Career Opportunities at UDC >> Project Specialist, Agricultural Engineering and Technology
Project Specialist, Agricultural Engineering and Technology
Title:Project Specialist, Agricultural Engineering and Technology
Location:Van Ness

Number of Vacancies: 1

Area of Consideration: Open To The Public 

Position Status: Full-Time, Regular

Pay Plan, Series & Grade: DS0058/ 8

Salary Range: salary commensurate with experience up to $69,905

Closing Date:  Open Until Filled

Location: 4200 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

Brief Description of Duties

We are seeking a Project Specialist for Agricultural Engineering & Technology who will report to the Assistant Director of the Center for Urban Agriculture and Gardening Education (CUAGE), which is one of the Land-grant Centers of the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) of the University of the District of Columbia (UDC). The project specialist is a part of the visionary team of Land-grant professionals dedicated to urban agriculture and to a comprehensive urban food system that improves the quality of life and economic opportunity for DC residents and urban population nationwide. At the heart of urban agriculture initiatives of CAUSES is Firebird Farm, an Urban Agriculture Experiment Station dedicated to advancing food security, urban sustainability, and economic capacity-building. The signature Urban Food Hubs of CAUSES are outposts of Firebird Farm in urban neighborhoods throughout Washington DC. Each Hub is a demonstration and training site committed to Food Production, Food Preparation, Food Distribution, and closing the loop through Waste and Water Recovery.

The Project Specialist designs, implements, and coordinates research and education initiatives that advance knowledge, technological innovation, and operational efficiency to improve the UDC Urban Food Hubs and other urban agricultural initiatives in the District of Columbia. The Project Specialist carries out day-to-day activities in close collaboration with the Assistant Director of the Center for Urban to ensure alignment of all urban agriculture initiatives with the strategic objectives of CAUSES. The incumbent is expected to have supervisory responsibilities. The incumbent will also serve as a Lead Coordinator, which requires the incumbent to review and direct the work of others on the assigned team in CUAGE. The incumbent must be a team player, work effectively and efficiently with diverse internal and external constituencies, perform all duties with a high degree of independence and initiative, communicate effectively, work well under pressure of deadlines and be familiar (or familiarize themselves) with the rules, regulations, policies and procedures of CAUSES, UDC, and program sponsors.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

1.      Develops and implements an active research program on cutting-edge agricultural production systems that foster regional, national, and international recognition. Example systems include aquaponics, hydroponics, aeroponics, and other urban production systems.
2.      Identifies funding sources and actively pursues grant opportunities to fund research.
3.      Publishes results through cooperative extension publications and high impact professional journals.
4.      Uses assessment techniques to identify local needs and ensure cultural relevancy and appropriateness of urban agriculture programs and initiatives.
5.      Develops and maintains an awareness of urban agriculture and innovative food production methods by involving professionals and lay people in program-planning, research, and education.
6.      Works effectively and collaboratively with internal and external constituencies of CAUSES, including current and potential program sponsors, government agencies, non-profit & for-profit private sector entities, and students.
7.      Teaches one undergraduate or graduate course per semester in the Academic Program of CAUSES or the equivalent in community education programs (extension services). Likely graduate courses include agroecology or advanced sustainable urban agriculture.
8.      Designs, implements, and coordinates urban agriculture initiatives that are effective and outcomes-oriented and support the mission, reach and effectiveness of CAUSES.
9.      Communicates program goals and desired outcomes as well as implementation procedures to the Assistant Director of CUAGE and CAUSES staff as requested.
10.  Coordinates the Plan of Work with the Assistant Director of CUAGE as required by sponsoring agencies.
11.  Works with academic and program staff members within CAUSES to foster a collaborative environment conducive to excellence in research and teaching.
12.  Represents the Director and Assistant Director of CUAGE in appropriate internal and external meetings.
13.  Performs other duties as assigned including special assignments related to urban and sustainable agriculture, environmental health, and other needs of the college.


