Job title: Coastal Aquaculture Extension Specialist
Job type: Permanent
Emp type: Full-time
Location: Morehead City, North Carolina
  • Aquaculture
Job published: 03/09/2019
Job ID: 32055

Job Description

Primary Function of Organizational Unit

North Carolina Sea Grant provides research, education, and outreach opportunities relating to current issues affecting the North Carolina coast and its communities. It is an inter-institutional program of the University of North Carolina System established to optimize the environmental, social, and economic potential of the state, while maintaining long-term viability of coastal and marine resources, by funding high-quality research, extension, and education programming and related communications efforts.


Essential Job Duties

This Specialist will serve to support the development, expansion, and diversification of the North Carolina aquaculture industry, including shellfish, finfish, and algal species. The Specialist will accomplish this purpose through education and outreach, technology transfer, and applied research activities. The Coastal Aquaculture Specialist is embedded in the coastal region to develop and maintain close working relationships with marine and freshwater aquaculture stakeholders. This position is located in Morehead City, North Carolina Other



1. Work independently as well as closely with other individuals and entities to facilitate the expansion of sustainable and profitable state-level aquaculture industries (shellfish, finfish, aquatic plants, algae) through activities including but not limited to:

  • Developing and regularly updating needs assessments to determine the needs of aquaculture stakeholders, as well as identifying emerging issues.
  • Maintaining and establishing working relationships with existing stakeholders.
  • Establishing public-private research partnerships that address specific, current limitations in aquaculture production, such as new and/or refined technologies that reduce mortality risk for aquaculture species, increase crop diversification, and optimize production efficiencies.
  • Conducting policy research needed to make final decisions on specific questions regarding impacts to and from aquaculture.
  • Increasing the understanding of the social, economic, and political issues associated with aquaculture.
  • Working and integrating within Sea Grant team to leverage expertise in workforce development, economic assessment, water quality, etc. to benefit the North Carolina aquaculture industry.

2. Support aquaculture industry education and development through activities that include, but are not limited to:

  • Assisting in the development and organization of the annual N.C. Aquaculture Development Conference.
  • Working closely with Carteret County Community College to establish a shellfish farming training program.
  • Maintaining and expanding web-based information resources, working with Sea Grant communicators.
  • Serving as a technical resource for the stakeholder associations such as the N.C. Shellfish Growers Association.
  • Consulting with and providing information to the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission, and other appropriate agencies, such as NOAA’s aquaculture enterprise.
  • Collaborating in local, state, regional, and federal shellfish partnership efforts such as the North Carolina Shellfish Initiative.
  • Participating in various appropriate committees.

3. Develop and monitor the annual plan of work through activities such as monthly reporting, annual eSeaGrant extension project reporting, and annual self-evaluation, and through tracking of objective performance-based measures of success including but not limited to:

  • The number of aquaculture industry stakeholders who modify their practices using the knowledge gained as a result of Sea Grant activities.
  • Measuring the economic impact of Sea Grant’s role in aquaculture (e.g., job creation and retention).

4. Participate in Sea Grant planning meetings and interdisciplinary projects.

5. Review ad hoc minigrant requests, core institutional research proposals, and final reports.

6. Assist university and agency researchers in proposal development, project implementation, and project reporting.

7. Develop extension and applied research proposals, soliciting project funding from external and internal sources.

8. Provide story topics and technical expertise for Sea Grant communications products.


Minimum Education/Experience

Master’s degree in aquaculture, marine science, biological sciences or related natural resource field.

Three or more years of experience in aquaculture research, education, outreach, and/or technology transfer.


Departmental Required Skills

Ability to self-motivate, to work independently and as a member of a team, and to develop annual plans of work which have measurable outcomes.

The ability to communicate both orally and in writing, particularly as it pertains to interpreting/translating research-based technical information for the understanding and use by aquaculturists, coastal managers, and the public.

Proficiency in word processing, data manipulation and analysis, and communications computer skills.

Experience in securing external funding for aquaculture-related applied research and education projects.

Experience in developing productive partnerships and collaborations among aquaculture producers, seafood dealers and processors and consumers.

Frequent travel required in order to establish and maintain successful relationships with various stakeholders. Overnight and weekend travel as necessary.


Preferred Experience, Skills, Training/Education

Ph.D. in aquaculture, marine science, biological sciences or related natural resource field.

Experience in all phases of shellfish aquaculture, including hatchery, nursery, and grow-out operations.

Demonstrated ability to provide extension programs and services focused on aquaculture, which includes developing science-based solutions to help NC aquaculture industries grow, expand, and diversify, then getting this information to stakeholders.

Prior experience working in a university setting.

Ability to prioritize administrative tasks and meet deadlines in a team environment.


Required License or Certification

Valid NC driver’s license required in order to travel and visit different farms across the state.


Special Instructions

Applicants are required to submit a CV and cover letter along with contact information for three (3) professional references along with their online application.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit three letters of recommendation (listed as optional documents)when applying to this position.


NC State University is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as an individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran. If you have general questions about the application process, you may contact Human Resources at (919) 515-2135 or Individuals with disabilities requiring disability-related accommodations in the application and interview process, please call 919-515-3148. Final candidates are subject to criminal & sex offender background checks. Some vacancies also require credit or motor vehicle checks. If highest degree is from an institution outside of the U.S., final candidates are required to have their degree equivalency verified at or equivalent service. Degree(s) must be obtained prior to start date in order to meet qualifications and receive credit. NC State University participates in E-Verify. Federal law requires all employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all persons hired to work in the United States.