Extension Watershed Outreach Associate

Urbana-Champaign, IL, United States 🇺🇸

The Extension Watershed Outreach Associate, Agriculture and Natural Resources (Water Quality) serves as a regular, full time, 12 month, academic professional with primary responsibility for the development, delivery, and evaluation of educational programs supporting the mission of the University of Illinois Extension. This Unit based position will be expected to deliver research-based educational programs, developed in cooperation with University personnel and campus-based faculty with an emphasis on watershed management. The establishment of professional networks as well as the development of relationships with key stakeholder groups is vital to the success of the Extension Watershed Outreach Associate in this position.

(Unit 7) This position will have coordination and program delivery responsibilities for the Mississippi Central/Henderson Creek Watershed (07080104) and Lower Rock River Watershed (07090005) both are nitrogen priority watersheds as outlined in the Illinois Nutrient Management Plan. The geographic area is both to the Unit and statewide.

This position will be expected to collaborate closely with campus based specialists and other faculty.

One full time position is available:

Location: Position will be housed in Unit 7 (Henry-Stark County – Galva, IL)

This is a security-sensitive position.  Comprehensive background checks, including but not limited to a criminal conviction information check, a CANTS check, and a review of the Registered Sex Offender list, will be conducted.

Specific responsibilities of the Extension Watershed Outreach Associate, ANR (Water Quality) are as follows:

  • Coordinate watershed activities.  Identify and convene watershed leaders and watershed planning activities to reduce nutrient losses from the identified watersheds.  Coordinate with local SWCDs, NRCS and others as appropriate to assure technical and financial assistance opportunities are known and understood by watershed leaders. Develop and prioritize watershed planning activities. This may be 319 led or other programs not associated with 319.
  • Educational outreach:  Develop and implement nutrient education strategies. Provide presentations to identified watersheds and associated stakeholders.
  • Consultation:  Maintain and provide comprehensive technical expertise on Best Management Practices to identified watersheds and associated stakeholders.  Work with the University of Illinois Ag water quality team and other faculty/ staff on nutrient strategies for identified watersheds.  Work with the Nutrient Monitoring Council to identify potential monitoring sites to measure water quality improvements and BMP efficiencies.
  • Identify funding opportunities, both public and private to meet watershed NLRS goals. Prepare and offer assistance preparing competitive grant proposals to drive nutrient loss BMP adoption.
  • Report status of implementation activities including load reductions achieved. Track BMP adoption rates and current or past watershed planning activities that are not currently tracked by other programs. Maintain working knowledge of all ongoing activities in the watershed that may impact, negatively or positively nutrient losses
  • Comply with all University of Illinois Extension Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity policies and guidelines in all aspects of Extension work; assist unit staff with data collection for Affirmative Action, Gender, and Targeted reports as needed.
  • Perform other duties that contribute to the mission of University of Illinois Extension programming, as assigned.
  • Local, regional and (limited) statewide travel required; personal transportation required.
  • To perform the functions of this position, the employee will be required to perform work both within an office and outside in the communities that are served, and must have the capability to travel from one location to the other in a timely fashion.  Employee is responsible for securing personal transportation.  A valid driver’s license is preferred.  Some work will be required during evenings and/or weekends.  When working, the employee may be exposed to a variety of environmental factors to include, but not limited to, hot or cold weather, exposure to noise and allergens, and uneven ground.  In performing the functions of this position, the employee may be subjected to various mental and physical demands as well to include, but not limited to, independently traveling to and performing work at different locations, lifting and moving items that may occasionally weigh up to forty (40) pounds and frequently weigh up to twenty (20) pounds, and twisting, pushing and pulling movements. More detailed information regarding the functions of this position (including the physical, mental and environmental requirements of the position) may be obtained from Human Resources for the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) by contacting [email protected].   

Administrative Relationship: The Extension Watershed Outreach Associate, ANR (Water Quality) is administratively responsible to the Assistant Dean, ANR.

Program Relationship: The Extension Watershed Outreach Associate, ANR (Water Quality) is programmatically responsible to the Program Leader(s) for the delivery of programs that mesh with identified national and state priorities and to the County Director(s) for the delivery of programs the mesh with identified local priorities.


  • Required: B.S. required in environmental science, environmental engineering, agricultural engineering, ecology, agronomy, soil science, or a related technical discipline. Experience working with agricultural production systems and/or natural resource management. Experience planning and delivering educational programs. Strong interest in and knowledge of the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (INLRS), agricultural practices, best management practices, and water quality issues related to agriculture and the programs associated with each to implement. Willingness to work with agricultural and commodity organizations to promote programs and practices from the NLRS and watershed planning efforts. Excellent written and oral communications skills. Strong interpersonal and negotiation skills. Ability to prioritize a heavy and varied workload, delivery results on a timeline, and provide regular reports of activities/achievements, as requested.
  • Preferred: M.S. preferred in environmental science, environmental engineering, agricultural engineering, ecology, agronomy, soil science, or a related technical discipline. Experience working directly with farmers. Experience managing contractors. Grant writing experience.

Additional Information

The position is a full-time, benefits-eligible, non-tenure, academic professional position appointed on a 12-month service basis. The expected start date is as soon as possible after the closing date. Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. Generous vacation and sick leave. State Universities Retirement System. Group health, dental, vision and life insurance.

Application Procedure:  To apply, go to http://go.illinois.edu/A1800031. Log in to your account and upload a cover letter and resume, as well as the names and contact information of three professional references. Resume dates must be in month/year format and employment history, at a minimum, should include all work dating back to the completion of your undergraduate degree. Positions that were less than full-time/100% must be noted as being part-time. Transcripts may be requested at a later date. To receive full consideration, all requested application materials must be submitted via the online system by the close date of February 16, 2018.

For further information about the position please contact Jenny Garner by phone 309-756-9978 or email [email protected]. For technical assistance with the online application process, call 217-333-6747 or email [email protected]