Extension Educator- Agriculture and Natural Resources Climate Resilience, University of Minnesota

Job Title: Extension Educator- Agriculture and Natural Resources Climate Resilience

Organization: University of Minnesota

Organization Overview: The Agriculture and Natural Resources Climate Resilience Extension Educator will bring in-depth expertise to assist Minnesota’s agricultural sector and natural resource managers respond to the stressors and impacts of changing weather and climate extremes. The educator will collaborate with diverse organizations to identify, develop, implement, and evaluate educational programs that will have a measurable impact towards enhancing climate adaptation capacity and resiliency on Minnesota’s working lands. This will include communicating critical weather and climate impacts-related science and emerging climate trends, translating global climate science, and sharing of global, national, and regional agricultural adaptation strategies to increase local and state-wide adaptation knowledge and capacity. The position will require working with a diverse set of partners and communities, including:

  • Farmers, foresters, crop advisors, and others integral to agricultural and natural resource management decision-making;
  • Industry leaders and other private sector entities;
  • Diverse community groups, including rural communities;
  • Federal and state agency leadership and staff;
  • Non-profits and foundations; and
  • Climate science professionals and researchers.

This position be a significant contributor to the outreach and Extension activities of the Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership (MCAP), a joint program of University of Minnesota Extension and the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS). 

This Extension Educator will be integral to the development of new climate services programming at Extension and will be a formal partner in developing and delivering education and programming related to the management and use of future climate projection data. MCAP is currently generating these data and this position will be responsible for helping to craft appropriate educational materials and capacity-building approaches to support understanding and use of these data in agricultural and natural resources management contexts. 

MCAP works to develop critical climate science knowledge, champion climate adaptation leadership and supports climate resilience actions and collaborations across communities, sectors, and levels of government to ensure Minnesota is making needed progress to prepare for our changing climate. MCAP is a leading multi-sector group dedicated to climate adaptation and resilience in Minnesota and partners directly with state, federal and local governments, the private sector, non-profit, Tribes, community organizations, and individuals. 

Duties: 

  • Create educational programs for agricultural and natural resource professionals to inform them about climate impacts and the use and application of climate projection information.
  • Develop and implement monitoring, evaluation and reporting protocols to ensure program efficacy and identification of emerging needs of agriculture and different natural resources sectors.
  • Contribute to applied research that supports Extension programs, education, and outreach related to climate change, adaptation, and climate resilience.
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of a climate and community resilience research, education, and capacity-building agenda, in collaboration with MCAP Leadership and the MCAP Advisory Board. This will include helping MCAP to develop partnerships and approaches to ensure effective delivery of regional climate services that are responsive to on-the-ground-needs.
  • Work collaboratively across the University and with partners, including MCAP, other Extension programs, and external stakeholders.
  • Adapt Extension programs for audiences with a range of knowledge, background, and cultures.
  • Be an active member of the Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership, Extension, and broader University of Minnesota community.

Required Qualifications:

  •  Master’s degree in a field closely related to natural, physical, or social science; including, but not limited to: agronomy, applied or natural resources economics, climate science, adaptation science, natural resource science, public policy, and rural sociology.
  • Two years of post–Bachelor’s professional experience designing, delivering, and evaluating extension or outreach and engagement programs.
  • Two years of post-Bachelor’s professional experience in applied climate or adaptation science, agricultural and natural resources resiliency, or related experience. (The experience in applied climate science may be in combination with the experience in delivering Extension and outreach programs, but it is not required that they are combined.)
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate complex scientific information in clear and concise language appropriate for diverse audiences, particularly in the agriculture and natural resource sectors (e.g., scientists, community members, decision makers, students, media, etc.).
  • Professional or education experience with climate projection data.
  • A proven ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships and collaborations with colleagues, stakeholders, and communities, including those that may have diverse missions, goals, cultures, and backgrounds.
  • Excellent communications skills, including through oral, written, and graphic/image formats.
  • A proven ability using technology to enhance learning.
  • Experience with complex, multi-organization collaborations.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • PhD in a field closely related to natural, physical, or social science; including, but not limited to: agronomy, applied or natural resources economics, climate science, adaptation science, natural resource science, public policy, and rural sociology.
  • Rigorous scientific training in climate science, adaptation, and/or climate communication, evidenced by publications  or previous professional experience.
  • Experience engaging across the various networks, professions and organizations engaged in agricultural and natural resources management. 
  • Experience in participatory research, community engagement, and knowledge co-production.
  • Experience evaluating complex social and policy processes and comfort working in complex institutional contexts.
  • Experience with local or regional climate services, including training on the appropriate use of future climate change data.
  • Experience in project management.
  • Interest in co-authoring peer-reviewed papers based on this programmatic work and that of MCAP.
  • Experience writing and administering grants.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a team environment and ability to work independently with little or no supervision.

Salary/pay: $60,000 – $70,000

Application Deadline: February 9

How to apply: Please click here to view the full job description as well as how to apply.