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Current Job Openings

Net Zero & Sustainability Coordinator

Hours: Full-time, 40 hours/week

Position location: Champaign, IL; Springfield, IL; or Chicago, IL

SEDAC seeks to hire a Net Zero & Sustainability Coordinator to support work with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Climate Action Plan (CAP). IDNR is the first state agency in Illinois to enact a comprehensive climate action plan for becoming carbon neutral.

The coordinator will work with SEDAC to develop and implement IDNR CAP strategies and engage IDNR staff, stakeholders, and organizations throughout the state. The position will also coordinate with the IDNR Office of Resource Conservation (ORC). Some travel is required.

Position Overview

The Net Zero & Sustainability Coordinator will work with a team of IDNR staff to implement the IDNR CAP and set the foundation for the Department to reach net zero emissions by 2050. The coordinator will provide strategic guidance and coordination on IDNR CAP implementation with two primary tasks: 1) guiding implementation of climate strategies in collaboration with other IDNR staff and 2) coordinating engagement and education related to the CAP.

CAP implementation responsibilities include:

  • Work with Climate Action Teams to formulate work plans to achieve emissions reductions. Provide project management oversight to guide the Climate Action Teams to implement their work plans.
  • Oversee the implementation of a utility tracking system to manage IDNR CAP progress and utility data.
  • Coordinate with IDNR staff to develop/implement strategies related to a Natural and Working Lands plan that enhances ecological resilience and carbon sequestration.
  • Monitor and track progress on the implementation of strategies and their environmental outcomes.
  • Oversee quarterly and annual progress reporting and IDNR CAP updates.

Coordination and engagement responsibilities include:

  • Plan and deliver internal staff engagement and educational/training programs around the CAP.
  • Develop and disseminate communications, including outreach materials and resources, related to climate change, environmental justice, and the IDNR CAP, to IDNR staff and the public.
  • Cultivate and sustain collaborative relationships in tandem with the Director of Conservation Programs to advance IDNR CAP strategies.
  • Organize and deliver presentations on the IDNR CAP to staff and external audiences, as needed.


Qualified applicants will demonstrate knowledge of climate action planning and implementation. They will have the project management skills necessary to work collaboratively with a large team to turn a plan into reality. Recognizing that all candidates bring unique skills, we encourage applications from candidates who:

  • Possess a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline.
  • Understand natural resource attributes and assets and have experience and/or familiarity with climate and energy topics.
  • Have at least 1 year of experience coordinating, managing, and implementing programs.
  • Demonstrate group facilitation and coordination experience.
  • Have excellent communication skills, both written and verbal.
  • Are able to work effectively with all constituencies in a diverse agency and are committed to equity and inclusion.
  • Are proactive and self-motivated, able to handle multiple assignments.
  • Demonstrate computer proficiency.

This role requires in person and remote work along with periodic travel especially within the first few months of hire to: IDNR, Springfield, UIUC SEDAC, Champaign, and IDNR sites across the state of Illinois.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in a relevant discipline.
  • Experience implementing environmental, sustainability, climate, or other related programs.
  • Experience working in climate justice, equity, or environmental justice.
  • Experience working in a large or complex organization with the job role of planning and implementing a broad scope of programs and communications.
  • Experience delivering effective public outreach and engagement.

The Smart Energy Design Assistance Center (SEDAC) is an applied research center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a mission to decrease the energy footprint of the State of Illinois. SEDAC works to achieve its mission through a wide range of programs in energy efficiency, renewable energy development, greenhouse gas reduction, and clean energy workforce development. Their work is funded by a variety of state and federal agencies, local governments, and utility energy efficiency programs. SEDAC is at the forefront of Illinois clean energy efforts.

SEDAC is helping the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) develop and implement a Climate Action Plan (CAP) with the goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The plan outlines strategies for reducing emissions from operations, buildings, and transportation, increasing the use of renewable energy production sources, as well as strategies for enhancing the resilience of natural resources in a changing climate. The CAP was facilitated by SEDAC and developed with the participation of over 70 IDNR staff over the past year.

Student Interns and Research Assistants

SEDAC interns

SEDAC's Internship and Research Assistantship program provides University of Illinois students with a thorough foundation in understanding building energy usage and business and community sustainability.  Interns and Research Assistants are mentored by experienced staff as they participate in instruction, hands-on workshops, field experience, customer outreach, and individual projects related to building energy usage and other sustainability topics. They learn how to benchmark facilities, conduct site visits, do workforce research, analyze utility bills, calculate energy savings, write effective reports, conduct emissions inventories and more.

How to Apply: University of Illinois graduate students from fields including Mechanical Engineering, Systems Engineering, Urban Planning, Architecture, and Landscape Architecture are invited to apply. To be considered for a summer 2024 research assistantship or internship, please apply by March 15, 2024. To apply, email your resume and cover letter to In your cover letter, please explain why you want to work at SEDAC, what skills and experience you bring, and what you hope to learn.