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Project Specialist: Championing Earthquake Preparedness at SCEC

Date: 03/01/2024

Dear SCEC Community,

Please share the following announcement with those who may be interested in this new position.


On behalf of Mark Benthien

Project Specialist: Championing Earthquake Preparedness at SCEC

The Statewide California Earthquake Center (SCEC), headquartered at the University of Southern California, is a collaborative research center with an outreach and education mission to help Californians prepare for, survive, and recover from damaging earthquakes and their effects. With funding from federal, state, and private sources, our team coordinates the annual Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills, manages and supports activities of the Earthquake Country Alliance (ECA), and produces and delivers preparedness content online and at in-person events. 

We are seeking a detail-oriented, data-driven individual who is passionate about public safety and community service. The successful candidate will thrive in collaborative environments and excel at managing complex projects and competing priorities. In this crucial role, they will play a pivotal role in our mission to empower communities through effective earthquake preparedness and education programs. 

As an employee of the University of Southern California (USC), you will be a part of a world-class research university and a member of the “Trojan Family,” which is comprised of the faculty, students and staff that make the university a great place to work. USC was founded in 1880 and is located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, and is the largest private employer in the City of Los Angeles.

Key Responsibilities

  • Partner with the SCEC team, ECA leaders and other community stakeholders to implement existing, and help develop new, earthquake preparedness initiatives.
  • Work within the University systems to manage project budgets, expenditures, timelines and resources; meet sponsor deliverables while demonstrating financial responsibility and meticulous attention to detailed record-keeping.
  • Analyze program data to assess effectiveness and identify areas for improvement; help plan and follow appropriate project budgets
  • Communicate program impact to donors, partners, and the broader community with compelling reports and presentations.
  • Manage data collection and analysis efforts related to earthquake awareness and preparedness activities and community engagement; supervise and mentor students engaged in database maintenance and analysis.
  • Maintain online resources related to earthquake preparedness information; supervise and mentor students engaged in production and updating of print and digital resources. Manage social media accounts as well as distribution of printed materials.
  • Support research initiatives that inform the development and refinement of SCEC’s preparedness and education strategies.
  • Build and maintain strong relationships with community partners, government agencies, and emergency responders; provide superior customer service and technical support to internal and external partners
  • Foster a collaborative environment within our diverse team of volunteers, educators, and scientists; communicate effectively and clearly, ensuring everyone is informed, engaged, and aligned with project goals. Facilitate ECA committee deliverables and deadlines.
  • Manage logistics for meetings and presentations, including calendaring, advertising, venue and Zoom arrangements, and managing policy-compliant expenses via University financial systems.
  • Engage in ongoing professional development and technical training to stay abreast of relevant emerging technologies and tools.
  • Be available to work public events in the evenings and on weekends (3-5 times per month) and occasional overnight travel (2-4 times per year, generally within California).

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree (relevant fields might include public health, policy/administration, education, non-profit management, earth sciences, science communication, journalism, etc.) An Associate’s degree with significant relevant work experience may be considered.
  • Experience working in a university or non-profit setting, relevant volunteer work may be considered. Familiarity with University policies, especially as pertains to compliance and stewardship of gift and grant fund management. 
  • Strong technical proficiency with standard office software (Office365, Google Suite, Zoom); some proficiency with databases (Filemaker/Raisers Edge), financial and HRM software (Workday), design and web tools (Adobe Creative/Wordpress) as well as willingness to learn and improve proficiency and keep up-to-date on best practices.
  • Strong organizational, communication, and data analysis skills.
  • Passion for public safety and a commitment to community resilience.
  • Ability to work independently, manage multiple priorities, and adapt to changing circumstances.

Additional Information

  • This is a full-time, grant-funded staff position for a 1-year fixed term contract with the possibility of renewal each year based on available funding.
  • A flexible hybrid work arrangement is available upon request. The individual will be expected to work in person at USC’s University Park Campus at least 3 days per week unless traveling. They are expected to be available to work public events in the evenings and on weekends (3-5 times per month) and occasional overnight travel (2-4 times per year, generally within California).
  • The pay range for this position is $29.44 - $37.00 per hour. Salary is decided upon experience. When extending an offer of employment, the University of Southern California considers factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the candidate’s work experience, education/training, key skills, internal peer equity, federal, state and local laws, contractual stipulations, grant funding, as well as external market and organizational considerations.
  • Job openings are posted for a minimum of (5) five business days. This job may be removed from posting boards and filled any time after the minimum posting period has ended, so please apply on the same business day if interested.
  • USC has excellent benefits, including health benefits for staff and their family with access to the renowned university medical network; eligibility for retirement plans; tuition benefits for staff and their family; central Los Angeles location with easy access to commuter trains, transit subsidy program, buses and free tram pick up services; discounts to sporting and other campus events.

Online Application

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