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Tribal Liaison & Science Communications Specialist at University of Oklahoma

Posted in Management 21 days ago.

Type: Full-Time
Location: Norman, Oklahoma

Job Description:

This South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center (CASC) seeks a Tribal Liaison & Science Communications Specialist to build and maintain respectful and progressive relationships among the South Central CASC and the Tribes and Pueblos in New Mexico as related to the impacts of climate change and climate adaptation. The individual hired will be responsible for working closely with partners from a variety of Tribes, Pueblos, and inter-tribal organizations in New Mexico to develop and deliver trainings on climate adaptation and related topics, provide support to communities seeking or engaged in adaptation activities, and work to identify and reduce barriers to implementing Tribal adaptation activities. When requested by our partners, the Tribal Liaison & Science Communications Specialist will lead research and education activities that are designed to increase knowledge of climate and its impacts, identify outside resources to help with specific projects, and promote opportunities for collaboration through research partnerships. They will coordinate with our CASC Sustainability Scientist on regional efforts working with Indigenous communities, as well as with other South Central CASC employees at the USGS, University of Oklahoma, and CASC consortium institutions. The Tribal Liaison & Science Communications Specialist will work with the South Central CASC to identify ways that researchers and other professionals can design research, data products, and tools to better fit the needs of Tribal partners, and they will work to deliver these products for use in climate adaptation planning. 

The selected candidate will join a diverse, interdisciplinary team dedicated to supporting the use of climate information in adaptation planning. The Tribal Liaison & Science Communications Specialist will be an employee of the University of Oklahoma and based out of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Extensive travel in New Mexico to meet with partners is expected, and occasional travel to Norman, OK, will be necessary.

Duties for this position include, but not limited to: 

  • Develop and deliver events, workshops, and other trainings, including course design and format, logistics, program content, and instructional materials, that clearly respond to the needs of Pueblos and Tribes in New Mexico and other areas of the south-central U.S.;

  • Listen and actively participate, as requested by Tribal partners, in local or regional meetings to learn about science needs in Indian Country and to share contemporary scientific and hazard planning knowledge from the USGS and South Central CASC Consortium members, including the University of New Mexico;

  • Lead the Cultural Resources subcommittee of the USGS/USDA Joint Stakeholder Committee, including scheduling and facilitating meetings, recruiting members, keeping members informed of the work of South Central CASC Tribal Liaisons, maintaining meeting minutes, conducting any reporting functions for USGS Headquarters, and coordinating activities with the USGS Deputy Director or his/her designee on the actions of the subcommittee;

  • Serve as an ex officio member of the South Central CASC’s Tribal Program Evaluation committee;

  • Share the materials for these trainings with BIA Tribal Liaisons such that other Climate Adaptation Science Centers will be able to replicate the content and re-offer similar trainings in their regions;

  • Through broad networking, connect researchers and Tribal partners or partner organizations so that they can build collaborative projects together to address climate impacts to New Mexico Tribes and Pueblos;

  • Based on relationships of trust, help Tribal professionals transfer knowledge and needs to researchers and other agency professionals, and help researchers transfer knowledge, tools, and datasets to Tribes for use in preparedness planning or grant development;

  • Work with CASC Consortium researchers wishing to engage in research with New Mexico’s tribal communities to develop ethical research protocols and practices for their projects;

  • Attend and present at regional and national tribally focused workshops and conferences, serve on panels or committees to aid partners, and host Tribal visitors;

  • Communicate and represent the CASC during regularly and irregularly scheduled meetings, and coordinate with our team on fulfilling our broader CASC goals;

  • Participate in culturally significant events at the Pueblos and Villages in New Mexico as part of building and maintaining trust among Tribal Partners; and

  • Mentor undergraduate students or BIA Pathways Interns, as time allows.

Required Education: 

Bachelors in Native American Studies, Climate Science, Hydrology, Rural and Urban Planning, Geography, Environmental Management, or similar; OR an equivalent combination of education/job related experience, AND:

  • 18-36 months of experience respectfully working with Tribes, Indigenous communities, or intertribal organization


  • Strong written and oral communication skills

  • Detail oriented for accuracy of data and information

  • Highly organized and able to handle multiple projects and deadlines

  • Must be able to read and interpret policy as well as State and Federal regulations


  • Valid Driver's License

Advertised Physical Requirements:

  • Must be able to engage in repetitive motions including movements of the hands, wrists or fingers. Ability to communicate, including expressing oneself or exchanging information with others. 

Department Preferences:

  • Strong preference for candidates with demonstrated cultural competence and ethics working with Indigenous peoples and communities

  • Experience in communicating technical or scientific information to government officials, environmental officials, elders, or youth

  • Experience in administrative oversight of technical or scientific projects

  • Experience coordinating and facilitating conferences, workshops, and meetings

  • Experience in climate adaptation, hazard mitigation, or similar resilience efforts

  • Experience managing federal grants

  • Demonstrated understanding of sovereignty, Tribal governance, traditional knowledge, different cultures, and place-based or culturally based decision making

  • Knowledge of the impacts of climate change on the peoples of New Mexico

  • Ability to communicate in one or more languages of Tribes in the Southwest U.S.

  • Additional education or experience, especially as related to vulnerability assessment, climate adaptation planning, small-group facilitation, or climate science

  • Basic knowledge of accounting principles

  • Demonstrated ability to work with an interdisciplinary team

  • Experience supervising full- or part-time employees

  • Proficiency with computer applications, including PowerPoint, Word, and Excel (or Mac OSX equivalents).

Supervision: Minimal supervision duties


Special Instructions: If you are selected as a final candidate for this position, you will be subject to The University of Oklahoma Norman Campus Tuberculosis Testing policy.  To view the policy, visit