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NCEAS/ Western Wildfire Communication and Policy Officer

Position overview

Position title: NCEAS/ Western Wildfire Communication and Policy Officer
Salary range: The posted UC salary scales set the minimum pay determined by rank and step at appointment. See Table 36 for the salary range. A reasonable starting salary for this position is $65-$75k annual based on experience. Full benefits package included.
Percent time: 100%
Anticipated start: Position is expected to start as early as June 1, 2023 and no later than Oct. 1, 2023.
Position duration: The initial appointment is for 12 months, with the possibility of extension pending available funds and strong performance.

Application Window

Open date: May 9, 2023

Next review date: Tuesday, Jun 6, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Thursday, Nov 30, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

Job Description

We seek an experienced science communicator to join the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), working with our Executive Director and Deputy Director to lead communication around our portfolio of programs with a special focus on our new Western Wildfire Resilience Index project. This position will be split 50% time leading NCEAS external communication across our diverse environmental science and ecology projects and 50% time specifically focused on managing and guiding the development of strategic communications and policy outreach for NCEAS’ new Western Wildfire Resilience Index project.

Expected job duties may include:

Western Wildfire Resilience Index Project:

  • Develop and implement a strategic communications plan to launch and build awareness of NCEAS’ new Western Wildfire Resilience Index project, for example developing branding content, social media pages, one page documents, etc.
  • Be a collaborative member of the Western Wildfire Resilience Index team, working with the web developer, data analysts, postdocs, and project manager on data visualizations, reports, stories, and other needed communication products.
  • Work as a liaison between NCEAS and policymakers at the state and federal level to more effectively integrate wildfire science into policy and management.

NCEAS External Communications:

  • Run and improve NCEAS external communication platforms, including portions of the NCEAS website, social media handles (Twitter and LinkedIn), monthly newsletter, and press releases (in coordination with the UCSB Current).
  • Work closely with NCEAS residents and visiting working groups (especially Morpho and Gulf Ecosystem Initiative groups) to consult on science communication needs to amplify the impact and reach of NCEAS’ science.
  • Develop and execute strategic communications and marketing plans for internal NCEAS teams, including newly funded initiatives or rebranding of existing programs.

RESIDENCY AT NCEAS: This position will be based in downtown Santa Barbara at NCEAS. Established in 1995, the Center is known for fostering interaction and collaboration, characteristics that lead to the success of its visiting scientists. NCEAS has a growing and thriving community of postdocs, resident scientists, and analysts, and a frequent influx of leading scientists and practitioners from around the world participating in working group projects.

NCEAS is committed to improving diversity and inclusion in science. We value the diversity of expertise, backgrounds, needs, and experiences reflected among our residents, visitors, and broader communities. We are committed to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, age, gender identity, parental status, sexual orientation, (dis)ability, citizenship status, and nationality. To see the steps we are taking to advance diversity and inclusion please see our full statement here:

The department is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research, teaching and service.


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)
  • Applicants must be enrolled in a Masters Degree program or currently have a Masters Degree in environmental science, ecology, communication, or related field
Additional qualifications (required at time of start)
  • Masters degree in environmental science, ecology, communication, or related field at the time of appointment
Preferred qualifications
  • Demonstrates an understanding and acceptance of diversity, equity, and inclusion concepts that are broader than only race, ethnicity, and gender
  • Experience or strong interest in studying and working on programs related to wildfire resilience and management, especially in the US and Canadian West
  • Excellent written and oral presentation skills, with 1-2 years of science communication and/or policy experience
  • Experience synthesizing environmental science across a diversity of topics and translating this information for a variety of audiences, including the general public, other scientists, and policymakers
  • Familiarity with standard document, graphic design, publishing, social media, and web content management software (e.g., Adobe Illustrator, Google suite, buffer)
  • Experience with social media content creation and/or management, especially in relation to communication of technical content

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter - Cover Letter including:

    Interest in the position
    Qualifications related to the position
    Experience supporting diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice

  • Writing Sample - Writing sample for science communication and/or policy outreach

Reference requirements
  • 3 required (contact information only)

Name and contact information for three references. The top candidate's references will be contacted before the final job offer.

Apply link:

Help contact:

Campus Information

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California Policy on Vaccination Programs – With Updated Interim Amendments. All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine Primary Series or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, Religious Objection, and/or Deferral based on pregnancy or recent COVID-19 diagnosis and/or treatment) no later than the applicable deadline. All Covered Individuals must also provide proof of receiving the most recent CDC-recommended COVID-19 booster or properly decline such booster no later than the applicable deadline. New University of California employees should refer to Exhibit 2, Section II.C. of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Attachment for applicable deadlines. All Covered Individuals must also provide proof of being Up-To-Date on seasonal influenza vaccination or properly decline such vaccination no later than the applicable deadline. Please refer to the Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Program Attachment. (Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.) Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.

Job location

Santa Barbara, CA