Core Staff Positions

Job Description

Core staff are leaders in our community. They provide oversight for one or two areas they are experienced with (see links below) and coach junior staff in those areas. Core staff provide continuity between seasons and train new staff, especially in the summer. 

For these positions, we seek applicants who demonstrate outstanding leadership and communication skills. Core staff should have solid skills, but it's often more important that you are good at working with people and can see a big-picture view in our complicated organization. We can teach you the skills you need, but teaching you to be a leader with a broad vision is hard.

All new staff members begin as assistant staff. For the first few months, we expect volunteers to learn about our everyday operations, settle into the lifestyle, and start to take on larger responsibilities. While we like to invite volunteers to come as core staff, it doesn't always work out. Mission: Wolf is a hard place to work, since you live in isolation with your co-workers. Those first few months are sort of like a test to see if you work for Mission: Wolf and if Mission: Wolf works for you. Some volunteers can step into a core role after 2-3 months, while others might take 6 months or longer before being ready to take on that responsibility.

Animal Caretaker (Filled)
Refuge Caretaker (Filled)
Operations Caretaker (Filled until Fall 2018)
Education Caretaker (Filled until Fall 2018)

Our Requirements

Minimum one year commitment. For our animal caretaker, we ask for a two year commitment. We ask that core staff stay throughout the summer, not taking any significant time off during June, July, or August.

Mission: Wolf core staff have expertise in on of our four main areas of work (see links above). We're looking for people who demonstrate competence, leadership, and the ability to look at complicated places with a big-picture view. In general, our core staff are "good at stuff," using experience and judgment to do things they aren't familiar with and often teaching other people to do it at the same time. 

Working at Mission: Wolf is a way of life. We operate much like a commune, and spend far more time dealing with humans than we do with wolves. Our core staff are in the position of keeping things running through changing seasons with a changing staff. It's rewarding, but requires humility, patience, and a strong educational ethos. Our successful core staff are people who devote their lives to the things they believe in: helping animals, advocating for the environment, and providing inspiration to young like-minded people who come to visit.

Core staff need to be excellent with communication. You will run staff meetings, assign tasks to other volunteers, and mediate when communication problems arise. We expect direct conflict resolution, constructive delivery of feedback, and timely action when things aren't running smoothly. Communication practices commonly taught by outdoor educators on programs like NOLS and Outward Bound are similar to what we expect. For more on that, see this well-made communication structure.

We set no minimum age, we set high expectations for how our volunteers will do their work, interact with the public, and contribute to the community. We judge people based on the work they do and their maturity in human and animal interactions. Core staff need to be comfortable leading people older than themselves. Our summer volunteers average 21 years of age, our summer leaders average 23 years of age, and our core staff average 26 years of age. Over the past 5 years, our staff have ranged from 17 to 63 years of age.

We have no education requirements, but most of our staff have a college education or are in college. We are acknowledged as a leading source of information on wolves, wildlife-human interaction, and practical sustainability. We need staff members who understand the science behind all of that and can communicate it clearly to a public audience.

Community Living: 
Mission: Wolf operates as a close-knit community, isolated from towns and cities. Our core staff need to have great communication skills, have experience working with people, and be comfortable living and working with others.

Time Off:
Because of the stress of living and working in an isolated community for months on end, we encourage all core staff to take at least one month off each year. This is an opportunity to make money, gain perspective, and become refreshed and better able to contribute.


Living long-term at Mission: Wolf is a lifestyle choice. We live a simple, peaceful life away from cities, noise, pollution, and the fast-paced life our culture has come to embrace. Our work is challenging, stimulating, and anything but routine. As a core staff member, you will be a driving force behind our influencial lifestyle and inspiring organization.

Housing: Core staff live in heated cabins. Some of these are bedrooms in public buildings (our office and vet buildings), while others are private cabins. Access to our community kitchen building and staff bathroom (towels provided). Access to our washing machine.

Food: Participation in our community kitchen. Mission: Wolf provides the food. You prepare breakfast and lunch on your own and participate in cooking daily community dinners.

Transportation: Transportation to and from a local airport, bus, or train station (Colorado Springs and Pueblo are the closest). Parking space for a car if you choose to drive. Use of Mission: Wolf vehicles for personal trips when appropriate (options to combine personal trips with Mission: Wolf needs).

Technology: High speed wireless internet, access to community laptops, access to a landline with free long distance and international calling to many countries.

Bonus Stuff:
• Potential participation in wildlife chemical immobilization course
• Staff camping trips funded by Mission: Wolf several times each summer.
• Access to our collection of outdoor equipment.
• Growth in leadership from leading a community of 8-20 volunteers from diverse backgrounds
• Experience running an internationally-recognized non-profit organization
• Potential to learn new skills: caring for animals, working with "horse-whispering" body language techniques, welding, carpentry, chainsaw use, permaculture practice, solar electric systems, automotive mechanics, and many more

Apply For A Core Staff Position

If you have any questions about core staff positions, responsibilities, skills, or your suitability, please call our staff coordinator at 719-859-2157 or email here. We accept core staff applications on a rolling basis, unless otherwise stated in the specific job description page.

Apply online for a core staff position