Assistant Scientist, Mitigation, Planning, & Outreach - Illinois State Water Survey (108887)

Job description


Assistant Scientist, Assistant Scientist, Mitigation, Planning, & Outreach

Illinois State Water Survey

Prairie Research Institute

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) is part of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which is centrally located between Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis. Our research and service programs provide citizens, industries, and government agencies at all levels with timely, science-based information and analyses necessary to manage our water resources wisely for economic development and a sustainable environment. Learn more at

The primary function of this position is to lead mitigation related research efforts and projects as well as perform outreach for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Risk Mapping, Assessment, and Planning (Risk MAP) grants and other projects as assigned within the Coordinated Hazard Assessment and Mapping Program (CHAMP). Produce and oversee preparation of technical reports for FEMA regulatory and Risk MAP products and other projects and communicate and disseminate technical reports and research data.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities are encourages to apply. For more information, visit http://go.illinois.eud/EEO. To learn more about the University’s commitment to diversity, please visit

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

Research – Project Migration & Outreach

  • Lead and/or assist with mitigation related projects and outreach for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Risk Mapping, Assessment, and Planning (Risk MAP) grants and other projects as assigned, including oversight of budgeting, planning, scheduling, presenting, and communicating project status to stakeholders, staff, and leadership.
  • Direct community engagement meetings, develop and deliver presentations, monitor feedback.
  • Engage fellow Professional Planners at the local, state, and federal level to develop initiatives to inform government officials and the general public about flood hazards and alternatives for mitigating risk.
  • Provide internal review of FEMA Hazus input/output data and recommend revisions to CHAMP workflow and/or improvements to the FEMA software.
  • Perform other duties as needed in order to further the mission and goals of the Prairie Research Institute (PRI).

Research – Publications & Data Dissemination

  • Technical report writing and oversight of technical report production including background research and data review.
  • Communicate and disseminate technical reports and research data regarding floodplain management and mitigation for the purpose of educating the general public and local officials.
  • Ensure processes, methods, and communications comply with FEMA Policy Standards for Flood Risk Analysis and Mapping FEMA Policy #FP
  • 204-078-1 (as revised) for regulatory and Risk MAP products.
  • Monitor updates to FEMA Standards, Technical References, and Guidance Documents and provide review comments on behalf of CHAMP; train staff on new protocols and documentation.
  • Coordinate with Illinois Department of Natural Resources – Office of Water Resources (IDNR-OWR) and CHAMP management to provide editorial and content review of the annual Joint Business Plan.

Research – Data Analysis

  • Collect, gather, and analyze floodplain management and mitigation data.
  • Lead projects including coordination with engineers, GIS specialist, other CHAMP staff, editors, and graphic artist to analyze data in order to produce project technical reports and associated products.


  • Supervise assigned staff; this includes task assignment, scheduling, ongoing performance monitoring and evaluation, career/position mentoring, and leave/travel coordination.

Professional Development

  • Registration as a Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) is required to maintain this position. Attend training and professional conferences for updates on information, technology, and process.
  • Travel, including overnight(s), to deliver presentations at professional conferences and meetings.
  • Continue education to develop/enhance skills related to project task, process, and management.
  • Continue education to develop/enhance leadership skills to further career progression.
  • Keep abreast of developments in the fields of mitigation and urban planning.

Position Requirements and Qualifications:


Required: Bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning, Natural Resource Management, or related field. Alternate degree fields will be considered depending on the nature and depth of the experience at it relates to this position.

Preferred: MA/MS degree in Urban Planning.


Required: A minimum of ten years of progressive work in public engagement. Ten years of professional planning experience. A minimum of five years of experience with FEMA guidelines and projects. Experience with communications related to floodplain management and mitigation. Project management experience. Technical writing experience. Supervisory experience.

Preferred: Experience with Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Training or teaching experience. Proficiency with GIS ArcMap. Proficiency with FEMA Hazus software.

Training, Licenses, Certifications:

Required: Valid Driver’s License. American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). Certified Floodplain Manger (CFM) as soon as practical.

Preferred: Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM)

Knowledge Requirements:

Proficiency with the FEMA FIRM, FIS, SOMA, Standards & Guidelines, and statutory procedures. Proficiency with FEMA Mapping Information Platform (MIP) and Community Information System (CIS) Db. Proficiency with commonly employed software (e.g. MS Word, Excel). Demonstrated ability to perform with a professional demeanor in a diverse and fast-paced work environment consisting of multiple and changing priorities, under minimal supervision. Demonstrated ability to perform detail oriented functions. Effective personal relations, communication, organizational, and leadership skills.

This is a regular full-time academic professional appointment, renewable annually based upon satisfactory progress in the position and continued funding. The starting date is negotiable and salary is commensurate with experience and skills.

Please complete your candidate profile at and upload a cover letter, CV/resume, and the names and contact information (including e-mail addresses) for three professional references by March 5, 2019. Interviews may be conducted before the closing date; however, no hiring decision will be made until after the closing date. All requested information must be submitted for your application to be considered. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

For further information, please contact Megan Weeks at [email protected] or 217-244-4768.

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

College Name or Administrative Unit:Office of Vice Chancellor for Research Category:5-Education and Student Services Title:Assistant Scientist, Mitigation, Planning, & Outreach - Illinois State Water Survey (108887) Open Date:02/19/2019 Close Date:03/05/2019 Organization Name:IL State Water Survey




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Job No:
Posted: 2/20/2019
Application Due: 3/5/2019
Work Type: