Job Openings


Communications Manager

Location: University of Minnesota, St. Paul

Reports To:  Associate Director

UMN Job Class:  Marketing & Communications Professional 4 - Communications Generalist (9761CG)

Job ID:  346458

Position Overview

MAISRC works to develop science-based solutions to address the AIS issues facing Minnesota's lakes, rivers, and wetlands and to inspire action by others. Our research is focused on developing tools and methods for taking action on AIS by preventing spread, controlling populations, supporting AIS management, and advancing AIS knowledge among natural resource managers and the public. The Communications Manager supports this mission by managing strategic communications for MAISRC and continuing to develop MAISRC’s reach and brand through the creation, implementation, and evaluation of communications and marketing initiatives. 

MAISRC supports about 20 research projects at one time, each with a diverse set of stakeholders and partners. The Communications Manager works directly with MAISRC staff and researchers to prepare plans and create materials that communicate research progress and findings to MAISRC’s varied audiences including natural resource managers, legislators, funders, external researchers, and the public. 

The Communications Manager will report to the Associate Director and position responsibilities include creation and implementation of written and visual content; management of MAISRC’s primary communications platforms (website, social media, email newsletter); providing communications consultation to MAISRC staff; creation and execution of media strategy, including proactively pitching stories to reporters; development of print materials; analysis of communications metrics and analytics; and event management and support. This position is the only communications staff position within MAISRC, but works closely with MAISRC’s Research Outreach Specialist and in coordination with the University of Minnesota and College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) and UMN Extension communications teams. The Communications Manager will also work with undergraduate student employees, freelancers and contract professionals as needed.

MAISRC’s staff is a small team with a big mission and the ideal candidate is someone who can manage a variety of simultaneous projects and meet multiple deadlines while maintaining a high level of initiative, systems and strategic thinking, creativity, and collaboration.

Key Areas of Responsibility

Communications and Marketing – 90%

  • Initiate, design, develop, and implement effective communications and marketing programs for external and internal audiences, in alignment with MAISRC’s strategic communications plan. Maintain relationships with MAISRC staff and researchers to support successful public relations and communications initiatives.
  • Manage MAISRC’s primary communications channels, including website (Drupal), social media (Facebook, Twitter), and email newsletters (MailChimp, Salesforce). This includes strategizing, writing, and executing day-to-day content.  
  • Work with researchers to curate and create written and visual content from technical research updates, and distill them for a general audience.
  • Initiate, design, and develop educational and outreach materials, including fact sheets, handbooks, and videos (working with contracted videographers). This includes creating specialized or technical materials for marketing, publication, and public or internal relations that incorporate both written and graphic work and may utilize multiple media methods. Will include collaboration with the Research Outreach Specialist and other MAISRC staff.
  • Cultivate communications, marketing opportunities, and relationships with print and broadcast media.
  • Assist the Associate Director with the implementation of an effective development program including collaborating on fundraising appeals, donor acknowledgements, and identifying donor cultivation opportunities.
  • Work with the Research Outreach Specialist to plan, host, and promote public events, including MAISRC’s annual Research & Management Showcase conference.
  • Build and maintain relationships with MAISRC staff and research teams, and maintain collaborative relationships with communications staff at the University, college, and departmental levels to amplify the impact of MAISRC research findings and advance the field of science communications.
  • Analyze and evaluate effectiveness of communications and marketing programs, including web and social media, to identify trends and continuously improve outcomes. Make recommendations and implement new strategies/initiatives that advance MAISRC’s communication program over time.

Administration – 10%

  • Contribute to overall MAISRC activities such as strategic planning, reporting, and budgeting.
  • Manage vendors and contractors, as needed.
  • Keep current with developments in the communications/marketing field and apply to MAISRC programs.
  • Assist with other duties as needed (e.g. scheduling relevant meetings, drafting meeting minutes, ordering communications equipment/supplies).

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, marketing, natural resources, environmental studies or related field, plus at least 6 years professional experience in communications/marketing or related field.
  • Demonstrated experience in developing strategy and content for a variety of media and platforms (e.g. websites, social media, print materials).

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience leading a communications program, including developing, executing, and evaluating the effectiveness of plans, strategies, and tactics
  • Strong writing ability, particularly with scientific and/or dense technical information, and appreciation for the role of science communications 
  • Proficiency with web content management systems (Drupal preferred), web design/development, and basic technical maintenance
  • Experience collating and interpreting platform and media analytics (e.g. Google analytics, Facebook, Twitter)
  • Experience with digital and print design, including proficiency with design software (e.g. Adobe Photoshop or InDesign)
  • Experience pitching and working with print and broadcast media
  • Experience with project management and working with external contractors
  • Experience planning and coordinating special events
  • Strong interpersonal and internal communication skills
  • Dependability, accuracy, and attention to detail in all aspects of work
  • Ability to work independently with little supervision, seek solutions to complex problems, and perform as part of a team
  • Excellent time management skills and ability to adapt in a quickly-changing environment 
  • Knowledge of issues related to aquatic invasive species

Application Requirements

To apply, please visit and search for Job ID# 346458. To be considered, all applications must be submitted online and include the following:

  • Cover letter detailing interest and fit for the position
  • Resume including relevant experience
  • Three examples of work products for which you were the primary author (e.g. website design or content, newsletter articles, social media content, marketing materials, videos, media stories)
  • Three recent, professional references 


Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Review of applications will be ongoing and will begin on March 21.

For questions about the position or application requirements, please contact MAISRC Associate Director, Cori Mattke at [email protected]

Nature of Appointment

This is a full time (1.0 FTE), exempt, Academic Professional and Administrative appointment. 

MAISRC supports the University of Minnesota’s Work. With Flexibility approach. Work location options for this position include working partially remote or entirely in the office. Some field travel and on-site work will be necessary. 


The University of Minnesota 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 provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, martial status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. To learn more, please visit the University's Office for Equity and Diversity webpage.

Employment Requirements

Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check. Our presumption is that prospective employees are eligible to work at the University of Minnesota. Criminal convictions do not automatically disqualify finalists from employment.

Please note: All employees at the University of Minnesota are required to report complete vaccinations against COVID-19 or submit documentation requesting a medical or religious exemption on their first day of employment. To learn more, please visit the University’s COVID-19 Response webpage.