Salary and Other Benefits
$70,000 - $80,000
The Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources at NC State University is seeking applicants for a full-time, Extension specialist position in integrated pest management of mountain conifers with emphasis on insects and diseases associated with the intensive culture of Fraser fir Christmas trees.
The successful applicant will be a part of the department’s 10-person Extension Forestry team of 4 faculty and 6 staff, which includes a Christmas tree production and marketing specialist and a Christmas tree geneticist. They will work with research scientists, Extension specialists, county agents, program directors, and county technicians.
This position is based in Western North Carolina, with Ashe, Alleghany, Watauga, Avery, Mitchell, and Jackson counties as the primary area of responsibility, but the successful applicant will have to travel periodically throughout North Carolina. Office space will be provided in either Extension or NC Department of Agriculture facilities within the primary area of responsibility.
The successful applicant will provide leadership in determining, implementing and evaluating educational programs consistent with the philosophy, policy, and overall educational objectives of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension. They will be responsible for developing and delivering educational programming to county Extension personnel, Christmas tree producers and workers, and other stakeholders in mountain conifers.
Ph.D. in Entomology, Plant Pathology or similar area
Other Required Qualifications
Strong oral and written communication skills
Excellent time and resource management skills
Self-directed and self-motivated with the ability to multi-task and set priorities
A general knowledge of pesticides including pesticide modes of action
Ability to secure external funding in support of Extension programs
Ability to plan, organize, work, teach, and interact with diverse audiences, including stakeholders from different socio-demographic groups and with different levels of background knowledge
Curiosity about and passion for the field of IPM
Working knowledge of different insect feeding guilds and modes of pathogen infection
Demonstrated ability to lead groups, plan, implement, facilitate, teach, and evaluate educational informational programs
Demonstrated success engaging with diverse audiences (e.g. with varied educational backgrounds and levels of knowledge about Christmas tree production, and from different demographic groups)
Knowledge and experience planning, implementing, and evaluating participatory Extension or non-formal education programs
Basic knowledge of educational technologies and their appropriate use in the development and delivery of educational programs
Knowledge of Southern Appalachian forests, including native conifers and the insects and pathogens that impact them
Experience with Christmas tree production and associated integrated pest management activities
Demonstrated ability to conduct applied research and collaborate with interdisciplinary teams
Ability and interest in supervising student participation in applied research and Extension
Verbal and written communications skills in both English and Spanish
Other responsibilities of the Extension Specialist include, but are not limited to the following:
Developing an innovative extension program in integrated pest management of mountain conifers with emphasis on Christmas trees that is consistent with the philosophy, policy, and overall educational objectives of North Carolina Cooperative Extension and NC State University
Performing, designing, and supporting applied research relevant to Extension needs related to Fraser fir Christmas trees and other mountain conifers
Seeking external funding that expands the impact of their extension program
Publishing written extension articles/videos, and maintaining the Extension Forestry Christmas Tree website (https://christmastrees.ces.ncsu.edu)
Providing professional development opportunities for county Extension personnel working within the Christmas tree industry
Providing current research-based information about mountain conifers through traditional media (e.g., interviews with reporters and television) and social media to diverse audiences
Providing timely field observations on current pest issues to the Christmas tree industry by employing various teaching methods, traditional formats, and social media communication tools
Cultivating and developing inclusive and equitable working relationships with county Extension personnel, Christmas tree producers, farm workers, faculty, staff, students and others including from relevant state and federal agencies to meet subject matter needs
Working closely with county Extension personnel, producers, farm workers, grower commodity organizations, agri-business, community leaders, other state and federal agencies and others to identify and prioritize issues, problems and opportunities
Determining educational needs and impacts by assessing and evaluating educational programs and services on a regular basis
Extensive work with microscope and other appropriate lab equipment is required
Conducting pesticide trials and other field-based demonstrations of IPM practices and provide IPM pest management recommendations
Obtaining/maintaining a current North Carolina pesticide license
Obtaining/maintaining a valid NC driver’s license. Travel connected with official duties is required
Working necessary hours to fulfill job responsibilities, including some evenings and weekends
Working outdoors in all seasons under all types of weather conditions, and frequently in very steep mountain terrains
Collaborating with other faculty as appropriate to conduct applied research and to mentor students around IPM, Christmas trees and other mountain conifers
Actively taking part in service to the department, college, Cooperative Extension, university, and profession
Performing other duties as assigned
Required License(s) or Certification(s)
A valid North Carolina driver’s license is required by the start date.
NC pesticide applicators license or the ability to obtain one within 60 days of employment.
Travel throughout western NC
Driver’s license or alternate transportation required?
Dr. Justin Whitehill
In addition to your application please submit the following:
Contact information for at least three professional references
A one page statement of extension experience and philosophy – upload as “other document (1)”
A one-page statement that describes their contributions to advancing equity, inclusion, and diversity. The equity, inclusion, and diversity statement should include an explanation of what advancing each of these areas means to you, how you encouraged or promoted these areas in your professional career, and/or your future goals for advancing each of these areas if hired for this position. Upload as “other document
( 2) Applicants may also submit an optional copy of their unofficial transcripts (please upload as “transcripts”).
Equal Employer Statement(s)
NC State University is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as an individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran. If you have general questions about the application process, you may contact Human Resources at (919) 515-2135 or email@example.com. Individuals with disabilities requiring disability-related accommodations in the application and interview process, please call 919-515-3148. Final candidates are subject to criminal & sex offender background checks. Some vacancies also require credit or motor vehicle checks. If highest degree is from an institution outside of the U.S., final candidates are required to have their degree equivalency verified at www.wes.org or equivalent service. Degree(s) must be obtained prior to start date in order to meet qualifications and receive credit. NC State University participates in E-Verify. Federal law requires all employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all persons hired to work in the United States.