Position Summary

Descriptive Title

Extension State Specialist, Soil Health

Salary and Other Benefits

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

Position Description

Extension State Specialist, Soil Health

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 soil health provides statewide leadership in soil health and fertility in agricultural systems. This is a full-time, benefits-eligible position based at the University of New Hampshire’s Durham, N.H. campus. It is a non-tenure track 100% Extension appointment.

The specialist will oversee the UNH Soil Testing Service, maintaining and updating associated fertility recommendations. The specialist will engage with the Northeast Soil Testing Committee (NECC-1812) and 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 fields of soil health, nutrient management, and environmental quality.

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.

We expect strong synergies with UNH faculty and specialists working in diverse areas of agricultural systems. The successful candidate will collaborate to connect local agriculture and University research. 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.

Extension efforts will focus broadly on the topic of soil stewardship. The applicant should have a solid understanding of tillage systems and experience with cover cropping and responsible nutrient management, as they will work across a broad scale of farms to improve cropping resiliency.  Beginning in the second year of employment, state specialists must generate 25% of annual salary from external grants and contracts.


Educational Program Development and Delivery

  • Develop and implement innovative outreach programs for New Hampshire’s agricultural communities with a focus on soil fertility, environmental health, and soil management.
  • Manage fertility recommendations associated with the UNH-Soil Testing Service; assist in the diagnosis of plant nutrient deficiencies or imbalances and provide growers with fertility recommendations.
  • When appropriate, contribute to 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 and/or the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment.
  • 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 soil nutrient management 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.
  • Provide leadership and support to Extension field specialists in the development, implementation, and evaluation of high-impact educational programs.
  • 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

  • Build and maintain partnerships with university faculty and with relevant local, state, regional and national agencies including The Natural Resources Conservation Service, county-based conservation districts and the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food.

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.

Additional Job Information

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 soil science, agronomy, or a related discipline with an emphasis in soil nutrient management, soil biology, or environmental soil chemistry in preferred. A strong candidate with a MS degree and extensive experience may be considered.
  • Familiarity with regional soil fertility test methods and recommendation philosophies.
  • Strong understanding of soil chemical and biological processes, nutrient cycling, and strategies for enhancing soil organic matter content.
  • Field research experience with soil fertility, crop nutrient needs, and soil management.
  • Experience administering best management practices related to nutrient management.
  • 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.
  • 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

  • Thorough knowledge of cropping systems in the region.
  • Experience in securing extramural funding.
  • Strong understanding of soil health practices appropriate for a range of farm scales.

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/48617

Application Instructions

Applicants must apply https://jobs.usnh.edu/postings/48617

Equal Employer Statement(s)

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.