Coastal Training Program Assistant

Lake Superior Reserve

Job Overview

The Lake Superior Reserve, based in Superior, WI, seeks an undergraduate or graduate student to build career skills in communicating about science, the natural world and our shared water resources. The Reserve Coastal Training Program houses this position and helps land managers, elected officials, engineers, educators and more to make informed decisions about the Lake Superior shore. The student supports overall operation of the Coastal Training Program and organizes information for a grant-funded coastal planting guide that integrates both ecological and Indigenous cultural knowledge.

This position is a part of the Division of Extension Natural Resources Institute. The Natural Resources Institute works at the crossroads of communities, natural resources and agriculture to empower individuals and communities to make informed decisions that benefit our shared natural resources.

Based on the St. Louis River Estuary in Superior, WI, the 16,697-acre Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve is one of 29 reserves in the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. The Reserve is a part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension and is supported through a network of innovative regional partnerships. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides federal leadership and guidance to the Reserve system. The Coastal Training Program is a core program of the Reserve system, and seeks to empower decision-makers and professionals through science-based learning that inspires mindful management of coastal systems.

Anticipated Hours per Week

8-10 hours per week


Work hours for this position can accommodate other class and work schedules.

Wage Range

$15.00 / hr

Position Duties

Shoreline planting guidebook content organization (40%)

  • Develop, organize, and manage content for a forthcoming publication about Lake Superior shoreline planting as it is developed by subject matter experts including institutional scientists and Indigenous knowledge-holders.
  • Gather relevant plant and landscape imagery from reputable sources, citing and gathering permissions appropriately, and organize imagery for the publication’s graphic designers.
  • Prepare planting guidebook content for transition to graphic design team, including careful review and recommendations for content organization to appeal to a coastal professional audience. This task will involve creative and critical thinking as well as independent editing, and may include opportunities for writing.
  • Participate in key project meetings for the development of the shoreline planting guidebook.

Coastal Training Program overall support (60%)

  • Transform information about the Coastal Training Program’s 2022 learning opportunities into digital content for the Reserve’s website and program announcements.
  • Use information about upcoming Coastal Training Program events to populate an online course registration system, ensuring that unique details about each individual course (including maximum participants, course descriptions, registration deadlines, etc) are correct.
  • Assist the Coastal Training Program Coordinator with event hosting needs, including online event technical support and/or in-person event logistics as required. Attendance at coastal training program workshops and events is encouraged.

Additional Information

  • This position will be managed by the Lake Superior Reserve Coastal Training Program Coordinator.
  • This preferred timeline for this position is an October 2021 start date, running through May of 2022. Work hours for this position can accommodate other class and work schedules.
  • The responsibilities of this position can be performed virtually, although an onsite work arrangement is preferred (pending COVID-19 worksite guidelines).

Required Qualifications

  • Current full time undergraduate or graduate student with some coursework background in communication and/or environmental studies;
  • Demonstrated ability to write clearly and communicate thoughtfully;
  • Demonstrated ability to work and problem-solve independently;
  • Ability to effectively work with people from different cultural backgrounds, including those associated with race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, socioeconomic status, age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, and other aspects of human diversity.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience communicating with an adult audience;
  • Currently enrolled in a communication-oriented discipline, such as writing, journalism, marketing and communications, science communication, environmental education, environmental studies, and related majors;
  • Experience developing information organization systems, such as the use of spreadsheets or databases, file systems, project management software, and/or other virtual tools to organize information for a project.

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