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Volunteer Coordinator: NH Master Gardener Program

UNH Cooperative Extension

UNH, located in Durham, New Hampshire, with additional campuses in Concord and Manchester, is the flagship undergraduate, graduate, and research institution of the University System of New Hampshire. UNH holds land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant charters and is the only comprehensive public research, doctoral-granting institution in New Hampshire. The University enrolls 14,000 students, has a full-time faculty of 600, and offers over 95 undergraduate and 68 graduate programs in eight colleges. New Hampshire’s natural beauty includes coastal beaches, an extensive lakes region and the White Mountains. Durham is near the seacoast and about an hour from the mountains and lakes region to the north and Boston to the south.

UNH Cooperative Extension is the primary outreach unit of UNH. Its mission is to provide New Hampshire citizens with research-based education and information, enhancing their ability to make informed decisions that strengthen youth, families and communities, sustain natural resources, and improve the economy. UNH Cooperative Extension, in partnership with county, state and federal government, conducts comprehensive research-based educational programs. Its offices are headquartered on the University’s Durham campus with additional offices in each of the ten counties, where community based programming is tailored to the needs of New Hampshire citizens. There are 137 employees located throughout the state, working with over 3,000 volunteers to make a positive difference in people’s lives. The UNH Cooperative Extension budget was $16.9 million in FY14.

The primary responsibility of the Master Gardener Program Coordinator is to oversee the statewide UNH Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Program. This includes recruiting, training, supporting, engaging, and recognizing Master Gardener volunteers throughout the state of New Hampshire under the general direction of the Extension Food & Agriculture Program Team Leader.

Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who share their knowledge and enthusiasm for gardening with the residents of New Hampshire through community projects, public presentations, and other educational projects and events.


Coordination of Master Gardener volunteer projects and initiatives

  • Maintain a database of all Master Gardener volunteers and volunteer projects in each of NH’s ten counties.
  • Provide guidance and direction to Master Gardner volunteers throughout the state in development and execution of community projects that support the educational mission of UNH Cooperative Extension.
  • Engage Extension specialists and other staff in identifying state and local needs that may be addressed through the Master Gardener program.
  • Recruit and connect Master Gardener volunteers with community groups or others in need of Master Gardner volunteer service.
  • In cooperation with the Education Center Coordinator, facilitate filling speaker requests through the NH Master Gardener Speakers Bureau.
  • Assist volunteers in identifying and obtaining appropriate outreach materials for use in their programs and projects, including Extension factsheets and resources.

Coordination of Master Gardener training

  • Coordinate speakers, facilities, recruitment and registration for two or more 12week Master Gardener training courses annually, working in cooperation with the Extension Education Center Program Coordinator to identify current topics and educational needs for Master Gardener volunteers.
  • Coordinate speakers, facilities, recruitment and registration for workshops that provide continuing education opportunities for Master Gardener volunteers on topics related to gardening, horticulture, and other areas of interest and need.
  • Coordinate two professional development conferences annually for Master Gardeners, in cooperation with the NH Master Gardener Alumni Association.
  • In cooperation with the Extension Education Center Program Coordinator, improve, update, and develop online training and refresher classes for Master Gardeners.
  • Design and conduct programs and train and recruit volunteers in full accordance with the spirit and policies of civil rights, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Affirmative Action (AA), and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO); Identify and embrace opportunities to extend accessibility of programs to diverse underserved and under-represented audiences.

Engagement with Master Gardener Interns and Volunteers

  • Communicate program news, events, and updates to Master Gardeners effectively through newsletters, email, telephone, social media, faceto-face, and other communication channels.
  • Encourage and support development of local leadership among Master Gardeners; Schedule and facilitate regional Master Gardener networking and planning meetings.
  • Provide meaningful recognition of volunteer milestones and project impacts through articles, email updates, and formal recognition at annual conferences.
  • Develop print and webbased documents communicating program guidelines, standards, expectations, policies, and procedures in accordance with UNH Cooperative Extension policies, mission, and values and in accordance with standards of the national Master Gardener program.
  • Work collaboratively with countybased Master Gardener coordinators, maintaining a shared vision of program priorities, guidelines, standards, expectations, policies, and procedures; Supervise part time coordinators as needed.
  • Serve as the Extension liaison with supporting organizations and associations, including the NH Master Gardener Alumni Association and countybased Master Gardener Associations.

Marketing and Promotion of the Master Gardener Program

  • Communicate program impacts and success stories to public audiences through newsletters, website, social media, and other communication outlets.
  • Serve as a resource to volunteers, prospective volunteers, community partners, staff, and others in answering questions and providing information about the NH Master Gardener program.
  • Coordinate collection and reporting of volunteer hours, contacts, and impacts using online survey tools and/or other means as appropriate; Prepare reports on program activities, progress, or other areas of significance, as requested by the Extension Food & Agriculture Program Team Leader.
  • Participate in public events that showcase and promote the Master Gardener program within the state.
  • Evaluate the NH Master Gardener program though participant feedback surveys; Prepare an annual evaluation report, including priorities for program improvement and development.

Other duties

  • Develop a budget for the Master Gardener program, maintain budget records, monitor program income and expenses, and produce financial reports.
  • In coordination with the Program Team Leader, identify personal professional development goals and seek training in subject area expertise and essential skills, such as group process, facilitation, and organizational skills.
  • Serve on internal and external committees as appropriate.
  • Maintain regular communication with the Program Team Leader, keeping them fully apprised of programs, needs, and accomplishments.
  • Accomplish other duties as assigned by the Program Team Leader.

Minimum Acceptable Qualifications

  1. Bachelor’s degree in a field relevant to the position.
  2. Experience in work related to volunteer management.
  3. Experience in work related to horticulture and delivery of educational programs.
  4. Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively, verbally and in writing.
  5. Ability to relate effectively and work cooperatively with coworkers and clients of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, income and education levels.
  6. Proficient in the use of Microsoft Office programs, including Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.
  7. Demonstrated ability to engage and motivate volunteers.
  8. Willingness and ability to work flexible hours, including some nights and/or weekends.
  9. Ability and willingness to work outdoors and indoors.
  10. Must maintain a valid driver’s license and access to a personal vehicle for travel throughout the state of NH.

Other Preferred Qualifications

  1. Skill in writing newsletter articles, press releases, or other marketing communications.
  2. Demonstrated ability to plan and run meetings and events.
  3. Experience with database management.
  4. Experience with effective methods for teaching adult learners.
  5. Experience with delivering distance-based education.
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Date Added: May 24, 2018

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