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Open Position: Faculty Specialist

Salary: Commensurate with experience

Closing Date: Open until filled

NASA Harvest Consortium – Faculty Specialist

For best consideration, applications should be submitted by November 21, 2018 to but the search will continue until a suitable candidate is appointed.  For more information on this position, contact (Alyssa Whitcraft, Harvest Manager)   

The Department of Geographical Sciences at the University of Maryland (College Park) and the NASA Harvest Consortium, a NASA Applied Sciences program led and implemented by the University of Maryland, invites applications for a Faculty Specialist position. The Harvest Consortium aims to advance the awareness, use, and operational uptake of satellite-based Earth observations in order to guide decisions that support food security, stable markets, economic progress, and sustainable, resilient crop production. Harvest works both domestically and internationally, from field to global scales, working at the intersection of land science, social science, and policy. This diverse Consortium has over 40 institutions involved – from public, private, NGO, intergovernmental, and humanitarian sectors – each committed to advancing the state of the science and adoption of Earth observations for societal benefit. The Harvest Consortium was initiated in 2017 with an initial period of 5 years, and is led by an enthusiastic and passionate group of geographers at the University of Maryland.

Position Description:

The NASA Harvest Consortium Faculty Specialist position will serve as a key member of the Harvest Consortium, which has a wide array of funded partners, unfunded collaborators, stakeholders, and end users, and an annual budget of approximately USD 3 million. The Faculty Specialist will work for the University of Maryland – the Consortium’s lead institute – and will work closely with the Harvest Manager as well as the Harvest Principal Investigator (lead). The Faculty Specialist will also work closely with other key team members at the UMD Harvest Hub as well as at partner institutions, and will be encouraged to intellectually contribute to the Consortium’s success.

The main responsibilities of this position will be to provide broad-scale coordination for the program and its multiple research components and teams, assuming day-to-day responsibilities such as meeting coordination, reporting, and ensuring consistent communication across actors and institutions. The ideal candidate will have:

  • Demonstrated organizational and management skills, particularly in the realms of large-scale, multi-institutional project management;
    • A Bachelor’s Degree and at least 8 years of multi-institutional project management experience, or a Master’s Degree and at least 5 years of multi-institutional project management experience;
  • An ability to adhere to deadlines, and scope out and implement timelines for completion of multi-component and multi-actor activities;
  • Strong written and oral communication skills empowering coordination and collaboration across actors with a variety of cultural and linguistic backgrounds;
  • An ease in professional-social situations (e.g. face-to-face interactions at booths, networking events);
  • An understanding of social media platforms’ norms and conventions;
  • A willingness and ability to adopt and guide team implementation of state-of-the-art communications and project management software and tools;
  • An interest in and ability to help manage a diverse and remote team;
  • Agility in responding to dynamic needs of Harvest leadership, partners, stakeholders, and NASA;
  • A basic knowledge of (or ability to learn about) remote sensing, agriculture, and/or food security.

Other Requirements:

  • Must be able to work from the Department of Geographical Sciences at the University of Maryland, College Park.
  • Must occasionally work flexible hours, to liaise with partners around the world.
  • Must be able to travel out of state 1-3 times per year.

In addition, we invite applications from individuals with a passion for applying scientific, geospatial, and creative thinking to address global issues. We value each member of our team and seek to provide professional and intellectual development opportunities to the selected candidate.

Responsibilities Description:

Responsibilities of this position include:

1. Internal Communication & General Coordination

  • Maintain an in-person presence at UMD Dept of Geographical Sciences
  • Communicate professionally across the Hub and with funded partners related to:
    • Annual meeting, working group, and webinar scheduling
    • Workshop report development and distribution
    • Coordination of research, extension, education, and integration efforts across Partners
  • Utilize state of the art technologies to encourage a culture of active interaction. This may include becoming an expert in the following technologies, and developing a strategy to mobilize team usage, e.g. SLACK, Webex
  • Assist Leadership Team with coordination of research components, management of timelines, and flow of data and information
  • Organize regular meetings of activity groups, in tandem with relevant leads/PoCs

2. Reporting and Tracking

Quarterly & Annual Reporting

  • Distribute to and track quad charts from partners
  • Assemble a draft quarterly report and annual for Harvest Manager and PI review

Milestone & deliverables definition and tracking

  • Work with Harvest Hub PoCs to ensure partners’ clear articulation of milestones & deliverables
  • Work with Harvest Hub PoCs to track partners’ progress toward milestones & deliverables
  • Ensure that relevant parties are connected in order to integrate deliverables

Between-report tracking and updates of weekly highlights

  • Ensure a steady flow of stories on partner activities
  • Parse partner updates into the weekly highlights section of reporting to NASA

3. Outreach Coordination: Social Media and Public Relations

  • Work with communications and visualizations contacts at UMD Hub and at NASA to implement a social media outreach and public engagement strategy.
  • Coordinate with partners to ensure a steady flow of information.

4. General Assistance

  • Stay up to date and informed about the Consortium’s activities and understand how they fit into the vision. Research, propose, and implement systems to facilitate this (e.g. MindManager, Trello).
  • Assist Harvest Manager with coordination of development of polished outreach materials
  • Flexible and timely communication with Leadership Team as Harvest priorities evolve

Applications should include a cover letter, a signed and dated Curriculum Vitae, and provide the names, addresses, and email addresses of three references.