Extension Specialist
Mills River, NC 
Posted 9 days ago
Job Description
Posting Number PG191128EP
Internal Recruitment No
Working Title Extension Specialist
Anticipated Hiring Range $70,000 - $80,000
Work Schedule Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm; some travel expected.
Job Location Mills River, North Carolina
Department Forestry Extension
About the Department
The Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources (FER) is part of NC State University's College of Natural Resources and is one of the oldest and largest departments of its kind in the nation. We are home to over 90 full time faculty and staff, more than 750 undergraduate and 150 graduate students. We are based in Raleigh, North Carolina and our activities include teaching, research, and extension.

Inclusiveness and diversity are integral to our mission and commitment to excellence in education, extension, and research. The department offers comprehensive undergraduate programs in Environmental Science; Environmental Technology and Management; Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology; Forest Management; Natural Resources Ecosystem Assessment; and Natural Resources Policy and Administration; graduate non-thesis programs in Environmental Assessment; Forestry; Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology; and Natural Resources; as well as the traditional thesis degrees of MS and PhD in Forestry and in Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology.

We are a recognized worldwide for our cutting-edge research of systems and issues that impact landscapes, populations, economics, policies, and cultures at local to global scales. Our research project teams are cross-disciplinary and are often comprised of experts from a variety of fields within FER, the broader College of Natural Resources, other colleges at NC State and representatives from government agencies, the private sector, industry or other universities. We support NC State's land grant mission by maintaining a robust extension and outreach program. We believe in sharing our knowledge with the people of North Carolina and supporting the economic prosperity of NC communities by enabling North Carolinians to make informed decisions concerning the management, enhancement, and enjoyment of their forest and other natural resources through sound, research-based information and education.
Essential Job Duties
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.
Other Responsibilities
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 ()
  • 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
Minimum Education and Experience
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
Preferred Qualifications
  • 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
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.
Valid NC Driver's License required Yes
Commercial Driver's License required No
Job Open Date 08/17/2021
Anticipated Close Date Open until filled
Special Instructions to Applicants
In addition to your application please submit the following:
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Cover letter
  • 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").
Position Number 00006050
Position Type EHRA Non-Faculty
Full Time Equivalent (FTE) (1.0 = 40 hours/week) 1.00
Appointment 12 Month Recurring
Mandatory Designation - Adverse Weather Non Mandatory - Adverse Weather
Mandatory Designation - Emergency Events Non Mandatory - Emergency Event
Is this position partially or fully funded on ARRA stimulus monies? No
Department ID 150402 - Forestry Extension
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 workatncstate@ncsu.edu. 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.


Job Summary
Start Date
As soon as possible
Employment Term and Type
Regular, Full Time
Hours per Week
Work Hours (i.e. shift)
Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 5:0
Salary and Benefits
$70,000 - $80,000
Required Education
Required Experience
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