LLC Crew or with one of our partners while some continue in their chosen fields, into secondary educational pursuits, or start their own businesses. 

Environmental Instructor


The Environmental Instructor supports the WWD Intern program by providing meaningful outreach, environmental education, and job training in on-the-ground activities that advance local watershed and conservation goals.  The Environmental Instructor will work with multiple stakeholders, in hands-on, environmental restoration and conservation experiences that promote stewardship and build awareness of the importance of protecting and recovering local habitats.

This work often occurs in public spaces such as parks, birding trails, Portland Metro natural areas, and more. The Environmental Instructor will work with interns, staff, and partners to advance natural area access for our community, educate about community science and/or water & soil quality monitoring protocols, incorporate biocultural elements of restoration that are often overlooked in this work, and more.

The Environmental Instructor will improve the understanding of environmental career pathways, plant medicines, and individual identity development for the interns. They will also uphold the importance of relationship-building with Native peoples and organizations for our partners and clients so that our interns can look forward to an optimistic and accepting future in their careers.

Primary duties:

  • Lead the TEK interns on field-service learning days (16 hr/wk, March-June, September-December)
  • Provide environmental education with a special focus on plant identification and plant medicine, watershed health, and habitat restoration
  • Ensure TEK curriculum is incorporated TEK into field days 
  • Submit daily reports for all field days 
  • Attend weekly and quarterly program meetings with WWD team 
  • Expand local farm partnerships
  • Attend all bi-monthly staff meetings 
  • Occasionally attend WOTE community or program events
  • Contribute to grant report drafts 
  • Take photos/videos during intern cohorts and share with social media team
  • Contribute to WOTE newsletters 
  • Assist in collaboration with partner organizations to plan field-service learning days 
  • Maintain tool and gear inventory and functionality
  • Support WWD efforts through attendance and participation in collaborative partnership programs when needed

Preferred qualifications: 

  • Understanding and experience working with historically excluded and Native American populations in a mentoring capacity and willingness to learn/advocate for more wrap-around services for our interns
  • Knowledge about foundational concepts of healthy ecosystems, plant species that are native to the Pacific Northwest, and their care 
  • Strong organizational and interpersonal skills are required, as written and verbal communication
  • Punctuality and exceptional follow-up skills
  • Be willing to work with others including team teaching in a supportive, respectful, and friendly manner.
  • Willingness to work outside in a variety of weather conditions, in and around poison ivy patches, and insect infested areas. 
  • Ability to work independently, prioritize, organize, problem solve and exercise good judgment
  • Strong mentorship abilities
  • Demonstrate flexibility and creativity due to schedule/climate change
  • Must possess an understanding of effective job posting strategies and resources
  • Interest or knowledge in resume building, interviewing, networking, and goal setting 
  • Working knowledge of MS Office Suite, Google Drive, and basic Internet research techniques
  • Ability to work effectively under time pressure and/or deadlines and ask for help when needed
  • Willingness to occasionally work flexible, varying hours including evenings and weekends (for example, community/partner events)

Physical Requirements:  

Applicants will work both in a general office setting and outside in the preserve.  They must have tolerance for working outdoors in a variety of weather conditions and exposure to biting insects, poison ivy, thorns, etc.  Educators must have the ability to safely lift at least 30 pounds. They need to be able to walk over rough narrow paths, wood-chipped trails, muddy areas, grassy fields, and walking on uneven paths, etc.


Wisdom offers staff members Paid Time Off in addition to the State of Oregon’s Sick Pay hours.  Wisdom also offers staff 8 paid holidays plus Christmas through New Years as paid holidays.  

Wisdom also offers staff a $200 per month health stipend.  

How to Apply:

Email your resume to teresa@wisdomoftheelders.org with Environmental Instructor in the Subject line.