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Assistant Professor in Environmental Communication

University of Oregon
Oregon, United States
Salary Not specified
Date posted
Oct 31, 2023

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Assistant Professor in Environmental Communication

Job no: 531989

Work type: Faculty - Tenure Track

Location: Eugene, OR

Categories: Journalism/Communication, Instruction

Department: School of Journalism and Communication
Rank: Assistant Professor
Annual Basis: 9 Month

Application Deadline

October 2, 2023; position open until filled.

Required Application Materials

To ensure consideration, please upload the following with your online application:
  • A letter of interest outlining how your knowledge, skills, and experience meet the minimum and/or preferred qualifications of the position. Must include a statement of your contributions and experience to diversity, equity, and inclusion in research, teaching, engagement, and/or service.
  • Current CV or resume including dates of employment.
  • Name and contact information for three professional references. The candidate will be notified prior to references being contacted.

    Any application missing the above documents/information may be considered incomplete.

    Position Announcement

    Evidence-based science communication is needed now more than ever to communicate about environmental issues, overcome politically biased knowledge resistance, and propel effective decision-making and action. The School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC) at the University of Oregon (UO) invites applications for a tenure-track position for an Assistant Professor in Environmental Communication with an emphasis on applied environmental communication research and/or media production/data visualization to begin in fall 2024.

    We seek applicants who will significantly advance the university's priorities of creating research excellence in environmental communication to support evidence-based decision-making and improve personal and societal well-being. This person must be either (a) a preeminent practitioner with a master's or terminal degree and a record of high-impact work; or (b) holds a Ph.D. in mass communication, communication, or related field and with significant professional production experience and a record of scholarly accomplishment that includes publication in academic journals in communication, psychology, environmental science, and/or related field. Candidates whose research and teaching programs focus on environmental science communication with an emphasis on applied research, explanatory storytelling, and/or media production/data visualization are especially encouraged to apply as are those who focus on communities affected by environmental injustice. Effective science-communication techniques are also needed across SOJC and UO to address current issues of misinformation, fake news, and scientific and media illiteracy that lives side-by-side with developing trends in SOJC programs on brand responsibility and corporate activism. We are looking for researchers, professionals, and students who share our vision to advance science communication for the benefit of our communities, and who are committed to student success and research excellence.

    The person hired for this position will provide undergraduate students in our science communication minor and graduate students in our Communication and Media Studies Ph.D. program with strong production experiences and theoretical background in the role and impact of science communication. The hire will also be prepared to offer courses to our diverse students that bridge academia and practice and to develop a new curriculum, including once-in-a-lifetime experiential learning opportunities, that further positions the SOJC as a thought leader in science communication. Thus, the successful applicant will have outstanding communication skills and will be able to build collaborations within and across UO, amplify the SOJC's scholarly profile in environmental research, and further enhance national/international leadership and excellence in science communication research at the UO. They might develop theory and/or procure grants for research and practice. We are particularly interested in candidates who have research/production/teaching expertise in intersections of environment and health and innovative theory and/or practice to reduce knowledge resistance and increase effective environmental action, for example, in areas critical to the Pacific Northwest (wildfire, drought, etc.) and/or nationally/internationally (rising temperatures, environmental injustice, etc.).

    This position will be based at the University of Oregon's Eugene campus and will take a leading role in supporting and shaping the center (SCR). This person will teach up to five courses per year for undergraduate and graduate students in science communication and other SOJC areas. This position will have a tenure home in one of SOJC's four primary areas: media studies, journalism, advertising, and public relations. Specific courses to be taught may include science of science communication, explanatory storytelling, data visualization, and/or special topics courses in the science of environmental science communication and in other SOJC areas.

    Our interdisciplinary team collaborates with faculty, students, and businesses throughout Oregon and our nation. If you share our enthusiasm for science and storytelling, let's connect!

