Job Opportunity – Seasonal Senior Living History Interpreter

High Desert Museum Job Opportunity – Seasonal Senior Living History Interpreter

Title:  Seasonal Senior Living History Interpreter

Division:  Living History

Classification:  Seasonal (May 2021-May 2022) salaried, full-time exempt

Reports To:  Senior Curator of Western History

Supervises:  Seasonal Living History Interpreters and volunteers

Salary:  $37,000 plus full benefits

High Desert Museum – Organization Description

Since opening in 1982, THE HIGH DESERT MUSEUM has brought together wildlife, culture, art and natural resources to promote an understanding of the natural and cultural heritage of North America’s High Desert country. We do so through indoor and outdoor exhibits, wildlife in natural habitats, living history demonstrations and dynamic programs on a beautiful, 135-acre campus in the pine forest. The Museum is a nonprofit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, was a 2018 National Medal for Museum and Library Sciences finalist and is a Smithsonian Affiliate. During the 2018-19 fiscal year, 195,000 visitors enjoyed the Museum.

The Museum is located in Bend, Oregon, a fast-growing, charismatic city nestled against the Cascade Range at the edge of the High Desert. We strive to be inclusive, culturally humble, relevant, curious and mindful. As a team, we work together to wildly excite and responsibly teach, creating connection to and dialogue about the High Desert.

Job Summary – Senior Living History Interpreter

The Senior Living History Interpreter is responsible for coordinating the Museum’s Living History interpretive programs, which includes managing staff and volunteers, interpreting the history of the High Desert and developing public programs that bring the Museum’s mission to life. One of the Senior Living History Interpreter’s central responsibilities is coordinating and interpreting the 1904 High Desert Ranch and Sawmill, which includes interpreting the site for visitors, demonstrating historical activities and assisting in daily operations in period clothing.


  • Excellent interpretation and communication skills including the ability to engage a wide variety of visitors and connect them to historical content.
  • A bachelor’s degree in a field appropriate for the position, e.g., history, theater, education, interpretation, anthropology, etc.
  • Knowledge of and desire to learn more about the history of the High Desert, especially in relation to the 1904 Ranch and Sawmill.
  • Experience managing staff.
  • Experience at a Living History site or in a museum setting
  • Ability to work successfully with a diverse group of volunteers.
  • Ability to work unsupervised and work in a team environment.
  • Ability to work flexible hours and days, including weekends.
  • Certification from the National Association of Interpretation (CIG, CIH, or CHI) preferred
  • CPR certified preferred

Physical Demands of the Position

  • The position requires standing for long periods of time, bending, stooping, lifting, carrying, walking on uneven surfaces and working both indoors and outside in the elements.

The position requires some evenings and weekends, working inside and outside.

Responsibilities and Tasks

  1. Manage the daily operation of Living History programming including set-up, take-down and site maintenance.
  2. Supervise, train, evaluate and assist staff and volunteers in giving Living History interpretive presentations for audiences of all ages.
  3. Interpret various aspects of the 1904 High Desert Ranch and Sawmill such as crafting, gardening and cooking in period costume. Provide demonstrations, station interpretation and hands-on activities for people of all ages, including school groups, the general public and families.
  4. Schedule and manage staff and volunteers in program execution.
  5. Monitor the budget for the department.
  6. With guidance from the Senior Curator of Western History, research, plan, develop and implement Living History interpretive programs.
  7. Serve as lead staff during and for Living History Programs. Assist with after-hours and special event programming.
  8. Embrace, support and help implement the Museum’s continued learning and commitment to justice, diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion.
  9. Execute other duties as assigned as needed to help abide by the Museum’s values, drive our vision and fulfill our mission.

The Museum provides an equal employment opportunity to all persons without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/transgender status, age, disability, veteran or marital status, genetic information or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

Please send resume and cover letter to the High Desert Museum, attention Human Resources.


The High Desert Museum wildly excites and responsibly teaches through innovative, interdisciplinary experiences, creating connection to and dialogue about the High Desert.