Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center Curator

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Sierra Club

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Yosemite Valley, CA, United States

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16 days ago

Job Title: Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center Curator
Department: Program
Location: Yosemite National Park and remote (5 months in the park and 7 months remote)
Reports to: Director of Outdoor Engagement
Supervises: Volunteers


Context: At the Sierra Club, we believe in the power of togetherness. Together, we remain committed to the fight for a healthy climate built on a foundation of environmental, racial, economic, and gender justice – a future where all people benefit from a healthy, thriving planet and a direct connection to nature. As the climate crisis and deeply entrenched systemic racism all fuel inequity, we will continue to fight for a bold, transformational agenda that recognizes the interconnectedness between our planet, our humanity, and our democracy. By recognizing that our destinies are tied, we continue to name that all things are fundamentally connected, and the overlap between ecology, race, gender, and representative government will move to either advance our collective humanity or to oppress it.

Sierra Club is comprised of staff across the country and a network of volunteer leaders and local chapters that support our grassroots engagement. We are also proud to be a unionized employer, with two labor unions representing more than half of our employees.


Scope: The curator is responsible for welcoming and educating the more than 13,000 annual Yosemite National Park visitors to the Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center (YCHC) each season, May 1 through September 30, Wednesday through Sunday. The curator is also responsible for recruiting, training, scheduling and supervising 100 Sierra Club volunteers annually. Volunteers rotate in groups of 4 or 5 each week and are interpreters within the YCHC. The curator ensures YCHC weekend educational programming is presented on Friday and Saturday evenings in May, June and September. The curator oversees and undertakes all aspects of the YCHC facility including the library and children’s corner; the maintenance of the building; and purchases supplies and materials for use within the YCHC.


Job activities include but are not limited to:

Program Docent

  • Greets visitors and represents the Sierra Club in a professional manner that reflects the values of the Sierra Club. Educates the public about the Sierra Club’s history and future, conservation goals, projects and campaigns.
  • Develops and coordinates weekend presenter programs including scheduling, promoting, hosting, operating audio/visual equipment and recruiting presenters from diverse backgrounds who will present a diversity of educational programming reflecting Sierra Club’s values and mission using the guidance adopted by the Sierra Club Board of Directors and within the goals and objectives of the NPS.
  • Maintains, researches, and purchases library books for the library (Colby Library Branch), for both the adult natural history and environmental studies library and the children’s corner library. Purchases other relevant materials for the children’s corner.
  • Makes recommendations to the Sierra Club Communications and Creative Design departments regarding the YCHC brochure, exhibits, and the need for furniture.
  • Working with Sierra Club staff, prepares annual reports for the Sierra Club Program and Communications Departments, and the Colby Library; and, for the YNP Chief of Interpretation and Education. Works with the Sierra Club Advancement staff in the preparation of annual goals, annual reports and multi-year grant project proposals.

Volunteer Coordination and Training

  • Recruits, trains, schedules and supervises approximately 100 Sierra Club volunteers annually (rotating 4-5 volunteers each week), late-April through September 30, Wednesday through Sunday, 10 am until 4 pm.
  • Researches, prepares, updates, and maintains interpretive materials for volunteer use.
  • Works with staff and volunteers to develop a volunteer advisory committee.
  • Oversees all functional aspects of the Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center.
  • Opens the YCHC in late-April and closes the YCHC in early October.
  • Schedules, stocks and manages 2 campsites in Lower Pines Campground, provides volunteers with information on campsites, enforces rules set by the NPS for the campsites/campground and the use of the campsites in a low-impact manner. Maintains a working relationship with YNP staff (Interpretation and Education, Search and Rescue, Law Enforcement, and the Camp Office) as needed; and with Yosemite Hospitality, Yosemite Conservancy, and other Park Partners; and attends the monthly IMT (Interpretive Management Team) meetings.
  • Coordinates with the Sierra Club Program department and the NPS in the preparation of the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding),
  • Schedules and oversees the professional cleaning of the YCHC in mid-April. Cleans the YCHC grounds on a bi-weekly basis with volunteers.
  • Purchases office and cleaning supplies in coordination with Sierra Club Facilities staff.

