Position Announcement

JOB TITLE: NOLS Alaska Garden Manager

REPORTS TO: NOLS Alaska Operations Manager

JOB OBJECTIVE: Provide NOLS Alaska staff and students with fresh, organically grown salad greens and vegetables for the summer season.


  • Experience managing an organic gardening/farming operation.
  • Excellent communication skills, a high level of initiative, and a strong work ethic are essential.
  • Must be able to lift and carry up to 50 lbs. Examples include, but are not limited to, bags of soil, compost buckets, and maintenance tools.
  • Ability to manage a budget. 
  • Ability to communicate clearly and build positive working relationships with others. Ability to supervise others and lead volunteer efforts. 
  • Ability to work independently with strong attention to detail.
  • Ability to work flexible hours, including weekends and holidays.
  • Must have a desire to live and work in a small community.
  • Must meet NOLS driving requirements.
  • Specific skills desired include starting seeds under lights, working with cold frames, composting, and utilization of gravity feed drip irrigation.
  • Alaska resident preferred, but not required.

LEADERSHIP OR SUPERVISORY DUTIES: Supervision, scheduling, and training of one other staff member and up to two interns. Offer and receive timely feedback within the NOLS Alaska team. Work with the kitchen staff in utilizing food grown in the garden.

FUNDS AND/OR PROPERTY: Responsible for accurately tracking expenses and receipts. Responsible for upkeep; maintenance of all tools and garden supplies; and purchasing seeds and new supplies as needed.


  • Prepare seed, tool, and supply orders.
  • Start seeds.
  • Set-up cold frames and hoop houses.
  • Prepare beds and hoop houses for planting.
  • Transplant starts into hoop houses/cold frames/beds.
  • Manage the compost area.
  • Build schedule and organize volunteer days.
  • Develop educational messages and tools for staff and students.


  • Harvest and continue planting for extended harvest.
  • Measure all harvested garden yield.
  • Water and weed gardens and beds.
  • Composting from the kitchen.
  • Work with the kitchen staff in preparing greens and vegetables for use.
  • Organize student and staff volunteers in the garden.
  • General garden maintenance.


  • Clean and store all tools.
  • Winterize garden.
  • Store compost.
  • Prepare a report on the season and develop a plan for the next year.

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY: NOLS does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, genetics information, disability unrelated to job or admission requirements, or status as a protected veteran. The school’s nondiscrimination policy applies to all phases of its employment process, its admission and financial aid programs, and to all other aspects of its educational programs and activities. Retaliation directed to any person who pursues a discrimination complaint or grievance, participates in a discrimination investigation, or otherwise opposes unlawful discrimination is prohibited.

CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK: A criminal background check is required from all NOLS employees.

E-VERIFY: NOLS participates in E-verify.

MOTOR VEHICLE RECORD: Applicants must be at least 21 years of age by the position start date and possess a valid driver’s license. Must have a clean driving history and be able to meet the criteria for NOLS vehicle insurance coverage.

WORK LOCATION: NOLS Alaska campus in Palmer, AK.

WORK CONDITIONS: This is a 5½ month position, starting in April. Private rustic housing is provided on-site. Meals are cooked for staff during the operating season. Kitchen and living areas are shared with other NOLS Alaska staff. A moderate campus fee applies for staff living on site.

HOW TO APPLY: Send cover letter and resume to Maggie O’Brien, NOLS Alaska Operations Manager.

Email: maggie_obrien@nols.edu
Phone: (907) 746-4047, ext. 3331
Contact Maggie O’Brien with questions.

CLOSING DATE FOR APPLICATIONS: Applications accepted through January 10, 2020. Interviews will be conducted as applications are received.

STARTING DATE: April 1, 2020.

Thank you for your interest in NOLS. Please consider providing some optional, anonymous information by visiting this link.