UNH Extension Seeks a State Specialist/Professor, Plant Pathology

The University of New Hampshire is seeking an experienced plant pathologist and plant disease diagnostician to fill a full-time, benefits eligible position as State Specialist/Extension Professor of Plant Pathology and Director of the UNH Plant Diagnostic

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Summary of Position

The University of New Hampshire is seeking an experienced plant pathologist and plant disease diagnostician to fill a full-time, benefits eligible position as State Specialist/Extension Professor of Plant Pathology and Director of the UNH Plant Diagnostic Lab (UNH-PDL). This position is a non-tenure track 80% Extension appointment with UNH Extension and a 20% teaching appointment with the UNH College of Life Sciences and Agriculture in the Department of Agriculture, Nutrition and Food Systems.

The successful candidate will direct and operate all aspects of the UNH-PDL, including diagnosis of plant health problems and communication of results, maintaining sample information and data, and supervising staff. The UNH-PDL provides diagnostic services for plant health issues for commercial producers, home horticulturists, landscapers and turf managers, arborists, extension staff, state and regulatory agencies and others and is a member of the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN).

The Extension State Specialist will collaborate with faculty, Extension specialists, and agricultural stakeholders to undertake engaged outreach as part of a team working to develop and implement innovative, relevant, and impactful programming in the field of plant health. We expect strong synergies with new and existing faculty and specialists working in diverse areas of agricultural systems including integrated pest management, sustainable horticulture, crop development, and protected agriculture, including both food and non-food crops. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to mentor undergraduate researchers, graduate students, and postdoctoral scientists. The successful candidate will contribute to the educational offerings of the College of Life Science and Agriculture teaching one course per year in plant pathology, diagnostics, or a related topic.


  • Ph.D. in Plant Pathology or closely related discipline.
  • Demonstrated experience with diagnosis of a wide range of plant disease problems on multiple host plants.
  • Demonstrated excellence in laboratory skills (microscopy, isolating and culturing pathogens, serological, biochemical, and molecular diagnostic techniques).
  • Demonstrated excellence in teaching.
  • Demonstrated excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work well as part of a team.
  • Demonstrated laboratory management skills, including supervising and training staff and student workers.

Additional Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience in all aspects of Extension programming, including needs assessment, cultivating relationships with stakeholders, marketing, impact evaluation, and reporting.
  • Experience conducting on-site evaluations to assess plant health problems and in developing management strategies.
  • Experience working and communicating with diverse clientele in a variety of ways; including in-person, by email, phone and other electronic communication methods.
  • Experience working in New England agricultural systems.
  • Experience in securing competitive extramural funding, and in budget development and management.
  • Experience in conceiving, planning, undertaking, and publishing independent research.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of entomology, arthropod identification, plant taxonomy, and integrated pest management strategies.
  • Experience working with home horticulture clientele.
  • Demonstrated competence in use of modern technologies and their application to Extension program development and delivery.

Additional Job Information

  • All questions regarding this position may be directed to Dr. Becky Sideman chair of the search committee.
  • The position will remain open until filled. The search committee will begin reviewing applications on August 1, 2021.
  • The following documents are required: Cover letter, resume/CV, statement of teaching philosophy, and contact information for three professional references.
  • Salary is complemented by a comprehensive benefits package which includes medical, dental, retirement, tuition, and paid time off.



  • Manage all aspects of the UNH-PDL, including:
    • Diagnose plant problem samples submitted to the UNH-PDL and report results to clientele.
    • Maintain database for samples received via the NPDN lab management system (PDIS III).
    • Participate in marketing efforts to promote the UNH-PDL.
  • Develop and conduct diagnostic training events for clientele, extension staff, volunteers, and others.
  • Collaborate with state regional and national partners to detect and monitor plant pests. Partners include NH Department of Agriculture Markets and Food, the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN), regional extension partners, USDA, ipmPIPE, and USDA/APHIS.
  • Publish and disseminate information to peers and to clientele groups through appropriate presentations, publications, and electronic delivery systems.
  • Collaborate with colleagues internal and external to UNH to develop, implement and evaluate multi-state outreach programs and products, including regional commodity pest management guides.
  • Assess statewide, regional, and national needs, challenges and trends in plant health issues and use this information as a basis for program development.
  • Provide leadership and support to field specialists in the development, implementation, and evaluation of high impact educational programs.
  • Compete successfully in national and regional funding initiatives, generating twenty-five percent of annual salary from external grants and contracts.
  • Participate in professional development to enhance competence in plant pathology and related disciplines.
  • Prepare an annual statewide impact report.
  • Obtain and maintain a commercial pesticide applicator’s license in the state of New Hampshire.
  • Ensure programmatic involvement of under-served and under-represented audiences and ensure that all educational programming is conducted in full accordance with civil rights, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), Affirmative Action (AA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) policies and procedures.


  • Teach one course per year and advise undergraduate students on behalf of the department, as mutually agreed upon and based on department and college needs.
  • Provide service to components of academic programs as requested.
  • Work closely with the college to identify and facilitate potential internship opportunities for undergraduate students.
  • Support and mentor COLSA undergraduate and graduate students in academics and applied research and contribute to graduate student committees as a committee member or chair as appropriate.
  • Contribute to the mission of the college’s Department of Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems, by participating in faculty meetings, serving on committees, and participating in other department activities.


EEO Statement

The University System of New Hampshire is an Equal Opportunity/Equal Access/Affirmative Action employer. The University System is committed to creating an environment that values and supports diversity and inclusiveness across our campus communities and encourages applications from qualified individuals who will help us achieve this mission. The University System prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, veteran status, or marital status, genetic information, and political orientation. Application by members of all underrepresented groups is encouraged. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the U.S.


Rebecca Sideman
Sustainable Horticulture State Specialist
Full Extension State Spec/Prof
Phone: (603) 862-3203
Office: Cooperative Extension, Kendall Hall, Durham, NH 03824