Employment at CFI

Program Manager

Position status: Now Hiring
Type: Seasonal: February 1st through November 15th 2024
Pay: $1,360 per two week pay period
Benefits: - $250 / month housing stipend
- $400 professional development stipend
- 2 weeks of prescheduled paid time off
- Meals during overnight programs
- PRO-I swiftwater rescue course through Swiftwater Safety Institute and up to 3-year certification upon passing course exams
Schedule: Priority Application deadline: Nov 26th, 2023
Interviews: December 1st - 15th
Offers going out: After December 15th

Note: paid position


Canyonlands Field Institute (CFI) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in Moab, Utah. For over 38 years we have been rooted in our mission to provide quality outdoor education on the Colorado Plateau to inspire care of wild places and renew the human spirit. We believe in nurturing students of all ages and backgrounds, connection to self, community, and natural spaces. Through meaningful outdoor educational programming, CFI seeks to build immersive learning experiences by combining place-based science, an unplugged from technology environment, play, exploration, artistic expression, and Social Emotional Learning curriculum. By joining our educational community, you can help us grow the next generation of caring leaders and environmental stewards, who can affect positive change in our world. While simultaneously building a robust set of technical and “soft” skills in some of the most beautiful places on the planet. 


CFI holds diversity and inclusion as core values, and believes that healthy – vibrant human and natural communities are interconnected. We are currently part of the first cohort in the 2-year workshop training series, Working Towards Racial Equity, led by UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science and Justice Outside, which supports environmental and outdoor science organizations to build capacity to foster equitable, inclusive, and culturally relevant work and field environments. As CFI strives for transparency and accountability, we signed the In Solidarity Outdoor CEO Diversity Pledge, to solidify our public commitment to being part of the solution in moving the outdoor education sector toward being a (natural) space of belonging for all


The Program Manager (PM) position focuses on leading land-based programming for school and youth groups at our Professor Valley Field Camp and multi-day river trips on the Green, Colorado, and San Juan Rivers. Additionally, the PM facilitates training in student centered learning, technical skills, and Equity and Inclusion for staff, as well as plays a critical role in pre-trip communication and program development.

DESCRIPTION: The Program Manager works closely with the Education Director to train, evaluate, and mentor new instructors. This position includes development, maintenance and delivery of training materials including risk management, culturally relevant curriculum and swiftwater safety instruction.  Additionally, the Program Manager will play a significant role in the generation and maintenance of relationships with schools, teachers, and program leads. Duties include assisting with hiring and training new staff, assisting with DEI initiatives, lesson planning, field instruction, land and river guiding, shuttle driving, cooking, rigging/de-rigging, gear maintenance, office support, and public outreach. The Program Manager will be working primarily with student groups from 5th-12th grade and some adult/family groups.  As a member of a small, multi-talented staff, Program Manager may be asked to do a wide variety of duties. 

Primary Duties:

  • Trip guiding, trip leading, assisting with camp operations, vehicles and equipment repair 
  • Supervise regular field staff and apprenti, includes assisting with scheduling, training, professional development, and feedback.
  • Be program lead for one or more of our unique summer programs
  • Take responsibility for itinerary, logistics, booking, and budget of these programs
  • Manage staff on these programs
  • Act as mentor for new and returning staff
  • Assist with creating culturally relevant curriculum and with creating an inclusive community within CFI
  • Assist with DEI initiatives as outlined by Education Director 
  • Ensure Curriculum Questionnaire and Pre-Trip Interview completed for multi day river or school programs  
  • Assist with hiring of new staff  
  • Oversee risk management with the Education Director
  • Help the Education Director determine staffing and help with the hiring process. Work with Marketing Director on advertisement.  
  • Other duties as assigned. 


There are many skills and qualifications that guides come to CFI with and/or spend their season developing. Below are some of the critical competencies that we look for when hiring. We do not expect individual candidates to have experience in all of these realms and encourage those with just some to apply. We recognize that lived experiences can often supplement formal work experiences and we value these as an employer. We also recognize certifications as a barrier to many guiding positions and will provide the right applicant with these certifications if need be.

Teaching & Facilitation: Experience facilitating inquiry-based and student-centered curriculum, as well as place-based learning. Formal or informal teaching experience, particularly with youth is desired. 

Mentorship: Experience mentoring others in student centered curriculum as well as technical guiding skills

Experience with youth—Experience working with, cultivating relationships, or supporting youth. A willingness to show empathy, respect, patience, care and social relatability to diverse populations of youth are required.

Boating/Technical Guiding: A willingness to develop technical river running skills, learn river-based systems, and complete a swiftwater rescue course compensated by CFI. 

Group management—Experience organizing, intentionally listening, and communicating with diverse groups of people and a willingness to step into co-facilitation of large group management.

Risk management—Experience managing personal and group risk, particularly in a remote wilderness context, as well as a willingness to develop a comprehensive risk management lens and practices.

Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Accessibility (IDEA)— We welcome applicants with lived experiences as members of marginalized communities from the outdoor industry, public lands and society at large. Individuals who have an understanding of the myriad relationships youth and adults have with nature and outdoor education programs based on intersectional identities. Demonstrated a commitment to valuing IDEA in working, learning, and community environments. Have an ability or desire to engage in program and organizational dialogue around these topics in a meaningful way. 

Teamwork—Experience collaborating with a small team of people. The ability to give and receive feedback and navigate interpersonal relationships as well as conflict management as a means of achieving a shared goal.

Self-management—Techniques for taking care of one’s physical and mental needs in a dynamic work environment, and self-advocate for support in doing so.  A positive growth mindset and proactive decision making abilities.



  • Minimum 1 year experience with student-centered learning and outdoor education with youth
  • Experience training outdoor technical skills and systems 
  • Strong risk management lens
  • Management of self
  • Minimum of Wilderness First Responder
  • Communication and organizational skills
  • Work or Lived experience with Equity and inclusion work 


Preferred qualifications

  • Experience training student centered and social emotional learning
  • Experience training whitewater technical skills
  • Experience training equity and inclusion skills


Employment term is February 1 – Nov. 15, 2024. Your schedule will vary throughout the season due to the nature of river launch dates and booking demands. Flexibility and availability are important. 

February: 30-35 hrs/wk

March-October: salaried full time


Send a resume and optional cover letter to Education Director, Alexander de Moor at education@cfimoab.org with the subject line “Program Manager Application.” Please be prepared to offer references should you move forward to the next round. Interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis. We hope to have these positions filled by the end of January, but can be flexible for the right candidate. 

We strive to host inclusive and accessible opportunities that enable all individuals to engage fully. If you require any accommodations in the application or interview process, please contact the Education Director.