Job Opportunity: Minnesota Sea Grant Aquaculture Extension Associate

Aug 31, 2021

DULUTH, Minn. — Minnesota Sea Grant seeks an Aquaculture Extension Associate (AEA) to help coordinate current aquaculture projects that address the economic, social, and environmental sustainability of the aquaculture industry in the Great Lakes region. 

About Minnesota Sea Grant

Minnesota Sea Grant (MNSG) is one of 34 nationwide federal-university partnership programs in every coastal and Great Lakes state, Puerto Rico, and Guam. Sea Grant programs draw on the expertise of more than 3,000 scientists, engineers, public outreach experts, educators and students to help citizens better understand, conserve and use America's coastal resources. MNSG partners with the University of Minnesota and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and has offices in Duluth and the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. MNSG’s mission is to facilitate interaction among the public and scientists to enhance communities, the environment, and economies along Lake Superior and Minnesota's inland waters by identifying information needs, fostering research and communicating results.

Quick Reference

  • Who's hiring: Minnesota Sea Grant
  • Location: AEA will be based in St. Paul, Minn.
  • Duration: Three-year, full-time position
  • Open: August 31, 2021
  • Review: Open until filled
  • Closes: September 15, 2021
  • Application website: University of Minnesota
  • Job ID: 343070
  • Contact: Amy Schrank,

About the Job

Minnesota Sea Grant (MNSG) seeks an Aquaculture Extension Associate (AEA) to help coordinate current aquaculture projects that address the economic, social, and environmental sustainability of the aquaculture industry in the Great Lakes region. The AEA will be responsible for overseeing multiple extension research projects spanning several years and providing outreach and applied research on aquaculture (~80%) and fisheries (~20%) for MNSG. The AEA will be based in St. Paul, Minn. with statewide responsibilities and will also interact and work closely with Sea Grant aquaculture and fisheries staff throughout the Great Lakes region. This position will be directly supervised by MNSG Fisheries and Aquaculture Extension staff with oversight by the Minnesota Sea Grant Associate Director for Outreach and the Minnesota Sea Grant Director.

The AEA will be an integral member of the MNSG fisheries and aquaculture extension and outreach team, working collaboratively with other MNSG staff, University of Minnesota extension educators, and Sea Grant extension educators across the Great Lakes and nation who are involved in related issues. Sustainable aquaculture is a critical and growing component of MNSG and the AEA will work with stakeholders to understand their needs and build cooperative relationships across state, federal, and tribal agencies, communities, and aquaculture industries. The AEA will also engage with appropriate state, federal and tribal fisheries management agencies and will work closely with stakeholders engaged in both aquaculture and recreational, commercial, and tribal fishing.

How to Apply

Applications are welcomed and encouraged from all qualified individuals regardless of background and identity. Veterans and individuals from underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply. To apply, please complete the application on the University of Minnesota job webpage ( Search for job ID 343070.

Required Documents

The following documents are required for application:  

  1. A resume or curriculum vitae.
  2. A cover letter that contains a point-by-point description of how your qualifications and experience meet our required and preferred qualifications and have prepared you to fill this position.
  3. The names and contact information including email address and telephone number of at least three (3) professional references who know your recent and/or current research qualifications.
  4. A diversity statement that tells us how you have integrated diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice into your research and professional activities.

Job Summary


Manage ongoing aquaculture extension projects (75%)

  • Work as the project coordinator for a project to develop youth and adult ‌consumer‌ ‌education ‌materials‌ ‌on‌ ‌seafood‌ ‌and‌ ‌aquaculture. ‌The AEA will coordinate the project team, partners, and working groups to ensure that teams are communicating and objectives are being met.
  • Coordinate and assist with a project to determine best practices and cost estimates for rearing Yellow Perch in a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS). This will include overseeing the day-to-day operations of the project including lab and research technicians and coordinating with partners and other stakeholders. The AEA will also assist with the functioning of the RAS in the lab.
  • Assist with a project examining the feasibility of increasing in-state Golden Shiner production in both ponds and RAS. The AEA will work with aquaculture contractors to collect and synthesize biological and water quality data and assist with facility issues as they arise. The AEA will also assist with data analyses, comparing data from fish reared in various system types and facilities.
  • For the above projects, the AEA will assist with MNSG and National Sea Grant Office reporting on project progress, preparation of final reports, manuscripts, and outreach materials, and communicating results to stakeholders.

