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University of Minnesota
Extension Communications and Public Relations
St. Paul
Posted: 07/06/2023
Climate Communications Specialist

 Working Title:              Climate Communications Specialist

Appointment:               Full-time, M&C Pro 3-Comm Gen (9703CG),

Extension Area:           Extension Communications and Public Relations

Salary Range:                $62,000 – $70,000 estimated salary range; depending on qualifications

Location:                        St Paul campus; Hybrid work options are available

Apply By:                        July 27, 2023


University of Minnesota Extension is hiring a climate communications specialist to join our team of creative and collaborative writers, editors and designers. In this newly created role, you will work with colleagues to help Minnesota respond to and prepare for the impacts of climate change through engaging and inspiring communications.

The climate communications specialist will plan and create new content as well as manage faculty and administrative requests for communications assistance, while championing the ideals of effective science communication. You will be part of the college-wide Extension Communications and Public Relations team but will be deeply embedded in the work of the University of Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership.

Our ideal candidate is passionate and knowledgeable about climate change and communicating its impacts with a wide variety of stakeholders. Strong candidates will be collaborative, innovative and creative while working in support of college and university communications standards and goals.

The climate communications specialist will be part of a team of communications professionals in University of Minnesota Extension and will be responsible for leading communications initiatives for MCAP, with the goal of increasing public awareness of and engagement with MCAP programs and projects. Key responsibilities will include developing engaging and effective communications materials about research, education, and other MCAP activities. Specifically, the person in this role will create and coordinate an enhanced online presence for MCAP; develop print and electronic communications materials; and lead communications capacity-building materials for staff and partners.

About MCAP

The University of Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership (MCAP) is a joint program of University of Minnesota Extension and the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. MCAP conducts cutting-edge climate and adaptation research, champions climate leadership, and advances implementation of effective, equitable adaptation throughout Minnesota. MCAP actively partners directly with state, federal and local governments, the private sector, non-profit, tribal nations, community organizations, and individuals.


Communications strategy development and management (50%)

Develop, implement, and evaluate a strategic communications strategy for MCAP, in collaboration with collegiate communications partners, to include:

  • Manage and produce a range of online and print communications about the results and outcomes of climate-related research, education, Extension and outreach for audiences at the University, across Minnesota and the Midwest.
  • Create, organize and update content for the MCAP website, including writing updates and news
  • Maintain and enhance MCAP’s social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube
  • Write, edit and publish a monthly digital newsletter for external stakeholders
  • Track and report on the results of digital communications campaigns.
  • Support communications and marketing around key programmatic events including the Midwest Climate Resilience Conference and MCAP’s Climate Leadership Awards
  • Mentor students who are engaged in MCAP communications activities

MCAP brand and media development (30%)

  • Collaborate with collegiate partners to develop consistently branded templates for major products such as slide decks, Google docs, Extension program curricula, newsletters, etc. that are aligned with University and collegiate brand and accessibility requirements.
  • Assist in the creation of specialized communication products such as graphics, video, or other multimedia needs.

Communications capacity building (10%)

  • Coach MCAP team members and affiliates in best practices for communications with non-technical audiences.
  • Serve as a liaison with other college and University communications staff and offices.

Media liaison (10%)

  • Identify potential media stories and spokespersons within the MCAP team and affiliates and create media pitches for a range of channels, in collaboration with collegiate and University public relations colleagues.
  • Serve as the primary communications contact for MCAP


This person will travel overnight to locations across Minnesota approximately 1 nights per month and day trips approximately 1 time per month.


Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, marketing, or related field with four years of professional experience that includes progressive levels of responsibility in communications,
  • Strong writing and editing skills
  • Project management experience
  • Experience developing, implementing and evaluating a communications strategy, establishing and maintaining an online presence, and training staff on communications techniques.
  • Demonstrated ability to translate scientific/academic information to non-technical audiences.
  • Knowledge of climate science, and/or environmental science, management, education and policy.
  • Commitment to diversity and equity, and documented success engaging with underrepresented communities
  • Proficiency in Google Suite, Slack, and social media management platforms.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Ability to incorporate new technology into communications materials and techniques.
  • Experience with graphic design
  • Evidence of being self-directed and a self-starter while also working in a collaborative and transparent environment.
  • Experience with culturally responsive and intercultural science communication
  • Proficient in Adobe Creative Suite, Drupal, and Salesforce Marketing Cloud
  • Commitment to ongoing professional development

Additional Requirements:

  • Valid driver’s license and own means of transportation with required liability insurance.
  • When working out in the field/community, you need to be accessible by some type of mobile phone at your own expense. That number will also be published in the staff directory.
  • This position is not eligible for employment visa sponsorship.
  • Must have reliable internet if/when working outside of assigned office location.
  • Ability to maintain a flexible work schedule, including occasional evening or weekend work, and overnight stays.
  • Must be able to work on computer for prolonged periods of time.


  • This is a 100%, annually renewable Professional & Administrative position. The position will be located on the St. Paul campus.
  • University of Minnesota appointment and benefits. Benefits package available here: https://hr.umn.edu/Jobs/Applicant-Center/About-Working-U/Benefits-Summaries-Prospective-Employees
  • Reimbursement for travel and subsistence is available in accordance with University policy.
  • Estimated starting salary range is $62,000-70,000 annually. Salary commensurate with education and experience.


University of Minnesota Extension is a major outreach arm of the University of Minnesota with a mission to serve the public through applied research and education. Our mission is to make a difference by connecting community needs and University resources to address critical issues in Minnesota. Extension strives to attract and retain high-quality, passionate employees, and weave diversity, equity and inclusion into all aspects of Extension’s programming and employee engagement. Find further information at www.extension.umn.edu.


Please apply at: https://extension.umn.edu/home/careers, Job Opening ID: 356394

Applications must be submitted online. To be considered for this position, please click on the Apply button and follow the instructions. You will be given the opportunity to complete an online application for the position. Please include the following attachments with your online application:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume/Vitae
  • Diversity Statement: In 500 words or less, highlight your unique strengths, experiences, perspectives, and values as they relate to equity, diversity and inclusion. Your statement could include the following:
    • Personalized views and experiences
    • Topics through the lens of your own knowledge or experience
    • If you don’t have personal experience on a topic, reflect on why
    • Demonstrated learning and growth

Three professional references and transcripts for all college work (unofficial transcripts are acceptable) will be required of those invited for interview.

Additional documents may be attached after the application by accessing your “My Job Applications” page and uploading documents in the “My Cover Letters and Attachments” section. See full instructions, https://humanresources.umn.edu/find-job/using-job-app-system

To request an accommodation during the application process, please email employ@umn.edu or call 612-624-UOHR (8647).

For questions about this position, contact:

Becky Beyers, Senior Director of Communications & Strategy, bbeyers@umn.edu.

For questions about applying online, contact:

Lisa Brownstein, Extension Human Resources, brow1806@umn.edu.


Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check. Our presumption is that prospective employees are eligible to work here. Criminal convictions do not automatically disqualify finalists from employment.


The University of Minnesota and Extension recognize and value the importance of diversity and inclusion in enriching the employment experience of its employees and in supporting the academic mission. The University is committed to attracting and retaining employees with varying identities and backgrounds.

The University of Minnesota provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. To learn more about diversity at the U:  http://diversity.umn.edu.