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Aug 13 / BARD CEP

Climate Outreach Specialist – New Paltz, NY

Organization: NYS DEC Hudson River Estuary Program/New York State Water Resources Institute (WRI) at Cornell University

Job Title: Climate Outreach Specialist/Extension Supp Spec I-18254

Location: New Paltz, NY

Hours and Compensation: 24 hours/wk; Paid

Position Dates: This position has a term-end date of March 31, 2013, with possibility for renewal based upon successful job performance and the continuation of program funding.

Application Deadline: 

Posted On: August 13

Organization Overview

The Estuary Program protects and improves the natural and scenic Hudson River watershed for all its residents. The program was created in 1987; its work focuses on the tidal Hudson and its adjacent watershed from the federal dam at Troy to upper New York harbor (see map of Hudson River Estuary Program Boundary (PDF), (489 kB). Its core mission is to:

  • Ensure clean water
  • Protect and restore fish, wildlife and their habitats
  • Provide water recreation and river access
  • Adapt to climate change
  • Conserve the world famous scenery


The Climate Outreach Specialist will operate under the general direction of the NYS DEC Hudson River Estuary Program’s Climate Program Coordinator and provide support to the Program’s climate initiative to make progress toward the climate-related targets listed in the Estuary Program’s Action Agenda ( The Outreach Specialist will receive programmatic direction and oversight from the Climate Program Coordinator to independently implement climate adaptation research and outreach and other Estuary Program climate priorities. A primary focus will be on implementing outreach activities targeted toward municipal decision makers that lead to the development and implementation of practices that reduce community vulnerability to flooding. This position requires the ability to work on a team with staff from a variety of partner programs, agencies and organizations.

This position will support the efforts of the New York State Water Resources Institute (WRI) at Cornell University, whose mission is to improve the management of water resources in New York State and the nation. NYSWRI collaborates with regional, state, and national partners to increase awareness of emerging water resources issues and to develop and assess new water resource management, technologies, and policies. WRI connects water research and water management communities.


Partner with supervisor to develop and deliver a climate adaptation outreach program for Hudson Valley communities with an emphasis on strategies to reduce vulnerability to flooding due to sea level rise, storm surge and intense rainfall.

  • Become knowledgeable on the present impacts of flooding in Hudson Valley communities, projected future impacts due to climate and land use change, and appropriate adaptation strategies including land use tools and stream management techniques.
  • Develop outreach materials, web content and public presentations, and deliver programs to local officials, landowners, and general public on climate adaptation and flooding.
  • Partner with staff from the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve to provide additional management of the Hudson Valley Climate Change Network, including the management of electronic communications, meeting planning, and delivery.

 Actively collaborate with supervisor on the implementation of waterfront forums and flooding task forces in select Hudson Valley shoreline communities.

  • Facilitate a local climate vulnerability assessment process including collecting background information on community climate preparedness.
  • Assist with meeting design, organization and preparations including meeting logistics.
  • Develop outreach and educational tools including simulations of shoreline change using specialized software (NOAA CANVIS)

 Analyze and research climate data and information

  • Analyze data and information on the projected and realized impacts of climate change and use this information to develop outreach messages.
  • Analyze and summarize climate-related policy and scientific information
  • Develop and map climate-related geographic information using GIS for the climate program.
  • Identify appropriate climate adaptation research opportunities working with NYS WRI and Cornell staff.

 Build climate partnerships with existing and new entities

  • Collaborate with the DEC Office of Climate Change, Estuary program staff and program partners in development of programming, materials, and events.
  • Build essential relationships with vulnerable municipalities and organizations to facilitate climate adaptation planning and projects.
  • Work with NYS WRI and Cornell staff to ensure appropriate coordination with projects and research.


 Support Estuary Program and climate program priorities.

  • Collaborate with Estuary Program staff and partners to develop consistent outreach messages and educational tools and conduct training programs for communities.
  • Facilitate regional meetings and workshops in the Hudson Valley.
  • Partner with and participate on the Hudson River Estuary Management Advisory Committee climate subcommittee.
  • Develop systems to track progress toward meeting Estuary Program climate-related outreach targets.


Required Qualifications

  •  Bachelor’s degree plus 2 years’ experience or equivalent. Degree in environmental or natural science, environmental policy, planning or related field preferred. Advanced degree preferred.
  • Excellent writing and oral communication skills including public speaking.
  • Ability to work as part of a professional team, promoting cooperation, as well as exercising independent judgment to carry out discrete tasks.
  • Ability to manage projects with numerous stakeholders and collaborators.
  • Familiarity and proficiency with the Internet and content management systems is important, along with a strong interest in using the Web as a tool to conduct research and educate the public. Good working knowledge of software programs such as Excel, PowerPoint and MS Word required.
  • Solid background in climate science, estuarine ecology, conservation, capacity building and communications.
  • Demonstrated creativity in preparing outreach materials.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Familiarity with the Hudson River estuary and Hudson Valley recommended.
  • General knowledge of the causes and impacts of climate change and climate adaptation policy.
  • Experience working with municipal officials and local government.
  • Ability to use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to generate graphics and do simple analyses.
  • Skills in developing outreach materials, and coordinating and delivering outreach events.
  • Ability to analyze scientific data to develop policy strategies and messages for the public.

How to Apply

Qualified applicants can apply online at:

(Look for Requisition #18254)

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