    We particularly welcome applications from scholars who are from populations historically underrepresented in the academy, and/or who have experience working with diverse populations. Applicants are encouraged to highlight their experience and philosophy with respect to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

    For inquiries about the application process, please contact SOJC Operations at 541-346-3561. Specific inquiries about the position may also be directed to the search chair: Ellen Peters, SCR Director, SOJC Eugene at:

    Department or Program Summary

    About the SOJC at UO: The SOJC is an ACEJMC-accredited program with a century-long history at the University of Oregon, which is a comprehensive research university and a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU). Our program thrives as a journalism and communication school known for innovation, ethics, and action. We offer a minor in science communication, four undergraduate concentrations (in Advertising, Journalism, Media Studies, and Public Relations), four professional and academic master's programs, and a doctoral program in Communication and Media Studies.

    About SCR: The Center for Science Communication Research (SCR) in the SOJC is a research center dedicated to making science useful to improve people's lives. SCR's vision is to lead and teach about cutting-edge science communication research that addresses complex problems and improves evidence-based decision-making. Through research excellence, evidence-based education, and meaningful outreach, we enhance the conversation between scientists and society. With seed funding from UO's Presidential Excellence Initiative and grants from NSF, NIH, and USGS among others, SCR scholars study a wide variety of subject areas:

    Environmental communication, including research to improve communication practices around wildfire risks and earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest;

    Health and health equity, such as through insights for health professionals to put health information to practical use so that information promotes patient action rather than confusion;

    Numeracy and critical reasoning such as about how to improve people's abilities to make sustainability-related decisions that are in line with their values and are internally consistent;

    Disruptive and instructive media and technology, such as through virtual reality experiences that spur people to environmental action.

    For more information about SCR, visit

    Minimum Requirements

  • Ph.D. in hand by time of appointment in mass communication, communication, or related field.
  • Professional production experience and a record of scholarly accomplishment that includes publication of applied environmental communication research in high-quality academic journals in communication, psychology, environmental science, and/or related field.
  • A preeminent practitioner with a master's or terminal degree and a record of high-impact work in environmental communication with an emphasis on media production.

    Preferred Qualifications

  • Design emphasis and expertise in explanatory storytelling and/or data visualization.
  • Skills and experience that allow them to build innovative theories and/or produce award-winning creative works in the field of environmental communication.
  • Strong potential to blend theory and practice.
  • Strong potential for teaching excellence in science and environmental communication.
  • Commitment to service to the academic or other communities to which the candidate belongs.
  • Strong potential to obtain external funding.
  • Strong commitment to mentor undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Strong commitment to contributing to a culture of inclusive teaching; and evidence of valuing diversity, equity, and inclusion.

    About the University

    Located a two-hour drive from Oregon's most populous city, Portland, Eugene is home to a unique and engaging cultural atmosphere within a beautiful natural environment. The University of Oregon is the state's premier public university and is located within walking distance of downtown Eugene. Oregon State University and other universities are also located nearby. Eugene has a diverse arts and culture scene with an active, outdoorsy vibe. It is a bike-friendly city with countless hiking, climbing, rafting/kayaking, and swimming opportunities within city limits or in close biking/driving distance. The climate is moderate year-round, and Eugene is close to the beautiful Oregon coast and to the Cascades mountains for skiing, snowboarding, and hiking/snowshoeing. Eugene has a thriving restaurant and brewery scene, with numerous restaurants, food trucks, bars, and breweries. The city attracts all kinds of people, is family-friendly, calm, and easy to navigate. For more information about Eugene, visit, and to read more about the region, visit

    The University of Oregon is proud to offer a robust benefits package to eligible employees, including health insurance, retirement plans and paid time off. For more information about benefits, visit

    The University of Oregon is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution committed to cultural diversity and compliance with the ADA. The University encourages all qualified individuals to apply and does not discriminate on the basis of any protected status, including veteran and disability status. The University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees with disabilities. To request an accommodation in connection with the application process, please contact us at or 541-346-5112.

    UO prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national or ethnic origin, age, religion, marital status, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression in all programs activities and employment practices as required by Title IX, other applicable laws, and policies. Retaliation is prohibited UO policy. Questions may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator, Office of Civil Rights Compliance, or to the Office for Civil Rights. Contact information, related policies, and complaint procedures are listed on the statement of non-discrimination.

    In compliance with federal law, the University of Oregon prepares an annual report on campus security and fire safety programs and services. The Annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Report is available online at

    To apply, visit


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