Extension Educator, Minnesota Master Naturalist Program

University of Minnesota Extension Published: May 20, 2024
United States of America
Skill Level
Mid Level
Job Type
Education / Natural Resources/ Restoration
(Number of Job Posting Views: 1)

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ABOUT THE PROGRAM – The Minnesota Master Naturalist Program teaches adult volunteers about Minnesota’s natural resources and empowers them to educate others and to play meaningful roles in conservation projects. The program’s mission is to foster understanding, appreciation, and stewardship of Minnesota’s natural environment by developing a corps of informed and skilled volunteers dedicated to conservation education and service within their communities. Approximately 1,000 volunteers annually contribute nearly 100,000 service hours for conservation projects affecting over 10,000 acres of land, contributing to new scientific research, and educating more than 25,000 people across Minnesota. After completing a 40-hour core training course, volunteers remain active from year-to-year by completing at least 8 hours of ongoing education and 40 hours of service.

ABOUT THIS POSITION – This Extension Educator position is part of the Minnesota Master Naturalist Program team. They will provide statewide educational programming leadership primarily for consistent, coordinated, and high-quality ongoing education and service opportunities for our existing program volunteers that help them meet their annual requirements to remain active and fulfill our commitment to a long-term volunteer experience.

  • Working Title: Extension Educator, Minnesota Master Naturalist Program
  • Classification: Assistant Extension Professor, Job Code 9623
  • Appointment:  Full-time, Academic Professional, annually renewable 
  • Extension Area: Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources Systems 
  • Office Location: Extension Regional Office, preferably St. Cloud or Grand Rapids; Hybrid work options and other regional office locations may be available.
  • Salary Range:  Estimated starting salary $59-68,000 annually; commensurate with education and experience.
  • Apply By: May 19, 2024 


  • Work with Extension colleagues, external partners, and volunteers to prioritize important Minnesota natural resources issues where volunteerism can create significant impacts and public value.
  • Provide leadership and management to identify educational needs, develop and deliver educational programs to address them, and evaluate outcomes and impacts on an ongoing basis.
  • Design, deliver and evaluate statewide educational programming.
  • Collaborate with new, diverse, and historically underserved audiences to develop programs that are customized to the needs of different cultural communities.
  • Focus programming development, delivery, and evaluation on Minnesota Master Naturalist volunteer service priority issues and use goal-driven opportunities to impact these issues.
  • Use best practices for adult learning to drive innovation in recruiting, training, and supporting volunteers for training and service opportunities.
  • Develop and maintain collaborations and partnerships with environmental learning centers, local units of government, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and many other diverse organizations and groups to host and support Minnesota Master Naturalist training and volunteer service.
  • Collaborate with Extension communications staff to maintain and update websites, social media, and other resources as needed.
  • Participate in and lead team meetings and serve on committees in the department, Extension and other areas as applicable.
  • Participate in relevant ongoing professional development via conferences, self-directed study, and/or other appropriate means of maintaining a high level of expertise.
  • Participate and advance in professional performance through annual performance reviews, professional plan of work, and Extension’s promotion criteria: program leadership; Extension teaching; scholarship; and service and engagement.


Required Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in biology, natural resources, geology, entomology, ecology, environmental or adult education, or a closely related field.
  • Documented successful experience communicating educational messages and content to adult learners in a variety of forums and formats.
  • Demonstrated experience in working constructively with volunteers or colleagues with diverse backgrounds, demographics, or educational levels.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team in educational program design, development, and delivery.
  • Good organizational skills with the ability to conduct and manage multiple projects at the same time and to adapt to changing program priorities.          

