Cornell University, Section of Horticulture

Position ID:Cornell-Section of Horticulture-SEAURBANGRASSLAND [#14620, WDR-00020671]
Position Title: Urban Grassland Integrated Nutrient and Pest Management - Senior Extension Associate
Position Type:Other
Position Location:Brooklyn, New York 11212, United States [map]
Subject Area: Horticulture / weed science
Appl Deadline:2020/02/01help popup finished (2019/09/16, finished 2020/04/24, listed until 2020/02/01)
Position Description:    

*** this position has been closed, and no new applications will be accepted. ***

School of Integrative Plant Science
Horticulture Section
Urban Grassland Program
Senior Extension Associate


Senior Extension Associate - Urban Grassland Integrated Nutrient and Pest Management

Name and Title of Immediate Supervisor:  Dr. Frank S. Rossi, Associate Professor of Horticulture

Location: Brooklyn, NY

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is a pioneer of purpose-driven science and Cornell University’s second largest college. We work across disciplines to tackle the challenges of our time through world-renowned research, education and outreach. The questions we probe and the answers we seek focus on three overlapping concerns: natural and human systems; food, energy and environmental resources; and social, physical and economic well-being.

The School of Integrative Plant Science (SIPS) is the largest academic unit in Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, providing a unifying framework for five sections with interrelated activities: Horticulture, Plant Biology, Plant Breeding & Genetics, Plant Pathology & Plant-Microbe Biology, and Soil & Crop Sciences. The sections are associated with distinct disciplines and graduate fields, but are increasingly connected by urgent local and global challenges and the revolutionary scientific tools now available.

Position Function

The position of Urban Grassland Integrated Nutrient and Pest Management is needed to facilitate and lead statewide Data-Driven Integrated Nutrient and Pest Management demonstration, implementation, and research activities in Urban Grasslands (Lawns, Golf Courses, School Grounds, Sports Fields, Green Roofs, etc.) within the School of Integrative Plant Science Horticulture Section, Cornell Cooperative Extension and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. This position addresses the needs associated with multi-county, and statewide Sustainable Landscapes program planning. It also addresses the need for impact documentation, evaluation of nutrient and pest management practices, the need to conduct applied research, and the need to develop educational programs and materials. This position requires multidisciplinary knowledge and activity including, but not limited to the disciplines of, entomology, plant pathology, weed science, and agronomy, with particular emphasis on data-driven management that reduces the impact of these practices on environmental quality.

Initial two-year term with probable extension for additional three years contingent upon secured funding and successful performance.

Anticipated Division of Time

Program Development (40%)

Develop a statewide educational program in Urban Grassland Integrated Nutrient and Pest Management with particular emphasis on data-driven, reduced-risk, and pollution-prevention practices.

Provide leadership for planning, implementing and evaluating educational programs that address urban grassland manager-identified needs and opportunities.  Emphasis is on the demonstration and adoption of reduced-risk and pollution-prevention principles and practices.

Consult with Urban Grassland Program Team, BMP Foundation, CCE extension educators, private consultants, IPM extension educators, statewide and regional regulators (DEC, Ag and Markets, LINAP, etc.) NGOs and trade associations to:

• assess and address industry needs with data-driven methods to best reduce environmental, health and economic risks associated with nutrient and pest management in urban grasslands, and

• establish metrics to measure baseline conditions and measure progress towards risk-reduction goals,

Lead a cohesive and coordinated effort to promote adoption of Reduced-Risk and Pollution Prevention-based Urban Grassland Integrated Nutrient and Pest Management practices.

Develop electronic and data-driven decision-support of Urban Grassland Integrated Nutrient and Pest Management such as web-based resources, support of BMP for Golf and BMP for Urban Landscapes, as well as videos, podcasts and blog posts.

Monitor program to ensure that educational content conforms to policies and objectives of Cornell University.

The Urban Grassland Integrated Nutrient and Pest Management Specialist will also work cooperatively with water quality, pollinator and other environmental stewardship efforts that support program mission.

Lead and cooperate on grant and funding proposals with local, state, regional, and federal agencies; industry and environmental organizations, and Cornell and SUNY faculty and extension personnel. Projects should address Urban Grassland Integrated Nutrient and Pest Management applied research, implementation and education needs; generate program support, and enhance and extend program opportunities.

Applied Research (20%)

Conduct applied, integrated research programs designed to develop data-driven nutrient and pest management decision support tools, in cooperation with appropriate faculty and extension field staff, and/or independently.

Program Implementation (25%)

Implement a statewide educational program in Integrated Nutrient and Pest Management in Urban Grasslands.

Facilitate adoption of Best Management Practices for water quality protection and the elements of progressive IPM programs

Plan and execute Integrated Nutrient and Pest Management demonstrations.

Provide technical guidance and educational support for extension off-campus staff, especially with those interested in nutrient management and IPM.

Provide training on BMPs and IPM.

When necessary, supervise personnel conducting various research and extension activities.

Lead and coordinate BMP and IPM Extension activities.

Foster strong collaboration among faculty, educators, industry and regulatory agencies.

Establish and maintain positive relationships with individuals and groups that support BMPs and IPM.

