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Jr. Specialist, for Russell Ranch Sustainable Agriculture Facility , Dept of LAWR, UC Davis

Recruitment Period

Open date: December 12th, 2018
Last review date: December 28th, 2018
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.
Final date: February 28th, 2019
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.



The Russell Ranch Sustainable Agriculture Facility ( is a unique 300-acre living laboratory, part of UC Davis’ Agricultural Sustainability Institute (ASI), dedicated to the long-term study of the sustainability of irrigated and dryland farming systems in a Mediterranean climate. Researchers from a broad spectrum of disciplines including soil science, agroecology, agronomy, entomology, plant pathology, agricultural economics, and others collaborate with one another and farmers to develop practices and technologies that will benefit agricultural cropping systems. Russell Ranch is seeking a Junior Specialist to join the team starting in February 2019.

The successful candidate will help on projects related to climate change, agronomy, nutrient cycling, and soil health in conventional, mixed, and organic cropping systems. The Junior Specialist will work closely Russell Ranch affiliates such as graduate students, project scientists, and research and farm managers to assist with projects going on at the site. The successful candidate will assist with: 1) plant and soil sampling, processing, and archiving, 2) lab analysis of soil samples, 3) outreach activities at Russell Ranch, and 4) writing and presentation of results to scientific community and stakeholders.


I. Research in specialized areas (85%)
50% Lab Analysis
• Process soil and plant samples (grind, weigh, sieve)
• Conduct soil nutrient analyses (C and N pools)

• Conduct standard soil analyses (pH, gravimetric water content, aggregate stability, etc.)
• Help maintain a safe and organized laboratory environment
• Assist with archiving of Russell Ranch soil and plant samples
• Analyze, synthesize, and manage collected data

20% Field Work
• Assist with soil coring and sampling in agricultural fields
• Assist with plant sample collection in maize, wheat, alfalfa, tomato, and other crops

• Assist ongoing projects with field measurement, including greenhouse gas measurements
15% Literature Review and Writing

• Conduct literature searches for relevant articles to Russell Ranch research
• Work with Russell Ranch team to plan and execute research projects
• Help write and review manuscripts for journal publication

II. Professional Competence and Activity (5%)
The candidate will attend seminars and workshops to build professional competency in a range of disciplines relative to Russell Ranch research. The candidate will also contribute to presentation of research findings.

III. University and Public Service (10%)
The candidate will engage in public outreach activities that include giving tours and explanation of research results to farmers, non-profits, state agencies, and industry during workshops and field days.


• Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Sciences or related field with interest in soil science, plant science, ecology, and/or agronomy. .
[Note: The junior specialist rank is an entry level position, accordingly it is inappropriate to hire applicants with advanced degrees in this field, or those with bachelor’s degrees and three years’ relevant work experience.] (See APM-UCD 330)
• Valid California driver’s license.
• Demonstrated computer skills in word processing, data analysis, and statistical software: Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint), SAS and/or R
• Willingness and interest to learn new field and lab techniques and to work in an applied setting.
• Experience conducting active field work and research.
• Willing to work in variable and sometimes adverse weather conditions outdoors.
• Demonstrated laboratory skills with standard soil analytical methods.
• Experience communicating and working as part of a team.

This is a full time, one-year position based at the Plant and Environmental Science Building -- UC Davis, with possible renewal based on performance and availability of funds.

SALARY RANGE: Step I - $39,500 annually or Step II - $42,100 annually, commensurate with qualifications and experience.

POSITION AVAILABLE/CLOSING DATE: For full consideration, apply by December 28, 2018. Applications received after this date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

TERM OF APPOINTMENT: Full-time (100%) for 1 year, starting February 1st, 2019, with possible renewal based on performance and availability of funds.

JOB LOCATION: Plant and Environmental Science Building -- UC Davis, Davis, CA.

TO APPLY: To apply, please go to the following link: Applicants should submit the following:

  1. Cover letter outlining your interest in the position as well as your experience relevant to this position (please include a diversity statement,
  2. Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.
  3. Transcripts and
  4. References: contact information for 2-4 recent references.

All letters of recommendation, if requested, will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. Documents/materials must be submitted as PDF files.

QUESTIONS: Please direct questions to Emily Woodward via email to

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

Under Federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally able to work in the United States as established by providing documents as specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Certain UCSC positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check.

More information is available at

UC Davis is a smoke & tobacco-free campus (

If you need accommodation due to a disability, please contact the recruiting department.

Job location

Davis, CA


Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter - outlining your interest in the position as well as your experience relevant to this position (please include a diversity statement.

Reference requirements
  • 2-6 required (contact information only)

How to apply

  1. Create an ApplicantID
  2. Provide required information and documents
  3. If any, provide required reference information
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