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Open Positions at Harvard Forest

Property Operations Assistant (Full-time)

Duties and Responsibilities:

Harvard Forest, located in Petersham, MA, is seeking an outdoor full time Property Operations Assistant to join our Facilities/Woods Crew. The Crew assists with all aspects of Forest facility operations, including maintaining 4,000 acres of forest, 40 miles of woods roads, 19 residential units including 3 dorms with 49 beds (45,000 sf); 55,000 sf of administrative, lab, museum, library/archive space plus mechanical facilities.

Specific duties include:

  • Assist with logging operations including operating chain saw, skidder, logging tractor, knuckle boom loader, and dump truck.
  • Safely and effectively engage in chainsaw felling operations using best safety practices.
  • Obtain and maintain DOT certificate, Timber Harvesters License, Hoisters license, pesticide license, tower rescue climbing training, and other licenses and training as needed.
  • Assist with snow removal including shoveling, snow blower, and operate plow truck and sander through winter including nights and weekends as needed.
  • Participate in biomass/wood boiler system feeding. Diagnose and appropriately handle plumbing, heating, and electrical issues.
  • Maintain and follow established safety protocols for all aspects of the position.
  • Perform basic carpentry and building maintenance tasks.
  • Learning building operation systems such as fire alarms, public drinking water supply systems etc. over time to be able to handle issues with these systems while on call for emergencies.
  • Must accommodate business demands and, when necessary, accept over-time for snow removal, maintenance emergencies, special projects, and peak season hours.
  • Must be available for 24-hour emergency on-call service on a rotational basis.
  • Other duties as needed.

Basic Qualifications

  • High School diploma or equivalent required
  • Valid MA driver’s license and safe driving record
  • Ability to pass the DOT Medical Exam


Additional Qualifications

  • General carpentry, electrical, plumbing, and painting skills desired. Licensing in any of these areas a plus.
  • Experience and interest in forestry, timber harvesting, land clearing, and operation of cable skidder as well as other large equipment.
  • Ability to work cooperatively with office staff, faculty, scientists, and students.
  • Problem solving and communication skills.
  • Ability to maintain positive attitude, work effectively on teams, and support the unit.
  • Customer service attitude and ability to maintain a high level of affiliate and tenant satisfaction.

Direct Link to Apply


Education Assistant (Part-time)

The Harvard Forest Education & Outreach team seeks an educator-administrator to bolster our capacity to provide guided tours to K-12 and university classrooms and other visiting groups aligned with the Harvard Forest mission.

At least 50% of the position – especially in fall and spring, the Forest's busiest tour seasons – will be spent leading 3-to-4-hour tours for visiting groups of up to 25 people. Tour content includes the historical dioramas in the Fisher Museum, Indigenous land dynamics, and ecology content in Harvard Forest’s long-term forest research sites--including climate change, tree and plant ID, introduced forest insects and pathogens, and more. However, the position does not end at presenting academic content; in the multiple hours they spend with groups, tour guides also become ambassadors for the entire organization, listening closely to visitors and making connections to Harvard Forest educational opportunities and wider policy/outreach initiatives.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are foundational values for the Harvard Forest and its education and outreach team, which serves thousands of people each year from dozens of schools, universities, and nations.

All training on Harvard Forest tour content will be provided on the job, including a 2-month learning period of shadowing/accompanying tours led by existing education staff, with slowly increasing levels of leadership.

The remainder of the position will take place in the office and center on administrating tours behind the scenes. This vital role involves working online and by phone with prospective group leaders to plan and schedule their tours, and working internally with the HF Department Coordinator, fellow HF tour guides, and other administrative and research staff as needed.

The job may also include other administrative tasks (such as re-ordering Harvard Forest apparel and publications for the Museum store).

Regular professional development opportunities will be supported, including on-site seminars about Harvard Forest research; community trainings in diversity, equity, and inclusion; and trainings in first-aid/CPR.


  • 14 hours weekly, paid at a rate of $32-35/hr commensurate with experience. No more than 8 hours worked per day.
  • 18-month term position, with opportunity for renewal.
  • Schedule will regularly include weekend work.
  • Anticipated start date is February 2024. In autumn 2023, there will be optional opportunities for paid training (shadowing of tours).


