Job Openings

Extension State Specialist, Plant Pathology

University of New Hampshire Extension

Location: Durham, New Hampshire
Application Deadline: 2022-09-01

Extension State Specialist, Plant Pathology

Institution Information

The University of New Hampshire is an R1 Carnegie classification research institution providing comprehensive, high-quality undergraduate and graduate programs of distinction. UNH is located in Durham on a 188-acre campus, 60 miles north of Boston and 8 miles from the Atlantic coast and is convenient to New Hampshire’s lakes and mountains. There is a student enrollment of 13,000 students, with a full-time faculty of over 600, offering 90 undergraduate and more than 70 graduate programs. The University actively promotes a dynamic learning environment in which qualified individuals of differing perspectives, life experiences, and cultural backgrounds pursue academic goals with mutual respect and shared inquiry.

The UNH Diversity Resource Guide with information and programming available in the seacoast area, New Hampshire, and the region can be found here: https://www.unh.edu/hr/diversity-resource-guide

Summary of Position

The Extension state specialist in plant pathology directs and operates all aspects of the UNH-Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab, including diagnosis of plant health problems and communication of results, maintaining sample information and data, and supervising staff. The UNH-PDDL provides diagnostic services for plant health issues for commercial producers, home horticulturists, landscapers, turf managers, arborists, extension staff, state and regulatory agencies and others and is a member of the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN). This is a full-time, benefits-eligible position located on the University of New Hampshire’s Durham, N.H. campus. It is a non-tenure track, 100% Extension appointment.

The specialist will collaborate with faculty, Extension specialists, and agricultural stakeholders to lead and support outreach efforts as part of a team that is working to develop and implement innovative, relevant, and impactful programming in the field of plant health. We expect strong synergies with UNH faculty and specialists working in diverse areas of agricultural systems including integrated pest management, sustainable horticulture, crop development, and protected agriculture, including both food and non-food crops.

The specialist will provide instruction and technical assistance to clients including farm businesses, Extension field specialists, technical service providers, and partner agencies, and will disseminate current research-based information through seminars, face-to-face meetings, webinars, field demonstrations, print/web resources and other appropriate methods.

The successful candidate will participate in the development of connections between local agricultural producers and University researchers. They will contribute to or conduct practical applied on-farm research to support the state and region’s agricultural community. The specialist will engage with undergraduate and graduate students through classes and mentorship. The specialist will work with industry and Extension colleagues across the New England states and will compete successfully in national and regional funding initiatives. Beginning in the second year of employment, state specialists must generate 25% of annual salary from external grants and contracts. 

Duties/Responsibilities

Educational Program Development and Delivery

  • Manage all aspects of the UNH-Plant Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, including:
  • Diagnose plant problems and report results to clientele.
  • Maintain database for samples received via the NPDN lab management system.
  • Develop and conduct diagnostic training events for clientele, extension staff, volunteers, and others.
  • Develop and implement innovative outreach programs for New Hampshire’s agricultural producers with a focus in plant health.
  • Provide leadership and support to Extension field specialists in the development, implementation, and evaluation of high-impact educational programs.
  • When appropriate, contribute to and/or conduct practical applied on-farm research to support the state and region’s agricultural community.
  • Facilitate synergies between UNH Extension, the NH Agricultural Experiment Station and the state’s agricultural communities. When appropriate, incorporate NHAES research and researchers into Extension programming.
  • As appropriate, contribute to the educational offerings of the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture as a lecturer in undergraduate courses in the Department of Agriculture, Nutrition and Food Systems.
  • Ensure programmatic involvement of underserved and underrepresented audiences and ensure that all educational programming is conducted in full accordance with Civil Rights, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), Affirmative Action (AA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) policies and procedures.
  • Assess statewide, regional, and national needs, challenges and trends in plant health issues and use this information as a basis for program development.
  • Collaborate with colleagues internal and external to UNH to develop, implement and evaluate multi-state outreach programs and products.
  • Publish and disseminate information to peers and to clientele groups through appropriate presentations, publications, and electronic delivery systems.
  • Compete successfully in national and regional funding initiatives, generating 25% of annual salary from external grants and contracts beginning in the second year of employment.

Collaborative Networking

  • Collaborate with state regional and national partners to detect and monitor plant pests. Partners include N.H. Department of Agriculture Markets and Food, the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN), regional extension partners, USDA, ipmPIPE, and USDA/APHIS.
  • Build and maintain partnerships with university faculty and with relevant local, state, regional and national agencies and associations.

Organizational Support

  • Serve in UNH Extension organizational leadership or committees, and support team development by serving in a mentor capacity as needed and where appropriate.

Professional Development

  • Participate in professional development to enhance competence in the appropriate disciplines.
  • Obtain and maintain a commercial pesticide applicator’s license in the State of New Hampshire.

Additional Job Information

In addition to a cover letter and resume/CV, applicants should be prepared to provide a statement of extension philosophy that illustrates commitment to diversity and inclusion.

UNH is a federal contractor within the meaning of the Executive Order on Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors. This position may require that you be vaccinated against COVID-19 in the future, unless you apply for and receive a religious or medical exemption. You may not test out of this requirement.

Other Minimum Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in plant pathology or closely related discipline.
  • Demonstrated experience with diagnosis of a wide range of plant disease problems on multiple host plants.
  • Demonstrated excellence in laboratory skills (microscopy, isolating and culturing pathogens, serological, biochemical, and molecular diagnostic techniques).
  • Demonstrated effective interpersonal and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work well as part of a team.
  • Experience in planning and delivering educational programs for adult audiences.
  • Demonstrated laboratory management skills, including supervising and training staff and student workers.
  • Willingness and ability to establish and work with a diverse network of constituents and community members across race, gender, socioeconomic class, disabilities, and other differences to assist with program development and outreach.
  • Ability to regularly travel throughout the state, as well as travel in the region. Travel costs will be reimbursed at the federal rate.

Additional Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience in all aspects of Extension programming, including needs assessment, cultivating relationships with stakeholders, marketing, impact evaluation, and reporting.
  • Experience conducting on-site evaluations to assess plant health problems and in developing management strategies.
  • Enthusiasm for working with agricultural producers and gardeners of all scales and production systems.
  • Experience in securing competitive extramural funding.
  • Experience in conceiving, planning, undertaking, and disseminating independent applied research.

Salary Information                                                          

Salary is complemented by a comprehensive benefits package which includes medical, dental, retirement, tuition, and paid time off.

Applicants must apply https://jobs.usnh.edu/postings/48621

The University System of New Hampshire is an Equal Opportunity/Equal Access/Affirmative Action employer. The University System is committed to creating an environment that values and supports diversity and inclusiveness across our campus communities and encourages applications from qualified individuals who will help us achieve this mission. The University System prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, genetic information, veteran status, or marital status.