Regional Extension Specialist & Educator for Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest

Washington State University in Washington

Deadline March 10, 2014
Date Posted February 20, 2014
Type Non tenure track
Salary Commensurate with experience
Employment Type Full-time

Washington State University (WSU) is currently seeking to fill an Extension Educator, E-2 (equivalent to Assistant Professor) position, for the Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest grant.  Official title:  Regional Extension Specialist and Educator, E-2.  This position is a full-time, 12-month, temporary, non-tenure track faculty position renewable annually through 8/31/2016, funding permitted, located in Everett, WA. Application closing date is March 10, 2014

 The Hardwood Biofuels Extension Educator will be part of a five-person team to develop curriculum and outreach materials to support Extension personnel, growers, policymakers, and other stakeholders throughout the Pacific Northwest region (WA, OR, N. ID, N. CA) to prepare for biofuel production from hybrid poplar feedstock. The Extension Educator will be expected to have strong outreach and communication skills, web-development skills (including social media), and experience with online program delivery (e.g. webinars).

General Responsibilities and Duties:
1. Develop education and outreach programs for Extension personnel, policymakers, and the general public related to growing hybrid poplar as woody feedstock for sustainable biofuel production.
2. Coordinate the development of educational materials with emerging research being conducted by AHB partner teams on growing/harvesting methods, conversion processes, sustainable production, economic feasibility, and social acceptance.
3. Conduct research on the barriers, needs, and opportunities around the adoption of hybrid poplar biofuel crop systems by landowners.
4. Facilitate regional field tours, meetings, conferences, and webinars to inform Extension personnel about hybrid poplar biofuel research developments.
5. For Extension personnel, develop train the trainer for delivering education and outreach materials to potential growers and impacted communities.
6. Maintain a comprehensive regional web site, social media sites, and a mailing list for communicating the mission, goals, and activities of AHB to regional Extension personnel, landowners, policymakers, the general public, and other stakeholders.
7. Coordinate with other biofuel projects within WSU and around the country.
8. Write and/or solicit newsletter articles, bulletins, peer-reviewed articles, and other publications relevant to growing hybrid poplar for biofuel production.

The position is responsible to the Project PI and the Ag/Natural Resources Program Director.

Supervisory Responsibilities:
The position supervises various part-time and/or internship positions.

Required Qualifications:

1. Earned Masters degree in agriculture (including horticulture, agronomy, agricultural/resource economics), forestry, natural resources, or related field.

2. Proficiency in computer technology, including word processing, spreadsheets, electronic slide presentations, and email.

3. Demonstrated experience planning, organizing, and delivering effective education and outreach programs.

Preferred Qualifications:

1. Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and written, with diverse audiences.

2. Demonstrated proficiency in online technology that includes web development, social media, and educational delivery tools.

3. Knowledge and understanding of agriculture or agroforestry models.

4. Knowledge and understanding of the emerging biofuels and bioenergy industry.

5. Understanding of agricultural marketing, value-added agriculture, and grower coop systems.

6. Experience writing publications for the general public; such as short articles, newsletters, and brochures.

7. Ability to author and/or co-author academic papers, Extension publications, and reports.

8. Ability to plan, organize, and deliver regional-scale meetings and conferences.

9. Experience with public speaking and group facilitation.

10. Experience engaging and conducting needs assessment with farmers, community-based groups, grassroots organizations, and other program stakeholders.

11. Demonstrated ability to design culturally competent educational programs in order to engage diverse constituents (dimensions of diversity include gender, culture, age, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, education, and income).

12. Ability to work independently and as a member of a team.

Job Expectations:
1. Ability to travel year-round using own reliable transportation (mileage reimbursed) is required. While using a private vehicle for official business, the successful candidate must obtain current automobile liability insurance (meeting the requirements described in RCW 46.30.020, and RCW 46.09.090) and possess a valid drivers license.
2. Understand and carry out the principles and specific requirements of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Affirmative Action Plan, and all pertinent rules and regulations.
3. The successful candidate will be required to work flexible hours that include some evenings and weekends as needed. There is an expectation that the candidate will need to drive to various locations around the county and region. Some overnight travel is required throughout the year.
4. Extension faculty are hired into the organization, not into a specific geographic location. It is possible that future circumstances may require relocation.

1. Establish and maintain cooperative internal relationships with WSU faculty and specialists from multiple disciplines and locations, including agriculture and natural resource faculty and staff at county, department, and state levels throughout the PNW region.
2. Assist the AHB Extension Team with building and maintaining a regional advisory committee that includes citizens, stakeholders, and Extension personnel.
3. Contribute to a positive and collaborative work environment with the existing AHB Extension Team.
4. Collaborate with the other biofuel teams (e.g. research teams) and other USDA-funded biofuel projects around the country.
5. Promote external communications and effective partnerships with elected officials, agricultural and forestry leaders, farm organizations, small farm producers, and government agencies at the county, state, and federal levels.
6. Maintain effective working partnerships with community-based non-profits and other non-governmental organizations concerned with agriculture, the environment, and sustainable energy.


Salary is commensurate with the candidates academic and professional qualifications.

This position is located in Everett, WA. Everett is 30 miles north of Seattle in the north Puget Sound region. Western Washington is an environmentally sensitive, rapidly urbanizing region, with a diverse and dynamic small farm sector. Parts of the Pacific Northwest that are west of the Cascade Mountains are known for a maritime climate. Areas east of the Cascades have a warm, arid climate with a very large, diverse agricultural economy.


Recognizing its unique land-grant research and educational mission to the people of Washington State and beyond, the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resources (CAHNRS) is proud to provide leadership in discovering, accessing, and sharing knowledge through high quality research, instruction, and extension programs that contribute to a safe and abundant food and fiber supply, promote the well-being of individuals, families and communities, enhance sustainability of agricultural and economic systems, and promote stewardship of natural resources and the environment. CAHNRS is an academically- diverse college and the largest college at WSU with 2,100 undergraduate and 530 graduate students, providing opportunities to engage, share, and support one another across 12 departments and 4 research and extension centers throughout the state.
To learn more about CAHNRS, visit:

How to Apply

To apply visit:

Be prepared to submit a letter describing how your experience and training meet the qualifications for this position (cover letter); a curriculum vitae or resume (CV); and the names and contact information for three professional references willing to provide a letter (reference contact info).

For questions about the position contact Kevin Zobrist, 425-357-6017,; or 

WSU is an EEO/AA/ADA employer and educator.

How To Apply

You can apply for this position online at