Love the outdoors? Enjoy working with youth? Do you have a background that includes swimming, paddling and first-aid?

We’re always seeking 18 seasonal staff for science education adventures at RiverWatch!

“Working for River Watch was one of the most gratifying employment opportunities that I have ever had. The opportunity to educate students about river ecology, environmental citizenship and water quality monitoring was simply fantastic.”  Former RiverWatch Guide

RiverWatch is an award-winning registered Canadian charity delivering curriculum-based river studies across Alberta since 1995.  More than 120,000 students have now participated in our programs.  Wow!

School groups travel 10 km each spring and fall weekday along urban rivers in large 20’ rafts to three shoreline stops involving water quality monitoring to answer the question, "How healthy is our river?" 

RiverWatch staff receive training for all equipment, group management, rafting, logistics, safety, science, natural history and wastewater tours.  Team work is an essential and enjoyable aspect of this work.

Hiring is on-going year-round until all Edmonton and Calgary positions are filled, so contact us today for more information.

More program information is available on Facebook ("RiverWatch Alberta").

Guiding with RiverWatch

Each year, eighteen staff join us with a breadth of experience from across Alberta, Canada and around the world. We then work with our guide candidates during an intense week of training that involves rafting, emergency response, health and safety, equipment maintenance, water quality monitoring, natural history interpretation, science curriculum and wastewater tours. The end result is a stellar graduating group ready to work with students during a 5-8 week spring or fall season.

Spring or fall school programs are delivered by staff teams based in Edmonton and Calgary.   Each city sees programs delivered for 2-3000 students in a season of just 5-8 weeks.  Each work day 8:00-4:00 begins and ends with teamwork to handle all rafts and equipment.  Guides then work independently through the day, each with their own group of 15-18 students in grades 8-12.

Each seasonal team is a blend of staff from different post-secondary backgrounds and differing years of experience with RiverWatch.  The opportunity to work outdoors with a great team of people is the most memorable aspect of RiverWatch employment.

We're always looking for eighteen people wishing to commit to a once-in-a-lifetime experience and who have other travel or work plans after a short season with us.  About half our staff work just one season with us; others fit multiple seasons of RiverWatch employment into a career spanning other outdoor and environmental education opportunites.

If you are interested in learning more about guiding with RiverWatch, you are invited to Google search and view our 18-minute Youtube video "RiverWatch Staff Training".  

Comments from past staff...

"I would describe my season start as excellent. I felt well prepared when I took the students on the trip for the first time on my own."

"We had a great season with a great team. Every day was a bit of a new adventure! It was fun, fast paced, and interesting. I learned a great deal, and was happy to practice scientific communication and public speaking skills."

"Some classic old Canadian fun! Making friends and learning lots."

"Great to learn lots of new science and interpretive material! It was fun to get more experience working with students and sharing the river with them!"

"Training week was good and the first few schools have been a blast. We've had awesome weather and great students! Thanks again for everything! "

"Really energetic and fun crew to work with. The work was everything I love to do from science, working with kids, being outdoors, and being on the water. Perfect job and very well organized! Thank you guys for this incredible opportunity to work with Riverwatch and all the amazing people it introduced me to. My season with Riverwatch was one of the most fun and exciting experiences to date. So thank you for all your hard work to keep this program as prestige as it is."

"The season start has been a whirlwind of learning new skills & information. The support to get through this steep learning curve to be prepared for student groups has been present through senior guides and leaning on them has made it possible to learn what is needed. Additionally, having small student groups to allow for "shadowing" senior guides at the beginning was a great way to smooth the transition from training to guiding."

"The season was a nice chance in how I was able to work with the group and offer some more leadership. I felt very secure in my knowledge of how to work things as smoothly as possible at RW, the interp, and in my role as a guide, and I could feel that my experience was valuable to the team."

"I really enjoyed my season with River Watch. The people I worked with were all enjoyable and supportive. To be able to work outdoors and with students every day is such an amazing opportunity to have.  I learnt a lot about the river and the ecosystem that surrounds Calgary and was happy to share that knowledge with the students. I really enjoyed going to to work no matter the weather and everyday was different. At the end of the day it is really rewarding to hear that the school groups have learnt and retained some of what I discussed through the day. I enjoy the unloading and loading of the rafts at the beginning and end of the day and find the work day to go by really quick because it is enjoyable and fun work."


"I’m particularly interested in how we coax willing engagement from students. Day after day I see a balance between that which guides want, and that which students give. Somehow, I think it’s important to understand participants are irresistibly drawn to the challenge of a demanding program. They all want to get involved. We can get ‘em thinkin’ even if they don’t appear to be doing so during the day. RW is as challenging for new guides as it is for the students we shepherd. The students keep coming back, and now that I’m burned-in, I want to as well. A visitor services expert once told me interpretive guides are like swans: appearing elegant above the waterline while furiously paddling below. I routinely fit this description, but on a few occasions during my RW initiation I was more like a pelican, a little ungainly but nonetheless interesting. The only thing I know about interpretation is it's ultimately objective-based communications and RiverWatch is interpretive genius."

