JOB DESCRIPTION AND POSITION REQUIREMENTS:
The College of Agricultural Sciences is seeking a Watershed Project Coordinator to support the missions of the Institute of Sustainable Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Science (SAFES) and its Agriculture and Environment Center (AEC) in execution of collaborative and integrated research, outreach and educational programs throughout Pennsylvania and beyond, with a specific emphasis in the priority region of the Lower Susquehanna. This position is based out of the Penn State Harrisburg Campus. The work involves extensive collaboration between Penn State researchers, Extension Educators, students and other staff and external partners working across the land and water interface. It is a mix of research project management and technical support, outreach and education working with stakeholder organizations and landowners, and volunteer and student intern coordination and management. Priority duties include coordinating restoration projects and programs with local conservation partners, representing the College in external partnerships and stakeholder advisory groups, conducting outreach events for the public, creating public educational materials, assisting with or leading field work related to watershed research and restoration, and managing volunteers and students in the field.
- Coordinate collaborative, high priority agricultural and watershed research efforts of Penn State researchers within the Lower Susquehanna region and beyond, including serving as lead coordinator of multidisciplinary research involving Penn State and other researchers (particularly The United States Department of Agriculture- Agricultural Research Service [USDA ARS]) in agricultural sciences, engineering, hydrology, soil science, agronomy, and other relevant disciplines at research stations in the Lower Susquehanna supported by SAFES and the AEC. Research stations include the Southeast Agricultural Research and Education Center (SEAREC), the Penn State Harrisburg Campus, and the Conewago Long-Term Agroecosystem Research (Conewago LTAR) station. As the lead local research technician in the Lower Susquehanna region, oversee development of data collection and instruments and monitor integrity of data collection and use of protocols and procedures in all research efforts.
- In support of the AEC’s novel community watershed engagement program, develop and manage watershed restoration projects and programs within priority watersheds, including budgetary, planning, and implementation activities. This work involves devising, planning and executing complex tasks to ensure funding and technical assistance resources and partners are secured and deployed to successfully implement priority conservation projects on landowner properties, and serving as lead liaison between landowners and multiple watershed partners to make complex projects happen and achieve watershed restoration goals in a timely manner. It involves coordinating all administrative, financial, personnel and planning aspects of watershed restoration projects on behalf of the AEC.
- Facilitate interorganizational collaboration between various stakeholders, partners, and state and federal agencies through representation of Penn State on priority stakeholder groups and advisory committees and through helping to manage watershed partnerships facilitated by the AEC. This work includes responding to requests from various governmental agencies seeking information necessary to make decisions that ultimately affect stakeholders.
- Organize and conduct educational efforts within the Lower Susquehanna region and beyond through development and delivery of high priority education around agricultural conservation practices, water quality, stream health, riparian ecosystems, and stormwater management. Educational efforts include workshops, trainings, and conference presentations, including presentations of the research and outreach outcomes related to other duties associated with this position to support statewide or national extension programs.
- Develop and deliver outreach to landowners, stakeholders and the public related to agricultural conservation practices, water quality, stream health, riparian ecosystems, and stormwater management. This include development of publications, fact sheets, websites, and/or presentations for use by extension educators or clientele as well as planning, managing and delivering public outreach events to support the work and mission of the AEC and SAFES.
- Develop novel concepts, approaches and processes for programmatic operations associated with the AEC’s watershed partnership programs, including its community watershed engagement program.
- Coordinate and manage volunteers, contractors and conservation partners in the field to implement and maintain conservation practices associated with outcomes of the AEC’s novel community watershed engagement program.
- Respond to stakeholder inquiries and conduct landowner outreach for project development purposes associated with implementation and research goals of the AEC’s novel community watershed engagement program, including site visits and various forms of communications to discuss conservation practice implementation and field research opportunities.
Typically requires a Master’s degree or higher plus 2 years of related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Additional experience and/or education and competencies are required for higher level jobs. The successful candidate should have experience working in agriculture and conservation efforts as well as natural resource sciences. Candidate should also have experience working with GIS systems and experience in field research and sampling. Communication is crucial as the candidate will be working with a variety of stakeholders to include farmers, area businesses, and governmental entities.