JOB OPENING: Environmental Stewardship, Place, and Community Initiative Graduate Research Assistant


The humanities-led Environmental Stewardship, Place, and Community Initiative (MESPAC) funded by the Andrew W. Mellon foundation focuses on centering Indigenous epistemologies and other ways of knowing to shape how we think about relationships with the planet and each other.

Through campus/community partnerships based at U of M Duluth, U of M Morris, and U of M Twin Cities, the work has three main trajectories: curriculum development (integrating Indigenous and other ways of knowing into environmental education with an emphasis on humanities education and experiential work), community-engaged activism to center Indigenous epistemologies and struggles, and institutional change both at the University and beyond. Learn more about MESPAC.

Position Summary

The MESPAC Graduate Research Assistant will support the ongoing work of this three-campus grant both through intellectual work related to Indigenous epistemologies and environmental humanities and through organizing events and communications. Because MESPAC is a three-campus grant with many different elements, this work will involve a range of responsibilities including administrative/organizational work, evaluation, communication and storytelling, and research. A successful candidate must be committed to the goals of the MESPAC initiative.

Dates: Academic Year 2022–2023 (start date: August 29th, 2022)

Category: 50% Graduate Assistantship


  • Flexible 20 hours/week
  • Weekly meetings with Project Manager (time TBD), monthly meetings with cohort (time TBD)
  • Mix of on-site and remote work

Main Responsibilities

  • Assist in coordination of curriculum workshops, graduate student events, and end-of-year capstone symposium including an undergraduate workshop
  • Contribute to writing stories for IAS website, Open Rivers, and other media to share MESPAC work
  • Participate in regular meetings and events that involve both planning and intellectual development around themes of Indigenous epistemologies and environmental stewardship
  • Organize evaluation processes and analyze stories and results
  • Support the development and publication of an issue of Open Rivers focused on the work of the MESPAC grant and related projects

Additional Opportunities

  • Develop curriculum resources focusing on integrating Indigenous epistemologies and environmental humanities courses
  • Facilitate surveys using Qualtrics and contribute to qualitative data analysis of evaluations
  • Engage in research related to environmental humanities, Indigenous epistemologies, and community engagement that supports personal research interests and goals

Required Qualifications

  • Currently enrolled graduate student at the University of Minnesota
  • Background in environmental humanities or Indigenous epistemologies
  • Demonstrated written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Experience working effectively and respectfully with diverse constituencies

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience in event planning and coordination
  • Interest in community-engaged work and collaborations across the UMN system campuses
  • Commitment to institutional transformation
  • ABD with 24 thesis credits completed


  • 50% Graduate Assistant position (20 hours per week) at $26.73 per hour