Program Evaluation (10%)

Evaluate, document and report the impact of Integrated Nutrient and Pest Management projects, programs and practices.

Identify and report BMP and IPM knowledge gaps and information transfer problems.

Share results in quarterly and annual reports to the Urban Grassland Program and federal and state agencies, as appropriate.

Present results of BMP and IPM implementation and research projects at appropriate county, state, and national meetings.

Professional Development (5%)

Participate in professional development opportunities, conferences and workshops appropriate to program and personal skill enhancement.

Attend in-service education and other professional development opportunities as needed in relation to program responsibilities.

Stay informed of advances in urban grassland integrated nutrient and pest management.

File professional improvement plan and constructively evaluate self-performance for improvement and subject matter excellence.

Participate in related regional, statewide, and national professional organizations as appropriate.

Required Qualifications

M.S. or Ph.D. required in agronomy, plant pathology, weed science, entomology, ecology, or a closely related field.

Must have a background in integrated nutrient and pest management in grasslands, turf, sod, green roofs, or golf courses, with a focus on applied research and extension/outreach.

Experience in conducting, interpreting, evaluating and communicating the results of applied research.

Must be able to meet the travel requirements of the position, including having reliable transportation and/or having and maintaining a valid and unrestricted NYS driver’s license. 

Must be willing to obtain a NYS Pesticide Applicator’s License within 3-years of employment.

Knowledge of the philosophy, objectives and operation of an informal education system such as Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Strong interpersonal skills with proven ability to work effectively with diverse audiences in group and one-on-one settings; and with advisory boards, committees, and community and funding partners

Proven organizational and time-management skills

Ability to define, conduct and interpret applied research and demonstration projects

Successful experience obtaining new funding, including grants and industry support

Strong leadership and teamwork skills

Effective written and verbal communication skills

Fundamental competence utilizing current technology as a management and program delivery tool (e.g. Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Access, Internet and Web development)

Creativity, energy, motivation and enthusiasm.

Preferred Qualifications

Ph.D. preferred in agronomy, ecology, entomology, horticulture, plant pathology, turf science, weed science, or a closely related field.

Coursework in nutrient and pest management that compliments the graduate degree focus, such as nutrient management, weed science, plant pathology, plant nutrition, soils, adult education, and communications. 

Supervision Received

Direct supervision is received from the Associate Professor of Horticulture. Advised on the content and direction of the program by the Urban Grassland Program. Additional input will be given by the faculty and Extension staff with sustainable landscape interests, IPM practitioners, professionals, and organizations.

Complexity and Scope

Apply reasoning, analytical thought, creativity, and innovation to Integrated Nutrient and Pest Management in urban grasslands research, implementation and funding on a daily basis. Assess the needs of the urban grassland industry as well as citizens of NY and other stakeholders. Lead the statewide efforts in Best Management Practices to raise awareness of the importance of protecting watersheds, land and people. Design and execute innovative research and implementation plans to address the needs of these groups.


Responsible for decisions made to carry out the specific job functions described Decisions that will change the current direction of the nutrient and pest management program, or are deemed to have a high impact on urban grassland constituency groups, will be made in consultation with the urban grassland team. The employee will be accountable directly to the Associate Professor of Horticulture for all decisions s/he makes independently.


Act as a liaison with University faculty working with urban grassland nutrient and pest management. Conduct research independently and in collaboration with faculty. Work closely with faculty and extension educators in assessing needs and developing educational resources and programs. Urban grassland industry professionals; consultants; and local, state, and federal partners will provide input on programs and act as cooperators.

Information Management

Responsible for reporting on program efforts and must be able to:

     compose reports,

     analyze research data using appropriate software and statistical packages,

    effectively present information for reports and public presentations and, when appropriate, publish in peer-reviewed journals

Able to learn new technology skills that will aid in the composition and presentation.

Work environment

Physical effort: Ability to perform light-duty field work and operate, or direct the operation of, field equipment, including nutrient and pest management devices.

Mental and visual concentration will be required.

Potential hazards: May have to apply pesticides or work in pesticide-treated areas.


Candidates should submit a cover letter emphasizing your philosophy on extension and vision for this position, curriculum vitae, three reference contacts and a Statement of diversity, equity, and inclusion via the website  Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until a candidate is selected.

Employment Assistance: If you require an accommodation for a disability in order to complete an employment application or to participate in the recruiting process, you are encouraged to contact Cornell University's Department of Inclusion and Workforce Diversity at voice (607) 255-3976, fax (607) 255-7481, or email at For general questions about the position or the application process, please contact the Recruiter listed in the job posting. Applicants that do not have internet access are encouraged to visit your local library, or local Department of Labor. You may also visit the office of Workforce Recruitment and Retention Monday - Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. to use a dedicated workstation to complete an online application. Notice to Applicants: Please read the required Notice to Applicants statement by clicking here. This notice contains important information about applying for a position at Cornell as well as some of your rights and responsibilities as an applicant. EEO Statement: Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations. Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose, and contribute creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement.

Application Materials Required:
Submit the following items online at this website to complete your application:
And anything else requested in the position description.

Further Info:
134 Plant Science Building
236 Tower Road
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853

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