Institute for the Environment Employment

Employment Opportunities

Asst./Assoc. Project Scientist - Working Lands Innovation Center

  • Open date: Feb. 26, 2024
  • Next review date: Tues., March 12, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time) Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.
  • Final date: Sunday, Jun 30, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time). Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position Description

The Working Lands Innovation Center (WLIC; https://www.workinglandsinnovation.com/), part of the UC Davis Institute of the Environment (IE), is dedicated to the study of soil quality and carbon sequestration in irrigated and dryland agricultural systems in California. Under Director Professor Isabel Montañez, the WLIC provides a platform where researchers identify and test novel practices and technologies to build resilient agricultural cropping systems that store soil carbon and contribute to atmospheric CO2 drawdown. Among WLIC ongoing experiments is a study of the effectiveness of Enhanced Rock Weathering (ERW) and its interactions with established soil carbon improvement practices such as compost and biochar application. Practice effectiveness is measured by soil C stock changes, greenhouse gas fluxes, yields, resource-use and environmental impacts.

Qualifications

  • Basic qualifications (required at time of application)
    Ph.D. in environmental and/or soil sciences with a research background in designing and overseeing field trials and laboratory incubations for nature-based decarbonization technologies. Candidates should have experience in lab and field organic and inorganic measurements of soil materials and soil waters, and feedstocks be fluent in other environmental systems.
  • Preferred qualifications (other preferred, but not required, qualifications for the position)
    Knowledge of soil organic-inorganic-and microbial interactions and methodologies for studying them as well as quantitative modeling would be useful but is not required.

Major Responsibilities

  • Research activity (50%)
    This position involves making creative contributions to and engaging in collaborative development and expansion of an active research program in the areas of climate change mitigation and sustainable agriculture. The candidate will help to define and implement research goals in consultation with the Director. They will design specific projects, utilizing WLIC existing trials and resources and involving selection of appropriate methods and techniques. Work will include
    statistical analyses, modeling and other evaluations of data sets of soil characteristic, agronomic, irrigation, climate and economic data. The candidate will supervise students and staff in collection of new data, and provide expert support on technical aspects of research, including methods development, troubleshooting problems, interpreting results and planning follow-up experiments.
  • Assistance with Grant Acquisition and Fund-raising (20%)
    The candidate will be assisting the Director with identifying synergies and opportunities to pursue grant proposals to extend and expand research activities at WLIC. This will include assisting the Director on writing proposals for extramural funding from federal and state agencies and other funding organizations, as well as working with teams of investigators applying for interdisciplinary proposals for research at IE. The candidate will also work with the Director and Institute development staff to help identify opportunities and support the preparation of proposals for endowment and gift funding.
  • Publication activities (20%)
    Candidate will take the lead in preparation of peer-reviewed articles, as well as participate as co-author in collaborative articles from group projects at WLIC. Candidate will also lead and participate in writing technical reports and articles for the popular press and social media.
  • II. PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE AND ACTIVITY (5%)
    The candidate will attend seminars and workshops to present research results and give oral
    presentations to public and professional interest groups.
  • IV. UNIVERSITY AND PUBLIC SERVICE (5%)
    The candidate will engage in public outreach activities that include informal instruction and presentation of research results to farmers, non-profits, state
    agencies, and industry during workshops and field days.

Salary and Benefits

Salary range: A reasonable estimate for this position is $71,500.00 - $93,300.00 for Asst. Project Scientist and $87,900.00 - $112,000.00.00 for Assoc. Project Scientist

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To Apply

Postdoc - Agricultural Economics, Occupational Health and Machine Learning

  • Open date: Feb. 26, 2024
  • Next review date: Mon., March 11, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time) Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.
  • Final date: Sunday, Jun 30, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time). Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position Description

Postdoctoral Research Associate Position in Agricultural Economics, Occupational Health, and Machine Learning at the University of California Davis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety (WCAHS) at the University of California, Davis.

The ideal candidate for the postdoc will combine a strong understanding of agricultural production and the tasks typically performed, potentially through their expertise in agricultural economics, and an understanding of frontier methods in Natural Language Modeling, Large Language Models, and Big Data Management and Analytics. The candidate will be responsible for compiling and harmonizing data on occupational injuries in agriculture from multiple sources. They will develop and apply machine learning algorithms to extract attributes of the worker, employer, and primary product (type of crop or animal), classify the task being performed at the time of the injury and, where possible, attribute the cause of the injury. They will compute incidence rates for multiple categories of occupational injuries across the features identified through the machine learning exercise. They will maintain and publish these incidence rates as a regularly updated data series, summary dashboard, and bi-annual report on occupational injuries in agriculture in the Western states. The candidate will prepare at least one peer-reviewed publication per year and will also have opportunities to explore independent lines of research inquiry. The candidate will be based in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at UC Davis.

