Job Opportunity: Penn State University are Hiring a Coastal Climate Specialist


The Earth and Environmental Systems Institute (EESI) at Penn State University, in partnership with the Mid-Atlantic RISA program (MARISA) and the Center for Coastal Resources Management (CCRM) at the Virginia Institute for Marine Sciences (VIMS), invites applications for a full-time Postdoctoral Scholar (Coastal Climate Extension Specialist) for the Chesapeake Bay region.

The Extension Specialist, employed by Penn State but hosted and stationed at VIMS, will be integrated into ongoing efforts of the CCRM and MARISA teams to provide outreach to coastal stakeholders and support climate resilience efforts around the Bay, particularly in the greater Hampton Roads region. The Coastal Climate Extension Specialist will substantially enhance MARISA`s capacity to work with regional stakeholders and expand dissemination of existing as well as newly-developed data and tools to advance extreme weather and climate change resilience in the Mid-Atlantic region. Support for this work is provided through a cooperative agreement with NOAA’s Climate Programs Office.


  • Participating in the design, production, and dissemination of data and tools, building upon prior work of MARISA and CCRM in this area, with a particular focus on coastal climate impacts in the Hampton Roads region
  • Collaborating with coastal communities to assist in the development of hazard mitigation plans and provide technical support for flood risk planning
  • Contributing to the development of inventories of academic, governmental (federal, state, local), and NGO research, extension, and decision-support activities relevant to climate change and resilience in the Chesapeake Bay region
  • Contributing to an assessment of the needs of local governments for information and technical assistance in developing resilience plans in the face of climate change
  • Enhancing MARISA’s efforts to provide timely and relevant climate-related resources through active engagement with regional stakeholders and decisionmakers to identify the most salient needs for data, tools, and training
  • Organizing workshops and summer schools that provide stakeholders and decision makers with opportunities to learn about and share tools, data, best practices, and other resources for coastal climate risk management
  • Building upon the existing efforts of MARISA and CCRM to foster a community of interest and practice in coastal climate risk management.


Candidates must have a Ph.D. in a relevant field by the time of hire and experience in one or more of the following areas: coastal oceanography, atmospheric science, climate change adaptation, environmental risk analysis, and/or stakeholder engagement and facilitation.

Experience engaging with diverse communities and prior relevant work within the region are both desirable. Proficiency in Spanish is desirable, but not required. Although employed by Penn State, the Extension Specialist will be stationed at the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences in Gloucester, Virginia, and will travel extensively within the Bay region as part of the stakeholder/decision-maker outreach and engagement process.

Candidates must possess a valid driver’s license, ideally with use of a private vehicle, and will be expected to reside within the region. Occasional travel to Penn State’s University Park campus and RAND’s Washington D.C. offices, as well as to conferences, workshops, meetings, and other events in the Mid-Atlantic region will also be expected.

This is a one-year, fixed-term position with excellent possibility of renewal for one or more additional years.

For more information and how to apply, click here.

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