Communications Coordinator - GI Public Information Office

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Classification:Communications Specialist 2
Grade:Grade 77
Work type:Staff Full-time
Administrative Unit:University of Alaska Fairbanks
School/Business unit:UAF Geophysical Institute
Location: Fairbanks
Categories: Administrative/Personnel, Communications/Public Relations/Marketing, Office/Clerical

Position Summary:

The Geophysical Institute is seeking a Communications Coordinator to organize science outreach and communications for its diverse, world-class geophysical and Arctic research. This Public Information Office position includes the opportunity to engage with researchers across many different science disciplines and facilitate public outreach through a variety of means including events, conferences, social media, press releases, and website content. Success in the role requires one to take a leadership role in organizing events and conferences, provide logistical support for a wide range of communications activities, and collaborate closely with scientists and staff from all over the university. A successful applicant will be detail-oriented, furnish evidence of strong communication and interpersonal skills, and be able to adapt public outreach to virtual engagement as necessary.


10Departmental Support Gather and analyze data on GI media coverage; report findings using narratives and infographics to the Communications Director to aid in decision making. Use qualitative and quantitative measures to identify outreach and PR successes and shortcomings; report to supervisor using the format and tools requested by the Communications Director. These methods may include spreadsheets, PowerPoints, tables, charts, narratives in addition to verbal or email communications. Research and recommend to the Communications Director new technologies and services useful to the department. Other tasks as assigned.Essential
30Administrative Support Serve as main point of contact within the department on matters of an administrative or clerical nature. Review established UAF policies and guidelines to verify administrative policies, practices, and procedures used in department align with organizational mission, functions and operations. Provide operational and administrative support to department staff. Manage the Communications Director’s calendar by scheduling meetings and coordinating changes on behalf of the Director. Consult with Director on conflicting appointments as necessary and present suggestions to resolve issues when they arise. Schedule meeting rooms and coordinate A/V and videoconferencing needs. Prepare agendas and meeting materials. Compile and distribute meeting minutes. Assist in recruitment, staff management, and training needs for the department by drafting PDs and job postings for new positions, drafting informal recognition awards, requesting salary increases, and liaising with the Human Resources office. The aforementioned activities will be performed when requested by and with explicit instructions from the Communications Director. Maintain confidential records such as personnel files, financial records, and strategic plans. Receive and handle incoming correspondence, publications, regulations and directives, which may affect the Communications Director’s work or the workflow of the department. Refer to Director only items that require the Director to take action or that have been identified as of specific interest to the Director. Prepare correspondence, with guidance from the Director, and in collaboration with other departmental staff, (i.e. letters of acknowledgement, memorandums), meeting materials, PowerPoint presentations, and other documents based on knowledge of subject matter, department procedures and processes, and the Director’s personal practice. Develop documents with science content with input from the unit’s scientific staff. Submit documents to staff and Director for a final content review for scientific accuracy before distributing. Proofread printed materials for grammatical and typographical errors (e.g. correspondence, reports, articles). Prepare and create brochures, newsletters, flyers, and event schedules for dissemination to internal/external audiences. Maintain records on incoming correspondence and action items and track to ensure timely response or completion. Coordinate travel and prepare travel expense reports for department. This may include passport and visa requirements for international travel. Follow UA travel policies and procedures as well as applicable federal and/or governmental policies and procedures. Perform Procard purchasing within established purchasing limits (specified in this PD). Maintain purchasing log and receipts for documentation. Complete required weekly/monthly reconciliation. Prepare estimates, invoices, work orders, requisitions, financial reports, and other business documents on a frequent basis. Answer phone calls, take messages, disseminate information, screen calls/correspondence, answer routine inquiries or refer calls to appropriate staff members. Open, sort, distribute, collect, and deliver mail. Maintain inventory, order supplies, receive, stock and/or deliver materials.Essential
30Communications and Marketing Develop and implement marketing/promotional plans. Independently implement these plans for projects of small to moderate scale. Plans for large-scale activities and events must be reviewed and approved by the Public Information Officer and/or the Communications Director. Research, write and/or edit press releases, ad copy, newsletter content, proposal content, social media posts, and internal/external messaging. Conduct periodic review and updating of the Geophysical Institute and related websites. Consult with Public Information Officer if it appears the necessary changes are complex. If extensive changes are necessary, the department’s science writers will draft new or updated content to be reviewed and approved by the leadership of the corresponding department or facility. Serve as a representative or spokesperson for the GI as requested by supervisor.Essential
30Grant and Event Coordination Coordinate events and activities including the UAF exhibitor booth at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, the Science for Alaska Lecture Series, the annual GI Awards Ceremony, grant-related meetings, workshops, science lectures, multi-day student enrichment programs, and continuing education courses. Maintain budgets and perform accounting tasks. Prepare budgets including projections for all operational expenses, payroll, and revenues. Assist with budget analysis and forecasting. Assist with preparation of proposal budgets. Monitor fund activity and accounting. Coordinate successful methods for monitoring and maintenance of project funds. Maintain current and accurate financial and management records. Review all purchasing requests and audit departmental credit card purchases for compliance with UAF policies and procedures. Responsible for routine financial operations. Work with the GI Business Office and UAF University Relations to ensure compliance with UAF and GI policies for purchasing and event planning Negotiate pricing and request/review contracts for venue, catering, transportation, A/V, etc. Recruit participants, coordinate efforts across multiple UAF units, coordinate and oversee event staffing, lead other staff during events Work with project leadership to develop programs/agendas for grant-funded outreach programs. Advise and participate in implementation with general direction from the Communications Director or project Principal Investigator. Arrange logistics, including coordinating development and shipping of display materials. Establish websites and enable e-commerce features (Google Apps). Develop reports for UAF research directors, project leadership, and administration. Reports may include spending and cost projection updates, performance reports for federal grants, and project implementation reports that are reviewed by the Communications Director, then forwarded to UAF research and academic department heads and/or to the Vice Chancellor for Research. Use initiative to carry out recurring assignments. Most events are unique and will require innovative solutions.Essential

