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

Waves against NH coastline

The coastal resilience specialist will develop, lead and participate in research and extension programming related to coastal resilience and climate adaptation in New Hampshire. This position is located on the University of New Hampshire’s (UNH) Durham, N.H., campus. NH Sea Grant (NHSG) Extension (a partnership between NHSG and UNH Cooperative Extension) plays an important role in assisting with the development of science-based decision making in N.H. This position will strengthen the ability of people in N.H. to understand and improve their resilience to natural hazards and respond to changing conditions, with an emphasis on historically underserved communities. The climate resilience specialist serves as a technical resource for coastal communities and the state of N.H. for topics such as climate hazards, resiliency planning, sea level rise, coastal processes, coastal flooding, and coastal storms. The coastal resilience state specialist is a grant funded, public service, non-tenure track position. Primary stakeholders/audience include academic researchers, municipal staff, regional planning commissions, state agencies and residents.

The specialist is expected to leverage their skills, experience and resources – as well as the resources and capacities of the relevant research community – to develop and implement research, extension and outreach programs and provide technical assistance to advance coastal resilience. The specialist will work with existing teams, extension programs and partners drawing on science, technology and research data to educate communities about coastal climate adaptation, coastal flooding and hazard mitigation planning. The specialist will cultivate and sustain partnerships and integrate perspectives to advance coastal community resilience. Key partnerships will include federal, state and non-governmental organizations that serve N.H. coastal communities such as the N.H. Department of Environmental Services Coastal Program, the Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership (PREP), the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (GBNERR), and the Northeast Regional Association of Coastal Ocean Observing Systems (NERACOOS). Statewide travel and attendance at regional and national meetings are required. Work will entail occasional evening and weekend commitments and requires a flexible work schedule. Beginning in the second year of appointment, state specialists are expected to support 25% of their salary and benefits from grants, program revenue, teaching, and/or other extramurally funded efforts.


Duties and Responsibilities
  • Develop, implement, assess and evaluate a comprehensive coastal resilience outreach and applied research program working both independently and in collaboration with other NH Sea Grant Extension and UNH Extension staff, academic partners within and outside of N.H., external stakeholders, and members of our coastal communities. In particular, this position will work closely with UNH’s Department of Natural Resources and the Environment.
  • Provide training, technical assistance and resources to residents, businesses, communities, and other partners to increase their individual and collective capacity to sustain community-based resilience practices. 
  • Ensure programmatic involvement of underserved and underrepresented audiences and that all educational programming is designed and conducted in full accordance with civil rights, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), Affirmative Action (AA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Translate and disseminate science-based research related to coastal climate adaptation, risk communication, coastal flooding and hazard mitigation planning, and related public policy issues to community members in a range of formats. 
  • Represent NH Sea Grant Extension at community events, professional meetings, collaborative working groups and partnerships with other coastal resilience organizations. 
  • Secure extramural funding through grants and/or contracts to support applied research and outreach programs that address stakeholder and industry needs. Beginning in the second year of appointment, state specialists are expected to support 25% of their salary and benefits from grants, program revenue, teaching, and/or other extramurally funded efforts.
  • Participate in professional development to enhance competence in the appropriate disciplines.
  • Perform other duties as assigned
Minimum Acceptable Qualifications
  • Ph.D. in a discipline related to marine science, environmental science, policy or planning, community development, natural resources management, or a closely related STEM field highly preferred. A strong candidate with a master’s degree in a relevant discipline and extensive relevant work experience may be considered. 
  • At least 5 years of experience in some or all of the following: program coordination, coastal resilience, coastal risk management, community engagement, providing education and technical assistance to communities or related stakeholders. 
  • Familiarity of coastal and marine environments and issues, partnerships, networks and existing efforts and programs that address these issues, particularly as they relate to coastal resilience. 
  • Ability to self-motivate, to work independently and as a member of a team, and to develop annual plans of work that include measurable outcomes. 
  • Relevant skills applicable to education and outreach, public speaking, facilitation, technical writing, statistical analysis and computer use. 
  • Strong ability to communicate both verbally and in writing, particularly pertaining to interpreting/translating research-based technical information for the understanding and use by decision makers, practitioners and the public. 
  • Strong ability to work in an interdisciplinary environment and to develop productive partnerships and collaborations with stakeholders. 
  • Must have a valid driver’s license and be willing to travel for work. Mileage will be reimbursed at the current federal rate.

Additional Preferred Qualifications
  • At least 7 years of experience in the field. Preference given to experience with community outreach and education. 
  • Expertise in applying for external resources to support applied research and outreach programming, including grants, fee-for-service, third party reimbursement, and other means. 
  • Knowledge of qualitative and quantitative climate-related science in the Northeast U.S., particularly N.H. 


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. 


Natural Resources Program Team Leader
Phone: (603) 862-3397
Office: UNH Cooperative Extension Natural Resources, Taylor Hall, Durham, NH 03824