Safety Management

  • Responds to emergencies in Yosemite National Park, the Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center, and the 2 campsites. Attends National Park Service meetings regarding floods, fires, rock fall, and road closures. Trains volunteers and program presenters with regard to emergencies and possible evacuations. Knows evacuation plans, maintains a first-aid kit, and provides incident reports as needed. Remains on-call overnight in the campsites.
  • Works with the Sierra Club Safety, Security, and Emergency Preparedness Departments regarding prevention, incidents and related issues to ensure staff and volunteer safety in accordance with Sierra Club and NPS policies and procedures.

Standard Overtime: Overtime will not exceed 10 hours per week.


The successful candidate must have the following skills and experience:

  • Detailed knowledge and/or expertise in at least one field directly connected to curating the YCHC: Examples may include natural sciences, history, environmental studies, museum studies experiential education, social justice and indigenous studies, or demonstrated ability to develop this knowledge. Interest and enthusiasm for connecting self and community to nature.
  • Experience developing educational programs and working with the public. Experience coordinating programs and/or working with the public. Examples may include experience in coordinating community speakers series, working at a visitor center, a government agency. You are committed to building outdoor and environmental educational programming for the public that demonstrates and amplifies a rich diversity of experience.
  • Excellent interpersonal and facilitation skills in working with volunteers. Experience recruiting and working with volunteers from diverse identities and facilitating collaborative working teams. Experience working as a part of a team, building trust and developing positive group dynamics. Understands the volunteer experience and the myriad of reasons someone spends their time volunteering.
  • Equity Analysis and Practice. You are aware of your group identities and how they have shaped your life and experiences at work. You have an analysis of how racism and other forms of oppression in society impact relationships, systems and culture. You bring experience and skills for working effectively with colleagues across group identities and position/role.
  • Able to live in Yosemite Valley alone in an unpowered small public campsite for the 22-week season when the YCHC is open, with approximately two additional weeks prior to the opening of the YCHC on May 1. Given the unique conditions of this position, Sierra Club recognizes that a housing stipend or Sierra Club-provided housing may be necessary, depending on the home location of the future incumbent.
  • Must be able to work weekends from May 1 through September 30, and holidays, if concurrent with the YCHC Wednesday through Sunday schedule.

The strongest candidates will also demonstrate the following experience, skills and competencies:

  • General Knowledge of the Sierra Club. Knows or is willing to quickly learn the mission; values; national campaigns; programs; conservation issues; and the Board of Directors messaging guidance in interpreting the history and future of the Sierra Club.
  • General Knowledge of Yosemite National Park including the geographical layout of the park and includes knowledge of roads, facilities, shuttle service, park partners, and programs.
  • Vehicle in excellent working order, valid driver’s license, satisfactory driving record and the ability to drive on mountain roads.
  • Able to transition from work at home to work in Yosemite National Park in the Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center
  • Willing to clean and maintain the YCHC
  • Knowledge and experience in a wide variety of safety and risk management protocols and practices. Examples may include volunteering at a fire department, emergency response team and/or possessing a current Wilderness First Responder certification.
  • Proficient in a second language

Compensation and Benefits

The salary for this position is $70,000, non-negotiable.

This position is represented by a collective bargaining unit and is subject to the terms and conditions of the contract between Sierra Club and Progressive Workers Union.

The Sierra Club offers a competitive salary package commensurate with skills and experience plus excellent benefits that include medical, dental, and vision coverage, and a retirement savings 401(k) plan.

This is a category 6 non-exempt represented position.

Sierra Club is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization. Sierra Club employees are not eligible to participate in the Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program.

Sierra Club values the expertise and talents of foreign nationals. Sierra Club sponsors both nonimmigrant and immigrant visas when certain criteria are met, based on immigration laws and organizational needs. Such sponsorship is at the discretion of the Department Head and Sierra Club Human Resources in consultation with the employee’s manager. The Sierra Club cannot guarantee the approval of a visa petition. The Sierra Club is an equal opportunity employer committed to workforce diversity.


To Apply

This position does not have an undergraduate education requirement. If you choose to include your education history, please remove your schools from your resume. You may leave your degree (e.g., “B.A. Philosophy”), but please remove any undergraduate and graduate school names.

This anonymous process is aimed at opening this opportunity to more candidates, reviewing applicants on performance assessments and mitigating bias in the decision-making process.

Lastly, we are intentionally not asking for a cover letter, so please do not send one in with your application.

Explore, enjoy and protect the planet.