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • At least 1 year of experience as a formal educator (classroom teacher) or informal educator of youth (e.g. park ranger, museum docent, community program leader)
  • Ability to hike 2-3 miles on uneven ground with a small (<10lbs) pack in all weather conditions (including snow)
  • Ability to climb 13 flights of stairs (to bring tour groups to top of research tower)
  • CORI check will be required, as the position may occasionally involve spending time alone with minors on field trips.

Additional Qualifications

  • Experience as an outdoor, nature-based educator preferred
  • Familiarity with word processing and spreadsheets via Microsoft Office or Google Suite
  • FLEXIBILITY (groups arrive late, weather changes the schedule, surprises inevitably happen in the woods, nimbleness of presentation style can be required based on group dynamics – such as presenting via a translator)
  • Punctuality when managing groups in an outdoor setting as part of a tightly scheduled itinerary
  • Experience working in programs that regularly serve minorities (racial/ethnic minorities, Indigenous communities, LGBTQ community, veterans, people with learning or physical differences, etc.) preferred – and a willingness to grow your exposure and cultural competence
  • Coursework in environmental science/ecology preferred


  • Priority application review will begin on October 10, 2023 and continue until the position is filled.
  • Send a combined PDF file to Clarisse Hart, Outreach & Education Director, at, containing the following:
    • Cover letter that includes 2 key lessons you have previously learned as an educator
    • Resume or CV
    • Contact information for 2 professional references (no letters needed at this time)

Questions about the Education Assistant position? Contact Clarisse Hart at 978-756-6157.

Indoor/Outdoor Facilities Assistant (full-time, temporary)


Assist woods crew staff as needed on various projects, including but not limited to:

  • Assist with building/framing wood research structures.
  • Preparing firewood
  • Assisting with land clearing operations using a brush saw
  • Indoor painting
  • Outdoor painting (various structures such as wood road gates and research towers)
  • Marking boundaries
  • Moving livestock


  • Must have been licensed to drive for at least 2 years.
  • Age: 18 years of age as of start date with a valid driver’s license and clean driving record.
  • Able to lift a minimum of 50 lbs.
  • Comfortable working in any weather conditions either alone or in pairs in wooded locations.
  • Positive attitude, good work ethic, and responsible work habits with team member mentality required.
  • Able to prioritize daily tasks.

Terms of Employment

  • 13-week position starting in September 2023
  • 40 hours per week 7:00 am-3:30 pm M-F (includes 30-minute unpaid lunch break)
  • $17.00 per hour (non-benefited)

Apply by sending cover letter, resume and contact information for 3 work related references to:  HFAPPS@FAS.HARVARD.EDU  

Applications are accepted via email only, SUBJECT LINE: TEMPORARY FACILITIES POSITION

No phone calls please. No walk-in applications accepted.

More information on Harvard Forest is available at

The Harvard Forest Community

Harvard Forest is committed to establishing and maintaining a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community. We have a Code of Conduct that clearly outlines expected conduct for members of our community, unacceptable conduct, and pathways for support for those who experience or witness misconduct. We have initiated an ongoing series of staff-wide trainings and formed a standing committee to build competence in DEIB in our workplace, improved physical and digital accessibility of our campus resources, and re-examined and replaced harmful artwork. We are working toward including Indigenous knowledge and communities in our research and education, land use, and public programs, improving field safety for at-risk populations, and diversifying our team of investigators and educators. The aim of this work is to collectively support and implement our mission: the investigation, understanding, and communication of the ways in which physical, biological, and human systems interact to change our Earth, while ensuring that all participants should feel that they are critical parts of the Harvard Forest community—whatever their identity groups. We welcome, recruit, develop, and advance talented staff, students, and visiting scholars from diverse backgrounds, and strive to ensure that all are included in our mission. Harvard Forest is also committed to supporting the work-life balance of its staff.

We particularly encourage applications from members of groups that have been historically underrepresented in the sciences (Black, Indigenous, and people of color, women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ community members) and others who demonstrate the ability to help us achieve our vision of a diverse and inclusive community.


Harvard University does not currently require vaccinations for COVID but strongly encourages folks to follow CDC recommendations including being up to date on vaccines.