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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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Posted: 12/3/2021
State Master Naturalist and Climate Change Specialist, Natural Resources, Environment and Energy - University of Illinois Extension (157071)


Natural Resources, Environment and Energy – 157071

University of Illinois Extension

College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)


Everything we do is designed to improve the quality of life of the people in the state of Illinois, across the nation, and around the world. We discover, develop, translate, and disseminate knowledge to address societal concerns and train the next generation of experts and leaders in a way that empowers them to expand the boundaries of science to higher levels of understanding and influence.

Be a part of our story. Through learning partnerships that extend knowledge and change lives, University of Illinois Extension provides educational programs aimed at making life better, healthier, safer, and more profitable for individuals and their communities. Illinois Extension has operated continuously for more than 100 years connecting the citizens of Illinois to their land-grant university by providing educational programming around the state. University of Illinois Extension is based in the College of ACES and works with all colleges and units of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The Extension State Master Naturalist and Climate Change Specialist serves as a regular, full time, 12 month academic professional with primary responsibility for providing leadership in planning, teaching, development and statewide leadership of the Illinois Master Naturalist and Climate Stewards Programs.

One full time position is available.

Location: Urbana-Champaign campus or a negotiable Extension Unit location.

The position will have statewide responsibilities.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or veteran status. For more information, visit

This is a security-sensitive position. Comprehensive background checks, including but not limited to a criminal conviction information check, a CANTS check, and a review of the Registered Sex Offender list, will be conducted.

Specific responsibilities of the State Master Naturalist and Climate Change Specialist are as follows:

Program Development and Delivery

  • Within the designated area(s) of specialization, develop innovative curricula and programs to address local needs as well as to mesh with the broader state and national interdisciplinary initiatives.
  • Deliver high impact programs to diverse audiences utilizing a selection of innovative delivery mechanisms to optimize reach and effectiveness. Assess the needs of local clientele in a systematic and analytical manner.
  • Develop effective and contemporary approaches to communicate with clientele. This may include constantly evolving electronic technologies (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, blogs, e-learning, etc.).
  • Have commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access-- create programs for diverse audiences; lead strategic efforts to open access to diverse volunteers in the Master Naturalist and Climate Stewardship Programs.

Organizational Leadership, Development, and Assessment

  • Develop and ensure ongoing, standardized training programs that provide accurate, high-quality information, through collaboration with natural resources, horticulture and other educators, coordinators, and extension specialists involved with the programs.
  • Provide state leadership for the Master Naturalist Program and Climate Stewardship Program in the areas of: development and maintenance of accurate databases, identifying and creating funding opportunities, managing budgets, supporting appropriate media methods to communicate program information, as well as oversight and management of the scheduling and programming of the annual Master Naturalist and Climate Change conferences.
  • Assess the needs of the Master Naturalist and Climate Stewards Programs and facilitate the transfer of locally identified issues to the campus academic team.
  • Contribute to the development and preparation of the State Plan of Work for the Programs in cooperation with Extension educators and other Extension faculty as needed. Serve as an effective Natural Resources, Environment, and Energy (NREE) team member and volunteer for additional leadership roles as appropriate.
  • As needed, accept statewide responsibilities as requested by the NREE Program Leader.
  • Assist with and support the total University of Illinois Extension program.


  • Secure internal and external resources to enhance the development of innovative educational programs with potential for high impact. Cooperation with campus faculty is strongly encouraged in securing resources.
  • Establish professional relationships and participate in campus-based partnerships that tie academic programs and research to complement Extension programming by partnering with Extension Specialists and/or faculty members on research projects as appropriate within the initiatives.
  • Be an active member within a professional society(s) to keep abreast of changes within your discipline.
  • Continually seek professional development opportunities to enhance competency in subject matter area.

Organizational requirements

  • Comply with all reporting deadlines and requirements (e.g. plans of work, activity and impact reporting, etc.)
  • Perform other duties that contribute to the mission of University of Illinois Extension programming, as assigned.

Other Information

  • Local, regional and (limited) statewide travel required; personal transportation required.
  • Comply with all University of Illinois Extension Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity policies and guidelines in all aspects of Extension work; assists Unit staff with data collection for Affirmative Action, Gender, and Targeted reports.
  • To perform the functions of this position, the employee will be required to perform work both within an office and outside in the communities that are served, and must have the capability to travel from one location to the other in a timely fashion. Employee is responsible for securing personal transportation. A valid driver’s license is preferred. Some work will be required during evenings and/or weekends. When working, the employee may be exposed to a variety of environmental factors to include, but not limited to, hot or cold weather, exposure to noise and allergens, and uneven ground. In performing the functions of this position, the employee may be subjected to various mental and physical demands as well to include, but not limited to, independently traveling to and performing work at different locations, lifting and moving items that may occasionally weigh up to forty (40) pounds and frequently weigh up to twenty (20) pounds, and twisting, pushing and pulling movements. More detailed information regarding the functions of this position (including the physical, mental and environmental requirements of the position) may be obtained from Human Resources for the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) by contacting

Administrative Relationship

The State Master Naturalist and Climate Change Specialist is administratively responsible to the Assistant Dean and Program Leader for Natural Resources, Environment and Energy (NREE).



· Master’s of Science degree in Natural Resources, Environmental Science or a related science from an accredited institution of higher education. Candidates with a Master’s degree in progress may be considered for interviews, but degree must be completed by hire date.

· Experience and knowledgeable about the Master Naturalist Program and cooperative extension agencies.

· Experience or in-depth knowledge of climate change relevant educational programming.

· Extensive knowledge of and experience with natural resource management, conservation, and ecosystem restoration practices in a changing climate.



· Experience within Natural Resource and Climate Change fields, including volunteer management is highly desirable.

· Teaching experience in informal and formal settings.

· 7-10 years of relevant education and volunteer management experience.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

· Ability to provide programming and administrative leadership. Desire and ability to work effectively with others. Evidence of strong interpersonal skills and ability to work within a team environment. Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills along with relevant program management and administrative computer skills. Commitments to Diversity, Equity, Inclusivity, and Access in serving Extension stakeholders.

Additional Information

This position is a full-time, benefits-eligible, non-tenure academic professional position appointed on a 12-month service basis. The expected start date is as soon as possible after the closing date. Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. Generous vacation and sick leave. State Universities Retirement System. Group health, dental, vision and life insurance.

Application Procedure

To apply, go to Log in to your account and upload a cover letter and resume, as well as the names and contact information of three professional references. Resume dates must be in month/year format and employment history, at a minimum, should include all work dating back to the completion of your undergraduate degree. Positions that were less than full-time/100% must be noted as being part-time. Transcripts may be requested at a later date. To receive full consideration, all requested application materials must be submitted via the online system by the close date of January 16, 2022.

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. Convictions are not a bar to employment. As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility. The University of Illinois System requires candidates selected for hire to disclose any documented finding of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment and to authorize inquiries to current and former employers regarding findings of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. For more information, visit Policy on Consideration of Sexual Misconduct in Prior Employment. The University of Illinois must also comply with applicable federal export control laws and regulations and, as such, reserves the right to employ restricted party screening procedures for applicants.

University of Illinois faculty, staff and students are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If you are not able to receive the vaccine for medical or religious reasons, you may seek approval for an exemption in accordance with applicable University processes.

For further information about the position please contact Dr. Shibu Kar at For technical assistance with the online application process, please email