Qualifications

  • Basic qualifications (required at time of application)PhD in agricultural economics, economics, statistics, or computer science.
  • Preferred qualifications Prior experience with machine learning algorithms with an emphasis on Natural Language Modeling and Large Language Models; expertise in economics, with a familiarity with agricultural labor or agricultural production systems preferred; strong communication and organizational skills; and exceptional data management skills and interest in transparent and reproducible science.

Salary and Benefits

The posted UC salary scales set the minimum pay determined by rank and/or step at appointment. See Table 23: Postdoctoral Scholar-Employee, Postdoctoral Scholar-Fellow, Postdoctoral Scholar-Paid Direct, Fiscal Year. The salary range for this position is $64,480-$77,327. “Off-scale salaries”, i.e., a salary that is higher than the published system-wide salary at the designated rank and step, are offered when necessary to meet competitive conditions, qualifications, and experience

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To Apply

Junior Specialist - Stream Macroinvertebrate and Fish

  • Open date: Dec. 14, 2023
  • Next review date: Monday, Dec. 25, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time) Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.
  • Final date: Sunday, Jun 30, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time). Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position Description

This position will aid in interdisciplinary research studies of stream ecosystems in California including locations near Mammoth Lakes, Mt. Shasta, and in wetland habitats of the Central Valley. Specifically, the position will assist in the collection, processing, and identification of invertebrates (stream benthic invertebrates and zooplankton) and fishes. In addition, the candidate will have experience with fish dissections of inland trout for physiological analysis and an understanding of laboratory physiological methods. Duties include field data collection (seasonally) and laboratory processing of field samples including the collection of aquatic organisms and measurement of environmental variables including, discharge, temperature, and water quality; participate in data entry, post-processing, data synthesis and statistical analysis. Conduct literature searches and help write annual reports to funders. Actively and significantly be involved in creative activities of publishing research and designing future research including reviewing journal articles; engaging in discussions of research to assist in interpreting results; assisting more senior researchers in preparing manuscripts for peer-review journals by writing methods sections and commenting on draft manuscripts; and participating in design of studies as part of writing research proposals by applying experience to revise study designs.

Basic Qualifications (required at time of application)

  • Bachelor degree in ecology, entomology, Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology, or environmental studies.
  • Current California Driver’s License
  • Experience collecting stream macroinvertebrates in the field
  • Experience in stream benthic data collection, sorting and preparation for identification
  • Experience in stream benthic invertebrate and taxonomic identification using a dissecting microscope and dichotomous key.
  • Experience in team-based work that requires communication, decision-making skills, cooperation and leadership
  • Knowledge of basic microscopy techniques
  • Knowledge of experimental design and statistical analysis
  • Knowledge of taxonomic keys
  • Knowledge of basic ecology and/or entomology
  • Ability to work independently and remain focused for long periods of time while conducting procedures in laboratory at the bench or microscope
  • Ability to walk several miles to research sites for purposes of data collection, work in adverse weather conditions, bend, squat, crouch and pull and lift up to 50 pounds of survey nets and similar field equipment during field sampling days of 8-10 hours duration.

Additional Qualifications (required at time of start)

  • Experience identifying stream benthic invertebrates (to family or higher)
  • Experience with fish dissections (e.g., liver dissections) and basic physiological methods
  • Experience processing and elutriating stream invertebrates in the field.
  • Experience in analysis of stream benthic invertebrate data
  • Experience with the Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory experimental stream channels
  • Experience with data analysis and technical writing
  • Knowledge of MS Excel, Word, and Access; ArcGIS and Program R software.
  • Knowledge of statistics
  • Ability to work independently, problem solve, and remain focused for long periods of time while conducting procedures in laboratory at the bench or microscope.
  • Ability to mentor and lead undergraduate and similar field assistants

Salary and Benefits

100%, salary starts at step 1 ($51,300 / annual) or 2 ($54,700 / annual) commensurate with experience. Start date for initial recruitment 1/1/2024.