This position will be physically located at the UAF campus in Fairbanks, Alaska.  While there may be a current opportunity for remote work, the successful finalist will be expected to report to duty at the UAF office no later than 60 days from written notice provided by the university. Applicants must be legally eligible for unrestricted employment to work in the U.S. No work visas will be sponsored for this position.


Knowledge of contemporary project management principles.

Knowledge of and ability to apply administrative concepts, practices, policies, and guidelines.

Ability to use discretion and maintain confidentiality.

Ability to learn and adhere to UA, GI and other applicable clerical practices, procedures, and policies.

Strong fiscal skills and understanding of department and funding agency budget constraints.

Experience with or ability to learn Banner.

Knowledge of and experience using accounting and cost estimating principles.

Advanced knowledge of computer operation and software including Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Cloud, Google Apps, and current social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Ability to use journalistic, public relations, and marketing strategies and skills. Knowledge and experience in persuasive and informative writing and creation of content in support of specific communication goals.

Knowledge of communications best practices.

Knowledge of grammar, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation rules and ability to use AP and other style guides for composition and editing.

Ability to make complex travel arrangements for individuals and visiting groups.

Ability to create websites using basic content management systems such as Wordpress and Google Pages.

Advanced skills with spreadsheets, databases, and digital project management and organization tools.

Knowledge of in-person and telephone reception skills and customer service etiquette.

Basic Earth science content knowledge and ability to translate technical or difficult scientific information for diverse audiences and media platforms.

Ability to work with intermittent supervision.

Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships and to work in a team, including leadership skills.

Ability to take direction from others and respond positively in response to corrective criticism.

Ability to multitask, prioritize, and use time efficiently.

Ability to self-motivate, follow-through, meet deadlines, and attend to details reliably and consistently.

Ability to analyze situations, use sound judgement, and solve problems independently.

Required Education and Experience: 

Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations, Journalism, Communications or related field and one year relevant experience or an equivalent combination of training and experience.

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. If selected for an interview, candidates may be asked to provide a writing sample within 3 days following the interview. Applicants must be legally eligible for unrestricted employment to work in the U.S. No work visas will be sponsored for this position.

To apply for this position, please provide a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three professional references with your application.  Please submit your application no later than 10/3/2021 at 11:55 PM Alaska Time.  The review of this posting will start on 10/4/2021. 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. 

Applicants needing a reasonable accommodation to participate in the application and screening process should contact the UA Human Resources office at 907-450-8200.

Term Position:

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

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. 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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