The ALC is hiring a part-time program administrator

The ALC is hiring a part-time program administrator

We are seeking a highly organized, personable, tech-saavy and motivated individual to join our team as a program administrator. Full job description is below. If you are interested, please send a cover letter, resume and contact information for 3 references to

ALC Program Administrator

Position Summary

The Agroecology and Livelihoods Collaborative (ALC) is a community of practice within the Department of Plant & Soil Science (PSS) at the University of Vermont, which utilizes an approach grounded in agroecology, participatory action research (PAR), and transdisciplinarity. Our goal is to better understand and seek solutions to the issues facing our food system. The ALC program administrator reports to the faculty director and research & outreach coordinator, and works closely with the core team (faculty director, research and outreach coordinator, and educational coordinator), to manage communications and internal operations for the ALC, and to plan and implement the ALC’s research and educational initiatives. The program administrator will also provide some support to the PSS program, and will be a point of contact for ALC students, and other collaborators both within and outside of the university.


  1. The ALC program administrator serves as the primary support person for the Certificate of Graduate Studies in Agroecology (CGSA) (35% effort) This includes:
  • communicating with students interested in pursuing the CGSA
  • providing production support for a range of online courses
  • coordinating logistics for hybrid face-to-face summer course
  • supporting the effort to raise CGSA scholarship funds
  1. The ALC program administrator oversees external communications for the ALC and provides support to the PSS department. This task requires collaborating with other faculty and staff to develop and implement an outreach and visibility strategy for the ALC and PSS (20% effort). This includes:
  • maintaining websites and regularly updating social media accounts
  • developing outreach, informational, recruitment and event materials
  • supporting the creation of presentations that align with UVM templates and guidelines
  • While the ALC faculty director is PSS departmental chair, some external communication support for PSS will be required
  1. The ALC program administrator provides logistical and budgetary support for all ALC programming (15%). This includes:
  • creating and maintaining information management and organizational systems
  • coordinating facilities access (including A/V technology) and vehicle use
  • managing purchasing and vendor relationships (this includes assistance with travel arrangements, plane tickets, etc.)
  • supporting the management of program funding, and cross-departmental financial collaborations
  1. The ALC program administrator maintains partner relationships by communicating with ALC students and partners (farmers, representatives of NGOs, academic and industry collaborators) (15% effort). This includes:
  • coordinating lab meetings with ALC members
  • organizing and facilitating weekly staff meetings
  • coordinating researcher/collaborator meetings
  • responding to inquiries for information

The ALC program administrator contributes to fundraising efforts for the ALC (15% effort). This includes:

  • identifying appropriate funding opportunities
  • participating in grant writing
  • managing grant submission processes
  • supporting the cultivation of corporate and individual donors

Position Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree.
  • 2-3 years of administrative experience.
  • Strong public relations, interpersonal, and organizational skills.
  • The ability to work well—whether by phone, email, writing, or in person—with a broad range of constituents both internal and external to the university.
  • Demonstrated initiative and resourcefulness.
  • Willingness to be flexible and work collaboratively as part of a team.
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks, meet deadlines and handle unexpected crises.
  • Detail-oriented, with strong budget management and problem-solving skills.
  • Sensitivity to issues of equity and diversity.
  • The ability to plan, prioritize, and balance the workload of several projects simultaneously in a fast-paced environment.


  • Experience with UVM’s business and financial applications and systems.
  • Familiarity with UVM’s administrative organization and academic programs.
  • Web development experience with WordPress and Drupal
  • Spanish language proficiency

This is a part-time position, 20 hours per week, at $18 per hour. We regret that we cannot provide benefits.


Farmer research networks & ‘Agroecological X-rays’ in the South American Andes

In mid July, ALC director Ernesto Méndez joined Maria Rosa Yumbla and Ronald Herrera, PhD students at the Universidad Pablo de Olavide (Spain), at the Andes Community of Practice (CoP) meeting of the Collaborative Crop Research Program (CCRP), in Arequipa, Perú. Yumbla and Herrera are conducting PhD studies in agroecology, and working on an ALC project on farmer research networks and participatory action research (PAR) with smallholder peanut farmers in Bolivia. At the CoP, Yumbla and Herrera presented their PAR work with farmers on developing an ‘agroecological x-ray’ to assess the state of their farms and discuss a transition towards agroecology. The term agroecological x-ray was coined by a participating farmer. The CoP included about 14 projects from Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia supported by the CCRP, a program funded by the McKnight Foundation.

