Team Lead for Backcountry Wilderness Research – JMT Wilderness Conservancy

John Muir Trail (Various locations), California

The JMT Wilderness Conservancy is looking for Team Leads to join our non-profit organization. This position will support a team of three to four undergraduate research interns in the summer season of 2023. These teams will be deployed through the John Muir Trail (JMT) region of the Sierra Nevada, CA. Team Leads and interns will be working in remote, backcountry settings where they will do significant full-pack backpacking, conduct modest restoration work, and collect detailed data on current field conditions. This work will support restoration of meadow ecosystem and riparian habitats in highly impacted areas across the region. Please note that this is an introductory management role. It is a seasonal position from June through mid-September, which during the 8-weeks of backcountry deployment is 24/7.

Position: Team Lead

Commitment: June – mid September. Final dates are tentative and will be finalized in early spring as the seasonal snowpack recedes. It is important to note that the work window in the Sierra Nevada may vary based on seasonal snowpack, weather conditions and wildfire season.

Field Routine and Location: Teams will each be assigned a deployment area such as Ansel Adams Wilderness north of Mammoth Lakes, Kings Canyon National Park east of Fresno near Florence Lake, the west side of Mount Whitney, and more! Teams will be located at varying levels of backcountry remoteness depending on which deployment area they are selected for. Some teams will be in the backcountry for the majority of the summer while others may have more access to the front country.


  • Coordinate and manage assigned intern team in the field;
  • Participate in restoration monitoring, data collection, report writing, hiker traffic documentation, biological and archeological surveying, and light restoration work;
  • Responsible for in-field risk management and field communications;
  • Assist in training interns;
  • Mentor and hold interns accountable;
  • Ensure high-quality data collection;
  • Coordinate and work alongside National Forest and Park Service scientists and rangers;
  • Contribute to the design and content of the internship program;
  • Submit social media content from field tours


  • BA/ BS degree from a recognized college or university with emphasis in recreation management or environmental science;
  • Strong interpersonal and management skills, preferably in outdoor recreation/education or environmental restoration;
  • Ability to train, develop, and support a team in the backcountry;
  • Trained in backcountry wilderness skills and leadership, including the handling of emergencies and wilderness first aid;
  • Experienced in multi-day backcountry hiking/backpacking;
  • Ability to perform sustained, physically-challenging work in high-elevation backcountry terrain;
  • Enhanced educational background or field experience involving environmental, botanical or biological sciences. Including but not limited to: wildlife surveys, archaeological surveys, plant identification, and wildlife identification;
  • Experienced in restoration techniques, GIS field tools, and data collection;
  • Ability to professionally engage with conservation professionals;
  • Ability to strictly comply with COVID-19 regulations set by the National Parks Service, US Forest Service, and JMT WC

Click here for more information and to apply.

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