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Project Specialist - Specialty and Ethnic Crops

University of the District of Columbia
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Salary Not Specified
Date posted
Jan 4, 2024

Job Details


Number of Vacancies: 1

Area of Consideration: Open to the Public

Position Status: Full-Time, Regular

Pay Plan, Series & Grade: DS00058/8

Salary Range: $68,528- $72,727

Closing Date: Open Until Filled

Location: 4200 Connecticut Avenue, NW Washington, DC

Brief Description of Duties

The Project Specialist for Specialty and Ethnic Crops reports to the Director of the Center for Urban Agriculture and Gardening Education (CUAGE) in the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences. The incumbent is an integral part of the visionary team of 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 populations worldwide. Specialty and ethnic crops are an integral part of the research and food production goals of CAUSES given the diversity of urban populations, including prevalent immigrant populations in the DC Metro area. The incumbent will have a passion for sustainable urban agriculture and for employing cutting-edge technology and cutting-edge production methods to grow high yields of ethnic crops in small urban spaces. S/he will manage the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and ensure that the operational, research and training objectives of the program are met, including the day-to-day activities associated with ethnic and specialty crop production at the Firebird Research Farm and its satellite urban food hubs. S/he will maintain professional competencies and skills, implement research-based programs and initiatives that improve knowledge of ethnic and specialty crops, assess community needs related to specialty and ethnic crops production and develop, implement and assess research activities and community outreach programs to address identified needs.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities
  • Manages the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program to address identified community and DC schools needs related to specialty crops production, consumption and receptivity.
  • Works with other employees in CUAGE to produce, harvest and research seasonal tasks related to specialty and ethnic crops production at Firebird Research Farm and the urban food hubs.
  • Utilizes a variety of assessment and delivery approaches to provide educational programs and opportunities supported by research and evidence-based results from the CAUSES Specialty and Ethnic Crops programs and ethnic crops programs of other land-grant universities.
  • Develops, maintains, and documents approaches to understanding the benefits of specialty and ethnic crops, and by involving professionals and experts in program-planning, research, and crop production processes.
  • Collects information and data on the impact of programming and regularly shares information with program sponsors, advisory groups, and other appropriate stakeholders as directed.
  • Prepares and implements a volunteer development plan in close collaboration with the volunteer program coordinator in CAUSES to support volunteers to deliver accurate and effective production and health related information regarding ethnic crops.
  • Participates in collaborative alliances to link public and private organizations to promote and coordinate ethnic crops related research and education activities for identified residents of the District.
  • Teaches one academic course per semester or its equivalent in land-grant certificate courses.
  • Maintains and completes reports, including program outcomes and achievements, plan of work, and other documentation needed to assess program effectiveness.
  • Identifies funding sources and writes grants to expand and improve research and community outreach work related to ethnic crops, their health impacts and receptivity.
  • Carries out tasks related to the implementation of Organic Pest and Disease Management and Food Safety standards and conducts workshops on such practices and standards as needed.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.
Minimum Job Requirements
  • The incumbent will hold a Master’s degree (PhD preferred) from an accredited college or university in agriculture, agronomy, botany or related field of significant successful professional experience in the field of ethnic crops production and research.
  • A minimum of three years of experience in an equivalent or similar capacity.
  • A proven, documented commitment to continuous improvement and to proactive, outcomes- oriented work in meeting the responsibilities and duties outlined in the position description.
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-CREF).

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: The Residency Preference Amendment Act of 1988, D.C. Law 7-203, created a system in which provides that any applicant for employment in the Career or Educational Services who is a bona fide resident of the District of Columbia may claim a residency reference at the time of application. An applicant selected for an appointment based on District residency will be required to submit no less than eight (8) proofs of bona fide District residency. Bona fide District residency must be maintained from the date of appointment to the position for seven (7) consecutive years. 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 Human Resources Only.

Contact Information: All inquiries related to employment and job applications should be directed to UDC Office of Human Resources 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: opportunity/ .


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