Sustainability Outreach & Engagement Specialist, Green Labs

Job description

Job location: Charlottesville, VA

Employment Type: Full-time
Posted data: 2021-04-29
Req: R0024093
At UVA, labs contribute to one quarter of the university's energy use, despite accounting for only 9% of our square footage. To address the energy, water, and materials intensity of labs, in alignment with the UVA Sustainability Plan, UVA launched a Green Labs program in 2015. Now, with UVA’s new commitment to become carbon neutral by 2030 and fossil fuel free by 2050, our 500+ laboratories will play a critical role in achieving these goals.

The Sustainability Education & Outreach Specialist, Green Labs, is a core member of the University of Virginia's Office for Sustainability and will lead in implementing Green Labs initiatives across grounds. This position engages faculty, staff, administrators, and students participating in research through University-wide initiatives and sustainability projects. The Sustainability Education & Outreach Specialist, Green Labs, sustains and advances existing programs including Green Labs Certification, the International Laboratory Freezer Challenge, Shut the Sash fume hood initiatives, resource fairs, and more. The incumbent will also conceptualize, develop, and communicate new programs, initiatives, tools, and resources, such as lab-specific landfill diversion opportunities, lab equipment best practices, signage, and awareness campaigns. To successfully deploy these tools and resources, the incumbent will engage a variety of area experts and stakeholder groups including UVA Environmental Health and Safety, members of the Green Labs Working Group, Smart Labs team members, and sustainability and University operations experts, among others both internal and external. This position will measure Green Labs program success, track and report metrics, monitor feedback, and create tools to gauge adoption of sustainability principles in University research spaces.

Responsibilities Include:

  • Advances established initiatives such as Green Labs Certification, International Laboratory Freezer Challenge, and chemical fume hood safety and energy saving initiatives.
  • Supports lab occupants by facilitating and promoting safety and sustainability best practices in research operations
  • Leads the Green Labs Working Group
  • Conceptualizes and develops new Green Labs initiatives, tools, and resources, such as specialized material recycling, cold storage programs, events, signage, and more to raise awareness and adoption of Green Labs practices across UVA
  • Develops tools for measuring success, tracks and reports metrics, monitors feedback, and incorporates suggestions for improvement of ongoing Green Labs program efforts
  • In collaboration with the Sustainability Communications Generalist, maintains and updates the Green Labs website, resource guides, checklists, or any other outgoing print and digital communications tools pertaining to Green Labs
  • Performs benchmarking, research, and collaborations within the UVA research community and with other Green Labs programs or institutions such as My Green Lab, the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories, and more.
  • Carries out site visits to research labs across grounds, directly engaging with research scientists in and around their labs and lab buildings.
  • Writes case studies, whitepapers, articles, project profiles, and shares these with the UVA research community and broader Green Labs community (outlets such as AASHE network, My Green Lab, International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories, and more).
  • Supports the development and implementation of outreach materials and initiatives connected to the Smart Labs program.
  • Participate in the sustainability committees or working groups as requested.


Successful candidates will have demonstrated experience in laboratory research, knowledge of sustainability issues, strong writing and communications skills, and a demonstrated ability to perform investigative research required for interpreting and communicating complex science and sustainability-related topics.

  • Demonstrated experience working in or with a research lab or labs
  • Demonstrated awareness, knowledge, and strong interest in sustainability and environmental issues; ability to translate the University's sustainability strategic aims and programs into persuasive communications materials (i.e. signage, newsletters, presentations, articles, and more).
  • Mastery of research and investigative skills required for interpreting and communicating complex science and sustainability-related topics with ability to collect, analyze, and interpret information for senior University leaders.
  • Excellent oral and written communication in daily interactions. Proven ability to clearly articulate specific information on educational programs and outreach initiatives.
  • Strong organizational skills to ensure all deliverables are high quality and submitted on time.
  • Keen eye for lab safety, quality control, and attention to detail.
  • Collaborative, innovative and solutions oriented, with a demonstrated enthusiasm for visiting laboratories and working directly with the incumbent’s target audience to identify new research-specific sustainability opportunities.
  • Demonstrated experience working in a professional setting managing several projects at once, working independently and as part of a team.

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field
  • A minimum of three years of professional experience or advanced degree in the fields of research science, health and safety, sustainability, or other relevant field.

Budgeted hiring range: $54-$56k, with UVA benefits. This is a full-time, 40 hour per week exempt position. We support workplace flexibility when appropriate but 100% remote work is not possible.

To Apply

Please apply through Workday, and search for "Sustainability Outreach and Engagement Specialist, Green Labs.” Complete an application online and include all required documents – including a resume/CV and cover letter.  Internal applicants must apply through their UVA Workday profile. The selected applicant will be required to complete a background check prior to their first day of employment per University policy. Please no email or phone call inquires. For questions regarding the application process, please email Michele Jarman,


This is primarily a sedentary job involving extensive use of desktop computers. The job does occasionally require traveling some distance to attend meetings, and programs.

The University of Virginia, including the UVA Health System which represents the UVA Medical Center, Schools of Medicine and Nursing, UVA Physician’s Group and the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, are fundamentally committed to the diversity of our faculty and staff. We believe diversity is excellence expressing itself through every person's perspectives and lived experiences. We are equal opportunity and affirmative action employers. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, veteran status, and family medical or genetic information.




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Job No:
Posted: 5/2/2021
Application Due: 7/1/2021
Work Type: Full Time