The University of Connecticut (UConn) Department of Extension is seeking applicants for a full-time (11 month) non-tenure track Assistant/Associate Extension Educator. The successful applicant will assess, develop and deliver impactful extension programs on soil health, regenerative agriculture, and conservation practices. These programs will build an Extension program focused on creating more climate and economically resilient agricultural systems through improved knowledge of soils and soil health and will include soil and livestock manure management. This Extension Educator will collaborate with UConn personnel, state and federal agency partners, growers, and producers as appropriate. The successful applicant will develop an interdisciplinary education and applied research program in soil health addressing diverse cropping systems that include ornamental and turf crops, food and forage crops as well as composting that utilizes manure, food waste, and other organics. They will have familiarity with how to leverage federal, state, and regional programs to protect, preserve, and restore Connecticut soils. This includes collaborating with USDA - NRCS, CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, CT Department of Agriculture, the Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and other stakeholders to ensure growers, farmers and land managers are well informed and have the proper tools and knowledge to successfully build and maintain soil health. The plan of work will include making recommendations for using appropriate management practices and the latest technologies to protect water quality and quantity as well as other natural resources of CT and Long Island Sound.
The Department of Extension in the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources works collaboratively with partners in all 169 municipalities across Connecticut, throughout the northeast region, and beyond. It is a non-tenuring unit with 35 faculty, and an additional 30 program and administrative staff. Additional grant-specific program personnel assist in solving problems, and enhance the wellbeing of our state citizens where they live, work, and learn. Work carried out by the Department constitutes the majority of activity of the UConn Extension System. Faculty and staff conduct educational activities through eight-county/community-based centers and may be co-located with additional community/agency-based working partners when applicable.
CAHNR has developed and implemented a Strategic Vision to guide the development and focus of our teaching, research, and Extension programs in the years 2020-2025. All faculty and technical staff are expected to contribute to the implementation of CAHNR’s five strategic priorities (https://cahnr.uconn.edu/visionandvalues).
- Ensuring a vibrant agricultural industry and sustainable food supply
- Enhancing health and well-being locally, nationally, and globally
- Fostering sustainable landscapes across urban-rural interfaces
- Advancing resilience and adaptation in a changing climate
- Dismantling structural racism and fostering environments that advance racial equity, inclusion, and belonging by advocating for antiracist policies, practices, and norms.
The University and CAHNR prioritize scholarship in areas that impact quality of life, including human, animal, plant, and environmental health and sustainability. We encourage and provide support for cross-disciplinary, collaborative scholarship across the College, University, nation, and globe. UConn is committed to Life-Transforming Education for students and Extension audiences. UConn is recognized as one of the most sustainable and environmentally friendly campuses by the Sierra Club.
Founded in 1881, UConn is a Land Grant and Sea Grant institution and member of the Space Grant Consortium. It is the state’s flagship institution of higher education and includes a main campus in Storrs, CT, four regional campuses throughout the state, and 13 Schools and Colleges, including a Law School in Hartford, and Medical and Dental Schools at the UConn Health campus in Farmington. The University has approximately 10,000 faculty and staff and 32,000 students, including nearly 24,000 undergraduates and over 8,000 graduate and professional students. UConn is a Carnegie Foundation R1 (highest research activity) institution, among the top 25 public universities in the nation. Through research, teaching, service, and outreach, UConn embraces diversity and cultivates leadership, integrity, and engaged citizenship in its students, faculty, staff, and alumni. UConn promotes the health and well-being of citizens by enhancing the social, economic, cultural, and natural environments of the state and beyond. The University serves as a beacon of academic and research excellence as well as a center for innovation and social service to communities. UConn is a leader in many scholarly, research, and innovation areas. Today, the path forward includes exciting opportunities and notable challenges. Record numbers of undergraduate applications and support for student success have enabled the University to become extraordinarily selective.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- The successful applicant will provide leadership and science-based information to stakeholders, policymakers, and the public on solutions to improve and maintain soil health.
- Seek external funding and create scholarly output and technical materials to enhance extension programs. Activities will also include building collaborative, interdisciplinary networks.
