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University of Illinois Extension

College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)




Everything we do is designed to improve the quality of life of the people in the state of Illinois, across the nation, and around the world. We discover, develop, translate, and disseminate knowledge to address societal concerns and train the next generation of experts and leaders in a way that empowers them to expand the boundaries of science to higher levels of understanding and influence.

Be a part of our story. Through learning partnerships that extend knowledge and change lives, University of Illinois Extension provides educational programs aimed at making life better, healthier, safer, and more profitable for individuals and their communities. Illinois Extension has operated continuously for more than 100 years connecting the citizens of Illinois to their land-grant university by providing educational programming around the state. University of Illinois Extension is based in the College of ACES and works with all colleges and units of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The Extension Watershed Outreach Associate, Commercial Agriculture and Natural Resources, Environment, and Energy (Water Quality) serves as a regular, full-time, 12-month, academic professional with primary responsibility for the development, delivery, and evaluation of educational programs related to Water Quality supporting the mission of the University of Illinois Extension. This position will be expected to deliver research-based educational programs, developed in cooperation with University personnel and campus-based faculty with an emphasis on watershed management. The establishment of professional networks as well as the development of relationships with key stakeholder groups is vital to the success of the Extension Watershed Outreach Associate in this position. 

This position will be expected to collaborate closely with campus-based specialists and other faculty. This position will have coordination and program delivery responsibilities for the Little Wabash River Watershed (05120114) and Embarras River Watershed (05120112), both are phosphorus-priority watersheds as outlined in the Illinois Nutrient Management Plan. The geographic area is both to the Region and statewide. 


One full-time position is available.

Location: Unit 13, 17, 19, 20, 21, 24, or 25 

Position will be housed in an extension unit office within or near one of the phosphorus-priority watersheds. (The watersheds fall within Champaign, Clark, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Edwards, Effingham, Fayette, Hamilton, Jasper, Jefferson, Lawrence, Marion, Moultrie, Richland, Shelby, Wayne, and White counties.)


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 Extension Watershed Outreach Associate are as follows:


Program Development, Delivery, and Evaluation

  • Responsible for program delivery for the Little Wabash River Watershed Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC 05120114) and Embarras River Watershed (HUC 05120112) as outlined in the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy.
  • Develop and implement nutrient education strategies through educational outreach.
  • Develop and deliver presentations to identified watersheds and associated stakeholders.
  • Identify and convene watershed leaders and watershed planning activities to reduce nutrient losses from the identified watersheds.
  • Facilitate communication with local SWCDs, NRCS and others as appropriate to assure technical and financial assistance opportunities are known and understood by watershed leaders.
  • Develop and prioritize watershed planning activities. This may be 319 led or other programs not associated with 319.
  • Maintain and provide comprehensive technical expertise on Best Management Practices to identified watersheds and associated stakeholders.
  • Work with the University of Illinois Ag water quality team and other faculty/staff on nutrient strategies for identified watersheds, as well as with the Nutrient Monitoring Council to identify potential monitoring sites to measure water quality improvements and BMP efficiencies.
  • Use evaluation strategies to report the status of implementation activities, including load reductions achieved.
  • Evaluate and track BMP adoption rates and current or past watershed planning activities that are not currently tracked by other programs.


  • Establish professional relationships and participate in campus-based partnerships that tie academic programs and research to complement Extension programming by partnering with Extension Specialists and/or faculty members on research projects as appropriate within the initiatives.
  • Be an active member within a professional society(s) to keep abreast of changes within your discipline, by maintaining working knowledge of all ongoing activities in the watershed that may impact, negatively or positively nutrient losses.
  • Use research and evaluation findings to create innovative programs and make changes to existing programs in order to improve quality.
  • Share principles of evidence-based best practice with peers.
  • Identify funding opportunities, both public and private to meet watershed NLRS goals. Prepare and offer assistance preparing competitive grant proposals to drive nutrient loss BMP adoption.


Organizational Requirements

  • Comply with all University of Illinois Extension Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity policies and guidelines in all aspects of Extension work; assist unit staff with data collection for Affirmative Action, Gender, and Targeted reports as needed.
  • Perform other duties that contribute to the mission of University of Illinois Extension programming, as assigned.
  • Local, regional and (limited) statewide travel required; personal transportation required.
  • To perform the functions of this position, the employee will be required to perform work both within an office and outside in the communities that are served, and must have the capability to travel from one location to the other in a timely fashion.  Employee is responsible for securing personal transportation.  A valid driver’s license is preferred.  Some work will be required during evenings and/or weekends.  When working, the employee may be exposed to a variety of environmental factors to include, but not limited to, hot or cold weather, exposure to noise and allergens, and uneven ground.  In performing the functions of this position, the employee may be subjected to various mental and physical demands as well to include, but not limited to, independently traveling to and performing work at different locations, lifting and moving items that may occasionally weigh up to forty (40) pounds and frequently weigh up to twenty (20) pounds, and twisting, pushing and pulling movements. More detailed information regarding the functions of this position (including the physical, mental and environmental requirements of the position) may be obtained from Human Resources for the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) by contacting   



Administrative and Programmatic Relationship

The Extension Watershed Outreach Associate, Commercial Agriculture and Natural Resources, Environment, and Energy (Water Quality) is administratively and programmatically responsible to the PI of the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy Watershed Implementation Agreement.




  • B.S. required in environmental science, environmental engineering, agricultural engineering, ecology, agronomy, soil science, or a related technical discipline. Bachelor’s degrees in other fields will be considered with work experience that demonstrates similar competencies. Candidates with a bachelor’s degree in progress may be considered for interviews, but degree must be completed by hire date.
  • Experience working with agricultural production systems and/or natural resource management.
  • Experience planning and delivering educational programs.



  • M.S. preferred in environmental science, environmental engineering, agricultural engineering, ecology, agronomy, soil science, or a related technical discipline.
  • Experience working directly with farmers.
  • Experience coordinating multiple stakeholder groups.
  • Grant writing experience.


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: 

  • Strong interest in and knowledge of the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (INLRS), agricultural practices, best management practices, and water quality issues related to agriculture and the programs associated with each to implement. Willingness to work with agricultural and commodity organizations to promote programs and practices from the NLRS and watershed planning efforts. Excellent written and oral communication skills. Strong interpersonal and negotiation skills. Ability to prioritize a heavy and varied workload, deliver results on a timeline, and provide regular reports of activities/achievements, as requested.

Additional Information

Immigration sponsorship is not available for the position. This position is a full-time, benefits-eligible, non-tenure academic professional position appointed on a 12-month service basis. The expected start date is as soon as possible after the closing date.  Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. Generous vacation and sick leave.  State Universities Retirement System.  Group health, dental, vision and life insurance.


Application Procedure

To apply, go to Please upload a resume, cover letter, and the names and contact information for three professional references. Resume dates submitted must be in month/year format and employment history, at a minimum, should include all work dating back to the completion of your undergraduate degree. Positions that were less than full-time/100% must be noted as being part-time. Transcripts may be requested at a later date. To receive full consideration, all requested application materials must be submitted via the online system by the close date of November 27, 2023. 


The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. Convictions are not a bar to employment. As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility. The University of Illinois System requires candidates selected for hire to disclose any documented finding of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment and to authorize inquiries to current and former employers regarding findings of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. For more information, visit Policy on Consideration of Sexual Misconduct in Prior Employment. The University of Illinois must also comply with applicable federal export control laws and regulations and, as such, reserves the right to employ restricted party screening procedures for applicants.

For further information about the position please contact search chair Christina Edgington at For questions regarding the application process, please contact 217-333-2137.