This position is based at UNH's campus in Durham, N.H.

Lab tech working in a field

This position is located at the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham, NH. The Plant Pathology Program Manager will work under the general direction of the Plant Diagnostic Lab director and Extension’s Food and Agriculture Program Team leader. The program manager will be primarily responsible for handling plant health samples within the Plant Diagnostic Lab and working with the Production Agriculture Integrated Pest Management Team in providing outreach to commercial growers in New Hampshire. Lab work includes the intake of plant samples, conduct disease diagnosis under the supervision of the director, log results in lab databases, and communicate results and resources of the plant pathology program to clientele. Working as a member of the Integrated Pest Management Team, the program manager will work closely with field and state specialists in New Hampshire and the Northeast. They may assist with planning and hosting events associated with Extension’s Production Agriculture programs, as well as present expertise to commercial growers, the gardening public, and volunteers. The program manager will be responsible for updating web resources and compiling electronic communication under the direction of the lab director. In coordination with the lab director, the program manager may coordinate on-farm projects, including setup, data collection, evaluation, and presentation of results. The program manager will be responsible for co-advising students who work in the lab and in the field on behalf of Extension’s Integrated Pest Management program.

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Duties and Responsibilities
Lab Administration 
  • Intake and diagnose plant diseases impacting commercial growers and home gardeners, under the guidance of the plant diagnostic lab director.
  • Communicate findings to clientele, and compile information on emerging plant pathology issues to the public under the guidance of the lab director.
  • Support students working in the lab as part of the lab internship program. This includes teaching students proper lab techniques, how to diagnose common plant diseases, and communicate findings to clientele.

Educational Programming 
  • Develop web-based content and electronic communications on behalf of the Plant Diagnostic Lab and under the direction of the lab director.
  • Post regular fruit integrated pest management reports to the Fruit Pest Hotline and online blog posting throughout the production season in collaboration with field and state specialists.
  • Present plant health educational content at grower meetings, volunteer trainings, and educational program for the public as requested, and as a member of the Integrated Pest Management Team.
  • Support and advise students working both in the lab and the field as part of the Integrated Pest Management program. This includes teaching students in lab techniques, plant diagnosis, and Extension outreach.
  • Participate in farm visits, evaluating plant health issues, providing outreach resources to commercial growers.
  • Ensure programmatic involvement of underserved and underrepresented audiences and ensure that all educational programming is conducted in full accordance with civil rights, Equip Employment Opportunity (EEO), Affirmative Action (AA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) policies and procedures.

Professional Development 
  • Identify individual professional development goals in cooperation with supervisor and seek training in subject area expertise and essential skills related to the position.  

Other Duties 
  • Organize client payments. Work with lab director to ensure timely deposits to UNH.
  • Utilize UNH payment systems to purchase supplies for the lab, as directed by supervisor.
  • Provide timely data entry to Extension’s Program Evaluation and Reporting System.
  • Provide timely customer service to clients.

Minimum Acceptable Qualifications
  • Must have a valid driver’s license and be willing to travel for work. Mileage will be reimbursed at the current federal rate.
  • Bachelor’s degree in plant pathology, plant science, biology or a related field.
  • Experience in basic laboratory practices.
  • Experience in laboratory or field disease diagnostics.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office programs.
  • Willingness to learn.

Additional Preferred Qualifications
  • Experience in administering educational outreach to students or the public.

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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. 

Author(s)

Fruit & Vegetable Production Field Specialist
Extension Field Specialist, Fruit & Vegetable Production
Phone: (603) 255-3556
Office: Cooperative Extension, Taylor Hall, Durham, NH 03824

Director of the UNH Plant Diagnostic Lab and State Extension Specialist
Extension State Specialist, Plant Pathology
Phone: (603) 862-0051
Office: UNH Cooperative Extension Food and Agriculture, Kendall Hall, Durham, NH 03824
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