Academic Specialist – Outreach - Forest Carbon and Climate Program

Hiring Organization: Forest Carbon and Climate Program, Department of Forestry
Employment type: Full-Time
Application Deadline: January 10, 2022

Position description

The Department of Forestry at Michigan State University invites applications for a full-time, 12-month Academic Specialist to join the Department’s Forest Carbon and Climate Program (FCCP) and help lead North American Initiatives, with a special focus on state level activities and projects in Michigan and other states. The mission of the Forest Carbon and Climate Program (FCCP) is to contribute research, synthesis, and training to meet the knowledge needs of professionals and the public on forest carbon and its relationship to mitigating climate change.  The position will consist of outreach (40%), research (20%), educational content development (20%), and leadership and administration activities (20%). This is a fixed-term position with annual renewals available depending on satisfactory performance and continued funding availability. The position is supported by MSU, funded projects, and a coalition of external partners from industry, conservation, and government.

This role is a unique opportunity to shape an important and timely disciplinary intersection of forest management, conservation, forest products, and global climate change. Filling a leadership position, the successful candidate will develop initiatives for US States and private sector actors, work independently and collaboratively with an interdisciplinary team, oversee budgets and projects, build and nurture relationships with government officials and NGOs, and support the mission of the Forestry Department and the Forest Carbon and Climate Program. Motivated leaders are ideal for this position with experience leading programs or projects, securing opportunities, and completing high-quality deliverables from learning content to peer-reviewed publications.

The specialist will: develop and implement training and educational material for professionals with a special focus on the U.S. states and private sector actors; contribute to proposal development and pursue funding for specific projects; track science and policy in forest carbon and climate topics; present at professional workshops and conferences; design and lead facilitated sessions; collect and analyze data; build relationships with partners; monitor and report on sponsored activities; support policymakers and natural resource decision makers; contribute to a research agenda; and oversee some administrative tasks related to FCCP programming.  As a leadership position, the successful candidate will develop initiatives, work independently and collaboratively, oversee budgets and projects, and supervise student research assistants and others as needed.

Required Qualifications

Master’s degree in forestry, natural resource management, environmental economics, environmental policy, or a related field. At least 3 to 5 years of progressively increased responsibility or expansive work experience in research, communication of science in a related field, program or project management, or environmental education. Strong written and verbal communication (including public speaking), a familiarity with environmental science methods and outputs, and a willingness to learn new information. The ideal candidate will have: the ability to interpret research findings and synthesize for/ translate to various audiences; data visualization skills; leadership skills needed to lead projects and initiatives; and a willingness to learn new skills, including software.

Desired Qualifications

Doctoral degree in one of the above fields or 5-7 years of program management/leadership experience. Experience or background in technical forestry measurements and management, grant writing, publishing opinion pieces and in academic journals, policy-maker engagement, adult education, and/or teaching at the college level. Familiarity with state or federal government agency operations and/or state-level natural and working land programs and policies. Knowledge of or experience in forest carbon project development, forest carbon baseline modeling, risk assessments, and/or monitoring, reporting, and verification.


The position will be based at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI, USA.  Formally established in 1902, Michigan State’s Department of Forestry was among the first undergraduate forestry programs in the U.S. and is accredited by the Society of American Foresters. The Department is a vibrant, growing, internationally recognized unit committed to interdisciplinary education, research, and extension to understand and resolve environmental and natural resource issues.

MSU enjoys a park-like campus with outlying research facilities and natural areas. The campus is located in the city of East Lansing, adjacent to the capital city of Lansing. The Lansing metropolitan area has a diverse population of approximately 450,000. Local communities have excellent school systems and place a high value on education. The University is proactive about its obligations under the ADA and provides individual accessibility plans to students and employees with disabilities. Michigan State University is also proactive in exploring opportunities for employment for dual career families, both inside and outside the University, and respects all family forms. Information about MSU’s dual career support can be found at Information about WorkLife at MSU can be found at The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University is committed to achieving excellence by creating and sustaining an accessible and inclusive culture that values cultural and academic diversity. We are an equal opportunity / affirmative action employer. The CANR is particularly interested in candidates of all backgrounds who are committed to the principle that academic excellence is achieved through open access and proactive inclusion.

The position will be office-based, with intermittent North American travel. Office environment will include with some remote work, largely in professional settings.  Occasional opportunities to visit the field may arise.

To Apply

For consideration, submit your application online at to job number 732069.  Upload the following required documents: a) letter of interest that includes qualifications for the position; b) current curriculum vitae; c) summary of your experience supporting diversity in previous employment and a description of how you will contribute to our goals of inclusive excellence; and d) contact information for three professional references.  Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Application deadline

The search committee will begin reviewing applications November 15, 2021, and continue until a suitable candidate is selected. The position is targeted to begin on or before December 31, 2021.  Questions regarding this position can be addressed to the Search Committee Chair: Lauren Cooper, Department of Forestry, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA, email:


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MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving excellence through a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture that encourages all people to reach their full potential. We actively encourage applications from, and nominations of, women, persons of color, veterans, persons with disabilities and other individuals who can contribute to the intellectual diversity and cultural richness at Michigan State University. MSU is committed to providing a work environment that supports employees’ work and personal life and offers employment assistance to the spouse or partner of candidates for faculty and academic staff positions.