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Asst. Specialist - Otolith Lab Manager

  • Open date: Dec. 12, 2023
  • Next review date: Thursday, Dec. 26, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time) Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.
  • Final date: Sunday, Jun 30, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time). Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position Description

The position of Specialist has a narrow focus in a specialized area and provides technical or specialized expertise (e.g., with instrumentation and research equipment or with social science research methods) in the planning and execution research projects. The Specialist stays apprised of emerging issues and problems and maintains technical competence in the designated area(s) of specialization. Within this defined area and when appropriate, the Specialist is expected to provide leadership, facilitate teamwork, and develop collaborative relationships with colleagues and to participate in the planning of research and educational programs. Normally, Specialists do not have Principal Investigator (PI) status but may obtain permission by exception or collaborate with a PI in preparing research proposals for extramural funding. The Specialist is evaluated for merit and promotion on the basis of three basic criteria outlined below.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Master's degree in ecology, fisheries, hydrology, biology or related fields, or technical expertise equivalent to a Master's degree in the area of specialization or five years of training in the area of specialization.
  • Experience managing a team in a scientific setting.
  • Experience in preparing otolith thin sections for microstructure and geochemical analysis.
  • Experience with microscopy using compound microscopes and stereoscopic microscopes.
  • Experience with using Image-Pro Premier or similar image analysis software.
  • Training in measuring otolith microstructure to determine age and growth.
  • Experience with strontium isotope analysis using a Laser Ablation Multiple-Collection Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-MC-ICPMS).
  • Experience in the operation of a Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer (SIMS).
  • Experience in measuring trace elements using an Inductively coupled plasma (quadrupole) mass spectrometer (ICP-Q-MS).
  • Knowledge of SQL database design and development on both the front and backend.
  • Experience creating database queries in SQL.
  • Experience with the R programing language.
  • Experience using Microsoft office suite or equivalent software.
  • Writing skills to contribute to scientific communications such as peer reviewed publications, posters, standard operating procedures, reports.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with collecting water samples for isotope analysis.
  • Experience with embedding samples in epoxy resin.
  • Experience operating a low-speed diamond saw.

Salary and Benefits

Commensurate on experience level, with a minimum of $70,500. Benefits included for 12 months duration.

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To Apply

Asst. Project Scientist - CERF Research Program

  • Open date: Dec. 8, 2023
  • Next review date: Friday, Dec. 15, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time) Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.
  • Final date: Sunday, Jun 30, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time). Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position Description

Candidate will serve as lead researcher for the the North State Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF) Project within the Environment and Climate Justice Hub in the Institute of the Environment, and in collaboration with Partners including the Sierra Institute for Community and Environment. Major responsibilities include planning and development of the North State CERF research program, including assessment of partner and constituency needs, and developing and implementing collaborative research with funder (Sierra Institute) and other partners (state and local agencies).

Preferred Qualifications

  • Basic qualifications Ph.D. in geography, rural sociology, environmental policy, or a related field, with a research background in rural environmental justice. Candidates should have
    experience working in rural communities, Native/Indigenous communities, qualitative methods, and a basic understanding of California natural resources
    policy, particularly as applied in the rural north state.
  • Preferred qualifications Knowledge of current environmental justice issues in rural northern California is preferred but not required.

Salary and Benefits

A reasonable estimate for this position is $87,000.00 - $112,000.00.00 for Assoc. Project Scientist

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To Apply

Asst. Project Scientist - Growing GRASS Project

  • Open date: Jan. 31, 2024
  • Next review date: Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time) Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.
  • Final date: Sunday, Jun 30, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time). Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position Description

