Spread the word: Michigan Sea Grant is seeking an outgoing, self-motivated person to lead our communications team. The communications lead position is based in our Ann Arbor office at the University of Michigan. Applications are open until December 21.

How to Apply

A cover letter and resume are required; the cover letter must be page 1 of your resume. The letter should: 1) specifically outline the reasons for your interest in the position; 2) outline your particular skills and experience directly related to this position; and 3) include your current or most recent salary. In addition, please provide examples of communication materials you have produced.

Starting salary may vary depending on qualifications and experience of the selected candidate.

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Job Summary

Michigan Sea Grant (MISG) is searching for an outgoing and self-motivated individual to serve as Communications Program Leader working out of the office in Ann Arbor, MI. The Leader will direct activities of the communications area of MISG. MISG is one of 34 university-based programs committed to the protection and sustainable use of the nation’s marine and Great Lakes resources through research, education, and outreach. The Leader will develop and coordinate the program’s communications strategy, conduct project planning and management, allocate resources, supervise a two-member communications staff, co-lead place-based and on-line education outreach, and work cooperatively with communications colleagues at Michigan State University to support the communication needs of the MISG Extension program.  In addition, the Leader will lead communication interactions with the other Great Lakes Sea Grant programs and the National Sea Grant Office.


  • Define communications goals and strategies, and identify outcomes associated with those goals, in coordination with the Management Team, to achieve the vision of MISG.
  • Prioritize communications projects according to program goals and work with communications team members to accomplish stated objectives.
  • Ensure that MISG communications projects and processes align with criteria set at the national level.
  • Assist in researching and producing required reports on behalf of the program, including MISG’s annual report.
  • Explore financial grants and other opportunities to expand MISG’s communications and education resources and programming.
  • Coordinate MISG’s involvement in communications projects in cooperation with other University of Michigan departments, as well as other state, federal, and private agencies.
  • Coordinate MISG product development, marketing, public relations, website development, and media relations in cooperation with all aspects of outreach, education, and research programming.
  • Define and oversee development of brochures, fact sheets, conference proceedings, press releases, tip sheets, and other educational and informational publications.
  • Supervise communications staff, including hiring, conducting performance reviews, and arranging ongoing professional development.
  • Work with Fiscal Officer to set annual communications budget, policy on distribution of publications, pricing, and marketing strategies.
  • Develop and maintain links with key media on Sea Grant research and outreach topics. Oversee media strategy, including news releases, social media, and online promotion. Respond to National Sea Grant’s media requests.
  • Represent MISG in meetings and public forums, including giving presentations.
  • Serve as the central liaison for MISG communications within the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network, National Sea Grant Network, and other Great Lakes organizations; respond appropriately to requests from MISG staff, other Sea Grant programs, and the public regarding communications.
  • Collaborate with the Management Team, researchers, and Extension educators on communications support.
  • Help to develop a strong network of state and federal legislative relations.

Required Qualifications

  • MS in communications, environmental studies, science education, or related field.
  • At least 3-5 years of progressively responsible experience in a communications-related field.
  • Experience in program management, public relations, writing, and editing, and familiarity with environmental or biological sciences.
  • Demonstrated ability to prepare and publish materials for use by the general public.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with ability to work as a team member within an established office structure.
  • Demonstrated ability to creatively apply contemporary marketing and communications technology and techniques.
  • Excellent written and oral communication and presentation skills, including ease in communicating complex concepts in a clear, effective manner for a general audience.
  • A strong sense of accountability, including a commitment to organizing, prioritizing, and planning work activities according to established timelines and schedules, and the ability to anticipate issues in accomplishing work and communicating in advance to affected parties.
  • Recognized ability to meet multiple deadlines by maintaining a high level of organization.
  • Ability to employ effective problem-solving techniques.

Desired Qualifications

  • A strong network within the relevant resource management, policy making, university, and business communities within the Great Lakes basin.
  • 5-7 years of responsible experience in a communications-related field.
  • Experience with supporting educational outreach and curricula development.
  • Experience in video media and production.
  • Supervision experience.
  • Creative thinking and desire to contribute to a fun and inspired office environment.

Supervision: Supervision is received from MISG Director; judgment and discretion in the execution of responsibilities are exercised according to University of Michigan policies and procedures.

Additional Information

Additional Information: A collaborative effort of the University of Michigan and Michigan State University, MISG promotes knowledge of the Great Lakes through research, outreach, and education. MISG is part of the NOAA-National Sea Grant network of 33 university-based programs in coastal areas around the country. To learn more about MISG, please visit our website: www.michiganseagrant.org.

We offer our employees an extensive total compensation package, including competitive pay, a two-for- one retirement contribution, a variety of health insurance options, and a generous vacation plan. In addition, there are seven paid holidays and four paid season days annually.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days.  The review and selection process may begin as early as the eighth day after posting. This opening may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.