Minimum Job Requirements

  • Master’s degree, PhD preferred from an accredited college or university in agricultural engineering, agricultural technology, agronomy, sustainable agriculture, crop science, horticulture, environmental science, or related fields.
  • A minimum of three years of experience in increasingly responsible academic and research positions.
  • A demonstrated publication record and success in garnering extramural funding to support research.
  • A proven commitment to continuous improvement and to proactive, outcomes-oriented work.
  • Ability to build and assess urban production systems using the latest technological advance, preferred
  • Experience with experimental design, data collection, statistical analysis, and peer-reviewed publishing, preferred
  • Monitoring and adjustment of nutrients, lighting and climate to optimize environmental conditions in plant growing systems to maintain adequate plant health and biomass output, preferred
  • Experience with controlled environment agriculture, plant physiology under controlled environment, plant nutrition, soilless agriculture (hydroponics, aquaponics, aeroponics), indoor agriculture, horticulture, aquaculture, fish nutrition and health, fish husbandry and environmental microbiology, preferred
  • Valid driver's license
  • Reliable transportation

Information to Applicant

Collective Bargaining Unit (Union): This position is not part of the collective bargaining unit.  

Employment Benefits: Selectee will be eligible for health and life insurance, annual (vacation) and sick leave and will be covered under the University of the District of Columbia' s retirement plan (TIAA).

Equal Opportunity Employer: The District of Columbia Government is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified candidates will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, family responsibilities, matriculation, physical handicap, or political affiliation.

Notice of Non-Discrimination: In accordance with the D.C. Human Rights Act of 1977, as amended, D.C. Official Code, Section 2-1401.01 et. seq., (Act) the University of the District of Columbia does not discriminate on the basis of actual or perceived actual race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, marital status, personal appearance, genetic information, familial status, source of income, status as a victim of an intrafamily offense, place of residence or business,  or status as a covered veteran, as provided for and to the extent required by District and Federal statutes and regulations. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination which is also prohibited by the Act.  In addition, harassment based on any of the above protected categories is prohibited by the Act.  Discrimination in violation of the Act will not be tolerated.  Violators will be subject to disciplinary action.

Veterans Preference:  Applicants claiming veterans preference must submit official proof at the time of application.

Visa Sponsorship: At this time, the University of the District of Columbia does not provide sponsorship for visas (e.g. H-1B). This position is also ineligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Residency Preference: A person applying for a position who is a bona fide District resident at the time of application for the position, may be awarded a 10-point residency preference over non-District applicants, unless the person declines the preference points. If selected, the person shall be required to present no less than 8 proofs of bona fide District residency on or before the effective date of the appointment and maintain such residency for 7 consecutive years from the effective date of the appointment. Failure to maintain bona fide District residency for the 7-year period will result in forfeiture of employment.

Drug-Free Workplace: Pursuant to the requirements of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, the individual selected to fill this position will, as a condition of employment, be required to notify his/her immediate supervisor, in writing, not later than five (5) days after conviction of any criminal drug statute occurring in the workplace.

Background Investigation: Employment with the University of the District of Columbia is contingent upon a satisfactory background investigation.  The determination of a "satisfactory background investigation" is made at the sole discretion of the University of the District of Columbia.  The University may refuse to hire a finalist, rescind an offer of employment to a finalist or review and may terminate the employment of a current employee based on the results of a background investigation.

Disposition of Resume: Resumes received outside the area of consideration and/or after the closing date will not be given consideration. You must resubmit your resume to receive consideration for any subsequent advertised position vacancies. For the purpose of employment, resumes are not considered job applications. Therefore, if selected for employment a UDC application will be required.

Job Offers: Official Job Offers are made by the University of the District of Columbia, Office of Talent Management only.

Contact Information:  All inquiries related to employment and job applications should be directed to UDC Office of Talent Management at (202) 274-5380.

The University of the District of Columbia is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action institution. Minorities, women, veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For a full version of the University’s EO Policy Statement, please visit: .

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