The Institute of the Environment at UCD seeks a qualified Assistant Project Scientist (APS) to serve as the project’s Field Research Team manager. Duties will include coordinating the external field research partners, producers, testing technology manufacturers, certifiers, and auditors. This coordinated network will be used to both define successful regenerative practices and to quantify greenhouse gas sequestration. The APS will also coordinate the assessment of auditing tools and organizations and participate in an RFP process to bring appropriate auditors into the project. Finally, the APS will interface with the IT development partners to create data schemas for storing, querying, visualizing, reporting on, and otherwise interacting with the generated research data, to co-create an informatics platform that will capture relevant field data and make it accessible to stakeholders. This will include ontologies and knowledge graphs used to catalog certification programs and auditing processes. The APS will work closely with a Graduate Student Researcher to accomplish these goals.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Minimum requirements for this position include a Ph.D. in environmental sciences, animal sciences, or a related field, with a research background in grazing systems and related greenhouse gas impacts. Candidates should have experience in field measurements of soil, carbon, and other environmental systems.
  • Knowledge of information systems, including conceptual modeling, ontologies, and/or knowledge graphs, would be useful but is not required.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Basic qualifications (required at time of application) Ph.D. in environmental sciences, animal sciences, or a related field, with a research background in grazing systems and related greenhouse gas impacts. Candidates should have experience in field measurements of soil, carbon, and other environmental systems.
  • Preferred qualifications (other preferred, but not required, qualifications for the position) - Knowledge of information systems, including conceptual modeling, ontologies, and/or knowledge graphs, would be useful but is not required.

Salary and Benefits

Commensurate on experience level, with a minimum of $71,500. Benefits included for 12 months duration.

Term of Appointment

The position is 50% time with the possibility of increasing dependent upon workload and funding, the position will be two years, with a potential extension of up to three additional years. It will be based in Davis, California. There will be some travel associated with this position.

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To Apply

Postdoctoral Scholar - Fish Ecology and Life History Diversity

  • Open date: Oct. 13, 2023
  • Next review date: Monday, Nov 13, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time) Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.
  • Final date: Sunday, Jun 30, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time). Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position Description

The postdoc will have a strong background in fish ecology and an understanding of stream hydrology of groundwater dominated and precipitation derived rivers. The candidate will be responsible for sampling native fishes and analyzing otoliths to assess growth and incubation timing (among other factors) in numerous rivers across California and elsewhere. The candidate will conduct statistical analyses to relate environmental covariates to fish response variables (e.g., growth). A primary goal of the project will be to understand how selection pressures differ between ecosystems and result in differences in key life history traits of native salmonids between river types (runoff, spring-fed, etc.). Previous work with otoliths is a plus, but not required. The candidate will prepare at least one peer-reviewed publication and will also have opportunities to explore independent lines of research inquiry. The candidate will be based at the Center for Watershed Sciences and Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology at UC Davis.

Minimum Qualifications

PhD in ecology, fish biology, conservation ecology, or related field.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Expertise in fish ecology and/or hydrology.
  • Strong communication and organizational skills.
  • Have experience with ecological data analysis and modeling, especially in R programming language.
  • Exceptional data management skills and interest in transparent and reproducible science.
  • A strong publication record or the potential for developing one.

Salary and Benefits

Commensurate on experience with a minimum salary of $64,480.00. benefits included for 12 months duration appointment at full time of 100%.

Term of Appointment

12 months duration appointment.

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To Apply

Junior Specialist - Toxic effects of chemicals on the lung

  • Open date: October 2, 2023
  • Next review date: Monday, Oct 16, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time) Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.
  • Final date: Sunday, Jun 30, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time). Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position Description

Research - (90%)

The Junior Specialist will be required to work under the supervision of the PI and/or Lab Manager in support of ongoing research projects in a Toxicopathology Research Lab that does research on air pollution and environmental exposures and the impact on health. The Junior Specialist will be expected to keep a detailed laboratory notebook, assist in experimental design and implementation, analyze data, and prepare publication quality graphs and images from the data collected. Other duties will include maintenance and update of inventory, ordering supplies, and helping prepare for safety inspections. The Junior Specialist, under supervision, may be responsible for the development/revision of appropriate standard operating procedures (SOPs) as needed for a toxicopathology research laboratory. The Junior Specialist is required to creatively work on publication of quality posters and do literature searches.

Professional Competence - (5%)

Include acknowledgement in publications and possibility of poster presentations.

University and Public Service - (5%)

The Junior Specialist will participate in training activities, such as scheduling, training and mentor undergraduate student assistants.

Salary Range

A reasonable estimate for this position is $53,100.00, at Step 1

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To Apply

Asst. / Assoc. Specialist - Food, Food Webs and Floodplains

  • Open date: Sept 25, 2023
  • Next review date: Friday, Oct 13, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time). Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.
  • Final date: Sunday, Jun 30, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time). Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position Description

1. Research in specialized areas (85% effort)

The research objective of this position is to study physical and ecological processes in relation to floodplain rearing of juvenile salmonids. Specialized field, laboratory and data analysis techniques will be utilized to ensure that data is properly collected and analyzed. The researcher will be expected, within their area of specialization, to work independently with limited direct supervision and to make substantial contributions toward publishable research. 

