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Extension Agent II, Plant Diagnostician, Cooperative Extension

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Job Details
Job Order Number
Company Name
University of Delaware
Physical Address
Newark, DE 19716
Job Description

University of Delaware

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

The University of Delaware is an Equal Opportunity Employer which encourages applications from Minority Group Members, Women, Individuals with Disabilities and Veterans. The University’s Notice of Non-Discrimination can be found at

Job No: 494583
Work Type: Staff
Location: Newark
Categories: Extension and Outreach, Full Time

Pay Grade: 30E

Context of Job:

The Extension Agent II/Plant Diagnostician is the primary plant pathologist for the University of Delaware Plant Diagnostic Clinic. The diagnostician receives samples from all crop areas across the state of Delaware and the region, diagnoses problems, communicates results and recommendations to clientele, and uploads data for samples to a national database. The UD Plant Diagnostic Clinic is the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN) lab for Delaware. The Diagnostician cooperates with the Federal and State Plant Regulatory Officials for DE on detection and diagnosis of high consequence pests. The Diagnostician interacts with county agents and specialists, grower groups, Master Gardeners, and collaborates with other CANR faculty and Extension personnel. The position is supervised by the Director of Cooperative Extension with input from the Chair of the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences.

Major Responsibilities:

  • Operate the University of Delaware Plant Diagnostic Clinic. Identify pathogens and provide diagnosis for plant samples from crop, ornatmental, landscape and forestry sources; communicate results, resources and/or management options to clientele or Extension personnel; maintain data for samples received via the NPDN lab management system (part of a national repository house at Purdu University). Accept samples from all crop areas in Delaware and cooperates with specialists for individual crop disciplines.
  • Prepare and present outreach, educational, and training materials in Extension programs, Master Gardener training, Ornamentals Hotline newsletter articles, educational meetings, guest lectures in University classes, and individual training to graduate students and growers. Material includes PowerPoint presentations, fact sheets, brochures, posters and other formats.
  • Collaborate with state, regional and national partners to detect and monitor plant pests. Partners include State of Delaware, the National Plant Diagnostic Network, USDA, ipmPIPE, and USDA/APHIS CAPS (Cooperative Agricultural Pest Surveys). Administer resources for Federal Cooperative Agreement awards, including planning, organization, supplies, equipment, personnel, and collaborations that support projects.
  • Seek additional funding resources through cost recovery, grants, sponsors and donors to expand and enhance the function of the Plant Diagnostic Clinic. Oversee multiple budgets including CU/USDA NPDN.
  • Maintain the Plant Diagnostic Clinic and Plant Disease portions of the CANR website.
  • Collaborate with faculty and Extension personnel on applied research projects. May conduct applied research in ornamentals disease management.
  • Maintain equipment and laboratories, current USDA APHIS permits, safety inspections, and chemical and biological inventories for the UD Plant Diagnostic Clinic.
  • Supervise part-time employees of the UD Plant Diagnostic Clinic.
  • Serve as a member of the Extension Agriculture program team and work collaboratively with statewide programming as part of the Extension Plan of Work. Serve on relevant CANR and Extension committees.
  • Document and track program impact based on stated objectives, develop effective evaluation techniques, and enter this information into the internal tracking software.


  • Bachelor’s degree plus four years’ experience or Master’s degree in Plant Pathology or related discipline and two years’ experience in Extension teaching, research, or closely related field.
  • Plant diagnostic training and/or experience.
  • Lab experience and expertise with micro-organisms and sterile culture technique.
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills.
  • Proficient computer and technological skills including use of software for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, data management and website updates.
  • Electronic presentation development and public speaking experience.
  • Ability to develop project plans, prepare budgets, and manage resources. Ability to plan for and implement short and long-range goals.
  • Knowledge of Extension programming which involves responding to clientele and community needs and evaluating impacts.
  • Ability to work effectively with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse community.
  • Ability to supervise and train assigned staff.

Applications close:

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