Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, one of 34 Sea Grant programs in the U.S., brings the latest science to those who can best use the information, empowering people in the two states and the Great Lakes region to solve problems in sustainable ways. The program is funded through National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the University of Illinois and Purdue University.

The Visiting Environmental Extension Associate for Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant serves as a full time academic professional with primary responsibility for providing outreach to Areas of Concern stakeholders and partners, communicating how remediation and restoration lead to revitalization, and facilitating revitalization partnerships.

One full-time position is available.

Location: Chicago, IL

(Position will be housed at the EPA Great Lakes National Program Office)

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or veteran status. For more information, visit

This is a security-sensitive position. Comprehensive background checks, including but not limited to a criminal conviction information check, a CANTS check, and a review of the Registered Sex Offender list, will be conducted.

Specific responsibilities of the Visiting Environmental Extension Associate for Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant are as follows:

Development, Delivery, and Evaluation

  • Develop and implement an outreach plan about the community revitalization impacts of Great Lakes Restoration Initiative work in Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOCs) based on the results of a needs assessment of the AOC outreach program, and with input from AOC coordinators/practitioners from Federal, State, and local communities.
  • Design and develop a suite of outreach tools to highlight a variety of economic, societal, and recreational benefits evidenced in AOCs. Proposed outreach tools include a series of 5-7 fact sheets, and an interactive story map of AOC revitalization.
  • Collaborate with IISG staff, U.S. EPA Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO) staff, and a contract videographer to produce a series of 5-7 videos on AOC revitalization.
  • Participate in local public meetings, regional Great Lakes meetings and conferences, and national waterfront revitalization and redevelopment conferences in order to elevate the Great Lakes as a leader in waterfront revival and extend knowledge to other coastal regions.
  • Develop a lessons-learned document and host a revitalization workshop at the AOC Conference that highlight the remediation-restoration-revitalization connection throughout AOC communities.
  • Determine effectiveness of programming using appropriate evaluation techniques and contribute to grant and program reporting.
  • Ensure that programming addresses the diversity of stakeholders.

Research / Collaboration

  • Conduct a needs assessment of the AOC outreach program, focused on the remediation-restoration-revitalization connection, to identify needs and gaps in outreach support, with input from GLNPO staff, state coordinators, and local stakeholders.
  • Provide outreach support for GLNPO, state coordinators, and local stakeholders. This may include public meetings, press event support, and publicity for Great Lakes Restoration Initiative habitat restoration, management action completion, Beneficial Use Impairment removals, or AOC delisting.
  • Work collaboratively with AOC stakeholders to help foster partnerships, encouraging information-sharing across the local stewardship, planning, and environmental communities.



  • A Master’s degree related to subject matter from an accredited institution of higher education is required. Examples of relevant majors could include, but are not limited to, human dimensions of natural resources, coastal management, environmental policy, communications, sustainability studies, environmental economics, human geography, urban and regional planning, or community development. Candidates with a Master’s degree in progress will be considered for interviews, but degree must be completed by hire date.
  • Experience communicating science to scientific and non-scientific audiences.
  • Experience with data analysis.
  • Experience working effectively under minimal supervision and
  • managing multiple priorities.


  • 1-2 years of experience working in environmental outreach. Relevant experience is considered broadly, and can include seasonal positions, volunteer work, or other student/part-time positions.
  • Experience with Great Lakes.
  • Training in diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Strong oral and written communication skills. Evidence of strong interpersonal skills. Organized work approach with attention to detail and sound judgment. Ability for leadership, planning, and working in a collaborative team environment. Ability to build and maintain diverse networks. Strong interest in/knowledge of remediation, restoration and community revitalization. Strong interest in public outreach. Ability to communicate effectively via social media is preferred.