The Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC) is currently recruiting for the following roles:

Communications Specialist

Location: University of Minnesota, St. Paul
Reports To: MAISRC Associate Director
Position Classification: Communications Specialist (8445)
Job ID: 334673
Est. Salary Range: $50,000 - $60,000

Position Overview

The Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC) works to develop research-based solutions that can reduce the impacts of aquatic invasive species (AIS) in Minnesota by preventing spread, controlling populations, and managing ecosystems; and to advance knowledge and inspire action by others. The Communications Specialist supports this mission through the creation, implementation, and evaluation of communications and marketing strategies for MAISRC.

MAISRC supports about 20 research projects at one time, each with a diverse set of stakeholders and partners. It is the role of the Communications Specialist to communicate research progress and accomplishments to MAISRC’s varied audiences, as well as continue to develop MAISRC’s reach and brand. Responsibilities for the position include creation of written and visual content; management of MAISRC’s primary communications platforms (website, social media, email newsletter); development of print materials; event planning and coordination.

Major Areas of Responsibility

Communications and Marketing – 90%

  • Initiate, design, develop, and implement effective communications and marketing programs for external and internal audiences, in alignment with MAISRC’s strategic communications plan
  • Manage MAISRC’s primary communications channels, including website, social media, and email newsletters. Includes curating and creating written and visual content
  • Initiate, design, and develop educational and outreach materials, including fact sheets, handbooks, and videos. This includes creating specialized or technical materials for marketing, publication, and public or internal relations that incorporate both written and graphic work and may utilize multiple media methods
  • Cultivate communications and marketing opportunities with print and broadcast media, as well as identify promotional and advertising opportunities
  • Work with MAISRC staff to plan, host, and promote public events, including MAISRC’s annual Research & Management Showcase conference
  • Assist the Associate Director with the development and implementation of an effective development program, including creating fundraising appeals, donor acknowledgements, and identifying donor cultivation opportunities
  • Develop and maintain relationships with MAISRC staff and research teams to support marketing, public relations, and communications activities
  • Engage with other University colleges and departments, the media, or the public on questions, comments, or requests for information. Create opportunities for additional engaging and relationship building
  • Analyze and evaluate effectiveness of communications and marketing programs, including web and social media, to identify trends and continuously improve outcomes

Administrative – 10%

  • Participate in general administrative functions to support office operations, including scheduling meetings, drafting meeting minutes, and ordering equipment/supplies

Nature of Appointment

This position is a full time (1.0 FTE), exempt, civil service appointment.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, marketing, natural resources, environmental studies or related field, plus 2 years professional experience, or 6 years combined equivalent education and experience
  • Demonstrated experience in developing content and strategy for a variety of media and platforms (e.g. websites, social media, print materials)

Preferred Qualifications

  • 4+ years professional experience or 8+ years combined equivalent education and experience
  • Strong writing ability, particularly with scientific and/or technical information
  • Proficiency in web content management systems (Drupal preferred)
  • Experience with media analytics
  • Experience with design software (e.g. Adobe Photoshop or InDesign)
  • Experience working with print and broadcast media
  • Experience with digital video production
  • Experience planning and coordinating special events
  • Knowledge of issues related to aquatic invasive species
  • Strong interpersonal and internal communication skills
  • Dependability, accuracy, and attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently with little supervision, seek solutions to complex problems, and perform as part of a team
  • Excellent time management skills
  • Ability to adapt in a quickly-changing environment
  • Willingness to work occasional nights and weekends for events

Application Requirements

To apply, please visit https://z.umn.edu/MAISRC_Hiring and search for Job ID# 334673. To be considered, all applications must be submitted online and include the following:

  • Cover letter detailing interest and fit for the position
  • Resume of relevant experience
  • Three examples of work products for which you were the primary author (e.g. website design or content, newsletter articles, social media content, marketing materials, videos, media stories)
  • Three recent, professional references


This position is open until filled. Review of applications will be ongoing and will begin on December 30. For questions about the position or application requirements, please contact MAISRC Associate Director, Cori Mattke at cmattke@umn.edu.

Seasonal Aquatic Ecology Field Technician

The Larkin Lab at the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC) is seeking a seasonal, part-time field technician (20−40 hrs/week) to assist with research projects on the aquatic invasive species Eurasian watermilfoil, curly-leaf pondweed, and starry stonewort. Work will be based out of the University of Minnesota (St. Paul campus) and will involve travel to field sites within the metro-area as well as occasional overnight travel in greater Minnesota. Work will be primarily field-based and involve sampling aquatic vegetation, recording and entering field data, and operating watercraft.

Preferred start date: May 2020
Duration: 4–6 months 
Salary: $12–$15/hr 
Hours: 20–40 hrs/week 


The technician will assist with aquatic plant ecology experiments using several methods, including SCUBA diving, surface and underwater observations, and underwater video. The technician will be required to safely operate SCUBA and plant survey equipment, collect aquatic vegetation, identify aquatic plants, and accurately record field data. The technician will be required to SCUBA dive under conditions of low light and dense plant growth. Fieldwork will also involve operation of a handheld GPS, water quality probe, and a light-meter. The technician will help with driving to field sites while towing a boat trailer and will operate a tiller boat to access sampling locations. The technician will assist with entering data collected in the field into MS Excel spreadsheets. Lastly, the technician will assist with other projects as needed. Maintaining clean, operational equipment and a safe work environment will be expected in all areas of work.

Required Qualifications

  • Pursuing or completed a bachelor’s degree in ecology, biology, environmental science, or a related field
  • SCUBA certification and diving experience 
  • Ability to use dichotomous keys and field guides 
  • Proficient in MS Excel
  • Valid U.S. state driver’s license 
  • Ability to work long hours outside and in inclement weather conditions
  • Ability to travel for work up to 4-5 days at a time
  • Ability to lift 30+ lbs.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in ecology, biology, environmental science, or a related field
  • Prior aquatic fieldwork experience 
  • Experience diving in Minnesota lakes
  • Experience identifying aquatic plants and surveying aquatic plant/coral communities
  • Experience safely operating watercraft and towing boat trailers
  • Additional SCUBA certifications (e.g., Scientific Diver Certification)

To Apply

Send the following application materials to Mike Verhoeven at verh0064@umn.edu  

  • Cover letter 
  • Resume/CV 
  • Contact information for three (3) references 

The Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center and the University of Minnesota provide equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.