Educational Fellowships

Gain Professional Experience You’ll Never Forget

With sponsorship from the Olson Family, Sessel Family, and the Brown Family Foundation, the Rocky Mountain Conservancy facilitates several annually sponsored educational fellowships. All fellowships include housing, a stipend, and the unforgettable experience of working in a premier national park.

About the Fellowships

The Rocky Mountain Conservancy seeks fellows of exceptional ability for three fellowships in Rocky Mountain National Park. In 2006, the Olson family of Boulder, Colorado, began funding this fellowship to enable students and recent graduates to serve in a national park while exploring career options in environmental education and the nonprofit sectors. In 2013, another family trust, the Bailey Family Trust, began providing funds for a second fellow to assist the Field Institute program during the summer/fall term. The Brown Family Foundation and Sessel Family also recently joined the team, sponsoring education fellowships for aspiring, talented fellows.

Each year, with support from the Olson, Brown, Sessel and Bailey families, the Rocky Mountain Conservancy and Rocky Mountain National Park provide research and education fellowships for individuals of exceptional ability to provide educational support and programming in Rocky Mountain National Park. Education fellowships are designed to encourage highly qualified post-college and graduate level students to apply their passions, talents of teaching and program development in the national parks.

Our education fellowships are designed to provide graduate fellows with an on-the-job learning experience and the opportunity to explore career options in environmental education and the nonprofit sectors. Students develop knowledge of the Conservancy and how it works with its partners, Rocky Mountain National Park and other public land agencies. Students also develop knowledge of the natural and cultural history of Rocky Mountain National Park, public-land partnerships, career options in nonprofit and government agencies, and the nonprofit business model. Best practices in environmental education are examined, and fellows leave the program with a portfolio that reflects their ability to plan and implement educational programs, develop marketing materials, and communicate with constituents.

Fellows are selected through a robust recruitment process, with emphasis on diversity recruitment. Fellows are considered an employee of the Rocky Mountain Conservancy and assist on a 40-hour work week. All fellows are provided a living allowance plus housing near the park. This is a unique, entry-level position with the nonprofit Rocky Mountain Conservancy and the National Park Service.

Fellowship Terms (6 months) Summer: April 1 – September 30 or June 1 – November 30
Winter: October 1 – March 31
Available Positions Two Summer Fellows, One Winter Fellow
Applications Deadline We accept applications year-round.

Our next available fellowship openings are for 2024. We have one opening for the summer and one for the winter.


It is recommended that the candidate be actively pursuing or have already completed a degree program in environmental education, interpretation, education, general education or natural resources. In addition, experience volunteering or working with nonprofit organizations and an interest in public outreach and/or digital media is desired.

Living Allowance

$400/week ($800/biweekly) living allowance plus housing near Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP).


The education fellows spend about 40 hours each week working on a wide range of projects with both RMNP and the Rocky Mountain Conservancy. The fellowship schedule with both organizations is somewhat variable and depends upon a fellow’s specific projects and Rocky Mountain Conservancy’s program schedule. Please note that due to the nature of outdoor education, some weeks will require more than 40 hours, while others will require less. It is expected that fellows commit to the full 6-month period and spend the full duration working in and around Rocky Mountain National Park.

Required Skills

  • Dedication to environmental and outdoor education, with the ability to lead programs for children, teens, and adults,
  • Demonstrated ability to think and act creatively,
  • Adept communication skills, both written and spoken, for diverse audiences and using various media,
  • Strong problem-solving skills with the ability to organize ideas and information quickly,
  • Demonstrated ability to independently manage long-term projects and complete projects by assigned deadlines,
  • Desire to work both collaboratively and independently on a wide range of projects,
  • Computer experience with Power Point and desktop publishing preferred,
  • Enthusiasm, a warm disposition, and the ability to handle the stresses of working with children, young people, and adults.


  • Develop and lead interactive outdoor programs for diverse audiences, including K-12 students, youth, and adults,
  • Develop and deliver educational tours for adults in and around RMNP,
  • Assist with program development, planning, and implementation for the Field Institute courses, including driving for and supervising summer programs,
  • Schedule and present informational programs about educational opportunities at RMNP,
  • Create educational and promotional materials for Conservancy programs in a variety of media (print, digital audio/video, or in-person),
  • Drive and or ride in a government-owned vehicle, as well as an Field Institute-owned bus/van,
  • Establish and maintain positive working relationships with RMNP staff and volunteers, as well as with other Conservancy partners, program participants, and community members.

If completing the fellowship as an internship for a degree program, the candidate will work with RMNP and the Rocky Mountain Conservancy supervisors and an academic advisor to construct and meet all identified goals.