University of Illinois Sea Grant: Extension Outreach Associate

Posted on February 15, 2024
University of Illinois Sea Grant: Extension Outreach Associate
Position Title


 Position Overview: 

Through learning partnerships that extend knowledge and change lives, University of Illinois Extension provides educational programs aimed at making life better, healthier, safer, and more profitable for individuals and their communities. Illinois Extension has operated continuously for more than 100 years connecting the citizens of Illinois to their land-grant university by providing educational programming around the state. University of Illinois Extension is based in the College of ACES and works with all colleges and units of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

One of 34 Sea Grant Programs in the U.S., Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) is a bi-state program, with its Illinois staff sited within Illinois Extension. IISG works in partnerships with key organizations, institutions, and agencies in the Great Lakes region and primarily in southern Lake Michigan to empower people to solve problems in sustainable ways. We do this by providing science-based educational programming, which includes outreach to adult audiences as well as K-12 education. The projects that the successful candidate will be engaged in will work toward this overarching goal.


The Extension Outreach Associate, Great Lakes K-12 Education serves as a regular, full time, 12-month academic professional with primary responsibilities are to increase Great Lakes literacy among Illinois and Indiana youth through development, delivery, and evaluation of educational programming supporting the mission of Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and University of Illinois Extension.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

Program Development, Delivery and Evaluation

  • Develop a Great Lakes K-12 research-based education program that addresses local needs and increases literacy about Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant’s Great Lakes priority research and outreach issues (e.g., coastal resilience, invasive species, aquaculture, foodweb ecology). This includes developing education resources and opportunities such as curricula and field days, training teachers and non-formal educators in use of the new and existing curricula via workshops, and promoting resources at professional conferences.
  • Support educators in implementation of IISG curricula through check-ins, connecting them with partners and other educators who are incorporating Great Lakes literacy into their classrooms, and providing grant-funded financial support as appropriate.
  • Develop and maintain partnerships with state, regional, and national partners including University of Illinois and Purdue 4-H, the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network’s Center for Great Lakes Literacy, educational institutions, research scientists, professional societies, and other entities as appropriate.
  • Develop effective and contemporary approaches with educators including electronic technologies (e.g., Google Classroom, Facebook, etc.).
  • Compete for internal and external resources (i.e., grants) to enhance the development of innovative educational programs with potential for high impact.
  • Conduct evaluation research to determine effectiveness of programming regarding short-term impacts and long-term changes in clientele practices; use findings to create innovative programs and improve quality of existing offerings.
  • Seek professional development opportunities to enhance competency in relevant programmatic areas.
  • Assume additional related responsibilities to enhance the mission of the unit.




  • Hire, train, mentor, and conduct performance evaluations for subordinate staff. Approve time/leave and assign/review work of Sea Grant education academic professionals, academic hourlies, and students.
  • Use funding to increase program quality and impact and comply with all reporting deadlines and requirements (e.g., plans of work, activity, and impact reporting, etc.).

Other Information

  • Comply with all University of Illinois Extension Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity policies and guidelines in all aspects of Extension work; assists Unit staff with data collection for Affirmative Action, Gender, and Targeted reports.
  • Bi-state and regional travel required; personal transportation required.
  • To perform the functions of this position, the employee will be required to perform work both within an office and outside in the communities that are served and must have the capability to travel from one location to the other in a timely fashion.  Employee is responsible for securing personal transportation.  A valid driver’s license is preferred.  Some work will be required during evenings and/or weekends.  When working, the employee may be exposed to a variety of environmental factors to include, but not limited to, hot or cold weather, exposure to noise and allergens, and uneven ground.  In performing the functions of this position, the employee may be subjected to various mental and physical demands as well to include, but not limited to, independently traveling to and performing work at different locations, transferring and transporting items that may occasionally weigh up to forty (40) pounds and frequently weigh up to twenty (20) pounds, and twisting, pushing and pulling movements. More detailed information regarding the functions of this position (including the physical, mental, and environmental requirements of the position) may be obtained from Human Resources for the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) by contacting

required education and experience:
  • Master’s degree in education, environmental education, natural sciences, or related field. Master's degrees in other fields will be considered with work experience that demonstrates similar competencies. Candidates with a master’s degree in progress may be considered for interviews, but degree must be completed by hire date.
  • Three years of experience teaching natural science or a combination of five years teaching and environmental science work experience; required teaching experience can be in non-formal and/or formal educational settings.
  • Experience working with curriculum development.

preferred education and experience:
  • Spanish proficiency.
  • Experience with environmental education, securing grants, and supervising staff.
knowledge, skills, and abilities:
  • Strong verbal, written, and presentation skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Robust organizational skills and demonstrated attention to detail.
  • Proven networking abilities.
  • Expertise in equity, access, and opportunity.
  • Familiarity with the Great Lakes and state and/or Next Generation Science Standards is preferred.


To apply, go to Please upload a resume, cover letter, and the names and contact information for three professional references. Resume dates submitted must be in month/year format and employment history, at a minimum, should include all work dating back to the completion of your undergraduate degree. Positions that were less than full-time/100% must be noted as being part-time. Transcripts may be requested at a later date. To receive full consideration, all requested application materials must be submitted via the online system by February 27, 2024.

equal employment opportunity:

The University of Illinois System is an equal opportunity employer, including but not limited to disability and/or veteran status, and complies with all applicable state and federal employment mandates. Please visit Required Employment Notices and Posters to view our non-discrimination statement and find additional information about required background checks, sexual harassment/misconduct disclosures, COVID-19 vaccination requirement, and employment eligibility review through E-Verify.