- Educate stakeholders on how to evaluate soils, interpret soil tests, and make recommendations about amendments, equipment, management techniques, conservation planning, and practices. Provide assistance and education to growers and producers regarding options to reduce/control surface and groundwater contamination from nutrients, sediment, and pathogens.
- Develop educational programming that focuses on the utilization of organic, municipal, and food waste as well as on composting processes, giving credit for the fertilizer value of manure and/or compost in crop production.
- Advise on climate-smart production practices to reduce risk from climate-related stress on soils (e.g. heavy rains, seasonal droughts)
- Extend the reach of UConn Extension by integrating distance technology into the program delivery through computer/mobile applications, webpages, multimedia technologies, online courses, and other emerging electronic communications.
- An earned Master’s degree and two years of experience in plant science, soil science, or a closely related discipline for hire at the Assistant Extension Educator level.
- Demonstrated expertise in outreach and applied research working with a wide range of growers, producers, agriculture, and conservation-related professionals to address soil health.
- Experience with soil nutrient management, soil test interpretations and recommendations, assisting with conservation planning and regulatory compliance.
- Knowledge of climate-smart practices for developing adaptation and mitigation strategies.
- A record of seeking grants and creating appropriate scholarship related to the applicant’s field of expertise.
- Excellent written communication and interpersonal skills
- Must be willing to work occasional evenings and weekend hours
- Must have reliable transportation and a valid driver’s license.
- Earned Ph.D. or M.S., both with 5 or more years of experience in the field of plant science, soil science, or a closely related discipline for consideration at the Associate Extension Educator level.
- Familiarity and knowledge of diverse operations, including livestock, fruit, vegetables, ornamentals, turf, and trees.
- Demonstrated experience in nutrient recovery/recycling in soils based systems as well composting, bioremediation, and working with other soil mediums.
- Experience addressing soil quality and soil health challenges in built environments (cities, brownfields), including approaches to soil regeneration, restoration, remediation, and composting.
- Familiarity and knowledge with soil-based and soil-less systems in greenhouses and high tunnels as well as in the field.
- A record of commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion through academic, extension, and/or research activities.
- Experience in conducting outreach activities including effective oral and presentation skills.
- Bilingual in Spanish
This is a full-time, 11-month position with an anticipated start date by August 2022. The successful candidate will be based at the University of Connecticut’s Hartford County Extension Center located in Farmington, CT. Additional travel to the Storrs campus, other extension centers, and elsewhere in the state is expected. Salary and faculty rank will be commensurate with the successful candidate's educational training and experience.
Please apply online to Academic Jobs Online https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/21462 and submit the following application materials:
- Cover letter summarizing how your qualifications and experience meet the position requirements (maximum two pages).
- Curriculum vitae.
- Statement of academic disciplinary interests: summarize how your professional outreach/Extension and research accomplishments will contribute to the college’s success in achieving its Strategic Vision (maximum one page).
- Statement on Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (maximum one page).
- Names and contact information (phone/email) for at least three references.
Review of applications will begin on April 11, 2022, and continue until a successful candidate is selected. Any inquiries should be sent by email to the search committee chair, Richard Meinert Richard.Meinert@uconn.edu
At the University of Connecticut, our commitment to excellence is complemented by our commitment to building a culturally diverse community.
This position will be filled subject the budgetary approval.
All employees are subject to adherence to the State Code of Ethics which may be found at http://www.ct.gov/ethics/site/default.asp.
The University of Connecticut is committed to building and supporting a multicultural and diverse community of students, faculty and staff. The diversity of students, faculty and staff continues to increase, as does the number of honors students, valedictorians and salutatorians who consistently make UConn their top choice. More than 100 research centers and institutes serve the University’s teaching, research, diversity, and outreach missions, leading to UConn’s ranking as one of the nation’s top research universities. UConn’s faculty and staff are the critical link to fostering and expanding our vibrant, multicultural and diverse University community. As an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer, UConn encourages applications from women, veterans, people with disabilities and members of traditionally underrepresented populations.