Assistant Professor

Apply now Job no: 503352
Position type: Full-Time 12-Month
Department: 015900 - Coastal Research & Extension Center
Location: Biloxi, MS
Categories: Faculty
Position Open Date:

Position Function:

This is a 12-month, tenure-track 100% Extension appointment. This position is located in Biloxi, MS, and is administratively associated with the Coastal Research and Extension Center, with an academic home in the School of Human Sciences. The primary function of this position will be to develop an aggressive research-based, Extension program related to climate science and risk communication with strong emphasis on applied science and effective communication for coastal communities, natural resource management, and associated planning for the effects of sea-level rise and other climate-related flood hazards (e.g., changes in precipitation). The Assistant Professor will develop, implement, and evaluate climate science programs in close coordination with local, regional, and national partners focused on transfer of knowledge and skills to coastal decision-makers (planners and natural-resource managers). These programs will include trainings, workshops, printed materials, web sites, social media, etc. and will also expand the current state of knowledge regarding climate science and risk communication, improving understanding of risk and climate science. The Assistant Professor will conduct formal and informal observations to assess the effectiveness of programs at generating behavior change, and engage in ongoing climate science Extension work locally, regionally, and nationally.

Salary Grade:  UC

Please see Staff Compensation Structure or Skilled Crafts and Service Maintenance Compensation Schedule for salary ranges.  For salary grade UC, these positions are "Unclassified" and salary ranges are determined by the hiring department.

Department Profile:

Coastal Research and Extension Center serves as Mississippi State University’s “southern exposure”. This position in based in Biloxi, MS.

Area of Specialization:

Climate Science and Community Resilience

Anticipated Appointment Date:

February 1, 2022

Tenure Track Status:

Tenure Track

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Develop, implement, and evaluate climate science programs in close coordination with local, regional, and national partners focused on transfer of knowledge and skills to coastal decision-makers (planners and natural-resource managers). These programs will be transferred to Extension efforts such as trainings, workshops, printed materials, web sites, social media, etc. These programs should integrate applied research projects with Extension programming by working with researchers on priorities and ensuring that the projects are mutually beneficial. These programs could include direct work with researchers on individual research efforts, coordination among researchers/practitioners, communication/training with end-users, or supporting other Extension agents/associates so they may better integrate climate into their ongoing work. The Assistant Professor will be responsible for utilizing formal and informal methods to assess effectiveness of programs, adapting the program based on observations, and transferring the knowledge gained to the broader Human Science/Extension community. The Assistant Professor will be responsible for independently seeking additional funding to support establishment of new programs and expansion of current programs; communicating lessons learned, best practices, and relevant products through local, regional, and national Extension networks; and engage in ongoing climate science Extension work related work in the northern Gulf of Mexico and beyond.
Acceptable candidates must have outstanding English verbal and written communication skills and the assessment techniques required to develop and deliver an Extension program and fulfill job responsibilities.

Minimum Qualifications:

A PhD (ABD is allowed) in a combination of environmental science and social science, or closely related fields. A minimum of six years’ experience working with coastal end-users to integrate best available data and science into decision-making. The ability to successfully obtain and manage extramural funding. Extension, outreach, and project management experience. Facilitation and risk communication training and experience along with the ability to manage projects and partnerships across large geographies through use of technology. Experience working with underserved and marginalized communities to address chronic risk issues stemming from climate change. Familiar with northern Gulf coast ecosystems, organizations, and agencies. Experience integrating coastal observing and monitoring, and other data into decision-making while leveraging current best practices and social science research on climate science communication. Experience in evaluating development, dissemination, and adoption of climate resilience tools.

ABDs or degree pending considered (all but DISS):


Preferred Qualifications:

Experience leading a climate science extension program with demonstrated success.
Willingness to address climate science related issues as part of a collaborative multidisciplinary team. Demonstrated record of extramural funding.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

The individual should be self-motivated, fit well in a multidisciplinary team environment, and exhibit excellent oral and written communication skills. Demonstrated ability to publish scholarly Extension publications and pee-reviewed journal articles. Knowledge and skills in using Microsoft Office Suites especially Word, Excel, PowerPoint; knowledge and skills in using ArcGIS or equivalent; knowledge and skills in multiple document/project management/sharing platforms (e.g., Google Drive, BaseCamp); knowledge and skills in webinar software (WebEx, GoToMeeting, etc.); Ability to develop and maintain diverse and robust partnerships.

Working Conditions and Physical Effort

Ability to travel locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.

Instructions for Applying:

Link to apply:

Apply online at by completing the online application and submitting a cover letter, vitae, statement of research, copy of your transcripts, and three letters of recommendation (sent separately by your references) to:

Dr. Eric Sparks
Mississippi State University
Coastal Research and Extension Center
1815 Popps Ferry Road
Biloxi, MS 30532

or to

Any social security numbers included on requested transcripts should be redacted prior to submitting online.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:

MSU is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy, gender identity, status as a U.S. veteran, and/or any other status protected by applicable law. We always welcome nominations and applications from women, members of any minority group, and others who share our passion for building a diverse community that reflects the diversity in our student population.

What do I do if I need an accommodation?

In compliance with the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), if you have a disability and would like to request an accommodation in order to apply for a position with Mississippi State University, please contact the Department of Human Resources Management at tel: (662) 325-3713 or

If you have any questions regarding this policy, contact the Department of Human Resources Management at (662) 325-3713 or Upon request, sections of this job listing are available in large print, and readers are available to assist the visually impaired.

Advertised: Central Standard Time
Applications close:

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