Extension Educator of Climate Adaptation, Resilience and Public Health, University of Minnesota

Posted by: Amanda Farris
Post Date: 4/02/2024
Opportunity Type: Job
Organization/Grantor: University of Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership
Position/Title/Fund: Extension Educator, Climate Adaptation, Resilience, and Public Health
Type/Term: Full-time
Location: Andover, Mankato or Morris, MN (Hybrid)
Salary: $65,000 - $75,000 annually
Deadline: April 28, 2024
Contact Info: Nate Meyer, [email protected]
Description:

We are looking for a dedicated individual who possesses expertise and hands-on experience working at the intersection of climate change, public health, and emergency preparedness. If you have a genuine passion for collaborating with people to promote climate adaptation and resilience while helping to improve health outcomes in communities facing the impacts of climate change, this opportunity is for you.

We are seeking individuals who understand the interconnectedness of our natural and social systems, climate change, and its implications on public health and community well-being in alignment with frameworks such as Planetary Health. Successful candidates will have the expertise and experience to help community health organizations and public health and emergency management professionals from all corners of the state to understand and prepare for and manage climate-driven health threats, such as extreme weather, exposure to high heat, changes in air quality, and vector-borne diseases. This will include serving as a trusted expert and educator capable of working with a transdisciplinary Climate Extension team to integrate health and climate science and develop educational training and resources to support the adoption of different climate, public health, and community well-being resilience strategies.

Climate change impacts public health by exacerbating existing threats, such as exposure to high heat events and vector-borne disease, and presents new challenges by exposing communities to more hazardous weather and climate conditions, with risks substantially higher for frontline communities and rural communities who have access to fewer medical facilities and personnel. MCAP Extension efforts to address impacts to human health and well-being require engaging with community members, community organizations and medical and emergency planning professionals in holistic, coordinated, community-centered emergency preparedness and climate adaptation approaches to achieve long-term, sustained exposure and risk reduction. Partners include community organizations, emergency managers, nurses, doctors, other public health professionals, researchers and state, county and municipal governments working to advance health equity, community well-being and planetary health.

This person will travel overnight to locations across Minnesota approximately 1-3 nights per month and day trips approximately 1-3 times per month. 

Responsibilities:

  • Help Community Members and Organizations Use and Apply Climate Information: Engage with and actively assist tribal, rural, and urban public health and emergency preparedness professionals, as well as community health organizations in using climate change information for their planning and preparedness efforts.
  • Cultivate Climate Understanding: Create, develop and deliver educational programs and resources to help public health and emergency preparedness professionals and their service communities understand how climate change affects human health and well-being and how to deploy effective strategies to reduce exposure and improve health outcomes. 
  • Measure Program Effectiveness: Develop evaluation systems to determine if our programs and resources are working well, use results to iteratively improve programming, and learn what the people we're helping need most.
  • Support Climate Research: Support research that helps us teach people and communities about the intersections of climate change, resilience, and public health, and how to be more resilient to climate change impacts on human health and well-being.
  • Adapt Programs for Everyone: Design and change our programs and resources so they work for people with different levels of knowledge, backgrounds, and cultures.
  • Contribute to our Long-term Strategy: Work with MCAP Leadership and the MCAP Advisory Board to create strategic plans and actions that strengthen communities in the face of climate change. 
  • Collaborate with Others: Work together with people in the University and other groups, like MCAP, Extension programs, regional climate services organizations, and people who have a stake in this work.
  • Help with Research and Grants: Contribute to research and writing grant applications related to climate science, its effects, and the actions we take to manage it.
  • Be Part of the University Community: Be an active member of the University of Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership, Extension, and the wider University of Minnesota community.

Qualifications:

  • A master’s degree in a field closely related to human health and well-being including, but not limited to public health, planetary health, medicine, nursing, or climate adaptation science with a focus on human health, or closely related fields.
  • Two years of post–bachelor’s professional experience designing, delivering, and evaluating community health, public health, or emergency preparedness outreach and engagement efforts related to managing threats like extreme weather, exposure to high heat, changes in air quality, and vector-borne diseases. 
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate complex scientific information in clear and concise language appropriate for diverse audiences, particularly in public health, emergency management sectors, and community-based health organizations.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships and collaborations with colleagues, stakeholders, and communities with diverse missions, goals, cultures, and backgrounds.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead multi-faceted projects and work independently with little or no supervision.
  • Excellent communication skills, including oral, written, and graphic/image formats. 

Preferred:

  • Climate change and health certification(s): such as the Certified Climate Change and Health Professional (CCHP) certification, offered by organizations like the American Public Health Association (APHA) and the Climate and Health Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 
  • Training in climate science, adaptation, planetary health, and/or climate change and health, evidenced by publications or previous professional experience.
  • Experience utilizing climate projections to inform public health, medical, and/or emergency management decision-making.
  • Experience with participatory research, community engagement, and knowledge co-production.
  • Experience engaging with networks, professions, and organizations passionate about community climate resilience. 
  • Experience writing and administering grants.
  • A proven ability to use technology to enhance learning, communication resources and stakeholder engagement.
How to Apply:

Applicants can apply on the UMN jobs site at https://hr.umn.edu/Jobs/Find-Job and use job ID: 360417.

To be considered for this position, please include the following attachments with your online application:

  1. CV/Resume - Include your qualifications based upon the job requirements.
  2. Cover letter - Expressing how your experience and skills match the required and preferred qualifications.
  3. 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 during the interview process.