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How to Apply

A cover letter and writing sample are required for consideration for this position. The cover letter should be attached as the first page of your resume; it should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position. The writing sample should be 3-4 pages and communicate complex technical or scientific information to a general audience. It should be attached after your resume.

Job Summary

The University of Michigan Water Center in the Graham Sustainability Institute is looking for a technical writer to join the U-M team administering NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserve System Science Collaborative. The incumbent will participate in a highly collaborative, fast-paced environment where key support is provided for user-engaged research produced for a national network of 29 place-based estuarine research reserves. At the University of Michigan, team members provide management and collaborative support for projects located at any of these research reserves found along the nation’s fresh and salt-water coasts. With several years’ projects wrapping up, the coming 12-18 months will focus on synthesizing results across projects, and communicating with a variety of target audiences ranging from local and state coastal managers to those setting state-wide and national policy related to coastal and estuarine resources. In this milieu the incumbent will work with the Ann Arbor-based team, research teams in the field, reserve personnel, and NOAA staff to identify and communicate high-impact outputs and outcomes from Science Collaborative-supported research.

The incumbent also may assist in communicating outcomes from other collaborative research projects and activities supported by the Graham Sustainability Institute in which the Water Center resides. Across its various programs and centers, the Graham Sustainability Institute catalyzes and facilitates sustainability-focused collaborations involving faculty, students, and external stakeholders. It links knowledge to real-world impact by supporting collaborative teams spanning multiple disciplines and sectors on a wide range of sustainability topics.


  • Scope, write, and coordinate the co-production of research project content syntheses, primarily on estuarine topics such as coastal blue carbon, living shorelines, and marsh resilience, as well as broader sustainability topics as needed;
  • Prepare, draft, edit, and review communication materials (e.g., news updates, press releases, fact sheets, summaries, and email) for a variety of media, including websites, and social media;
  • Assist in developing and implementing marketing and communications strategies for promoting products, tools, and other communications materials, including but not limited to the following types of activities:
    • Manage email marketing campaigns, including writing or reviewing messages, scheduling delivery, coordinating distribution lists and improving effectiveness through testing and other best practices; and
    • Develop content for program social media (e.g., Twitter, Linked-In and Facebook).
  • Interface and coordinate work with program managers, researchers, and other communications staff at the Graham Sustainability Institute and NOAA on projects.
  • Attend conferences as requested
  • Other duties as assigned

Required Qualifications*

In addition to relevant content knowledge (Masters, or Bachelors plus relevant experience), the most competitive candidates for the position will possess 2-5 years’ work experience, ideally in communications and/or marketing, excellent writing skills, strong collaborative instincts, a willingness to learn, and a deep commitment to sustainability and the environment.

In addition, candidates should have:

  1. Excellent writing, editing, and proofreading skills including: demonstrated experience drafting reports, fact sheets and project/program summaries that distill complex projects and synthesize from multiple sources; ability to adapt writing style to fit different audiences and writing purposes;
  2. Demonstrated ability to collaborate with a wide variety of colleagues and stakeholders, including ability to interact effectively with faculty and resource managers/policy makers;
  3. A high degree of accuracy and meticulous attention to detail;
  4. Demonstrated organizational skills and ability to prioritize multiple projects with tight deadlines;
  5. Proven ability to work independently
  6. Proficiency in MS Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and Google (Docs, Spreadsheets)
  7. Commitment to working collaboratively with a variety of people; demonstrated commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion: treat others with respect, dignity, and in a manner where individuals feel they belong; listen, value feedback, and learn from the perspectives of others, and specifically awareness of U-M Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion objectives.

Desired Qualifications*

  1. Master’s degree in coastal or estuarine related field with formal training (e.g., certificate, undergraduate minor, equivalent work experience) in communications, journalism or similar subject.
  2. Familiarity with media related to natural resource management and state-level policy development. development
  3. Familiarity with other sustainability-related topics (e.g., energy, food, climate, land use, etc.) a plus.
  4. Working knowledge of social media platforms (e.g., LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.)

At the Graham Sustainability Institute, our dedication to academic excellence for the public good is inseparable from our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our mission of engaging, empowering, and supporting faculty, staff, and students to foster sustainability solutions includes ensuring that each member of our community thrives. We believe that diversity is key to empowerment, and the advancement of sustainability knowledge, learning, and leadership.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days. This job may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.