The field staff are the backbone of the JIRP research season; we rely on them for everything from managing student cook crews to navigating crevasse fields. We’ve done our best to write a comprehensive description of the position below, but the reality is that the field staff will pick up all manner of unexpected tasks around camp and on the glacier. More than any other member of the JIRP expedition, the field staff have to remain flexible and focused on the mission of the group.

Please read through the follow information carefully. Additionally, we encourage you to explore the rest of the website before applying to this position. If you’re new to JIRP, we especially encourage reading about Our Mission, the Icefield Traverse, and the What to Expect pages. Although some of this information is aimed at students, it gives a good idea of the educational experience we provide. If this seems like a job you’d enjoy doing, please see How to Apply for information on the application process. We look forward to hearing from you.

Informational Webinar:

Archived Faculty + Staff Informational Webinar

Academic Director Seth Campbell and Program Manager Annie Boucher hosted an information webinar about the 2019 field season. Much of the information is directed at faculty, but this gives some idea about what staff can expect for the broad picture of a JIRP field season. Feel free to email either Seth ( or Annie ( with any questions.

Job description:

  • Volunteer. Compensation has yet to be determined. In recent years field staffers have received a modest stipend in addition to a travel allowance. We hope to provide the same this season.

  • Mentor a small group of students during spring expedition preparation. Answer questions about the gear list, physical training, expectations, etc. Especially for first-year staff, this task will include guidance from the Program, Operations, and Safety Managers.

  • Attend staff training, covering Icefield-specific wilderness first aid, ski mountaineering techniques and teaching skills, JIRP camp orientations, leadership and group management skills, and JIRP protocols and procedures.

  • Teach safety training for students during Safety Week on the Icefield.

  • Lead trail parties: follow route in accordance with principles learned during safety training, manage breaks, give first aid in accordance with WAFA training, comply with JIRP policies and protocols including, but not limited to, safety, medical, communication, and emergency protocols.

  • Manage an Icefield camp. Lead morning announcements and manage work detail, coordinate the Plan of the Day, burn trash, maintain communications with trail parties and Juneau logistics team, draft food and supply orders, run and maintain generator, record camp log, assist Operations Manager and Asst. Operations Manager as needed.

  • Manage safety and logistics for one student research group. Supervise planning and implementation of their mini expedition, serve as point person for their field research needs throughout the summer, and working with a rotating team of faculty advisers to provide academic continuity for the students.

  • Adapt to and support the needs of the Expedition. Field staff serve a critical role in doing odd jobs and filling in gaps for the expedition team. This can include any number of tasks outside a traditional outdoor leadership position. We will train staffers in any required skills they lack, but we also enthusiastically welcome a (perhaps surprisingly) varied array technical skills and prior experiences.

  • Actively seek instruction for any skills you need help with. It is critical for field staffers to be comfortable asking for help from the Program, Operations, and Safety Managers and the maintenance staff, faculty, and others.



  • Available early-June - mid-August (this includes staff training, the full summer program, and a couple days of program wrap up).

  • Acceptance of, and agreement to actively support both the letter and the spirit of, the JIRP Code of Conduct.

  • Have (or can get) a passport valid through Dec. 31, 2019.

  • A high school diploma.

  • A valid driver’s license.

  • No DUI or DWI within the last three years.


  • Prior experience either at JIRP or with a similar outdoor education program.

    • In the past we’ve confined applications to student alumni. This year we’re also accepting applications from qualified candidates who haven’t been students at JIRP, but who have been involved in backcountry trip in similar contexts.

  • Prior experience with any maintenance or technical skills (carpentry and construction, welding, radio technician experience, small engine repair, gear repair, etc.)

  • Intermediate or advanced experience with backcountry skiing and/or glacier mountaineering.

  • No DUI or DWI within the last ten years (if you do have one, you will need to file a special application to enter Canada).