A. Provide specialized expertise at the Center for Watershed Sciences in field data collection and data analysis to understand critical rearing habitats for juvenile salmonids using a variety of field methods and data science/modeling in the California Central Valley. This position will contribute to specialized data analysis skills including model development for physical/ecological drivers of juvenile salmonid growth. Quality Control (QC) data and enter project databases. Analyze laboratory and field data using the R statistical programming language to understand salmon habitat viability by analyzing collected data in the context of the Central Valley floodplains. 

B. Serve as a research coordinator for floodplain projects conducted by PIs in the Center for Watershed Sciences. By using specialized expertise in the field study design and data collection, be responsible for ensuring uninterrupted communication between field and data management. Project functions and project output functions including preparation of reports, posters, and participation in manuscript writing. Creative activities include assisting in project design, grant writing, proposal review and data analysis by providing to these endeavors the specialized expertise in juvenile salmonids and flood plain systems for the PIs in the Center for Watershed Sciences. Responsible for writing grant reports for agencies on projects within the area of expertise as requested by PIs for writing peer review manuscripts in areas of expertise and reviews/comments on manuscripts. 

II. Professional competence and activity (10% effort)

A. The researcher will present at and contribute to presentations of others for at least one professional meeting or workshop per year. Expected events for participation include at the American Fisheries Society regional CALNEVA annual meeting, the biennial Bay-Delta Science Conference in Sacramento and the Interagency Ecological Program Annual Workshop.

B. Where opportunities allow, the researcher will review proposals or publications related to their areas of scientific expertise and practical experience. 

III. University and public service (5% effort)

A. Act as a technical liaison on issues of floodplains and food webs as they relate to critical salmon rearing habitat and respond to the needs to state agencies, federal agencies, and other external groups. 

B. Coordinator will be responsible for field safety, safety training required for new hires in the lab, as well as ensuring that field conditions are compliant with OSHA standards. 

C. Serve on committees of department, college, campus and other University entities, as appropriate. Examples might be service on departmental and college search committees and service on Academic Federation committees. 

Term of Appointment

One full year at full-time. 

Salary Range

A reasonable estimate for this position is $59,200.00 - $68,200.00 for Assistant Specialist or $70,500.00 - $84,500.00 for Associate Specialist.

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To Apply

Junior Specialist - Environmental Air Pollutants

  • Open date: July 28, 2023
  • Next review date: Tuesday, Aug 8, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time). Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.
  • Final date: Sunday, Jun 30, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time). Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position Description

This position will aid in studies of environmental air pollutants that affect the immune responses in in vitro and in vivo systems. This position entails carrying out molecular biology and biochemistry research studies in the Center for Health & the Environment. This research is under the direction of Dr. Chris Vogel. The person should have a solid background in Molecular biology and biochemistry research. Knowledge in the field of immunological methods is a plus. This is a part-time position (50-75% time effort, flexible hours).

Research (90%)

  • RNA isolation, PCR analysis, Western blot techniques
  • Preparing figures of evaluated data with Excel
  • Run statistics and compare expression levels of control and treated samples
  • Maintaining of protocols, preparing tables and references and assistance with manuscript preparation
  • Additional skills in work with cell culture, immunological methods, preparation of histological tissue samples and staining, and immunohistochemistry (IHC) would be a plus.
  • Actively involved in creative activities of publishing research and designing future research including reviewing journal articles; engaging in discussions of research to assist in interpreting results; and participating in design of studies as part of writing research proposals by applying experience to revise study designs.

Professional Competence & Activity (5%)

  • Present research results at lab meetings and Journal club

University and Public Service (5%)

  • Mentor undergraduates and junior researchers working on complementary topics

Term of Appointment

One year full-time at 50-75%, Junior Specialist, Step I.

A Junior Specialist appointee should have a baccalaureate or similar degree in a discipline relevant or related to the research conducted in the unit hiring the appointee, or if lacking a relevant baccalaureate degree should have experience with the appropriate specialized research methods. In general, it is inappropriate to appoint an individual with a Master’s or doctoral degree in the relevant discipline or a baccalaureate degree plus three or more years of experience with the specialized methods as a Junior Specialist.

Salary Range

A reasonable estimate for this position is $53,100.00, at Step 1.

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To Apply