Position Announcements

Faculty of Practice in Climate Change Resilience and Adaptation

Virginia Sea Grant (VASG) program and Old Dominion University (ODU) have
entered a partnership to support a Faculty of Practice in Climate Change
Adaptation at the Assistant or Associate Professor level. Located at ODU, this
position will fill a critical gap in the region for outreach, coordination, and
scientific synthesis and integration capacity. The Faculty of Practice will serve the
Hampton Roads region of southeastern Virginia, the Commonwealth of Virginia,
the Mid-Atlantic, and the U.S., and will be a part of the national network of
climate extension specialists in state Sea Grant programs (
http://sgccnetwork.ning.com/). The faculty member will be an employee of ODU and a VASG
extension staff member, reporting to the ODU Vice Provost and evaluated
by the Vice Provost with input from VASG. This position is funded jointly
through VASG and ODU under a 4-year Memorandum of Understanding, with
possibility of extension beyond that duration. 


Virginia Sea Grant is a Commonwealth-wide network of partner academic
institutions. VASG is a state-federal partnership, with federal funding from
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the U.S.
Department of Commerce (see
http://vaseagrant.vims.edu/). VASG is headquartered at the Virginia Institute of
Marine Science (VIMS), which is the graduate School of Marine Science at the
College of William & Mary. Current VASG partner institutions include:
VIMS/College of William & Mary, George Mason University, Old Dominion University,
Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Tech, and the University of
Virginia. VASG’s mission is to enhance the ecological, economic, and social
sustainability of coastal and ocean communities and the ecosystem services they
depend upon through university-based research, extension, and education. VASG
is a scientific broker, supplying science-based information to citizens, businesses,
educators, resource managers, and policy makers. 


Old Dominion
, located in
the City of Norfolk in the metropolitan Hampton Roads region of coastal
Virginia, is a dynamic public research institution that serves its students and
enriches the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation and the world through
rigorous academic programs, strategic partnerships, and active civic
engagement. ODU’s Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Initiative (CCSLRI) seeks
to leverage the university’s and the region’s foremost experts to find
solutions to the anticipated effects of climate change on the economy, housing,
ports, and infrastructure (see
http://www.odu.edu/research/initiatives/ccslri). The CCSLRI has taken several steps
toward establishing ODU’s leadership role on this critical issue for our
region. ODU has hired a leading climate scholar
to significantly elevate its research capacity and international reputation in

climate change. Thus, the research and education foundation has been built and
new partnerships across the Commonwealth are emerging (including partnerships
with adaptation planning, landscape architecture, and policy and legal analysis
capacity at VASG partner institutions, including the University of Virginia,
College of William & Mary, VIMS, and George Mason University). 



The Faculty of Practice in Climate Change Adaptation will extend science-based
information to coastal communities, resource managers, and interest groups in
Virginia and the region with the goal to reduce disaster risk, increase
resilience and improve adaptation capabilities related to climate change and
sea level rise. The faculty member will lead coordination, communication, and
scientific synthesis and integration efforts. S/he may also contribute to
applied research motivated by community adaptation needs and provide hands-on
operational and technical support to coastal communities addressing their
adaptation needs.


The Faculty of Practice member will participate in VASG’s quarterly
outreach meetings among the portfolio of outreach sub-awardees, which currently
includes William & Mary Law School’s Virginia Coastal Policy Clinic, VIMS’s
Marine Advisory Services Center, and Virginia Tech’s Virginia Seafood
Agricultural Research & Education Center in Hampton. The Faculty of
Practice member will prepare a detailed two-year work plan collaboratively with
ODU and VASG and with input from community stakeholders and advisors. Travel within the region, state, mid-Atlantic, and occasionally
nationally is expected.

Position Objectives and Activities

  • Lead efforts to synthesize,
    integrate, and facilitate the transfer of science-based information on
    coastal hazards to coastal communities, businesses, governments, and


  • Promote on-going dialogue within
    the climate change and hazards community in the region to continue sharing
    and developing knowledge, best practices, strategies, and coordinate
    partnership formation, priority setting, and implementation monitoring.


  • Engage other researchers and Sea Grant
    specialists throughout Virginia, the region, and the nation in the
    development of on-going extension programs on resilience and adaptation to
    coastal hazards, and serving as a liaison between universities and the


  • Initiate and nurture partnerships with federal,
    state, and local agencies to develop a coordinated approach to serving
    these specific groups and the general public.


  • Initiate, lead, and partner on funding proposals
    with colleagues from ODU, the Hampton Roads region, and the VASG


  • Transfer research-based knowledge about
    resilience to coastal hazards and climate change adaptation to Virginia’s
    urban communities, rural coastline, undeveloped shorelines, and other
    vulnerable communities in Hampton Roads and Virginia’s Tidewater region,
    including regional government and business leaders, property owners, and
    other critical stakeholders.


  • Lead the development and delivery of educational
    programs to reduce risks of coastal flooding and other climate change
    hazards to people and property and increase resilience to these hazards,
    in collaboration with existing hazards and climate change capacity in the
    region, state, and VASG network.


  • Design and implement program and project
    evaluation activities to ensure adequate feedback, analysis, and
    modifications in programming and to promote an organizational culture of
    continuous improvement.


  • Prepare detailed 2-year work plans with specific
    duties and activities collaboratively with ODU and VASG and with input
    from community stakeholders and advisors, likely to include, but not
    limited to: extension programming (e.g., workshops, direct technical
    assistance, presentations); 
    interdisciplinary applied research; performance reporting; grant
    development; student assistants supervision.



  • Ph.D.
    in a climate adaptation related field (e.g., coastal science, geosciences,
    atmospheric sciences, geography, land use planning, policy, or other
    appropriate field).


  • Experience
    in public outreach and engagement.


  • Experience
    communicating science information to non-scientists.


  • Experience
    producing and communicating scientific synthesis and integrating across


  • Excellent
    computer and communication skills (written and oral) required.


  • Experience
    with coastal hazards and/or planning preferred.


  • High
    level of analytical, organizational and planning skills.


  • Evaluation
    and research experience.


  • Ability
    to work independently and as a part of a team.


  • Demonstrated
    proficiency in grant writing.



The incumbent will work out of the main offices of the Climate Change and Sea
Level Rise Initiative (CCSLRI) at ODU in Norfolk, VA. 



Competitive and commensurate with experience.

To Apply:

Applications should be sent electronically to: CCSLRI Search
Committee, attention of Elizabeth Smith (exsmith@odu.edu), 4111 Monarch Way,
Norfolk, VA 23529. Applicants should include a letter of interest that outlines
how the applicant meets the requirements and would approach the position, a
curriculum vitae, and three professional references with email addresses and
phone numbers provided. Review of applications will begin September 1, 2013;
the search will remain open until an appointment is made.


For more information
contact:  Hans-Peter Plag (
or Larry Atkinson (latkinso@odu.edu).