Society for Wilderness Stewardship

Actively Recruiting:

Position title :
Program Director

Deadline to apply :
September 24, 2021

Type of Position :
Staff (Full-Time)

Organization/Program Description :

The Society for Wilderness Stewardship (SWS) is a non-profit organization seeking to promote excellence in the professional practice of wilderness stewardship, science, and education to ensure the life-sustaining benefits of wilderness.  We achieve this through the implementation of our three primary programs, Wilderness Fellows, Wilderness Workshop and Wilderness Training.  We are currently working on adding programming in towns adjacent to wilderness areas and wilderness functionality as an aid to climate resilience.

Position Description :

Reports To: Executive Director

Classification: Exempt

Location: Remote, with national travel as needed

Duration: Year-Round

Time: Full Time

Starting Salary: $45,000 – $50,000 DOE

Position Overview
The Program Director manages all programming that SWS engages in nationwide.  The Program Director will work closely with the Executive Director to support and coordinate the Wilderness Fellows Program, Wilderness Ranger Academies and Trainings, the Wilderness Workshop, and new initiatives.  In addition, the Program Director will spend time traveling to regions and building partnerships with all land management agencies and partner organizations to facilitate current programming and inform new program development.  The Program Director will be required to travel extensively throughout the country.

Job Duties :

Primary Responsibilities

Wilderness Fellows Program

  • Develop one-on-one relationships with all Wilderness Fellows Hosts
  • Update and circulate the Host Handbook, answer questions as needed
  • Hold a series of calls and/or webinars to prepare Hosts for the season
  • Work with Hosts to develop Fellows assignments specifics, including work to be performed, due dates, point people on the ground, and housing.
  • Work with Hosts to onboard Fellows, including building Personnel profiles, outfitting with network access, driver training, etc.
  • Recruit and hire Wilderness Fellows.
  • Continuously report to all hosts during the Fellows hiring process and engage them as desired.
  • Design and implement Wilderness Fellows Training
  • Manage all program logistics, including travel arrangements, gear and supplies, training and career summit instructors, training and career summit transportation and meals, etc.
  • Support Fellows and Hosts through the season with weekly Fellows calls, monthly Hosts calls, and visits when necessary.
  • Oversee, edit and guide Fellows’ work.
  • Liaise with SWS HR staff and facilitate all Fellows HR interfaces, on timecards and payroll and benefits enrollment.
  • Manage the SWS side of the agency data compilation platform Pinyon.
  • Provide work products and documents to agency staff as needed.
  • Manage feedback and review process for all Fellows.
  • Manage feedback and review process for all Hosts.
  • Track and engage Fellows alumni.

Wilderness Ranger Academies & Trainings

  • Sit on planning committees for the R1 Wilderness Skills Institute, R2/R3 Wilderness Ranger Rendezvous, R4 Wilderness Ranger Academy, R5 Interagency Wilderness Ranger Academy, and R6 Wilderness Stewardship Skills Training.
  • Develop training modules.
  • Manage speaker invites for trainings.
  • Manage outreach and registration for trainings.
  • Attend trainings.
  • Develop and implement the Career Workshop every year.

Wilderness Workshop

  • Assist the Executive Director with planning, preparation and implementation for the National Wilderness Workshop.
  • Sit on the National Wilderness Workshop Planning Committee.
  • Lead planning for programmatic initiatives or other components of the workshop.
  • Work with the USFS and other partners to identify, develop and implement ongoing Coffee Hours.


  • Manage all program administration, including: workman’s compensation policies, state registrations, timekeeping and payroll reporting, etc.


  • Manage SWS Facebook and Instagram accounts.
  • Generate program-related blog content.
  • Populate and disseminate the monthly SWS newsletter.

Other Duties

  • Program Development
  • Partnership Building
  • New Initiatives
  • Coordination with WCM Core Team
  • Others, as assigned
Requirements :

Key Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field, Master’s degree preferred.
  • Educational background in Wilderness Management, Protected Area/Natural Resource Management, Recreation Resource Management, Conservation Social Science, Environmental Policy, Natural, Biological and/or Physical Science.
  • At least 2 years experience working with conservation program implementation or field work at a coordinating or directing level.
  • At least 1 year experience in a supervisory role.
  • Advanced knowledge in field skills, primitive skills, and field training.
  • Experience in outdoor risk management, with a preference for current wilderness medicine certifications.
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills.
  • Research skill and attention to detail and organization.
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively on projects, high degree of initiative.
  • Results-oriented with the ability to set and follow realistic goals and objectives.
  • Flexibility to adapt when faced with changing needs and priorities.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office, comfort with technology and social media.
  • Ability to travel to training and remote field locations (travel provided).
Additional Benefits :

3 weeks paid time off per year, 2 weeks end of year time off, federal holidays, health and dental insurance reimbursement, simple IRA with 3% employer match.

Contact Information :

To Apply: E-mail a resume and cover letter to Heather MacSlarrow at: [email protected] by close of business on Friday, September 24, 2021.


Additional Information :

Essential Functions: Employee may be required to sit, stand, and lift objects up to 50 lbs.  Employee may be required to travel and camp in the backcountry, and to drive or fly to remote project locations.


The Society for Wilderness Stewardship is an equal opportunity employer.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, marital status, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, or any other protected status.