Job Listings

Extension Specialist - Crop Sciences

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Job Location:
Urbana, 61820
Extension and Outreach
Extension Specialist, Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP)
Crop Sciences
College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign 


Everything we do is designed to improve the quality of life of the people in the state of Illinois, across the nation, and around the world. We discover, develop, translate, and disseminate knowledge to address societal concerns and train the next generation of experts and leaders in a way that empowers them to expand the boundaries of science to higher levels of understanding and influence.

The Department of Crop Sciences within the College of Consumer, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences offers world-class laboratory, greenhouse, and field research facilities as well as state of the art teaching facilities. The University of Illinois also offers outstanding facilities in computing, data science, and genomic analysis as well as many other areas of potential support.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or veteran status.

Work as a member of the interdisciplinary Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) team to collectively create, prepare and conduct training programs for commercial and private pesticide applicators and operators in Illinois.

  • Develop innovative educational materials (presentations, manuals, workbooks, articles, etc.) regarding the proper and safe use of pesticides and their application methods related to 13 categories of commercial and private applicators and operators with the objective of improving the efficacy of educational and outreach initiatives.
  • Deliver training programs (both in-person and as recorded, narrated slide videos) and initiatives that support state licensing requirements, while proactively promoting efficient techniques for using pesticides safely.
  • Review and disseminate research information and develop educational materials and media using this information.
  • Respond to questions and information requests from clientele and the public regarding specialized topic areas, including but not limited to: current pest control recommendations, pesticide usage, horticulture, agriculture, pest identification, plant identification, and weed science.
  • Interact with state and federal regulatory personnel as needed.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness and impact of educational programs.
  • Communicate clearly and effectively both in oral presentations and writing (articles, manuals, etc.). Training clinic audience size varies but could be as large as 400.
  • Collaborate with teammates and network with people in the industry yet be able to work independently.
Required: BS degree in horticulture, agriculture, entomology, plant pathology, weed science, or related field.
Preferred: MS or Ph.D. in horticulture, agriculture, entomology, plant pathology, weed science, or related field.

Required: One years' experience in each of these: public speaking, writing, and development of educational materials. Possession of a valid driver's license at time of hire.
Preferred:  Knowledgeable about various plant pests and their control using pesticides.
A base level, working knowledge of common Illinois pests.
Professional experience mixing, loading, and applying pesticides.
Knowledgeable of various types of pesticide application methods.
Elementary knowledge of federal and state laws and regulations governing the registration and use of pesticides.
Experience in collaborating and networking.

A working knowledge of pest management practices including pesticides and their proper use; competency in public speaking, writing, and development of educational materials.

This position does require overnight travel to conduct in-person training clinics primarily held November-May. A combination of 1-day and 2-day clinics are held across the state in conjunction with each other where appropriate in order to reduce additional needed travel. Clinics are primarily conducted with more than one team member and a carpool vehicle is typically used. Driving responsibilities are shared equally among team members. Loading and unloading for clinics is done in Urbana where PSEP supplies are stored.

This is a 12-month, 100%-time academic professional position, based at the Champaign-Urbana campus. Hybrid work options may be considered for this position.

Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

This position is available as soon as possible after the closing date of December 6, 2023 

Application Procedures & Deadline Information

Please upload a cover letter indicating your qualifications, resume, and contact information for three professional references by 6:00 pm (CST) on December 6, 2023. All requested information must be submitted for your application to be considered. Applications not submitted through will not be considered. For further information about this specific position, please contact Michelle Wiesbrook, For questions regarding the application process, please contact 217-333-2137.

The University of Illinois System is an equal opportunity employer, including but not limited to disability and/or veteran status, and complies with all applicable state and federal employment mandates. Please visit Required Employment Notices and Posters to view our non-discrimination statement and find additional information about required background checks, sexual harassment/misconduct disclosures, COVID-19 vaccination requirement, and employment eligibility review through E-Verify.

Applicants with disabilities are encouraged to apply and may request a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (2008) to complete the application and/or interview process. Requests may be submitted through the reasonable accommodations portal, or by contacting the Accessibility & Accommodations Division of the Office for Access and Equity at 217-333-0885, or by emailing

Requisition ID: 1021216

Job Category: Education & Student Services

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