Implement new projects or collaborations consistent with MNSG fisheries and aquaculture goals (15%)

  • Seek out and apply for extramural funding that addresses goals in MNSG strategic plan and priority needs expressed by stakeholders. When funding is received, implement and complete projects and reporting.
  • Initiate collaboration with researchers from academia, the aquaculture industry, and fisheries agencies to assist with high-priority research projects.
  • Work with the Great lakes Sea Grant Network, and other groups that may include Minnesota Aquaculture Association, North Central Regional Aquaculture Center, National Aquaculture Association, Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility and state, federal, and tribal fisheries management agencies to address common aquaculture and fisheries issues within the Great Lakes basin and on a national scale.

Other duties (5%)

  • Maintain office in a safe and professional manner, update computer security and virus protection software as soon as it is available, and ensure computer files and records are backed-up monthly or more often as needed.
  • Maintain a current (Google) calendar of events, travel, and program activity viewable to staff and attend occasional staff meetings.
  • Attend and participate in relevant state, regional, and national conferences on aquaculture and fisheries.
  • Report work activity on a regular basis using program forms, databases, or other formats as requested.
  • Help write, edit, design, review, and/or produce documents critical to Sea Grant such as the strategic plan, the omnibus (budget) proposal, and the annual progress report (PIER).

Minimum requirements and qualifications

  • M.S. or B.S. from an accredited institution or equivalent with 5 years of aquaculture/fisheries experience.
  • Major emphasis on aquaculture, fish health, and/or animal husbandry, with some training in fisheries science, fisheries management, and/or fisheries ecology and five years of experience in aquaculture fields.

Preferred qualifications

  • M.S. with 3 years of experience.
  • Five years of professional experience working with aquaculture in the aquaculture industry, a fisheries agency, academia, or other related profession.
  • Hands-on experience in conducting aquaculture projects or running an aquaculture business including operation, design, construction, and maintenance of aquaculture facilities (ponds, RAS, flow-through, etc.) with a variety of species.
  • Experience consulting directly with aquaculture producers who operate a variety of facilities that produce a variety of species.
  • Experience in conducting aquaculture or fisheries research/management projects, with one or more examples of peer-reviewed publications or agency reports.
  • Demonstrated ability to use a variety of outreach, education, and training methods.
  • Experience in establishing collaborations and community-based initiatives in aquaculture and/or fisheries.
  • Demonstrated experience managing multiple projects.
  • Demonstrated ability to interpret scientific research and relay information to non-science/non-specialist audiences in an understandable fashion.
  • High level of analytical, organizational, and planning skills.
  • Proven experience with writing and administering grants. Provide examples in which funding was obtained and aquaculture or fisheries projects were successfully completed.
  • A record of working effectively with diverse populations.
  • Experience working with a Great Lakes Sea Grant Program.
  • Ability to travel regularly and possess or acquire a valid Minnesota driver’s license.

Additional information:

Application reviews start September 15, 2021. The position will remain open until filled.

Salary for this job family level (9742R5) and position starts $45,000 and will be commensurate with experience.

The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.

The University recognizes and values the importance of diversity and inclusion in enriching the employment experience of its employees and in supporting the academic mission. The University is committed to attracting and retaining employees with varying identities and backgrounds.

The University of Minnesota provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. To learn more about diversity at the U:

For additional information please contact Amy Schrank at

Image credit: ©Tobias Arhelger -



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