Communication and Engagement Officer

National Center for Environmental Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS)

Are you passionate about science communication and engagement with broad and diverse audiences? Do you want to support and promote more awareness of cutting-edge environmental science programs and data science initiatives? Do you excel at connecting people and ideas and strategically building relationships across diverse groups?

Job Description

We seek a Communication and Engagement Officer to join the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), working with our Executive Director, Deputy Director and other NCEAS staff and scientists to administer and expand communication and engagement around our portfolio of programs. The Communication and Engagement Officer will also work as a liaison between NCEAS and our partners at COMPASS, a science communication group that champions, connects, and supports diverse science leaders to improve the well-being of people and nature. This position will be based in downtown Santa Barbara at NCEAS.

Your primary responsibilities will be to

  • Strategically engage and connect with diverse audiences to enhance NCEAS existing networks and create new connections across science, policy, media, and management groups
  • Keep a ‘finger on the pulse’ of current environmental and scicomm topics of most relevance to society at large, specifically policymakers, communities, and natural resource users
  • Observe and connect with the range of research underway at NCEAS, scouting for opportunities that you will elevate to COMPASS as an organization to support individual scientists and/or NCEAS working groups to have greater impact
  • Communicate the impact and success of Center initiatives, including outputs from working groups, postdocs, and other Center researchers
  • Work closely with working groups to develop strategic communication and engagement plans to help amplify the impact and extend the reach of findings and outputs
  • Evaluate and improve existing communication content and strategies for NCEAS working groups, including: website content and presentation, media outreach and placement, promotional materials, and social media
  • Stay abreast of current trends, conferences, research, and educational opportunities in environmental science communications


NCEAS is located in scenic downtown Santa Barbara, California. Established in 1995, the Center is known for fostering interaction and collaboration, characteristics that lead to the success of its visiting scientists. NCEAS has a growing and thriving community of postdocs, resident scientists, and analysts, and a frequent influx of leading scientists and practitioners from around the world participating in working group projects.

NCEAS is committed to improving diversity and inclusion in science. We value the diversity of expertise, backgrounds, needs, and experiences reflected among our residents, visitors, and broader communities. We are committed to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, age, gender identity, parental status, sexual orientation, (dis)ability, citizenship status, and nationality. To see the steps we are taking to advance diversity and inclusion please see our full statement here:

The Department is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research, teaching and service.


COMPASS is a distributed organization with offices in Portland, OR and Washington, D.C. As a pioneer in the science communication field, COMPASS has provided thousands of environmental scientists with the knowledge, skills, and networks they need to strategically engage and inspire solutions to some of society’s greatest challenges. Their work is built around the idea that scientists are the best people to share what they know, and that when scientists communicate effectively, they can change the world.


  • Basic qualifications (required at time of application)
  • Masters Degree in Environmental Science, Ecology, Science Communication or related field at the time of application
  • 1-2 years work experience in science communication

Preferred qualifications

  • Demonstrates effectiveness in media, journalism, communication, public relations, social media, or other related field;
  • Ability to understand and synthesize environmental science across a diversity of topics, from high-level to highly detailed and translate this information to a variety of audiences, including the general public;
  • Ability to organize information (e.g., web content) in a way that is both aesthetically pleasing and enhances accessibility and usability;
  • Familiarity with standard document, graphic design, publishing, and web content management software;
  • Expertise with internet-based communication technologies, including social media, new platforms for science publishing, video conferencing, web-based streaming, and web discussion platforms;
  • Experience connecting scientists with diverse audiences and supporting scientists to communicate their science to non-scientists
  • A commitment to championing, connecting, and supporting diverse science leaders across varying backgrounds and cultural contexts (e.g., scientists, journalists, policymakers)
  • Experience comfortably interacting with scientists at various career stages who work across diverse dimensions of environmental science
  • Ability to professionally network and effectively maintain working relationships
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Experience coordinating and administering effective and strategic scicomm trainings;
  • Demonstrates an understanding and acceptance of diversity, equity, and inclusion concepts that are broader than only race, ethnicity, and gender;
  • Demonstrates self-awareness, in terms of understanding their own culture, identity, biases, prejudices, power, privilege and stereotypes;
  • Demonstrates awareness of generational differences in work styles;
  • Demonstrates willingness to challenge and change institutional practices that present barriers to different groups.

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