Job Announcement: Minnesota Sea Grant Communications Associate

This position has closed.

Minnesota Sea Grant's communication team seeks a Communications Associate. We are a small, no-drama team seeking a colleague skilled at accurately and effectively translating scientific information into user-friendly language, coordinating metrics, figuring things out, and being an efficient part of our crew. Sea Grant is all about science. Facts and accuracy are paramount. 

About the Job 

The Minnesota Sea Grant (MNSG) Communication Associate is a full-time (40 hours-per-week) staff position with the University of Minnesota Sea Grant College Program and reports to the MNSG Communications and Public Relations Manager. 

The MNSG communication associate will assist the communications manager with the translation of science and research into user-friendly language for a variety of end users and platforms; help with federally mandated data collection, tracking, and reporting; assist with media relations; and provide event and activity information coordination. 

The successful candidate must be a detailed-oriented, initiative-taking wordsmith. Sea Grant is a federal-university water-science program and facts and accuracy are paramount. The successful candidate must consistently, accurately, and engagingly convey the work of MNSG extension educators and supported scientists into jargon-free lay terms for a variety of audiences including legislators, resource agency staff, community organizations, university administrators, government officials, reporters, and formal and informal educators. 

Quick Links & Instructions

Applications must be submitted online. There are three ways to access this job posting:

  1. If you are a current U of M employee, go to:
  2. If you are not a current U of M employee, go to:
  3. If one of those links does not work, go to: and search for Job ID 359703
  4. Complete the online application and attach all of the following:
    1. Cover letter
    2. Resume
    3. Diversity statement

Quick Reference

  1. Who's hiring: University of Minnesota Sea Grant College Program.
  2. Job title: Minnesota Sea Grant Communications Associate.
  3. Pay range: Annual salary range starts at $41,641.60 and depends on qualifications.
  4. Employee class: Civil Service.
  5. Job code: 8341CG.
  6. Location: Duluth, Minnesota.
  7. Full or part-time: Full-time, 40 hours per week.
  8. Travel: Occasional travel required.
  9. Application open date: 2/12/24.
  10. Application first review: 3/1/24.
  11. Application close date: Posting will remain open until filled.
  12. Questions: Contact Marie Thoms, Minnesota Sea Grant Communications and Public Relations Manager at

Working Location 

This position is located at the University of Minnesota Sea Grant Program offices on the University of Minnesota Duluth campus. There will be occasional-to-regular travel to MNSG’s St. Paul campus offices and occasional travel during non-business hours and days. 

Position Duties 

Translation of science and research information (25%) 

Assists the communications manager with the collection and translation of large amounts of science and research information into user-friendly, non-specialist language for a variety of end users and platforms. Knowledge of and/or ability to learn and apply Associated Press style. Knowledge of and/or ability to learn and apply industry, university, and federal accessibility standards. 

Public relations (20%) 

Assist the communications manager with public relations activities and evaluations (e.g., analytics, user surveys, etc.) to include newsletters, social media, and awareness campaigns for MNSG and for MNSG’s participation in the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network and National Sea Grant Network. May include support for news releases, press conferences, and media advisories. 

Data collection, tracking, and reporting (20%) 

Provide support to the communications manager for the implementation, collection, tracking, and reporting of programwide metrics, measures, and other reporting as required by the program’s federal government oversight agency (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-National Sea Grant Office). Including submission of program-developed publications, products, tools, and information service repositories (federal requirement). Support includes creation, use, and coordination of multiple tracking documents, spreadsheets, and databases as well as staff engagement, training, and troubleshooting. 

Event and activity information coordination (15%) 

Coordination of program event and activity submissions to include review, translation of scientific information into user-friendly and non-specialist language, distribution to target audiences, tracking, and reporting. Coordination and maintenance of MNSG communications equipment, materials, and products inventory and check-out system. May be required to provide on-site support to MNSG staff at events. 

Other duties (15%) 

Assists with other duties including, but not limited to: photo and video metadata and cataloging, participating in program meetings, project meetings, regional and national Sea Grant committees, conference calls, webinars, etc. Meetings typically require 4 hours per week. 

Professional development (5%) 

Identifies and participates in professional development/educational opportunities that will demonstrably enhance this position’s ability to perform the required duties. This may include technical training in science communication, community outreach and extension, incorporating and applying accessibility and inclusion in science communication and work environments, topical training (e.g., watersheds, climate change, stormwater, ballast water, etc.), and National Sea Grant Office training for reporting (to meet federal requirements). 


Required Qualifications 

BA/BS degree or combination of related education and work experience to equal at least four years. 

Preferred Qualifications 
  1. Bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree in science communication, English, public relations, or science. 
  2. Evidence of ability to accurately interpret and summarize technical, specialized or complex information for public understanding. 
  3. Familiarity with and ability to consistently use Associated Press style. 
  4. Excellent writing, proofreading, fact-checking, and editing skills. 
  5. Two (2) years of post-college experience as a writer, editor, reporter, communication specialist, multimedia specialist, public relations specialist or similar role in which excellent writing skills were evident. 
  6. Experience managing at least one social media account. 
  7. Familiarity with and interest in freshwater topics, particularly the Great Lakes. 
  8. Experience writing about science and research for non-academic audiences. 
  9. Experience using Adobe Creative Cloud programs (e.g., InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.). 
  10. Experience using MailChimp (or other CRM platforms), Drupal, WordPress.