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Washington Sea Grant (WSG) has an outstanding opportunity for a Community Engagement Specialist located on Washington's Pacific Coast. Principal responsibilities are to coordinate technical assistance and other forms of support for community-led efforts to enhance resilience to natural hazards (flooding, erosion, landslides, and earthquake and tsunami). The position facilitates governmental and academic collaboration to enhance public understanding of coastal hazards and improve access to relevant research, data products, information, and other science-based decision support tools. The supervisor for the position is the WSG Assistant Director for Outreach.
The Community Engagement Specialist is an integral member of WSG’s outreach team, working independently but cooperatively with university and government researchers, regional program managers, coastal communities and the public. Support for the position is provided through a partnership with the Washington State Department of Ecology, Shorelands and Environmental Assistance Program (Ecology). The geographic focus area for the position is the Washington Pacific Coast, roughly from Neah Bay to Cathlamet (Western Clallum and Jefferson Counties; Grays Harbor, Pacific and Wahkiakum Counties). The Community Engagement Specialist represents WSG and Ecology in identifying local needs and goals, assisting the development of project plans and grant proposals, and facilitating responsive, inter-disciplinary partnerships to implement resilience projects.
WSG is housed within the UW College of the Environment and is a unique unit with federally designated responsibilities for all of Washington to support ocean-related research, education, outreach and communications. WSG serves the state and the region by providing technical assistance to coastal users and managers, engaging the public in activities that promote ecosystem health, educating students of all ages, and encouraging science-based solutions to marine issues. The Community Engagement Specialist serves as a university expert, connecting hundreds of Washington citizens, government and non-governmental organizations, and businesses with current UW research, faculty, students and other university resources. The position also works to strengthen the UW partnership with Ecology, Washington State's coastal zone management agency.
•Facilitate coordinated action among WSG, Ecology and other participating agencies in identifying and addressing coastal hazard vulnerabilities in partnership with local and tribal governments.
•Provide input to WSG, Ecology and partners on the information and technical assistance needs of communities and business sectors.
•Work with other WSG staff and Ecology to develop outreach products and translate hazards and resilience research for use by communities.
•Integrate hazards information from other agency partners into Ecology and WSG outreach, communication and education program activities.
•Participate and contribute to the State’s Hazard Mitigation Workgroup
•Coordinate and leverage the expertise and resources available through the Marine Resource Committees
WSG Advisory Services
•Develop and conduct outreach programming for coastal hazards, community resilience and climate-related issues in coastal Washington.
•Work with Ecology and other partners to continue implementation and coordination of the Coastal Hazards Resilience Network and the Resilience Ambassadors program.
•Work with WSG, academic and agency experts to identify, translate and help communities apply interdisciplinary research findings and extension projects, including use and application of best practices and decision support tools.
•Assist community efforts to identify and prioritize needs for reducing hazard exposure and vulnerability, increasing preparedness and strengthening resilience by working with community officials, stakeholder groups and disaster recovery managers at local and regional scales.
•Develop and maintain working relationships with relevant local, state, county, tribal and federal personnel and non-governmental organizations.
•Contribute to WSG program evaluations and reporting as needed.
•Participate in the development of grant proposals to secure funding for carrying out related research and resilience projects.
The Community Engagement Specialist leads working groups whose members may be community stakeholders and/or professional peers from the University of Washington, other academic institutions, state and federal agencies, and tribes.
The position will work from an office location to be determined in either Pacific or Grays Harbor Counties. The employee is expected to live within the geographic focus area and should be prepared to relocate if necessary, to meet that requirement. Workload demand requires periodic evening and weekend hours. Ability to travel locally, regionally and as needed internationally.
The position has grant funding for 18 months. It is Washington Sea Grant's intention to continue the position after the initial project period subject to finding a sustainable funding source for the position.
As a UW employee, you will enjoy generous benefits and work/life programs. For detailed information on Benefits for this position, click here.
A Master's Degree in Earth System Sciences, Oceanography, Geography, Meteorology, Environmental Engineering, Landscape Design or a related field.
A minimum of 4 years of professional work experience demonstrating:
•Current knowledge of issues associated with climate and environmental change and coastal natural hazards.
•Capacity to manage demanding workflow and competing deadlines independently; initiate, manage and complete complex projects with minimal supervision; work effectively with diverse constituencies; and maintain attention to detail and process.
•Excellent written and verbal communications skills, including the ability to interpret technical information and explain it accurately in nontechnical language.
•Successful community/public engagement and outreach experience, including work with research scientists on translating and applying research products for use of and benefit to emergency managers and communities.
•Capability to work effectively at the nexus of academia, communities, and tribal, federal, state and local agencies.
Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except where there are legal requirements such as license/certification/registration.
•Technical expertise in one or more coastal hazards, community planning processes, or emergency management.
•Knowledge of current resilience and climate adaptation projects and leading organizations in Washington.
•Formal training in and experience using planning and decision support tools, including web-based data visualization tools for coastal communities.
•Demonstrated success in developing grant proposals and managing grant-supported projects.
•Ability to communicate in Spanish.
The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process. These assessments may include Workforce Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others. Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.