Field Programs Coordinator

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Deadline to Apply:

Sunday, July 19, 2020, 11:45pm


Aspen, CO
United States

Job Category:


Job Type:


Job Description:

The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) seeks a Field Programs Coordinator to expand and coordinate our field program offerings for students in the Roaring Fork Valley and Garfield County. The Field Programs Coordinator will develop and teach engaging, high-quality, outdoor environmental education programs for grades K-12 in alignment with science standards and classroom curriculum, both at existing sites and new sites throughout our service area. This position will also work with the ACES Education Director and School Programs Manager to market these programs to local schools and districts. 

ACES is a nonprofit environmental science education organization. Since 1968, ACES has inspired a lifelong commitment to the Earth by providing innovative and immersive programming for all ages. We have three locations in the Roaring Fork Valley: Hallam Lake, Rock Bottom Ranch and Catto Center at Toklat. Our programs reach more than 140,000 individuals every year, and focus on ecological literacy, regenerative agriculture, forest and ecosystem health, land restoration and environmental leadership.  

ACES teaches in schools from Aspen to Rifle, and provides youth camps, field trips, adult classes and guided hikes. ACES works diligently to directly affect environmental and climate change education, awareness and action. We also engage our community by hosting public lectures and events. ACES collaborates with land trusts, public agencies and other nonprofits to achieve our mission.

Ideal candidates take initiative and are eager to collaborate with co-workers and other stakeholders. They are driven to make an impact in the environmental education field, and committed to giving youth meaningful experiences and equitable access to the outdoors. They have demonstrated leadership and have sought out opportunities for developing programs and working on special projects. Good candidates will be adventurous, enjoy teaching kids and have a good understanding of how to manage risk. 

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Develop field science program curriculum for grades K-12 and manage program materials.

  • Develop, refine and revise ACES’ field programs, in collaboration with ACES educators, that are aligned with ACES’ classroom programs and the Next Generation Science Standards.
  • Research new sites and develop curriculum for field programs in Garfield County.
  • Write program descriptions and assist in marketing programs to schools and districts.
  • Create and coordinate teaching materials for field programs.
  • Manage and maintain first aid kits and gear for school and community programs. 
  • Manage Basalt High School’s Experiential Education (Ex Ed) partnership with ACES. Work in partnership with Basalt High School administrators and teachers to develop curriculum for Ex Ed programs and lead workshops; coordinate with the ACES School Programs Manager to schedule staff; lead Ex Ed trips.
  • Coordinate with the ACES Naturalist Director to schedule ACES naturalists for fall and spring field programs.
  • Acquire necessary permits from USFS, BLM and other government agencies for field programs.
  • Manage the field programs materials budget.

2. Teach field science programs and community programs.

  • Teach weekly non-residential environmental science field programs at various sites throughout the Roaring Fork Valley and Garfield County. 
  • Teach and support children’s day and weeklong camps during winter, spring and summer breaks, as needed. Weeklong summer camps are based at Hallam Lake and Rock Bottom Ranch, and include hikes off site and overnight camping/backpacking.
  • Lead and safely manage students (K-12) in a wide range of environments and seasons (e.g. programs at 11,200 feet in elevation in winter conditions).
  • Plan, implement and lead the Trook Apprenticeship in Education & Environmental Careers, which takes place over two weeks in June every year. 
  • Plan, coordinate and teach the Outdoor Careers Internship program for high school students in the fall and spring.

3. Assist Education Director, Community Programs Senior Manager and School Programs Manager in training summer and year-round education staff.

  • Help plan, organize and implement summer and fall trainings for educators.
  • Train education staff on field program curricula, procedures and safety, including school-year field programs and activities for summer camp programs.

4. Implement risk management policies and standards.

  • Participate in on-going improvements to ACES’ risk management program.
  • Be an active member of the ACES Risk Management Team. 
  • Work with the ACES Operations Director and Risk Management Team to keep ACES’ risk management guidelines and manual up to date.
  • Stay current on risk management policies.
  • Train education staff on risk management best practices and provide relevant professional development throughout the year.

Secondary Duties and Responsibilities

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Maintain an understanding of best practices in environmental and outdoor education, and knowledge of local ecology.
  • Communicate with teachers, administrators, parents, etc.
  • Assist with other ACES Education activities, as needed.
  • Perform on-site visitor center hosting responsibilities. This includes greeting and engaging guests, answering telephone calls, informal visitor education, selling merchandise and fielding questions.
  • Other duties as assigned to further the mission of ACES. 

Desired Qualifications 

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience in a relevant field, plus minimum 2 years experience coordinating, leading and teaching outdoor programs for children.
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills. Ability to communicate effectively with a variety of stakeholders, including community partners, parents and youth.   
  • Experience with curriculum writing and development of educational teaching materials.
  • Knowledge of western Colorado ecology.
  • Familiarity with Next Generation Science Standards.
  • Ability to inspire and encourage others.
  • Strong administrative and organization skills; demonstrated strong attention to detail. 
  • Current Wilderness First Responder and CPR certifications.
  • Fluency in Spanish is desired, but not required.

Reporting Relationships

This position reports to the ACES Education Director.


This is a full-time, year-round position based at both our Hallam Lake and Rock Bottom Ranch sites. Travel throughout the Roaring Fork Valley and Garfield County is required.

Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) is an Equal Opportunity Employer. ACES does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, national origin, genetic information, veteran status or any other basis covered by appropriate law. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, merit and organizational need.  

Position Start Date:

Monday, August 10, 2020

How to Apply:

Please email your cover letter and resume to ACES’ Education Director, Andrea Aust, at Deadline to apply is July 17, 2020.

Job Compensation:


Compensation Information:

Salary is commensurate with experience, plus a benefit package that includes an IRA and medical plan. Paid time off is accrued throughout the work year. Housing may be provided.