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Coastal Processes Specialist

Job Description

Posting Number


Internal Recruitment


Working Title

Coastal Processes Specialist

Anticipated Hiring Range

$60,000 - $72,000

Work Schedule

Monday - Friday, 8:00AM to 5:00PM

Job Location

Wilmington, NC (preferred)


North Carolina Sea Grant

About the Department

North Carolina Sea Grant is part of a national network that conducts research, extension, and outreach to address the needs of coastal communities and ecosystems. It is a multi-campus program of the University of North Carolina System. Its headquarters is located in Raleigh on the campus of North Carolina State University.

Essential Job Duties

This position serves as a technical resource, including but not limited to the following: coastal processes and hazards (including impacts of climate change on coastal systems), shoreline erosion and erosion management, coastal flooding, community resilience planning, coastal structural and landscape engineering, for a range of partners in the coastal region of North Carolina. The position focuses on solutions and best practices to the resilience challenges North Carolina coastal communities confront.

The Coastal Processes Specialist, in consultation with NC Sea Grant team members, key stakeholders and constituencies, extends science-based information to coastal communities, resource managers, and interest groups in North Carolina and the surrounding region and works with researchers to develop outreach extensions for their projects. The specialist contributes to research motivated by community needs and provides hands-on operational and technical support for constituents. The specialist solicits funding as needed to support projects through the development of grant proposals. Topical areas of work include coastal response to storms and sea level change, coastal and riverine flooding, coastal engineering, coastal hazard resilience, and other synergistic topics. .

Specific duties include, but are not limited to the following:
  • Deliver technical assistance and educational programming related to coastal processes and hazards, erosion control and management, coastal structures and infrastructure, engineering and the operation, management, development, and restoration of coastal ecosystems.
  • Identify and deliver technical support to targeted audiences using a variety of delivery mechanisms including written materials, digital media (e.g., development, implementation and administration of specialized GIS based web sites), presentations, meetings and workshops, site visits and individual consultations.
  • Identify, compile, and synthesize information on coastal processes, coastal hazards and associated impacts of climate change, shoreline erosion management and engineering, flooding and flood mitigation strategies, technical and regulatory aspects of dredging, and renewable energy, among other topics
  • Identify existing and emerging opportunities related to built environment resilience in North Carolina coastal communities.
  • Where basic information required for program development is lacking, the specialist will help craft applied research questions and design studies to fill these gaps and identify funding sources to facilitate these efforts.
  • Technical assistance and educational programs will be designed to increase technical capabilities and improve decision making and planning for local, state, and federal government representatives, coastal property owners and businesses, community groups and consulting engineers and marine contractors.
  • Identify audience and program informational needs, develop and submit proposals and design and conduct applied research to fulfill these needs. The specialist will communicate research needs of constituents to NC Sea Grant and UNC System academic researchers, and collaborate with researchers in proposal development and project implementation in subject areas.
  • Continue to expand knowledge, and keep current in their area of professional expertise. Professional growth is demonstrated in development and fulfillment of professional improvement plans filed with NC Sea Grant leadership.

Other Responsibilities

  • Prepare performance-based program objectives, benchmarks, metrics, program evaluations, and other programmatic reports as required by NC Sea Grant.
  • Acts as a leader within their area of expertise within North Carolina Sea Grant, and, when appropriate, within the Mid-Atlantic, South Atlantic and/or National Sea Grant Network.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned.

Minimum Education and Experience

Master’s Degree in engineering, geosciences, coastal/marine science, or related field and one year post graduation experience in coastal processes, erosion management, shoreline engineering, engineering project management, design, or related field.
Bachelor’s Degree in engineering, geosciences, coastal/marine science, or related field and at least three years of professional work experience in coastal processes, erosion management, shoreline engineering, design, or related field.

Other Required Qualifications

  • Advanced computer skills and the ability to use computer and long distance education technologies in the area of extension programming expertise.
  • High level of analytical, organizational, and planning skills.
  • Ability to work independently and as a part of a team.
  • Effective oral and written communication skills.
  • Possess the ability and willingness to engage people and communities of different backgrounds.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in engineering, geosciences, coastal/marine science, or related field and one year post graduation experience in coastal processes, erosion management, shoreline engineering, engineering project management, design, or related field.
  • NC Professional Engineer or EIT licensure.
  • Advanced computer skills and training/certification in the use of GIS software.
  • Training and background in geology, soil science, hydrology, and basic knowledge of nonpoint source pollution, stormwater management, floodplain management, and site design.
  • Knowledge of green-infrastructure-based approaches to natural resource protection, stormwater management and site design that can be used by North Carolina’s coastal communities to better protect unique and vital water and natural resources from the negative impacts of land development and nonpoint source pollution.
  • Knowledge about the National Flood Insurance Program.
  • Experience with coastal geophysical mapping tools (e.g. drones, LIDAR, single and multibeam, side scan sonar and associated software, water quality and physical process sensors).
  • Knowledge of renewable energy facility design, operation, and ecosystem impacts.
  • Knowledge relating to coastal ecosystem models.
  • Demonstrated ability to build partnerships and communicate, collaborate, and work effectively with diverse groups of internal and external stakeholders.
  • Ability to interpret and convey scientific research for non-technical audiences.
  • Capacity to design, implement, and evaluate engagement strategies for multiple audiences.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in grant writing and management.
  • Understanding of the principles behind extension and the land-grant university mission.
  • Prior experience working in a federal-state partnership organization.

Required License(s) or Certification(s)

A valid NC Driver’s license or the ability to obtain one is required.

Valid NC Driver's License required


Commercial Driver's License required


Job Open Date


Anticipated Close Date


Special Instructions to Applicants

Applicants should submit a resume/CV, cover letter, short (three pages or less) writing sample, and names and contact information of three professional references, (i.e., email addresses and phone numbers).

Position Number


Position Type

EHRA Non-Faculty

Full Time Equivalent (FTE) (1.0 = 40 hours/week)



12 Month Recurring

Mandatory Designation - Adverse Weather

Non Mandatory - Adverse Weather

Mandatory Designation - Emergency Events

Non Mandatory - Emergency Event

Is this position partially or fully funded on ARRA stimulus monies?


Department ID

061501 - Sea Grant Program


NC State University is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as an individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran. Individuals with disabilities requiring disability-related accommodations in the application and interview process are welcome to contact 919-515-3148 to speak with a representative at the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity.

If you have general questions about the application process, you may contact Human Resources at (919) 515-2135 or workatncstate@ncsu.edu.

Final candidates are subject to criminal & sex offender background checks. Some vacancies also require credit or motor vehicle checks. Degree(s) must be obtained prior to start date in order to meet qualifications and receive credit.

NC State University participates in E-Verify. Federal law requires all employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all persons hired to work in the United States.

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