Communications Officer: Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) National Communications Office

Stacy Rebich Hespanha's picture
Communications Officer: Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) National Communications Office
Job Type: 
Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) National Communications Office, University of California Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, California, USA
September 28, 2015



Open August 26th, 2015 through September 28th, 2015



The National Science Foundation's LTER Program was established in 1980 to study ecological processes operating on decadal-to-century time scales. The program now includes a network of 25 diverse sites and engages thousands of researchers and students. The mission of the newly created LTER National Communications Office (LNCO) is to foster and coordinate research, education, and outreach activities across the LTER Network. The LNCO Chief Communications Officer will lead LNCO communications activities to enhance awareness and understanding of LTER research and applications both within the LTER community and across diverse constituencies and stakeholders. 

Job Description:

This individual will have lead responsibility for developing and coordinating communications across the LTER network, will serve as the point of contact between the LNCO and LTER community, supervise communications and outreach staff and interns, and work with the LNCO Director and other team members to ensure that all communication functions of the LNCO are operating efficiently and effectively. Key audiences for communications and synthesis efforts include: LTER network of scientists, NSF funding officers and LTER governance, the scientific community at large, and the public.

• Develop and maintain close working familiarity with the LTER network of scientists and key stakeholders;
• Collaborate in development and implementation of a high-impact LNCO communications strategy;
• Promote the mission and research and education accomplishments of the LTER network;
• Train and supervise 3-4 part time professional graduate science communication interns who will assist in communication activities;
• Oversee design and implementation of an LNCO website, develop website content, oversight of Twitter and other social media;
• Cultivate and coordinate media outreach and placement;
• Collaborate with staff at LTER sites to develop communication and promotional materials for the LTER Network; 
• Coordinate communications efforts and foster collaboration with and among LTER sites, and with the broader research and education community;
• Collaborate in use of innovative virtual interaction strategies to enable communication and strengthen relationships among LTER sites;
• Evaluate the success and efficacy of communication materials and strategies;
• Support outreach and education events and general program promotion.
• Collaborate with other LNCO lead staff in research, education and training; and program evaluation.

Minimum Qualifications: 
• Four or more years as a communications professional, or comparable relevant experience;
• Demonstrated effectiveness in media, journalism, communication, public relations, social media, or other related field, proven success with the high profile media;
• Demonstrated ability to organize information (e.g., web content) in a way that is both aesthetically pleasing and enhances accessibility and usability;
• Expertise with internet-based communication technologies, including social media, new platforms for science publishing, video conferencing, web-based streaming, and web discussion platforms;
• Familiarity with standard document, graphic design, publishing, and web content management software.

Additional Qualifications:
• Familiarity with ecological science and environmental issues;
• PhD or Masters degree in science communication, environmental communication, science journalism, environmental science or a related field;
• Strong networking and relationship-building skills and interest in building broad collaborations; 
• Ability to manage several projects/tasks at the same time;
• Able to work well with a wide range of constituencies, including governmental bodies, non-governmental organizations, industry, and communities; 
• Able to work effectively both independently and collaboratively;
• Ability to translate complex scientific information and concepts to a variety of audiences, including the general public



  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.
  • Cover Letter


3 references required (contact information only)


For more information, or to apply for this position, please visit