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Students, this is for you! Seasonal positions are now OPEN for our Summer Student River Guide Program applications in both Edmonton and Calgary. If you love the outdoors and are searching for a GREAT summer job, we’re looking for you! This is a fun, rewarding, and well-paying position ideal for environmental science students (or those in related disciplines) and those with nature-interpretive and paddling experience. Great people, great culture, choose your hours! Full-time and part-time positions are available, with weekend training beginning in April. Interested? Read the information below and follow the links at the bottom of the page to apply.



Here at RiverWatch, we work with a very big group of people – diverse, vibrant, and curious. The RiverWatch Institute of Alberta is Alberta’s largest river rafting organization, promoting adventure, science and stewardship of our waterways. We are an award-winning NFP group that provides guided river experiences for local schools and the public, plus citizen-science water monitoring for local watershed groups along Alberta’s rivers and creeks. Our organization is honoured to receive substantial backing from industry leaders and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). This indispensable financial support creates leading-edge science and educational initiatives, fosters water stewardship experiences, and enhances hospitality standards. These strategic investments underpin our commitment to excellence in environmental education and catalyze our mission to set new benchmarks across these vital sectors. We excel at creating hands-on experiences through water science education and interpretive storytelling that showcase nature’s extraordinary history, culture, and biodiversity of our waterways. Our #1 aim is to provide levels of service that exceed the top education, tourism, and hospitality standards.

Is this for you? Every year, our Interpretive River Guide team is handpicked from a pool of literally hundreds of applicants to be the heart of our float experience. As a team, we flow with the current, a unified family that comes together to create the most wonderful and impactful float experiences for our guests.  Every moment counts! As a RiverWatch Interpretive River Guide, you will be part of our on-water team, helping each other be the best they can be, leading by example and creating the most extraordinary experiences for students, teachers and all our EcoFloat guests. Working as a team, you ensure everything runs smoothly, both on and off the water.

Who is a RiverWatch river guide? Let’s put it this way: you’re the kind of person who can lead a pack of squirrels to safety, all while discussing the fascinating life cycle of a fern. You’re so charismatic and down-to-earth that even the fish feel at ease around you! Your confidence and leadership skills would make a pack of wolves jealous. You’re so passionate about nature, science, or the environment that even the trees lean in to listen. Storytelling? You could keep a rock entertained for hours. And when it comes to details, you’re the kind who remembers the name of every duck in the pond. In short, you’re the outdoor guru who makes every river adventure unforgettable.

Still interested? If you have all the above PLUS you come from environmental science and related disciplines, or you have a background in nature-interpretive roles, and you have proven paddling experience (canoe/raft).. keep reading.


Fun and learning are in our DNA.  The role of professional development in RiverWatch is critical to finding and retaining great people year after year. We intentionally build teams of professionals dedicated to serving and driving the Riverwatch Mission, and we are fortunate to have many students come back year after year as Guides. These individuals have the character and skill set to help take Riverwatch to the highest level, and now we are responsible for nurturing that. To keep you on our toes, we organize weekly sessions to learn more about all aspects of our rivers: from field trips to local partners (breweries, restaurants and feast and float partners) to in-house training on science, hospitality and teamwork, you name it!

Safety is our number #1 priority. To become a RiverWatch guide, training begins in April, and all guide candidates must complete an intense week of training covering a range of topics, including rafting, emergency response, health and safety, equipment maintenance, water quality monitoring, and natural history interpretation, science curriculum, and wastewater tours. This comprehensive training program ensures that our professional river guides are fully prepared to work with students and guests on Alberta’s rivers.


Our river guide teams are based in Edmonton and Calgary, delivering spring, summer, and fall float programs. All positions are Interpretive River Guide roles and may include elements of water monitoring aligning with the school curriculum and our citizen science Creekwatch programming. Each city sees float programs delivered for 4000+ student participants and approximately 2000+ public members in a season-spanning up to 20 weeks.

Pre-Season Training: All seasonal staff will be onboarded in late March, with self-directed module-based training beginning in April. All first aid training, on-water river guide training and Class 1 Proaoa certification are mandatory in-person training occurring in late April  (2024 dates TBC).

Spring Season: Our Spring School Science Floats kicks the season off in late April/early May and are on weekdays, with guide hours generally from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm.

Summer Season: In mid-June, our Guides transition from school science floats to our public EcoFloat programs in the summer. This season runs from mid-June to the end of August and guides shifts during the summer, ranging from morning to evening hours on both weekdays and weekends, depending on the float schedule.

Fall Season: As the summer ends, we switch back to school floats once school is back in.  Our fall School Science Floats kicks the season off in early September and run once again on weekdays to the end of October, with guide hours generally from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm.


Key Responsibilities: As a versatile and skilled professional, your work involves guiding rafts with diverse crews of varying sizes, ages, and abilities, while focusing on risk-reduction through effective navigation, communication, and decision-making; providing exceptional educational instruction and service to guests before, during, and after their trips; engaging in off-the-water activities like moving, loading, and unloading rafts, helping guests with gear, delivering instructional talks, and maintaining equipment; and performing additional tasks based on my qualifications, such as driving, gear and facility maintenance, guest check-in, and supporting other departments as needed.

Qualifications: Prior to beginning work, Basic First Aid and CPR certification are essential, and possessing Wilderness First Aid or a higher qualification is highly recommended. This role demands effective communication skills, the ability to motivate both small and large groups, a strong sense of guest service, and a responsibility for personal actions and performance. A genuine enthusiasm for teaching science and nature and engaging others in outdoor activities is crucial. The ideal candidate should be able to take direction from supervisors and managers, exhibit good judgment in decision-making, and work well under pressure. The ability to respond swiftly and judiciously to emergencies is key. Additionally, a can-do attitude and the capacity to work collaboratively in a team-oriented environment are vital. Lastly, clear and authoritative communication skills are essential while guiding activities.

Physical Demands and Working Conditions: Applicants must be physically adept at maneuvering rafts throughout the season, including steering and guiding on water and carrying and lifting on land. They should have the strength to repetitively lift 50 pounds and possess the endurance to sit in a raft for extended periods, stand for long durations, and comfortably bend, stoop, and twist. Additionally, comfort with working outdoors in diverse weather conditions, such as heat, cold, wind, and rain, is essential. Given the seasonal nature of this position, applicants should be prepared for varying hours and schedules each week, depending on the fluctuating demands of the business.


Hiring for these positions is a continuous process and will continue until all roles are filled. To apply, candidates should submit a resume and a cover letter detailing their paddling experience through the links below. The job offers various types of employment, including full-time, part-time, casual, and seasonal roles. The duration of the contract will typically range from 4 to 5 months. The salary for these positions is competitive, ranging from $150.00 to $190.00 per day. Candidates can expect to work between 15 to 40 hours per week, depending on the specific requirements of the role and the time of the season.

Interested? Here are the next steps: Send us your resume and a cover letter through the links below. Applications open soon! Hiring is ongoing until all positions are filled for the spring, summer and fall seasons.

Learn more by checking out our staff training overview video below.