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Professional Aide

Michigan State University
East Lansing
Closing date
Jul 20, 2021
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Job Details

Job no: 713836
Work type: Support Staff
Pay Grade: 05
Major Administrative Unit / College: College Of Agriculture And Nat Resources
Department: Plant Soil And Microbial Sciences 40000781
Sub Area: AP- Professionals
Salary: Pay Commensurate with Experience
Location: East Lansing
Categories: On-Call
Position Summary(Basic Job Function)

This is a temporary or an on-call position. Provides professional support. Responsibilities may include general business, science, medical, agricultural or other professional support functions. Term: Temps can work two (2) nine (9) month terms with a week break in service in between and at the end of the second term terminate for three (3) months or switch to an on-call. On-Call allowed to work 1039 hours in any twelve (12) month period.

Unit Position Summary

The Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences at Michigan State University (MSU) is seeking a highly motivated Program Coordinator for a new biochar Extension and outreach program. The Coordinator will play a key role in building a community around biochar in Michigan and the Great Lakes region. The Coordinator will consult with a multidisciplinary team of researchers and Extension professionals to develop, conduct, and coordinate information and Extension activities about biochar. Topics may span the full range of the biochar life cycle, including feedstocks, production, characterization, application, and social, economic, and policy implications. Biochar is an emerging technology with potential to benefit agriculture, the environment, and the economy. Biochar use as a soil amendment can help increase crop productivity, remediate degraded or contaminated land, and contribute to improving surface water quality. It can create new financial opportunities or energy savings when co-produced with bioenergy. Interest in biochar has been growing steadily in the Great Lakes region, but weak standardization for production or application in the US leaves consumers vulnerable to contradictory or misleading recommendations, while also failing to provide guidance for biochar producers that could increase their products’ effectiveness. The Program Coordinator will play a key role in improving access to regionally-relevant information about biochar and in strengthening connections across the full range of biochar stakeholder groups. The Coordinator will be supervised by Dr. Jessica Miesel and will be responsible for communicating with and reporting to the overall project team. With consultation with disciplinary experts on the project team, the Coordinator’s specific responsibilities will include:

1. Developing the content and organization for an online biochar information resource center to centralize and disseminate regionally relevant biochar information;

2. Conducting a social network analysis for the Great Lakes region to identify current biochar stakeholders, assess existing interactions, determine and prioritize stakeholder needs, and identify opportunities for developing and strengthening interactions among stakeholders (individuals and groups);

3. Developing Extension and outreach products and events to address the needs and opportunities identified from the survey and social network analysis described above; and

4. Evaluating effectiveness of all programming. Location and position details: This is a part-time hourly position available for two years (averaging 19 hours weekly over the course of each year), offering a highly flexible work schedule for outstanding applicants. The position will be based at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI, USA. Occasional short-term travel in Michigan to meet with stakeholders is expected. Remote work may be possible and preference should be indicated in the cover letter.

Desired Qualifications

The successful candidate will have: an earned BS degree (graduate degree preferred, or at least two years of relevant work experience) with proven experience developing outreach, educational, and/or Extension-type products and events. Knowledge and experience related to sustainability topics is strongly preferred. The successful candidate will have a track record of excellent written and oral communication skills; outstanding interpersonal skills including ability to effectively engage with a wide range of stakeholder groups and disciplinary experts; proven ability to work well independently and collaboratively; and demonstrated ability to successfully initiate, manage, and complete quality projects. Preference will be given to candidates with prior experience in project and/or program management. A valid US driver’s license is required.

Review of applications will begin on July 12. The position will remain open until filled.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, age, disability or protected veteran status.

Work Hours


Advertised: Jun 16, 2021 Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close: Jul 20, 2021 Eastern Daylight Time


Working at Michigan State University 

Spartans work every day to advance the common good in uncommon ways.

Together, we tackle some of the world’s toughest problems to find solutions that make life better—from alternative energy to better food safety to breakthrough medical and environmental applications achieved through rare isotope research.

We teach. We explore and we discover. We collaborate and lead. We innovate, inspire, and empower. We achieve our potential and create circumstances that help our students and others achieve theirs.

We're good at it, and we've been at it for more than 150 years.

The nation’s pioneer land-grant university, MSU began as a bold experiment that democratized higher education and helped bring science and innovation into everyday life. The revolutionary concept became a model for the nation.

Today, MSU is one of the top research universities in the world—on one of the biggest, greenest campuses in the nation. Home to nationally ranked and recognized academic, residential college, and service-learning programs, we’re a diverse community of dedicated students and scholars, athletes and artists, scientists and leaders.

In ways both practical and profound, we work to create a stronger, more sustainable, and more hopeful future for all.

Top Distinctions

U.S. News & World Report ranks MSU

  • 29th among the nation’s public universities
  • First in the nation for 19 years for graduate programs in elementary and secondary education
  • First in the nation for graduate programs in nuclear physics and industrial and organizational psychology
  • First in the nation for undergraduate program in supply chain

Recognized for 11 consecutive years as one of the top 100 universities in the world by Shanghai Jiao Tong University in its annual Academic Ranking of World Universities

Ranks 46th among public universities for in-state students in Kiplinger’s 2013 edition of Best Values in Public Colleges

Silver rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s STARS program, which measures and encourages sustainability in education and research; operations; and planning, administration, and engagement

Member of the prestigious 62-member Association of American Universities

Only university in the country with on-campus medical schools graduating allopathic (MD) and osteopathic (DO) physicians, and veterinarians (DVMs)

Among the largest single-campus residence hall system in the country with 27 halls in five neighborhoods and two apartment villages.


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