Water Resource Specialist/Extension Support Specialist 1

Cornell University
New Paltz, NY, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Entry Level (0-2 Years)
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

Extension Support Specialist I

Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Located in New Paltz, but will also be expected to occupy an office in Albany once a week.

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is a pioneer of purpose-driven science and Cornell University’s second largest college. We work across disciplines to tackle the challenges of our time through world-renowned research, education and outreach. The questions we probe and the answers we seek focus on three overlapping concerns: natural and human systems; food, energy and environmental resources; and social, physical and economic well-being.

The New York State Water Resources Institute (WRI) in the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University works to improve the management of water resources in NYS.  This is accomplished through research and partnerships with agencies and regional partners, such as the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Hudson River Estuary Program’s (Estuary Program).  Beginning in 2000, the Estuary Program initiated a watershed approach to improve and protect water resources and resilience in the Hudson River watershed by working with, and raising capacity of, local and regional partners, land use decision makers, watershed groups, agencies, municipalities, and landowners.  The position and partnership will be guided by the five-year strategic plan known as the Hudson River Estuary Program Action Agenda 2021-2025.

The position will collaborate with NYSDEC staff and external partners to improve our understanding of, and build consensus for, the water resource issues and concerns facing Hudson River Estuary and watershed communities, recreational users and ecology.  The position will be part of a multi-disciplinary team charged with managing and protecting the Hudson Estuary and its watershed through science, outreach, and partnerships targeting both the main-stem Hudson River and specific tributaries of concern.  A primary focus of this position will be to assess and characterize water quality in the Hudson River and its tributaries, as well as the possible interactions of the Mohawk and upper Hudson River watersheds.  As an integral member of the Estuary Program and WRI team, the position will assist in identifying threats to the full use of the Hudson River Estuary and watershed, while helping to develop and implement corrective actions to address impacts and concerns.  The position requires assisting in the coordination and implementation of NYSDEC’s Division of Water core water programs in the Hudson River Estuary, such as monitoring and watershed management and planning.  A holistic interest and understanding of various watershed and water resource management strategies is highly desirable, including barrier (culverts and dams) mitigation for aquatic passage, flood risk planning, drinking water protection, and stream corridor restoration.  In addition to technical skills, this position requires an ability to build partnerships and develop and deliver outreach materials.

This position is located in New Paltz, NY, but will also be expected to occupy an office in Albany once a week.

This position is a one -year appointment with possible extension depending on performance and secured funding.

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree; 2+ years’ experience.  BS in hydrology, environmental science, earth science, environmental engineering, watershed science or management, or related field required. 
  • Self-driven leadership skills to assist in the planning and coordination of a regional water monitoring, assessment and characterization initiative.  Interpersonal and communication skills to develop effective working relationships with NYSDEC water staff, outside constituents, and a diversity of stakeholders from water quality managers, agency staff and scientists to local elected officials, and community members.
  • Understanding and use of water quality monitoring equipment and techniques. 
  • Proficiency with analyzing, mapping, and presenting data using geographic information systems (GIS).  
  • Excellent writing and confident oral communication skills. 
  • Working knowledge of software programs such as PowerPoint, Excel, and MS Word. 
  • Must have, and maintain, valid driver’s license to support required regional travel to perform job duties, including travel to Albany at least once a week to integrate with water staff. 
  • Must undergo a successful drivers background check. 
  • Must exercise sound and ethical judgment when acting on behalf of the University.  
  • Must be comfortable with multitasking and adapt to competing priorities.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in water resource management, environmental conservation, engineering, or related field. 
  • Professional experience and knowledge in Hudson River water quality concerns, uses, and issues. 
  • Experience building capacity of partnerships to deliver conservation outcomes. 
  • Facilitation skills to create opportunities to move forward complicated water resource challenges with diverse stakeholders. 
  • Understanding of watershed planning and management strategies, pollutant trackdown, wastewater treatment, land use principles, and financing of water quality improvements. 
  • Strong leadership skills, and creative critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • Skilled at programming with R or Python, and watershed modeling tools. 
  • Proven ability to work as part of a professional team, promoting cooperation, as well as being self-driven to deliver own tasks. 

No relocation assistance is provided for this position.

Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.

Working Conditions:

Essential Physical Requirements: Typically lifts 10 to 20 lbs

Visual: Normal concentration

Hazards: Limited exposure

University Job Title:

Extension Supp Spec I



Pay Rate Type:



Contract College

Contact Name:

Alisa Gardner

Number of Openings:


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