Yumbla, Méndez & Herrera attending the CoP meeting in Arequipa Perú
Yumbla and Herrera discuss results of the agroecological x-ray exercises with peanut farmers in Bolivia

Katie Goodall, ALC/PSS Alum Carries on with Agroecology

Katie Goodall, who did her Ph.D. with the Agroecology and Livelihoods Collaborative (ALC), in the Plant and Soil Science Department, at UVM, carries on strong with agroecology teaching. Now an Assistant Dean at the School for Field Studies, Katie is returning to the University of Michigan’s Biological Station to teach Agroecology. She was a teaching assistant at the station, for several years, while pursuing her master’s degree at the University of Michigan. Congratulations y Adelante (Forward), Katie ! Read more here:

ALC launches second cohort of Undergraduate Research Fellows

The ALC is pleased to invite applications for the second cohort of the Agroecology & Livelihoods Collaborative (ALC) Undergraduate Research Fellows Program (ALC Fellows Program). The ALC Fellows Program provides upper division (3rd year +) students the opportunity to develop skills and gain knowledge in agroecology and participatory action research (PAR) to become integral team members of ALC projects. Please note, applications for the next cohort of undergraduate fellows are due: Friday, April 13th, 2018. For more information, check out:

ALC director participates in West Africa Community of Practice (CoP) of McKnight’s Collaborative Crop Research Program (CCRP)

ALC director participates in West Africa Community of Practice (CoP) of McKnight’s Collaborative Crop Research Program (CCRP)

In his role as agroecology advisor to the CCRP, ALC director Ernesto Méndez joined the CCRP’s West Africa CoP for their annual meeting, held in Niamey, Niger, February 26-March 3. This year, the CoP brought together 14 research projects, which are being implemented in Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso. Project themes range from improving varieties of sorghum and millet, to the use of agroforestry, and the co-creation of agroecological knowledge between farmers and scientists. In addition to learning and interacting with participants, Méndez led a workshop on ‘Frameworks to Assess Agroecological Perfomance’, where participants applied the use of agroecological frameworks in their projects. He was joined by ALC collaborator Steve Brescia, Executive Director of Groundswell International, who discussed agroecology as a science, a movement and a practice. During the workshop, participants engaged with different agroecological frameworks and principles by project, and discussed actors, opportunities and recommendations, by country, in terms of agroecological science, movement and practice.

Bridging the Climate Information Usability Gap in Agricultural Communities

In January, ALC Master’s student, Alissa White, presented at the American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas. White writes, “I joined about 2,000 people who are mostly weather scientists and climate physicists for their 98th annual meeting.  This long-standing scientific community made the theme for this year’s meeting “Transforming communication through co-production”.  There was a clear acknowledgement that the science they have been working on for so long is now extremely politicized by climate deniers.  This leads to many challenges in communicating climate science, but social science research which indicates that co-producing climate knowledge overcomes those communication challenges.  So these traditional scientists are aware that they need to learn how to invite stakeholders into the research process.”

Here is a link to her presentation titled, “Bridging the Climate Information Usability Gap in Agricultural Communities“. Follow the link to view her abstract.

Graduate Student Highlight: PhD Student Alisha Utter

On Monday (1/22) ALC lab member, Alisha Utter, was elected as a board member for the Vermont Vegetable and Berry Growers Association (VVBGA). In addition to the VVBGA, she serves as a leadership team member for the Vermont Young Farmers Coalition, secretary for the Champlain Islands Farmers Market, and a 2017-18 Vermont Changemaker via Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR)/High Meadows Fund. As a beginning farmer and advocate of land-based livelihoods, Alisha invites questions, thoughts, and feedback on your vision of a regenerative agrifood system. You can contact her at

Researcher Highlight: M.S. Candidate, Alissa White

The New England Adaptation Survey is a research project based at the University of Vermont’s Department of Plant and Soil Science.

The purpose of this study is to generate usable information for farmers about adaptation strategies and practices, and is based on the idea that many growers are already actively and successfully adapting to severe weather to sustain the economic viability and ecological health of their farms.

Six farmer organizations in northern New England are participating in the study to facilitate knowledge exchange across networks within the region, including MOFGA, NEVBGA, NOFA, CISA, Northeast Permaculture Network, and the VTVBGA. The project is funded by Northeast SARE and the USDA Northeast Climate Hub, and supported by UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture and the Agroecology and Livelihood Collaborative.

Read about Alissa White and her dynamic research team here:

Follow project updates on Instagram @nefarmresilience.