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Company:
University of Connecticut
City:
Bethel
State:
Connecticut
Country:
USA
Website URL:
Posted: 03/11/2021
Urban Agriculture Assistant/Associate Extension Educator
Salary: 70,000 - 78,000

INTRODUCTION

The Department of Extension is seeking applicants for a full-time (11 month), non-tenure track Assistant/Associate Extension Educator, primarily based at the Fairfield County Extension Office in Bethel, CT. Extension Educators are community-based faculty who make a difference in communities by connecting community needs with University resources.  Position level/rank will be commensurate with experience working with Extension.  Anticipated start date is July 2021.

The successful candidate shall establish an Urban Agriculture Extension Program that meets critical needs of local and statewide communities and builds the knowledge base of clientele with a multidisciplinary, collaborative program. The candidate will provide support to underserved and diverse audiences aimed at improving plant production systems used in all facets of urban farming and gardening.  The candidate will collaborate with diverse community groups, agencies, organizations, and individuals focusing on food related horticultural crops. Technical and educational elements of the program should enhance food production opportunities and market access for farmers and urban agriculture organizations of all types and sizes. These farmers and organizations may include commercial agricultural producers, community-based farms and gardens and others engaged in growing locally produced crops to improve community health and economic wellbeing.

The Urban Agriculture Extension Educator will develop, conduct and evaluate community and urban agriculture programs using the latest research-based information related to all facets of urban farming practices and programs. The successful candidate will work collaboratively in teams, including Extension Educators, specialists and others to carry out their program of work. The faculty member shall develop a diverse portfolio of educational materials for Extension clients and scholarly materials for professional peers. This position will extend the reach of UConn Extension by integrating distance-learning technology into program delivery through multiple innovative approaches to deliver timely, evidence-based solutions to diverse clientele.

The College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources (CAHNR) at the University of Connecticut contributes to a sustainable future through scientific discovery, innovation, and community engagement. CAHNR’s accomplishments result in safe, sustainable and secure plant and animal production systems, healthier individuals and communities, greater protection and conservation of our environment and natural resources, balanced growth of the economy, and resilient local and global communities. We epitomize the role of a land-grant university to develop knowledge and disseminate it through the three academic functions of teaching, research, and outreach. In so doing, we improve the lives of citizens of our state, region and country.

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 

Include but are not limited to

  • Develops and implements an active outreach and applied-research program on cutting-edge sustainable agricultural production systems that foster regional, national, and international recognition. Example systems include sustainable farming practices in field, greenhouse, aquaponics, hydroponics, aeroponics, and other urban agriculture production systems.
  • Identifies extramural funding sources and actively pursues grant opportunities to fund extension outreach and research.
  • Publishes results through Cooperative Extension publications and high impact professional and trade journals.
  • Uses assessment techniques to identify local needs and ensure cultural relevancy and appropriateness of urban agriculture programs and initiatives.
  • Develops and maintains an awareness of urban agriculture and innovative food production methods by involving professionals and others in program planning, research, and education.
  • Advances CAHNR’s commitment to equity and inclusion by 1) considering sources of bias and structural inequity based on race, ethnicity, disability, gender, and sexual orientation, and when appropriate, 2) implementing programs that address the burden these injustices impose on members of the community and residents of the state.
  • Utilizes a variety of technology, tools and methods to deliver information and communicate face-to-face, by telephone and electronically with colleagues and the public including computer/videoconferencing, web sites and social media to scale up program visibility.
  • Independently travels to and carries out field work throughout the geographic region including remote locations; works in various indoor and outdoor environments requiring traversing across various terrains, heavy lifting and carrying equipment and materials, standing or sitting for extended periods of time.
  • Works with sensitive information and maintains confidentiality.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS 

  • An earned Masters degree in the field of plant science, soil science, agricultural technology, sustainable agriculture or a closely related field.
  • Demonstrated experience working with and educating stakeholders and clientele on crop production in Extension and/or informal learning environments.
  • Demonstrated creativity, ability to think systematically, willingness and ability to incorporate innovative solutions.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills with the ability to work cooperatively, tactfully, and diplomatically with diverse groups of people.
  • Direct experience working with diverse project partners.
  • Experience in grantsmanship and publication of Extension reports, peer-reviewed articles or electronic media that communicate program results. 
  • Strong leadership skills and organizational skills.
  • Ability to independently manage and execute multiple tasks while meeting strict deadlines.
  • Working knowledge and experience using social media platforms and web technologies such as Facebook, Instagram, WebEx, and MS Teams.
  • Evening and weekend work may be required.
  • Dependable transportation and a driver’s license are required. Mileage allowance is provided for work-related travel.
  • For the Associate level, candidates must have at least five years of experience as an Assistant Cooperative Extension Educator or the equivalent, and provide evidence of appropriate instruction and applied research.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • Earned PhD in the field of plant science, soil science, agricultural technology, sustainable agriculture or closely related field.
  • Three of more years’ experience with integrated Extension programs and the land-grant university system.
  • Experience in leading a large multi-disciplinary, multi-functional grant-funded project.
  • Experience growing vegetables and horticultural crops in urban/peri-urban locations. 
  • Demonstrated applied research capabilities associated with vegetables and horticultural crops in urban settings.
  • Demonstrated experience with enhancing diversity and inclusion in educational program development and implementation.  

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS

Must possess the adequate physical strength, stamina, agility, and fitness to perform the required duties. 

APPOINTMENT TERMS 

This is a full-time 11-month, non-tenure track faculty position with a generous benefits package. For more information on benefits, go to:  https://hr.uconn.edu/employee-benefits-overview/.  Starting salary and position rank for this position will be commensurate with training and experience. 

TO APPLY

Please apply online to Academic Jobs Online https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/18286 and submit the following application materials:

  • Letter of application that addresses qualifications identified in the advertisement
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Writing sample to reflect an initiative you would implement in Extension Programming
  • Statement on diversity, equity and inclusion (limited to one page)
  • List of three references with contact information.

Please demonstrate through your written application materials how you meet the minimum qualifications and any of the preferred/desirable qualifications.

At the University of Connecticut, our commitment to excellence is complemented by our commitment to building a culturally diverse community.

Employment of the successful candidate is contingent upon the successful completion of a pre-employment criminal background check. 

This position will be filled subject to 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.