Society for Wilderness Stewardship


Hiring: Wilderness Fellow


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. In other words, we are a professional society working to set the standard for wilderness management.

The Wilderness Fellows Program is a collaborative of the three organizations above, and was created in order to complete Wilderness Character Baseline Assessments, thereby continuing important assessment work that has been underway since 2001, and fulfilling the USFS Wilderness Stewardship Performance (WSP) element “Wilderness Character Baseline”. The Wilderness Character Baseline requires that steps be made to determine a baseline and provide the foundation for evaluating trends in wilderness character. These trends indicate the outcome of management actions and success at ‘preserving wilderness character’ as directed by the Wilderness Act.

Position Overview:

The Wilderness Fellow Program is seeking qualified candidates to fill Wilderness Fellow positions. Fellows are based in locations around the country, with a significant amount of travel within their base region. Work is roughly 80% office based and 20% field based, and is performed at USFS offices to directly support the goals of a collaborative wilderness character monitoring initiative currently underway in the USFS.

Primary Wilderness Fellow Responsibilities:

  • Attend one week training in Granby, Colorado (travel provided).

  • Work out of remote USFS locations, residing in USFS housing.

  • Coordinate meetings with USFS resource specialists and line officers to gather information regarding wilderness character.

  • Research, compile and analyze legislative and administrative historical data per wilderness area. Travel to and into wilderness areas.

  • Compile and analyze data for selected monitoring indicators and complete components of a baseline assessment for wilderness character monitoring.

  • Implement inventory and monitoring strategies for tracking wilderness character. Participate in weekly conference calls.

  • Set and meet benchmarks and deadlines for data collection, meetings, and draft and final reports.

  • Create a narrative report for each wilderness area worked in.

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.

  • Deep interest in wilderness/resource management and the U.S. Forest Service.

  • 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.

  • Understanding and ability to use GIS is a plus. 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.

  • Ability to travel to training and remote field locations (travel provided), and to relocate if necessary (assistance not provided).

  • 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.

To Apply:

E-mail a resume, cover letter, a one-to-two page writing sample, and three professional or academic references to Heather MacSlarrow at: