Communications Manager - Alaska Earthquake Center

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  • Job Number:522352
  • Classification:Communications Manager 2
  • Grade:Grade 81
  • Work type:On Campus, Staff Full-time
  • Administrative Unit:University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • School/Business unit:UAF Geophysical Institute
  • Location:Fairbanks
  • Categories: Administrative/Personnel, Communications/Public Relations/Marketing, Research/Science/Grants

Position Summary:

The Alaska Earthquake Center is hiring a Communications Manager. We seek an individual with a passion for communication to manage our public engagement team. The public engagement team engages a variety of audiences online, in print, and in person to share the excitement of earthquake and tsunami science, foster natural hazard safety awareness, and provide essential information during emergency events. We especially seek applicants with diverse (broadly defined) backgrounds that are historically underrepresented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields.


1-40Management: Provide direct supervision and day-to-day leadership of the Earthquake Center’s Communications Team including selection, training, motivation, delegating responsibility, work review, performance evaluation, and discipline. Set departmental goals, look for training opportunities, and focus on individual team-member strengths to provide excellent customer service to the units. Provide quality control over the work output by reviewing staff work, and clarifying and enforcing standard operating procedures and quality standards. Establish deadlines, calendars, and other workflow management and coordination tools as necessary for the department, employee, and/or the project. Serve as a departmental resource for crisis communication and issues management. Respond to sensitive or confidential issues as they arise. Stay current with UAF and institutional crisis communication policies and plans. Produce and/or review the content of crisis communication materials and other sensitive items. Work collaboratively with colleagues to accomplish department goals and objectives. Implement and oversee daily, short- and long-term communication plans and operations. Serve as a member of the Management Team (MT). May participate in strategic and long-range planning and long-term goals. Provide recommendations to MT on communication initiatives. Work in conjunction with MT to develop communication processes. Research issues/topics pertinent to the organization or its programs; provide information for use by MT on policies and operations that affect relations with other organizations and the public. Actively participate and serve as a subject matter expert regarding communications best practices and processes. Serve as a section lead on communications and/or other areas as assigned during Incident Response. Ensure compliance with applicable laws, regulations, policies, and procedures.Essential
2-40Research Support: Oversee production, design, and development of technical text, maps, and related graphics to support the center's proposal development, project reporting, publications, and public engagement. Oversee editing of written research materials (e.g., articles, monographs, journals, books, reports, theses, dissertations); work with authors on necessary revisions; advise authors on technical matters of production. Manage the Earthquake Center's website including content, styling, and overall user experience. Counsel unit on publicity, promotion, and outreach; select methods and techniques for disseminating information; coordinate and implement communication methods; evaluate effectiveness of the information program. Lead the development of strategies, activities, and materials to support the Earthquake Center's public engagement and outreach objectives. Research, analyze, conceptualize, plan, and implement institutional marketing and communication strategies for print and electronic publications. Utilize a data-driven approach to managing the Earthquake Center’s social media presence ensuring best practices with stakeholders and third parties. Serve as a key communications resource and represent the Earthquake Center at conferences and in working groups with external partners. Serve as a primary point of contact for press and public inquiries. Serve as the spokesperson for assigned projects and communicate related research findings as needed to the public and media. Establish and maintain strong relationships with key contacts on campus, in media, and in the community. Design processes and tools to gather and display seismic information. Assist research professionals and faculty with technical graphic creation.Essential
3-15Management of Geographical Information: Oversee the curation of geographical information libraries including the generation of analytical models that conform to professional standards for use in internal, public, and research settings. Manage the development of cartographic products for use in internal, public, and research settings. Support the center's tsunami hazard mapping efforts through cartography and GIS analysis.Essential
5Project Reporting: Coordinate and collect program/project management statistics; prepare and submit narrative and statistical reports. Prepare periodic status updates for external stakeholders as well as internal audiences. Track due dates, solicit input as needed from others, and prepare polished professional reports to meet the needs of the department’s grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements.Essential

Additional Position Information:

The Alaska Earthquake Center is a cooperative environment where projects and operations are executed by well-empowered collaborative teams. The duties of the Communications Manager include supervising staff and supporting their creative growth, guiding internal and external communication strategies, coordinating visual resources, serving as a communications expert for the management team, and representing the center to media contacts and partner organizations.

Additional Department Information:

The Alaska Earthquake Center is a mission-driven organization set within the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The university offers an attractive work environment and strong benefits including retirement and health insurance, generous leave policies, and tuition waivers for UAF courses. The Earthquake Center’s values emphasize employee flexibility, the open sharing of different perspectives, a respectful inclusive environment, and a commitment to serving Alaska and Alaskans with strong applied science. Career growth and professional development are expected and encouraged.

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

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:
  • Ability to use strategic thinking and planning skills.
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment and apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills to complex situations.
  • Ability to communicate and relate to public audiences.
  • Advanced computer skills.
  • Ability to generate professional graphics for public and academic presentations.
  • Knowledge of GIS analysis best practices.
  • Ability to organize, prepare, and present comprehensive public information and outreach programs utilizing multiple media.
  • Project and personnel management skills. Ability to coordinate, lead, and manage projects and staff.
  • Ability to advise MT regarding media relations and communications issues and programs.
  • Knowledge of publishing requirements.
  • Analytical skills.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including good grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
  • Broad knowledge of communications practice and ethics.
  • Knowledge of best practices for social media and communication platforms.
  • Ability to analyze complex situations and make responsible decisions.
  • Knowledge of seismology and earthquake monitoring.
  • Knowledge of traditional and social media venues.
  • Advanced skills in Microsoft Office and Google Suite.
Required Education or Training:

Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations, Journalism, Communications, or a related field and five years of progressively responsible communications experience related to research, or an equivalent combination of training and experience. Master’s degree preferred. One year of postgraduate experience in a seismology research environment, or an equivalent combination of training and experience preferred.

Salary Information:

This position is full-time, Grade 81, term-funded, exempt, 12-month position complete with a competitive salary and UA employee benefits package. New hires will be placed on the UA staff salary schedule, based on education and experience.

Special Instructions to Applicants:

This position will be physically located at the UAF campus in Fairbanks, Alaska. The successful finalist will be expected to report to duty at the UAF office on the first day of employment.

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 1/2/2023 at 11:55 PM Alaska Time. The review of this posting will start on 1/3/2023. This posting will be closed once it is filled.

UAF COVID Requirements:

Effective immediately, all new UAF hires, whose job function or work location results in the employee being subject to the UAF vaccine requirements guided by the Federal Contractor Employee vaccine mandate*, must be fully vaccinated with an FDA- or WHO- authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine or have obtained a university-approved disability/medical or religious exemption no later than six weeks from the new hire's start date.

*Employees based on UAF’s Troth Yeddha’ (Fairbanks) campus, regardless of university affiliation and remote work status; Employees based in UAF research units outside Fairbanks (including Seward Marine Center, Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center, HAARP, Poker Flat, Lena Point, and Toolik Field Station); and Employees, regardless of their work location, paid by or directly working on impacted UAF federal contract.

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

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.

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

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

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

If you have any questions regarding this position, please contact GI Human Resources, Geophysical Institute, at or 907-474-7357.


Advertised: Alaskan Standard Time
Applications close:

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