Science Communicator - Geophysical Institute Public Information Office

Apply now Job no: 515843
Classification:Communications Specialist 4
Grade:Grade 79
Work type:Staff Full-time
Administrative Unit:University of Alaska Fairbanks
School/Business unit:UAF Geophysical Institute
Location: Fairbanks
Categories: Communications/Public Relations/Marketing, Research/Science/Grants

Position Summary:

The Geophysical Institute is seeking a Science Communicator to tell its research story. As a world leader in geophysical and Arctic research, the Geophysical Institute has much to tell. Success in the role requires one to take initiative to seek out cutting-edge activities and present them using language and formats that interest and engage varied audiences. A successful applicant will furnish evidence of strong science communication skills using a wide array of traditional and new media methods. To be considered, please include three recent writing samples that speak to these abilities.


1010% Other duties as assigned: - Supervise or lead students and/or subordinate staff. - Provide training to students and employees. - Lead VIP and public tours. Coordinate tours as requested. - Assist event and outreach coordinator with logistics and staffing support, serve as a backup coordinator if needed. May involve travel. - Serve as backup to the public information manager as needed.Essential
1515% Website content development and maintenance: - Work with IT personnel to establish optimized website structure. Identify appropriate website features to use. - Advise website team on style and branding guidelines, ensure necessary elements are present. - Obtain content from a variety of credible sources. Rewrite content for the targeted audience, paying attention to consistent voice and style. Ensure content is clear, concise and accurate. - Work with graphics/media personnel to keep visual content fresh. - Contacts researchers and staff to create new/updated web content.Essential
2020% Internal and external communications: - Manage department social media outlets to monitor and respond to the public about science-based issues. This includes making judgments about the appropriate responses to public comments on a variety of social media platforms. - Keep up-to-date on trends in social media and advise department leadership on appropriate social media strategy. -Perform a variety of complex communications projects and/or marketing activities that have no defined process for problem resolution. This includes determining appropriate communications in response to a variety of routine and sometimes unexpected occurrences. - Draft content for signage, business correspondence, email distribution lists, print and electronic publications, advertisements, flyers, fact sheets, newsletters, articles, brochures and reports to share important information with internal and external constituents. - Craft notices about organizational activities and/or events with internal or public impacts within University Relations guidelines. - Gathers content from various departments including the Alaska Earthquake Center, Alaska Volcano Observatory to communicate new information to the community and the world following earthquakes, eruptions, tsunamis, and other events. - Stay up-to-date on crisis communication plans. Advise GI on protocols in the event of such a crisis. Participate in crisis response training implementation.Essential
2525% Public and media relations: - This high impact position is responsible for building the reputation of the GI and UAF. - Create and implement communication plans for the unit and for events. - Use communication plans to guide content development and distribution. - Develop and maintain contacts with media representatives. Follow established UAF and GI policies and protocols for media interaction. - Seek new storylines to pitch to the press. - Monitor and report on media reach. Obtain copies of media, share with upper administration. - Facilitate researcher interviews with media. Prep researchers on media interactions, accompany researchers to interviews and facilitate for best possible coverage. - Develop and deliver presentations. Represent unit to the public and media.Essential
3030% Writing, editing, and translation: - Determine topics for written dissemination; research and translate highly specialized science information into writing for the general public. - Create written content for a variety of purposes and audiences. This may include advertisements, journal/news articles, press releases, scripts, marketing pieces, proposals, and reports. - Use high-end professional digital cameras and/or work with graphics/media personnel and researchers to acquire images to accompany written content and social media posts. Edit photos as needed using professional photo editing software and techniques. - Check facts prior to content release. Document sources used for verifications. - Provide copyediting/proofreading support as requested. -Serve as an expert resource on composition, grammar, spelling, editing, and translation of technical content for general audiences. - Verify necessary photo permissions, credits, captions, and notices are included in accordance with UAF/GI policies and regulations. If work is supported by a funding agency, ensure funding agency requirements are also met.Essential


Excellent written and oral communication skills necessary to comprehend, translate, and convey complex science and technical information provided in written or oral form by a researcher into language appropriate for a variety of audiences. Demonstrated public speaking skills.

Ability to gather information via interviews and by reading and comprehending background information such as scientific papers and grant proposals.

Refined grammar, spelling, punctuation, editing and composition skills with an eye for clarity; thorough knowledge of Associated Press style guidelines.

Knowledge of news and journalism standards and requirements

Well-developed interpersonal skills to establish working relationships with scientists, staff and information resources within the university and elsewhere and to develop relationships with media.

Ability to work with a team of communication staff and with a variety of personalities and cultures.

Ability to maintain confidentiality of information and judgment of when information should be made public.

Creative and independent problem solving skills for complex situations.

Proficient in a variety of social media applications.

Proficient in Adobe Suite software, Google Apps for Education, and/or Microsoft Office products, to write and edit stories and track reviews, edit photographs, and create fliers and other publications.

Excellent time management and organizational skills. The ability to work under deadline pressures and finish projects on time in a professional manner.

Strong attention to detail and ability to maintain detailed documentation of information sources.

Familiarity with branding, copyright law, image licensing, and media model releases.

Leadership/mentorship skills; ability to train others in areas of expertise.

Required Education and Experience: 

Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent combination of training and experience, in a communications field.

Three years experience in science journalism or science communication or equivalent.

As a public, regional, comprehensive university, UAF is committed to building a culturally diverse and inclusive organization and strongly encourages women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans to apply.

Application Process:

To ensure consideration, please apply prior to the review date.

To apply for this position, please provide a cover letter, resume, three writing samples, and contact information for three professional references with your application.  Please submit your application no later than 10/29/2020 at 11:55 PM Alaska Time.  The review of this posting will start on 10/30/2020. This posting will be closed once it is filled.

If you need assistance applying to this posting, please contact GI - Office of Human Resources at 907-474-6498.

Term Position:

This position is a term-funded position and is reviewed annually for contract renewal at the University's discretion.

Reasonable Accommodation Statement:

The University of Alaska (UA) is responsible for providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities throughout the applicant screening process. If you need assistance in completing this application or during any phase of the interview process, please contact UA Human Resources by phone at 907-450-8200.

Affirmative Action Statement:

UA is an AA/EO employer and educational institution and prohibits illegal discrimination against any individual:

Background Check:

The successful applicant is required to complete a background check. Any offer of employment is contingent on the background check.

Probationary Period:

Pursuant to University Regulation 04.07.020, new employees of the University are employed in an at-will probationary status for the first six months of employment. During the probationary period, employment may be terminated for no reason or any reason. Promoted employees also serve a probationary period with limited rights of retreat.

Public Disclosure Statement:

Your application for employment with the University of Alaska is subject to public disclosure under the Alaska Public Records Act.

University of Alaska is a Drug Free Workplace.

Training Policy:

It is the policy of the University of Alaska (UA) that all employees are required to complete training to meet the requirements of the positions they hold, and to complete the required training within a specified period to remain employed at the UA.

Contact Information:

If you have any questions regarding this position, please contact GI HR at 907-474-6498.

Advertised: Alaskan Daylight Time
Applications close:

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