Careers at UMass Amherst

Extension Educator III - Integrated Pest Management (Hybrid Opportunity)

Apply now Job no: 520639
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: UMass Extension
Union: PSU
Categories: Agriculture/Extension, College of Natural Sciences, PSU A

About UMass Amherst 

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region. 


Job Summary 

The Extension Educator III - Integrated Pest Management develops and delivers Extension educational programs, publications, and services, and conducts applied research, to meet the needs of commercial agricultural producers statewide with emphasis on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) of weed, insect, and/or disease challenges to managers of fruit, vegetable, and diversified cropping systems at a range of scales, including indoor environments. 


Essential Functions 

  • Develops, organizes, and teaches educational programs and provide research-based information to farmers and other clientele regarding Integrated Pest Management of weeds, insect pests, and/or diseases and IPM’s relationship to production practices, cropping systems, soil health, nutrient management, climate change, business, and risk management, and related or emerging topics. Responds to crop management inquiries from producers and other stakeholders regarding pest management, weeds, greenhouse/tunnel biocontrol, and related production and business issues. Works directly with growers to teach and evaluate IPM skills, and to improve understanding and implementation of IPM on MA farms. Participates with Extension and other staff and clientele in cross-commodity collaborative programming with state and regional impact. 
  • Collaborates in the preparation, editing, layout and publication of research-based educational materials such as newsletters, management guides, fact sheets, and articles, including Vegetable Notes, Grape Notes, Healthy Fruit, and other Extension newsletters. Provide IPM-related content and expertise for these publications. 
  • Plans and conducts applied research and/or scholarly or creative activity to meet emerging needs of commercial growers statewide. Develops and implements experiments, demonstration trials and projects in collaboration with supervisor and other Extension faculty or staff in the areas of integrated weed management, biocontrol in indoor environments, and/or other IPM topics. Conducts or supervises general plot maintenance (including pesticide treatments) at on- and off-campus research locations. Communicates with and visit growers to manage on-farm projects. Manages data collection and analysis and prepares related reports, articles, and educational materials for Extension and scholarly publications. 
  • Conducts needs assessment, develops program objectives, designs delivery methods, and develops evaluation procedures in collaboration with supervisor and other Extension Faculty and Staff. Conducts periodic evaluations of program effectiveness. Uses evaluation to inform future programs. Develops relationships with agricultural businesses, producers, consumers, advisory committees, research centers, non-profits, and related agencies to assess conditions, needs, and strategies to achieve program goals and measure desired outcomes. 
  • Seeks out and applies for external funding, including public grants. Coordinate with appropriate University entities and comply with relevant fundraising and grant-related policies. Participates in overall program management, including staff coordination and evaluation, reporting and financial administration. Participates in short- and long-range planning. Determines need for temporary staff and/or volunteers and prepares job descriptions. Collaborates in recruiting and training. Supervises, supports, evaluates, and recognizes volunteers and/or student and paraprofessional employees. 
  • Works closely with supervisor and other Extension program leaders to integrate activities across Production Agriculture programs so that budgets, planning, policies, and personnel are effectively aligned to address cross-cutting and emerging issues while serving traditional stakeholders. 
  • Maintains and increases personal and professional competence through participation in in-service training, professional association activities, and continuing education. Prepares and implements professional development plan. 
  • Represents UMass Extension at the campus, regional or state level in routine matters of organization and procedure relating to the Production Agriculture Programs. 


Other Functions 

  • Works collaboratively and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality, and inclusiveness.  
  • Works in partnership with colleagues within the College of Natural Sciences (CNS) community and across the campus to support the Dean’s strategic priorities. 
  • Performs other duties as assigned in support of the mission and goals of the College of Natural Sciences. 


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure) 

  • Master’s Degree in biological, horticultural, or agricultural science or closely related field. 
  • Two (2) years’ relevant experience. Experience can be as part of work towards a graduate degree. 
  • Ability to legally drive a vehicle in Massachusetts within 60 days of start date. 
  • Massachusetts Pesticide Applicator License or appropriate Certification, or agreement to pursue license or certification within 3 months of hire. 
  • General proficiency using computers to perform work independently and collaboratively. 
  • Ability to maintain a diverse schedule of local, regional, and statewide activities 
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to interact effectively and work productively in establishing and maintaining harmonious working relationships with a diverse population of staff, students, and stakeholders. 
  • Ability to work independently to organize multiple tasks and set priorities for action, take initiative, be creative, and operate with self-direction in a fast-paced environment. 

Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure) 

  • Expertise in Integrated Pest Management in one or more agricultural disciplines. 
  • Demonstrated ability to implement effective educational programs with diverse audiences. 
  • Familiarity with crop production and IPM in New England. 
  • Demonstrated ability to use current electronic media for education and outreach. 
  • Demonstrated ability to secure and manage external funding to support program activities.
  • Demonstrated professional working relationships with agricultural groups, farmers, non-profits, government agencies, and/or other groups related to the position 
  • Proficiency with data analysis and/or layout and publication software (e.g., SAS, In-Design, Drupal). 


Physical Demands/Working Conditions 

  • Includes office and outdoor conditions that may require physical activity in all weather and uneven terrain. 


Additional Details 

  • This is a grant-funded, 24-month position that may be extended pending additional funding.
  • By default, this position is located at the UMass Amherst campus. Depending on availability of office space and the preference of the successful candidate, the position could potentially be located at another UMass Amherst office location. 


Work Schedule 

  • Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 5:00pm or as required to carry out program activities.  
  • Some evenings, weekends and travel are required.
  • This position has the opportunity for a hybrid work schedule, which is defined by the University as an arrangement where an employee’s work is regularly performed at a location other than the campus workspace for a portion of the week. As this position falls within the Professional Staff Union, it is subject to the terms and conditions of the Professional Staff Union collective bargaining agreement.


Salary Information 

Level 27

PSU Hiring Ranges

Special Instructions to Applicants 

Along with the application, please submit a letter of application, resume, a Diversity Statement (see below), and contact information for three (3) professional references. The search will remain open until filled.

As part of a commitment to their own multicultural community, CNS seeks an individual with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and one who will understand and embrace university initiatives and aspirations. In addition to the application materials above, candidates will need to submit a Statement of Contribution to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The Diversity Statement should identify past experiences and future goals. These contributions may result from lived experiences, scholarships, and/or mentoring, teaching, and outreach activities. 


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, caste, creed, sex, age, marital status, national origin, disability, political belief or affiliation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related condition(s), veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, natural and protective hairstyle and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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