| Position Overview As a senior manager of the Water Resource Center (WRC), the associate director is expected to work closely with the WRC director to strategically integrate the center’s research, Extension, and education activities. Key roles of the position include managing the WRC’s operations and supervising four (4) fulltime staff. The associate director will also serve as programmatic leader and supervisor to six (6) Extension educators, affording the opportunity to unify Extension programming with the WRC water programming for heightened impact. |
The mission of the University of Minnesota WRC is to combine interdisciplinary research, extension education, and outreach to advance knowledge and improve the quality and value of water resources in Minnesota, nationally, and around the world. The WRC is one of 54 Water Resources Research Institutes established by Congress in 1964 by the Water Resources Research Act (WRRA). There is one in each of the states and territories at its land grant university. The University of Minnesota’s WRC is jointly funded and supported by University of Minnesota Extension and the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS). The WRC also receives seed funding through the WRRA program administered by the U.S. Geological Survey in the Department of the Interior.
University of Minnesota Extension supports the WRC’s extension education programming. Through a recent and growing partnership, the center has the opportunity to coordinate and amplify its education and extension efforts with the Extension Water Resources Team (WRT). The WRT is one of several clusters of Extension educators within the Extension system’s Center for Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources. The associate director will serve as the WRT program leader and will supervise the WRT educators. Current WRT programming overlaps with the research base of the WRC, particularly in the areas of agricultural conservation and stormwater management. The associate director will drive the strategic coordination and alignment of WRC outreach and the Extension WRT.
The WRC is known for its successful training and certification programs, including the Onsite Sewage Treatment Program, the Wetlands Delineator Certification Program, and the online Watershed Specialist Training. The associate director will manage these programs and will have the opportunity to guide their strategic growth, capitalizing on their synergies with research and outreach programs. Additional outreach activities in the center include connections through statewide meetings, conferences, and service on various boards and committees. Increased presence and delivery of outreach programming via digital media is a strategic opportunity and priority for the WRC.
Support from CFANS and the federal WRRA program focus on developing the WRC’s research capacity and integrating this capacity into multidisciplinary research teams from across the university. With over 100 faculty engaged in water related science, policy or economic research and outreach, and numerous business, municipal, state, and regional issues, the WRC is a convening center to leverage these extensive resources and expertise for developing collaborative solutions to Minnesota’s most pressing water resource needs. Topics of strategic focus for the WRC include agricultural conservation and their water resource impacts; stormwater and wastewater technologies; watershed informatics; and behavioral, economic, and policy aspects of water resource management. The associate director will play a key role in the management of these research programs, working closely with the director to identify new opportunities and shape strategic directions, and leading the integration of Extension/outreach programming with the research base.
Major Areas of Responsibility Extension – 70% 1. Serve as program leader for Extension Water Resources Team (WRT), which includes aligning WRT program efforts with collegiate and WRC programming. This role also includes the following: a. Provide supervision, management and oversight to the six (6) WRT Extension Educators (EEs) in partnership with Extension and the Extension Center for Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources (AFNR). This includes: b. Ensuring the EEs are conducting their responsibilities as described in their annual plan ofwork c. Performing annual performance reviews d. Aligning program efforts of EEs with CFANS and WRC programming in water e. Serving on the AFNR Center leadership team 2. Oversee WRC training programs including supervision of four (4) staff and management of program budgets 3. Serve as a representative of the WRC, Extension, and the university on state boards and committees, subject to appointment by the Dean of Extension 4. Develop and maintain relationships with partners and stakeholders, government and nongovernmental agencies outside the University in order to build and sustain collective action in and around the state and region 5. Develop and implement a strategy to enhance the visibility of WRC training and outreach/Extension programs through digital media 6. Integrate and link education, research and outreach aspects of WRC projects and activities
Research - 20% 1. Implement and co-manage (with the WRC director) WRC-funded research programs, including coordinating proposal reviews and tracking funded projects 2. Communicate effectively to promote WRC research initiatives to a diverse set of stakeholders, potential collaborators, and potential sponsors, including state, federal, non-profit and educational organizations 3. Facilitate the development of teams to pursue multi-investigator sponsored projects, commensurate with the strategic directions of the center
Instruction and Workforce Development - 10% 1. Implement and manage WRC-funded programs for students and postdoctoral scholars, including coordinating proposal reviews and tracking funded projects 2. Coordinate with other programs, centers, and institutes to develop professional development activities