"After a ride-a-long, six days of training and a week as a RiverWatch guide, I’d say the month ahead isn’t a job; it’s an assignment. It’s a challenge. In training, your organization looked like a big machine with a lot of moving parts, of which the most important are the guides, each shepherding 2,000 pounds of children down a fast-moving river in a rubber raft. I accepted the weight of that responsibility and began to learn the science-based education program, the treatment plant tour and site-specific heritage interpretation along the river. I looked forward to meeting the students. Guiding, I was overwhelmed by the complexity of RiverWatch: I just want to paddle and introduce young people to the river as I learn with them the scientific component of the program. But the put-in and takeout, so far, are frenetic events of complicated protocol, more than a hundred excited children, paddles, boots, boats, bins, pumps, PFDs, science labs, cam straps, a crowded bus and end-of-day documentation. But I find my days can’t be rated like a film or a restaurant. Either they succeed or they don’t. I had a very clunky day in my first week, when I failed to be a smooth working part of the machine. The best part of that day was staying in control of a raft I ran aground, moving my tonne of children off a gravel bar and back into the rushing water. I like control. I like a guide stick in my hand. It was a little victory. By end of the first week, I had a boat full of students and a teacher radiating appreciation. That day, we gave them the river. It was a very good start."

School Interpretive River Guides

We have Interpretive River Guide positions available each spring and fall for 18 good people!

·         5-6 week positions working late-April to mid-June (Spring)

·         8-week positions working late-August to late-October (Fall)

·         Edmonton or Calgary


Applicants should enjoy working outdoors with youth while maintaining group management in a physically demanding environment on urban rivers. Guide candidates should have Standard First Aid certification; a good speaking voice; familiarity with boats on moving water and paddling techniques; experience working outdoors in all weather; and a personal interest in science and the environment.


RiverWatch guides work in teams to deliver river-based studies for junior and senior high science students. Each guide is responsible for the daily delivery and supervision of 15-18 students along a 10 km urban river route while in charge of a large inflatable raft equipped as a portable water quality monitoring laboratory. During the school program season, each RiverWatch guide has opportunities for professional development in diverse areas such as interpretation, science/environmental studies, teaching practices and paddling techniques.

Training and Hours
RiverWatch provides comprehensive training for all interpretive content; science procedures; teaching strategies; Class I-II river rafting; and logistical delivery. Following an intensive 6 days of staff training and ongoing mentorship, RiverWatch guides generally work 5 weekdays 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m with occasional out-of-town work and/or weekend work.


Guides are paid a base wage of $150/day and those returning for additional seasons are provided commensurate leadership opportunities and pay increments.


Qualified candidates in Edmonton and Calgary are invited to submit a cover letter, resume and references toThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or fill out the "Apply Form" below.

More program information is available on Facebook ("RiverWatch Alberta").

Facebook (“RiverWatch Alberta”)


We’re looking for three good drivers!

If you're mechanically inclined; physically fit; organized; helpful; and interested in obtaining a Class 2 Bus Driving Licence, we have positions each spring and fall school season in Calgary and Edmonton. 

·         Two-months late-April to mid-June (Spring)

·         Two-months late August to late-October (Fall)

·         Edmonton or Calgary


The RiverWatch Driver/Support is responsible for driving a customized school bus while towing a raft trailer and providing logistical support throughout the day to a dynamic team of Interpretive River Guides.

The Driver/Support is the centre of the RiverWatch world, shuttling guides, rafts and equipment to and from the starting point, lunch stop and end of day points. This position is also responsible for keeping daily vehicle logs; fuelling; all day-to-day equipment maintenance; the moving and storage of student gear; and whatever can be done to support river guides in their work.


The Driver/Support candidate should enjoy working outdoors in a team environment while driving a very large vehicle. Driver/Support candidates should have Standard First Aid certification; a Class 5 Driver’s License; a clean Driver’s Abstract; be organized, punctual and reliable; be a team player;  understand customer service; be comfortable working outdoors in all weather; and able to lift heavy gear.


Working as Driver/Support includes comprehensive training for a Class 2 Licence; all driving duties; and logistical delivery. Following 2 days of driver training; driving exam; 7 days of logistical orientation; and ongoing mentorship, the Driver/Support will generally work 5 weekdays 8:00a.m. – 5:00 p.m. with some out-of-town work and/or on weekends. Driver/Support is paid a wage of $150/day and for those staff returning for additional seasons, there are commensurate leadership opportunities and pay increments.


Qualified candidates for Driver/Support in Edmonton and Calgary are invited to submit a cover letter, resume and references toThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,or fill out the "Apply Form" below. 

More program information is available on Facebook ("RiverWatch Alberta"). 

Coming Soon

From time-to-time, RiverWatch may post available management team positions such as Executive Director, Operations Manager or Business Manager.  No postings are available at this time.

Apply Today

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Collection and use of personal information

Personal information is collected and protected by FOIP. It will be used to determine whether an applicant can be considered for employment, and once hired, used to compile a list of staff qualifications. If you have any questions about the collection and use of your information, please contact the Executive Director, RiverWatch Institute of Alberta at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 1-888-933-6300.