Program Manager – Midwest Climate Adaptation Science Center

Institute on the Environment
Organization Summary

Are you committed to helping build a resilient future across the Midwest U.S. and around the world? Are you looking for a way to support scientists and practitioners in helping to adapt to a changing climate? If so, we want to meet you! We’re the Midwest Climate Adaptation Science Center (MW CASC), hosted at the University of Minnesota, and we’re looking for someone to help coordinate a variety of research and education activities pursued by this wide-ranging and dynamic new center.

In this role, you’ll work with the Director of the MW CASC in conducting the center’s programming and activities, a research and capacity-building enterprise that spans eight universities and other natural resource and research organizations. Specifically, we seek someone who excels at coordinating, managing, and delivering work on behalf of a distributed network of collaborators and partners, to achieve the objectives of a regional science center.

Your home base will be at the University of Minnesota, with workspace at the Institute on the Environment. Your supervisor will be the IonE Executive Director and MW CASC University Director, Dr. Jessica Hellmann. You’ll also collaborate closely with the MW CASC communications manager (see job posting 344856).

Posting Date
Closing Date
Location in MN
Job type

The starting range for this position is $54,763–$62,065, with comprehensive benefits.



Primary Duties

Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • 50% - Lead the administrative functions and services of the CASC; Coordination and internal operations
    • Work with the University CASC director, USGS personnel, the consortium leadership team, program leads, and others to facilitate MW CASC programming and activities, including agenda setting, facilitating participation, and travel and meeting logistics
    • Serve as a point of contact for researchers, students, postdocs, and staff to facilitate or enable their research and professional activities
    • Facilitate webinars, conference calls, and stakeholder meetings to promote communication within the MW CASC, as well as with stakeholders and across the CASC network
    • Tracking of CASC activities under the host for reporting, accomplishments, promotion, and evaluation
    • Support the planning and logistics of events and workshops for graduate students, postdocs, researchers, and/or external partners
    • Help create calls for graduate and undergraduate fellowships and other funding or participation opportunities – and coordinate with the MW CASC Comms Mgr to distribute such opportunities via the website, newsletter, and other internal (and external as appropriate) channels and platforms 
    • Serve as a point of contact for members of the MW CASC consortium leadership team and help the University director conduct business of the leadership team
    • Respond to inquiries from MW CASC researchers and private, state, and federal stakeholders regarding Midwest CASC program details; connect stakeholders with appropriate research teams
    • Participate in MW CASC systems administration via the IonE Administrative Director and the UMN Office of Information Technology, particularly as it relates to video conferencing
  • 25% - Direct the fiscal activities of the CASC; Budgeting, accounting, and reporting 
    • Help to develop and manage research project and subaward budgets, in collaboration with project staff, USGS staff, and the university sponsored research offices
    • Collaborate with UMN Sponsored Research Administration to collate budget, personnel, and other information for regular reporting to the USGS
    • Write briefs synthesizing information gathered at CASC workshops and meetings and facilitate transmission of that information to the MW CASC communications manager
    • Solicit information (data & metrics) from CASC researchers for CASC communications and annual reporting
    • Assist the MW CASC communications manager in generating quarterly and annual reports
  • 15% - Represent the MW CASC in diverse settings
    • Attend regional and national workshops and conferences to represent MW CASC and/or share information about the CASC and its programs, activities, and outcomes
    • Attend regular meetings of consortium staff across the national network
    • Serves as a liaison with external stakeholders to facilitate their participation in MW CASC programming and activities and to connect with MW CASC leadership
  • 10% - Other programmatic support
    • Attend weekly staff meetings and participate in staff activities and programming of the Institute on the Environment
    • Assist the MW CASC consortium in generating metadata for its data archives, to conform with USGS archive requirements; provide counsel to CASC researchers in archiving their project-based data
    • Other duties, as assigned

Required Qualifications

  • B.A./B.S. degree plus at least four years of relevant experience or combination of related education and work experience equal to eight years
  • Excellent project management skills and an ability to move projects forward in a collaborative manner
  • An ability to implement action plans for projects and constructively think about alternative approaches
  • Some background in natural resource management or any broadly related field
  • Experience using accounting, data manipulation, and word processing software
  • Experience in developing and managing complex project budgets
  • Comfort at working with distributed teams and stakeholders of diverse backgrounds and perspectives
  • Demonstrated commitment to valuing diversity and equity – and contributing to an inclusive working and learning environment
  • Highly organized and able to manage multiple activities and juggle competing priorities

Qualities of strong candidates are likely to include some of the following

  • Strong interpersonal skills, including an interest in collaboration and capacity-building among diverse groups of people
  • Proven ability to express scientific concepts, research findings, or other complex subjects to diverse audiences, including climate change
  • A commitment to the professional development of others, including the learning experiences of students and postdocs
  • Professional or personal experience that could lend itself to working in higher education, especially at a public research university
  • Experience working with large, distributed teams, including programs and activities that span multiple institutions
  • A connection or commitment to sustainability or environmental issues and topics
  • An understanding of research goals, how to collect data and draw valid conclusions, and summarize research findings
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • An ability to read and synthesize information for the scholarly literature
  • Experience engaging with stakeholders at events, small group meetings, in written communication, and one-on-one
How to Apply

To apply, please submit a cover letter that addresses the required and desired qualifications outlined; a resume; and a document with short answers to the questions below.

For the questions, think high-level answers, not essays. We won’t count, but we recommend no more than 300 words. We recognize that applying for a position takes effort, and we look forward to reading your materials.

  1. Tell us about a recent project or program that you helped to develop or manage. How did you work or coordinate with others to do that work?
  2. Tell us about a time when you helped someone with professional development or made a connection or project improvement to benefit their work.

To learn more and apply visit the University of Minnesota Employment website and search for job ID 344857.


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