Additional Requirements:

  • Valid driver’s license and own means of transportation with required liability insurance. 
  • Must be able to travel within the designated communities and provide in-person programming.
  • Travel (in-state and national) is necessary to perform the responsibilities of this position. This may include frequent day-trips and an estimated 8-12 overnight trips per year. Mileage and sustenance reimbursement provided according to University policies.
  • Ability to maintain a flexible work schedule, including occasional evening or weekend work, and overnight stays.
  • When not in the assigned office location, employees must be reachable with a number that will be published in the Extension staff directory. 
  • Must have reliable internet if/when working outside of assigned office location.
  • Ability to work on a computer for prolonged periods of time.
  • Ability to bend, reach, twist, and lift or carry 10 pounds frequently and 30 pounds occasionally.
  • This position is not eligible for employment visa sponsorship.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Three (3) years of professional work experience with environmental, adult, or volunteer education in a natural resources context.
  • Demonstrated leadership experience in building collaboration to design, deliver, and evaluate environmental education programs for adult audiences.
  • Ability to integrate researched-based and technical information from scientific and educational literature and from subject matter experts across academic disciplines and professions to produce effective learner-focused educational materials.
  • Familiarity with the use of educational software and technology including video conferencing, webinars, social media, or on-line course management.
  • Knowledge and understanding of conservation and natural environments.


Currently, Extension Educators are participating in a mix of in-person and remote work, and we plan to employ elements of a virtual work environment into the future. When a physical workspace is needed, the preferred primary office locations are the Extension Regional Offices in St. Cloud or Grand Rapids, MN.


  1. Extension Educator (job code 9623) positions have annual University academic professional appointments and Extension academic rank.
  2. Promotion in Extension academic rank is required and is contingent upon accomplishments as an Extension Educator.
  3. Estimated salary range for this position is $59,000-68,000, commensurate with qualifications and previous experience.
  4. University of Minnesota appointment and benefits.  Benefits package available https://hr.umn.edu/Jobs/Applicant-Center/About-Working-U/Benefits-Working-U-M. 
  5. Reimbursement for travel and subsistence is available in accordance with University policy.   

ABOUT EXTENSION – University of Minnesota Extension is a major outreach arm of the University of Minnesota with a mission to serve the public through applied research and education. Our mission is to make a difference by connecting community needs and University resources to address critical issues in Minnesota. Extension strives to attract and retain high-quality, passionate employees, and weave diversity, equity, and inclusion into all aspects of Extension’s programming and employee engagement.  https://extension.umn.edu/


Please click "Apply on Company Website" below. Job Opening ID: 360770 Applications must be submitted online. To be considered for this position, please follow the instructions. You will be given the opportunity to complete an online application for the position. 

Please note: This position is not eligible for employment visa sponsorship. 

Please attach the following required application materials:

  1. Cover letter addressing your experience as it relates to the minimum and preferred qualifications for the position.
  2. Resume – Your resume must include all your education and experience as it relates to the required qualifications. The initial HR screening process focuses primarily on the resume.
  3. Diversity statement: In 500 words or less, highlight your unique strengths, experiences, perspectives, and values as they relate to equity, diversity and inclusion. Your statement could include the following:
    1. Personalized views and experiences
    2. Topics through the lens of your own knowledge or experience
    3. If you don’t have personal experience on a topic, reflect on why
    4. Demonstrated learning and growth 

Three professional references and transcripts for all college work (unofficial transcripts are acceptable) will be required during the interview process.

Additional documents may be attached after the application by accessing your “My Job Applications” page and uploading documents in the “My Cover Letters and Attachments” section. See full instructions, https://hr.umn.edu/Jobs/Applicant-Center/Help-Job-Applications/Using-Job-Application-System.

To request an accommodation during the application process, please e-mail employ@umn.edu or call (612) 624-UOHR (8647).

For questions about this position contact:

Andrea Lorek Strauss, Extension Educator and Search Chair, astrauss@umn.edu. 

For questions about applying online, contact:

Tiffany McMillan, Extension Human Resources, tiffmcm@umn.edu. 

Employment Requirements

Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check. Our presumption is that prospective employees are eligible to work here. Criminal convictions do not automatically disqualify finalists from employment.


The University of Minnesota and Extension recognize and value the importance of diversity and inclusion in enriching the employment experience of its employees and in supporting the academic mission. The University is committed to attracting and retaining employees with varying identities and backgrounds.

The University of Minnesota provides 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. To learn more about diversity at the U:  http://diversity.umn.edu.

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