Position Announcement

JOB TITLE: NOLS Alaska Operations Manager

REPORTS TO: NOLS Alaska Director

JOB OBJECTIVE: Provide excellent service and support to NOLS Alaska students and staff by maintaining a safe, clean, and functional campus infrastructure as well as vehicle, trailer, and sea kayaking fleets. 

  • Specific to the 2021 operating season, the operations manager will: 
  • Oversee the maintenance of the NOLS Alaska vehicle fleet of buses, vans, and trucks and supervise and schedule three-to-four drivers.
  • Oversee the overall maintenance and upkeep of campus and its facilities; supervise three operations assistants.
  • Manage the scheduling, rotation, and repair of the 100+ sea kayak fleet.
  • Contribute to the pre-season reopening of NOLS Alaska with an emphasis on COVID-19 readiness for both in-town and field practices and the pre-course coordination of student arrival and accommodations on campus.


  • A thorough understanding of NOLS policies and procedures.
  • Able to work in a dynamic team environment and communicate effectively with co-workers.
  • Actively contribute to a positive and healthy community living environment while striving to maintain balance between work and life.
  • A positive attitude, calm demeanor, and high degree of motivation, initiative, and organizational skills are required. 
  • Experience with Excel, Google Suite, and Point of Sale Inventory Management Systems (POSIM) is preferred.
  • Experience in staff management and supervision is required.
  • Experience with physical plant maintenance, construction, and/or carpentry and the operation of landscaping equipment and power tools is preferred.
  • Knowledge of Alaska course operating areas and general understanding of Alaska field programming, with an emphasis on sea kayaking, is preferred.
  • The position demands adaptability and the ability to work a flexible schedule, including weekends, holidays, and late-night hours, in support of unanticipated operational needs, complex student arrival logistics, and campus or field emergencies, whenever possible, with a goal of maintaining a 40-hour work week.
  • Must be at least 21 years old and successfully pass a Motor Vehicle Report check. 
  • Experience towing box, flatbed, and sea kayak trailers is preferred.

LEADERSHIP OR SUPERVISORY DUTIES: For the 2021 season, train and supervise three to four drivers and 3 operations assistants. In future seasons, supervision may expand to other operations departments, such as kitchen, rations, or equipment. As a member of the NOLS Alaska leadership team (along with program director and program manager) expect to receive and give timely feedback with team members regarding performance. Work within this team to evaluate consistently the multiple aspects of the current season and to contribute to short-and long-term planning for NOLS Alaska’s programming, operations, and facilities.

FUNDS AND/OR PROPERTY: Will collaborate with the program director to manage and account for the facilities, vehicle maintenance, minor furnishings, computer supplies, and operating supplies budgets. Assist with the planning, purchasing, and oversight of short and long-term assets/projects. Will have check signing authorization. Will be issued a NOLS credit card and responsible for accurately tracking expenses and receipts. Will manage petty cash. In future seasons, may collaborate with other departmental managers to place pre-season orders, such as kitchen, rations and equipment, and become more familiar with Point of Sale Inventory Management (POSIM).


  • Supervise and train drivers and operations assistants.
  • Provide effective supervision (clear expectations, comprehensive training, periodic individual check-ins and growth-oriented evaluations) to ensure that all aspects of NOLS Alaska transportation and facilities operate optimally and provide an exceptional student and staff experience.
  • Assist NOLS Alaska program director to plan departmental operations budgets.
  • For 2021, track and manage the transportation and facilities-specific budgets, with the possibility of additional departmental budgets in future seasons.
  • Collaborate with program director and program manager to plan and oversee all long-term asset projects as well as the acquisition and selling of long-term and short-term assets.
  • Coordinate, network with, and hire local contractors and subcontractors for various facility projects and repairs.
  • Assist with the creation and maintenance of the seasonal operations calendar, including the schedules for all operations departments.
  • Plan and execute the maintenance, acquisition, cleanliness, and safety of campus and its vehicles, equipment, and supplies.
  • Coordinate and oversee all scheduled campus maintenance and upkeep such as septic pumping, winterizing, and meeting environmental, labor, and sanitation requirements in the state of Alaska.
  • Collaborate with winter caretaker to ensure upkeep and maintenance during the off-season.
  • Manage/collaborate with operations assistants to ensure that the NOLS Alaska property, its facilities, and vehicles remain in clean, maintained, and working condition.
  • Manage, maintain, and offer technical support for telephone, computer networking systems, and campus facilities at NOLS Alaska. Along with the office manager and program director, act as on-site liaison for information systems to provide network management and troubleshooting. 
  • Drive NOLS vehicles and trailers to support courses and operational logistics as needed.
  • Assist with tasks in other departments as requested by the program director.
  • Specific to 2021: Work within a team to facilitate pre-course student arrival logistics and accommodations on campus, including coordination with airport taxi services.
  • Maintain good relations between NOLS Alaska and NOLS finance, purchasing, information systems, and other departments at NOLS World Headquarters.
  • Help NOLS foster a strong local presence in Alaska.

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, Palmer, Alaska.

WORK CONDITIONS:  This is an eight-month position.  April 1 through September 30 will be full-time and onsite at NOLS Alaska.  The additional two months will be broken up throughout the remainder of the year with the opportunity and encouragement to work remotely. There will be a degree of flexibility during the off-season months in terms of scheduling, allowing the appropriate candidate to seek NOLS field work or other professional opportunities.  During the operating season, private rustic housing is offered on-site. Meals are provided for staff between approximately May 1 and late-August. Additional kitchen and living areas are shared with other NOLS Alaska staff. Employees will be expected to follow COVID in-town mitigation practices at all times. Campus fees apply for staff living on site.

HOW TO APPLY: Send cover letter and resume to Chris Brauneis, NOLS Alaska Director.
Email: chris_brauneis@nols.edu
Phone: (520) 749-0955, ext. 3422 until late-March, then (907) 746-4047, ext. 3330.
Contact Chris Brauneis with questions.

CLOSING DATE FOR APPLICATIONS:  Friday, March 19, 2021. 

STARTING DATE: April 1, 2021.

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