Musk Ox Interpretive Guide
Position: Musk Ox Farm Interpretive Guide, Palmer, Alaska
Organization: Musk Ox Farm
The nonprofit Musk Ox Farm promotes gentle musk ox husbandry, qiviut production and provides education to the public. The musk ox is an Ice Age mammal that once roamed the earth alongside sabre-tooth tigers and woolly mammoths. Keeping them warm in the winter, musk oxen produce qiviut (kiv'-ee-ute), the soft underwool of a musk ox and one of the warmest and finest natural fibers. In the spring, when the animals are shedding naturally, farm staff will gently hand-comb qiviut from all the members of the herd. We welcome visitors to the farm from all over the world for a closeup educational experience with these magnificent ruminants left over from the Pleistocene epoch. We offer tours by interpretive guides (you!), engaging exhibits, and a gift shop featuring some of the world’s only gently hand-combed qiviut fiber, qiviut yarn, and qiviut garments among other carefully curated musk ox inspired gifts.
The Musk Ox Farm will be expanding its educational programing to offer several tour options including longer guided hikes and educational programming specifically designed for both children and adults, utilizing our new classroom/studio/workshop space. These new programs will be led by interpretive guides who have the ability and interest in becoming proficient in this type of programming, as well as giving regular tours. Please note in your cover letter if this is an area of interest.
Position Responsibilities and Qualifications:
The Musk Ox Farm is seeking curious individuals who are highly responsible, enthusiastic, and dedicated to fill its Interpretive Guide positions for the spring/summer/fall 2023 season. We will train successful new hires in interpretive education techniques, the history of the project, natural history of musk oxen, and the history of our Colony Farm. All you need to bring is a first-class attitude, genuine curiosity for the world around you, integrity, dedicated enthusiasm, and a commitment to make our guests feel welcomed, important, and well educated. The strongest applicants will have studied, or gained experience in, education, wildlife, history, ecology, or biology. Gracious customer service skills in a busy environment are a necessity. The position runs from early May through October 2023, with some options for a shorter season, or to stay on staff through the winter part-time.
Interpretive Guides responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- Personal fluency in educational materials. This includes mission statement, project history, physiology and arctic adaptations of the animals, farm layout and operations, familiarity with gift shop, merchandise, including all qiviut products.
-Always maintain appropriate personal appearance, manners, and behaviors at the farm.
-Ability to address groups large and small and accurately convey the personal fluency listed above.
-Competence and patience working with visitors of all abilities, including visitors from foreign countries with potential language barriers.
-Maintaining a positive attitude rain or shine.
-Willingness to learn, receive feedback, and grow as an educator.
-Ability to run a Point-of-Sale System (POS).
-Cooperation and flexibility with co-workers and management in filling the schedule and its various shifts for this 7-day per week operation.
-Maintain a clean, orderly, and attractive environment throughout the public areas including grounds and public bathrooms.
-Openness to assisting with events from time-to-time that may occur outside of normal business hours.
The Musk Ox Farm understands that COVID-19 is a public health threat to our employees, to the community, and potentially our herd. The following protocols are a baseline minimum for all staff: Must demonstrate to be fully vaccinated and boosted, by presenting valid vaccination card. Must be willing to wear a mask indoors in public places, if needed. Must inform management of any exposure to COVID-19. Must inform management of any illness. We are doing everything in our power to help bring this era to an end, these policies may change as conditions warrant, based on CDC guidelines. If you cannot or will not be able to adhere to these protocols, and still wish to be considered, please make it clear in an attached document the reasons, rationalities, and your suggestions for maintaining a safe working environment for all despite your choices.
Depending on skill sets, experience, and ability to contribute, the hourly rate of pay will vary between $12-$16 per hour. All seasonal staff will agree to a termination date. If the hiree is still on the payroll on that date a bonus of $1 per hour for every hour worked throughout the season will be paid. This does not mean that staff will be required to leave at this time, it simply allows the Farm to plan for an adequate staff throughout the season. Please be aware that no housing is available on site.
12850 E Archie Rd, Palmer, AK, 99645
Listing Closing Date03 / 15 / 2023
Application Procedure: Please submit cover letter, resume, and three references to: [email protected] Applications will be reviewed as they are received, positions will remain open until filled. Please do not contact the farm, we will reach out to you to schedule interviews as needed. While most positions will not start until the end of April, early May 2023, we are looking for one employee who would be able to start work between February and March and will continue through the summer season.