Tribal Climate Adaptation and Resilience Extension Educator, University of Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership

Posted by: Amanda Farris
Post Date: 12/06/2023
Opportunity Type: Job
Organization/Grantor: University of Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership
Position/Title/Fund: Tribal Climate Adaptation and Resilience Extension Educator
Type/Term: Full-time
Location: Cloquet, MN
Salary: $54,000 - $62,000
Deadline: January 1, 2024
Contact Info: Nate Meyer, meyer179@umn.edu
Description:

We are looking for a dedicated individual to join our team at the University of Minnesota who possesses expertise and hands-on experience working at the intersection of climate change adaptation and Tribal food systems, water, and natural resource management. If you have a genuine passion for collaborating with people to encourage climate adaptation and resilience, this position is for you.

By joining our team at the University of Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership, you will have the opportunity to make a meaningful impact toward building resilience to climate change in Minnesota and across the Midwest. Your expertise and passion will contribute to a more sustainable and prepared future for our communities. We offer a collaborative and supportive work environment, opportunities for professional growth, and the chance to be at the forefront of climate adaptation and resilience efforts in the region.

We are seeking an individual who can connect and engage with Tribal water and natural resource managers, growers, gatherers and other community members from across Minnesota and the greater Midwest. As a Climate Adaptation and Resilience Extension Educator, you will play a pivotal role in fostering and supporting intentional preparations in Tribal communities to manage climate-driven threats, such as extreme weather events, changing temperature and precipitation, and increased chances for plant disease and pest damage.

The Tribal Climate Adaptation and Resilience Extension Educator will bring in-depth climate science and adaptation expertise to assist Tribal food systems, water and natural resource managers, growers, gatherers and other community members from Minnesota and the greater Midwest in responding to impacts of a changing climate. This position will be responsible for leading engagement and providing technical assistance to Tribal audiences and helping to develop, tailor, and disseminate USDA Midwest Climate Hub, University of Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership (MCAP) and Extension resources for these audiences. It will also entail facilitating Tribal partners’ co-development of these tailored resources. The position will craft appropriate educational materials and provide technical assistance to support understanding and use of climate data and information in Tribal agricultural, water and natural resources management, and different community contexts. This will include serving as a trusted resource and educator capable of translating global, regional and local climate information to be both useful and used by a diversity of partners in Tribal decision-making. This position will also liaise among University of Minnesota, the USDA Midwest Climate Hub, and other Midwest partners working towards climate-resilient food production and systems. Possible partners include:

  • Native growers, foresters, gatherers and other community members integral to agricultural climate adaptation and resilience;
  • Federal and state agency leadership and staff who work with Tribal Nations;
  • Diverse community groups and organizations;
  • Climate science professionals and researchers.

Responsibilities:

  • Help Tribal and Community Professionals Use Climate Information: Engage with and actively assist Tribal agricultural, water and natural resource managers, farmers, gatherers and other community members in using climate change information to inform their agricultural, natural and water resources management.
  • Cultivate Climate Understanding: Design, deliver, and evaluate educational programs for Tribal agricultural, water and natural resource managers, growers gatherers and other community members to build understanding about climate impacts and skills to use climate information and other knowledge to inform decision-making.
  • Measure Program Effectiveness: Develop and use evaluation systems to check if our programs and resources are working well and to find out what the people we're helping need.
  • Adapt Programs for Everyone: Design and change our programs and resources so they work for people with different levels of knowledge, backgrounds, and cultures.
  • Cultivate Collaboration. Develop and maintain collaboration with Tribal resource managers, Tribal Elders, community members, local Indian council representatives, gatherers and other appropriate agencies, organizations and individuals.
  • Contribute to our Long-term Strategy: Work with MCAP Leadership and the MCAP Advisory Board to create strategic plans and actions that make communities stronger in the face of climate change.
  • Collaborate with Others: Work together with people in MCAP and the Midwest Climate Hub, as well as other regional climate services partners/providers, others across the University and other groups of people who have a stake in this work.
  • 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:

Candidates must meet all REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS below, and must document them in application materials (cover letter, resume/CV and diversity statement).

  • Bachelor’s degree in a field closely related to food systems and environmental stewardship including, but not limited to: American Indian and Indigenous studies, Indigenous agriculture & food systems, climate science, climate adaptation science, environmental science, natural resource science or closely related field.
  • Demonstrated experience working with Tribal Nations in agriculture, natural resources management, traditional ecological knowledge or related experience. (The experience may be obtained in combination with the experience in delivering outreach and engagement programs).
  • Proven ability to facilitate learning online and in-person.
  • Proven ability to communicate with Tribal communities, non-scientists, and other partners about food systems, food production, water and natural resources management.
  • Demonstrated capacity to develop and maintain positive working relationships with colleagues, partners and various stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead multi-faceted projects and work independently with little or no supervision.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with a team.

Preferred:

  • Master’s degree in a field closely related to food systems and environmental stewardship including, but not limited to: American Indian and Indigenous studies, Indigenous agriculture &food systems, climate science, climate adaptation science, environmental science, natural resource science or closely related field.
  • Expertise with food systems issues that tribal communities in the Midwest are facing that could be addressed through climate change adaptation.
  • Experience developing and conducting educational programs.
  • Experience with evaluation tools documenting outcomes and impacts.
  • Knowledge and use of data systems to explain, tell stories about, and interpret natural resources, climate change and/or land use.
  • Training/experience in climate science, adaptation, and/or climate communication.
  • Experience with Tribal engagement in participatory research and knowledge co-production.
  • Experience developing regional climate services or working with local or regional climate services.
  • Interest in co-authoring technical papers and/or peer-reviewed papers based on this programmatic work and that of MCAP.
  • Experience writing and administering grants.

Additional Requirements:

  • Valid driver’s license and reliable vehicle with required liability insurance, to be utilized for travel to workshops and transporting materials and supplies to events; the need to transport other people/employees may occur.
  • When not in the assigned office location, employees must be reachable with a number will be published in the Extension staff directory.
  • Ability to maintain a flexible work schedule, including occasional evening or weekend work.
  • Must have reliable internet if/when working outside of assigned office location.
  • Must be able to travel within designated communities and provide in-person programming.
  • Working ability to perform tasks involving prolonged sitting, standing, bending, or twisting, with occasional exertion of up to thirty pounds of force, frequent repetitive motions
  • This position is not eligible for employment visa sponsorship.
How to Apply:

Applications must be submitted online.

To be considered for this position, please click 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:

  • CV/Resume: Include your qualifications based upon the job requirements
  • Cover letter: Expressing how your experience and skills match the required and preferred qualifications
  • 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