Extension Educator (Pesticide Education Specialist)
Penn State University
The College of Agricultural Sciences is seeking an individual trained in Entomology, Plant Pathology, Horticulture, Crop and Soil Sciences, or other related field to join our nationally recognized Penn State Pesticide Education Program. As a member of the Pesticide Education Program, the individual will be responsible for actively working to identify important educational learning objectives, develop numerous educational materials, and present at educational events to support these learning objectives throughout the state. The individual will be expected to support the program’s established deliverables, which are set by funding partners. It is expected that the individual in the position will be able to provide pesticide safety content directed primarily to pesticide applicators throughout the state to accomplish three objectives: adopt application practices that contribute to improved water quality through reduced pesticide drift and groundwater contamination, educate applicators and consumers on proper application, storage, and disposal of pesticides to increase food safety when pesticides are used during the food production process, and improve pesticide management practices to reduce human exposure. Critical responsibilities will include creating and developing 2-4 pesticide safety presentations for statewide use by the Program and county extension educators; presenting at numerous certification and recertification training programs throughout the state; and managing the process of rewriting several pesticide applicator category study materials and creating accompanying exam question banks. The critical outcomes from this position will include increased water quality and food safety, and decreased human exposure by providing applicators with increased knowledge to make informed decisions about the safe and proper use of pesticides. Other responsibilities include becoming familiar with federal and state laws and regulations that govern pesticides; helping to develop audio-visual programs, multimedia projects, and various printed materials; and supporting our social media and web presence. This job will be filled as a level 3, or level 4, depending upon the successful candidate's competencies, education, and experience. Typically requires a Master's degree or higher plus two years of related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience for a level 3. Additional experience and/or education and competencies are required for higher level jobs. Experience with a broad knowledge of pests, pest management, and pesticide safety preferred. The candidate is expected to have excellent presentation, writing, and communication skills, and the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously. The individual must be able to work effectively in a team and with diverse audiences within the state. Preferred bilingual fluency in English and Spanish. While the successful candidate will be stationed at University Park, he or she will be required to present programming at various training programs, which will require significant travel during the winter months throughout the state. In addition, travel at other times throughout the year is expected to attend Pennsylvania Pesticide Advisory Board and other appropriate meetings throughout the state, collaborate with others to complete contract deliverables, and participate in professional development activities related to pesticide safety education. Proficiency in the use of computer software packages such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint is required. Candidate must have the ability to carry equipment, educational materials, and supplies with or without accommodation. The individual must possess a valid driver's license and have the ability to travel throughout the state. Since this position requires operation a motor vehicle as part of the job duties, successful completion of a motor vehicle records check will be required in addition to standard background checks. In addition, a Pennsylvania Pesticide Certification in Category 18 is required and must be obtained within 90 days of hire. The Pesticide Education Program’s overall mission is to educate all pesticide applicators and users across the Commonwealth about pest management alternatives, including the safe, proper, and legal use of pesticides. The program promotes responsible decision-making, which will protect pesticide users, public health, plant and animal health, and the environment. This is a fixed-term appointment funded for one year from date of hire with excellent possibility of refunding. Review of applications will begin on June 1, 2018 and continue until a suitable candidate is identified.
These salary bands have been established to provide salary guidelines for staff positions.