Open Rank Extension Professor - Science Literacy and Data Analytics

Job Details

Working Title:

Open Rank Extension Professor - Science Literacy and Data Analytics


4-H Youth Development-0940

Requisition Number:


Posting Open Date:


Application Review Date: (To ensure consideration, please submit all application materials before review date):


Open Until Filled:


Description of Work:

The Department of Statistics and Nebraska Extension at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) is seeking applications for an Open Rank Science Literacy and Data Analytics Extension Professor position. This 12-month (calendar year), non-tenure track appointment will lead development and delivery of innovative educational strategies to engage youth in both formal and non-formal learning environments. It is expected this will result in increased student interest in content and cognate careers related to Statistics, Data Analytics, Data Science, and Science Literacy. The apportionment is 30% teaching and 70% extension. This position will be located on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus.
Extension ResponsibilitiesThis position will create statewide programming focusing on improving science literacy through developing engaging learning experiences in data analytics for youth in non-formal settings as well as professional development for those interested in developing science literacy skills through data analytics among others.

Responsibilities include:

  • Creation, delivery, and evaluation of curriculum/learning modules/programming designed to engage youth in problem solving and thinking that uses large data sets and data analytics – examples include:
    • Helping youth explore how algorithms are used by social media to track user behavior.
    • Helping youth build an IoT device that monitors soil moisture, ambient temp + soil nitrogen + light, then sends a stream of data to the cloud. Youth learn to analyze data, make predictions, and then modify to test the prediction. These steps could be applied to several different areas like water quality, animal health, climate, wearables, etc.
    • There would be similar applications in entrepreneurship both on the product development side and product placement.
  • Integrating extension education in Science Literacy with existing CASNR programs (such as food, energy, water and societal systems, FEWS2) and other UNL initiatives (such as Nebraska Now).
  • Providing professional development for staff and volunteers so they can engage young people in data analytics programming.
  • Engaging youth in data analytics and increasing their capacity to see data analytics as a career.
  • Engaging with other units such as the Center for Science Math and Computer Education to offer courses such as STAT 811T, 812T either remote or elsewhere in the state. This could include developing a STAT 810T for elementary school teachers and/or revising STAT 380 to serve the needs of future 9-12 mathematics teachers better.

Target audiences include PK-12 formal and non-formal education, faculty in higher education, university partners (businesses, educational entities, etc.), and the general public. The successful candidate will work with faculty across the UNL campus, especially those within Statistics, to provide leadership in science literacy programming for non-formal education and extension; develop outreach activities to engage Nebraska youth; obtain and lead externally funded projects; and contribute to moving UNL to a position of national leadership in science literacy.
Teaching ResponsibilitiesThe classroom teaching portion of the position is focused on undergraduate courses in the Statistics Department. It is anticipated that this classroom teaching in Lincoln will be in one semester; extension teaching will be aimed statewide during the other months of the appointment. Teaching is understood to include course restructuring, curriculum development, as well as teaching in the classroom and other settings. The goal is to ensure that the education we offer meets current and future requirements of statistics graduates and keeps up with, if not advances, positive trends in the field.

Specific responsibilities include:
  • Re-imagining and restructuring Statistics service courses (e.g., STAT 380) so they meet current requirements and reflect recent trends in statistical thinking.
  • Supporting the roll out and development of new majors offered by the Statistics Department, so they are up to date, or lead, trends in the field to enable the department to meet its growth goals.
  • Evolving and building a unique area of expertise for Nebraska and IANR that combines data analytics and non-formal/non-classroom education.

The incumbent is expected to maintain a high impact, nationally and internationally recognized, externally supported extension and teaching program contributing as an effective scholar and citizen to the integrated (extension, research, and teaching) land-grant mission of IANR, including supporting student recruitment. Collaboration is expected with faculty members across the UNL campus, and beyond, to provide synergistic leadership in the pedagogy of youth development programming for non-formal science education and extension.

