Now hiring: National water extension liaison

By: Melissa Schneider / Published: Feb 14,  2017

As part of a growing effort for collaboration between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service and NOAA Sea Grant, The University of Alabama is seeking qualified applicants for the position of National Extension Liaison (henceforth referred to as the “Liaison”). The liaison will be located at the National Water Center (NWC) on the campus of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Funding for this position is for five years. continuation to and beyond the initial five years will be contingent upon a favorable program evaluation, need and availability of funds.

The role of the liaison will be to ensure that new and relevant science coming from the NWC is provided to community stakeholders. The liaison will work nationally as a member of the NWC and with scientists at the NWC and with Sea Grant extension professionals across the country to bring NWC research results to those who need them.

This career opportunity is for an individual who will develop an outreach program grounded in NWC priorities, related research and the needs of target audiences and also engage with the NWC and the Sea Grant Extension Assembly participating in relevant meetings. They will also participate in and help lead outreach sessions and workshop venues around The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

They will develop and deliver outreach and communications products in collaboration with NWC administration and partners which includes authoring at least three relevant water-related extension publications in the first two years, convene at least three science seminars/workshops (e.g. hosting science seminars and/or theme-based workshops) per year and contribute to other outreach activities supported by NWC and Sea Grant where appropriate.

The liaison will also convene at least three target audience input workshops in the first two years and collect and synthesize input form Sea Grant Extension professionals to assist NWC in identifying priorities and needs across the nation. 

They will also be responsible for working with and reporting programmatically to the director of the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium for national consistency, coordinator and synthesis of outreach products, conduct program evaluations and submit quarterly and annual reports.

Minimum qualifications:

Master’s degree of science (M.S.) or equivalent degree and at least four (4) years of practical experience beyond the M.S. or equivalent degree. The liaison must have an educational background and working experience in one of the following areas:

  1. Hydrology, including hydrometeorology, surface hydrology, hydrogeology, drainage-basin management water quality or closely aligned field.
  2. Chemistry, including soil science, environmental chemistry or closely aligned field.
  3. Biology, including ecology, marine biology, biological oceanography or closely aligned field.
  4. Land use planning, including behavioral science, socioeconomics, environmental risk assessment or closely aligned field.

Required licenses and certificates: A valid driver’s license

Strong science interpretation skills and excellent verbal and written communication skills are required.

Preferred qualifications:

Doctoral degree (Ph.D.) in one of the fields described above and at least two (2) years of practical experience. A successful track record of working with diverse groups and developing and implementing outreach programs is essential. Demonstrated expertise in one or more of the following is preferred:

  1. Adult education (program design, delivery and evaluation)
  2. Facilitation
  3. Conflict management
  4. Public speaking

Ability to switch between tasks; work cooperatively; plan, implement and evaluate national water extension programs for adults; and leverage resources.

Preferred licenses and certificates: Sea Grant Academy or similar leadership programs.

Quick link to apply:


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