In the area of work covered by the position the incumbent is expected to seek and establish effective disciplinary and trans-disciplinary collaborations including integration with local stakeholders, complementary research groups, extension teams, educational programs, and other partners. The incumbent is expected to accept committee assignments, reporting responsibilities, and other special ad hoc assignments as requested at the administrative unit, college/division, institute, and or university levels. Specific duties such as course and other teaching-related assignments may vary over time based on IANR priorities.
Recognizing that diversity within a context of inclusivity enhances creativity, innovation, impact, and a sense of belonging, the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR), the Department of Statistics, and Nebraska Extension are committed to creating learning, research, Extension programming, and work environments that are inclusive of all forms of human diversity. We actively encourage applications from and nominations of qualified individuals from underrepresented groups.
As an EO/AA employer, qualified applicants are considered for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation. See

Minimum Required Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in Statistics, data science, engineering, or closely related field.
  • Computational proficiency with multiple software platforms.
  • Demonstrated ability to create programming and deliver classroom teaching.
  • Excellent communication skills.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience creating and delivering instruction outside of traditional graduate or undergraduate university settings.
  • Experience and desire to work as a member of a team.
  • Interest in working with diverse or under-represented communities or groups.

How to Apply:

Click “Apply to this job” and complete the information form. Attach the following documents:

  1. A letter of interest that describes your qualifications for the position, anticipated contributions, and vision.
  2. A statement of the value you place on diversity and your anticipated contributions to creating inclusive environments in which every person and every interaction matters (2 page maximum). See for guidance in writing this statement. Attach as “Other Document."
  3. A detailed curriculum vitae.
  4. Contact information for three (3) professional references. References will only be requested of final candidates.

For questions or accommodations related to this position contact:

Rachel Szelag
[email protected]

Job Category (old):

Faculty Non-Tenure Leading

Job Type:

12 Month (Faculty Only)

Position funded by grant or other form of temporary funding?:



Working at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

For 150 Years, A Leader in Higher Education 
Always a place of high ambition, University of Nebraska was one of the first institutions west of the Mississippi River to award doctoral degrees - the first was granted in 1896. The University of Nebraska established the world's first undergraduate psychology laboratory. The discipline of ecology was born here, and the campuses reflect that tradition, being recognized as botanical gardens and arboreta. An early institutional interest in literature and the arts provided the foundations for today's Prairie Schooner literary magazine, for the University of Nebraska Press, and for the Sheldon Museum of Art, which houses one of the world's most significant collections of 20th century American art.

Today, Nebraska is one of the nation's leading teaching institutions, and a research leader with a wide array of grant-funded projects aimed at broadening knowledge in the sciences and humanities. Nebraska is also a land-grant university and a member of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

The University of Nebraska offers an extensive benefits package that includes health, life, disability and long term care insurance; retirement accounts; tuition reimbursement for employees and their spouses and dependent children; and reimbursement accounts for health care and dependent day care. Leave policies are designed to help employees deal with personal or family events or crises.

Diversity and Inclusion
In the spirit of the phrase "Every Interaction Matters", UNL has an enacted commitment to diversity and inclusive excellence for our faculty, staff, and students. On our campus, diversity and inclusion are important priorities. Examples include: Husker Dialogues, which is an event that helps first-year students focus on diversity and inclusion and practice handling difficult conversations around difference; three Chancellor's Diversity Commissions that are charged with informing and advising the Chancellor and addressing issues of constituent campus communities; and the establishment of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion whose leader operates at the Vice Chancellor level. At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, we strive for excellence in all that we do. True excellence requires that each individual be able to work and learn in an atmosphere of respect, dignity, and belonging. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion requires each of us to continuously ensure our interactions are respectful, protect free speech, and inspire academic freedom.

About Lincoln
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is located in an up-and-coming and safe city of 300,000 people that has many of the cultural and entertainment benefits of a much larger city, with the feel of a friendly Midwestern community. The Pinnacle Bank Arena, opened in 2013, routinely hosts major touring acts. A buzzing entertainment district, the Railyard, connects the arena area to the Historic Haymarket. Cuisines from all continents provide the entree to dynamic urban nightlife and a wide variety of ways to enjoy time with friends. Nebraska's City Campus is one with Lincoln's city center, as it has been since the university was founded.Lincoln has more parkland per capita than Austin, Texas; Portland, Oregon; and all but a handful of U.S. cities. The well-manicured Pioneers Park, the native woods of Wilderness Park and the open grassland of Nine-Mile Prairie are each within a 10-minute trip from campus. Connecting many of these parks is an extensive trails network.

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