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Jr. Specialist, for the Dahlke Lab , Dept of LAWR, UC Davis

Recruitment Period

Open date: September 30th, 2019
Last review date: Wednesday, Oct 16, 2019 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.
Final date: Tuesday, Dec 31, 2019 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.


We are seeking a highly motivated and enthusiastic individual to assist in laboratory and field work within the Dahlke Lab (

Under the direction and advisement of the Dr. Helen Dahlke (Principal Investigator) and Dr. Yonatan Ganot (member) the candidate will:

  1. be responsible for conducting laboratory and fieldwork as part of a research team in a project that is measuring a suite of soil and hydrologic parameters in the fields and assessing field collected samples and data in laboratory analysis.
  2. assist in literature reviews, data collection, data analysis, and technical writing, editing and formatting of graphs and tables that summarize data generated in lab analyses and field studies from different sites within California.
  3. assist in carrying out experiments designed by the PI,
  4. assist in and independently perform soil sample analysis including soil texture, soil pH, EC and soil nitrate and carbon analysis.
  5. assist in and independently deploy and maintain soil temperature, EC, redox potential and moisture sensors in the field.
  6. contribute to the development of new technology for experimental use in the field and in the laboratory related to soil and hydrologic research, and
  7. participate in the development of scientific products for dissemination (e.g., reports and peer- reviewed journal articles).
  8. assist towards the development of conceptual or physical models that simulate and help explain observed flow and transport processes in field and laboratory experiments.

Overall, these responsibilities support lab and field experiments associated with the investigation of the feasibility of agricultural groundwater banking for the improved mechanistic understanding of flow and transport processes in agricultural landscapes in California and across the globe.

Major Responsibilities include:

I. Research in specialized areas (90%)
60% Lab Analysis:
• Maintaining and organizing the laboratory while adhering to laboratory safety standards and prepare laboratory for annual laboratory safety inspection,
• Ordering of lab and field supplies,
• Reading primary literature,
• Contributing to grant reporting, including data analysis and writing.
30% Field work
• Assisting PI, postdocs and graduate in field campaigns (e.g., Tulare, Stanislaus, Fresno, Siskiyou, Modoc Counties) that require travel,
• Assist with the collection of water samples and soil cores using the Geoprobe push-drill,
• Deploying environmental sensor technologies, including deploying sensors for measuring soil moisture, EC, temperature, redox potential, dissolved oxygen and air, installing and programming associated data loggers, and managing and maintaining data and sensors,
• Supporting in the development of scientific products for dissemination (e.g., graphs, tables, reports and peer- reviewed journal articles)

II. Professional Competence and Activity (5%)
• The Junior Specialist will be required to attend and engage in regular lab meetings and expected to attend local scientific meetings and conferences with a focus on topics relevant to the projects. Participate in presenting research findings at professional meetings and other stakeholder meetings.

III. University and Public Service (5%)
• The candidate will provide mentorship to undergraduate students working in the laboratory where appropriate.

Basic qualifications:
• A positive, self-motivated, attitude
• Excellent problem-solving and skills to overcome technical challenges
• Demonstrated experience with technical field methodologies or instruments for data collection
• Experience in soil laboratory analysis (e.g. soil texture, soil biogeochemistry, soil nitrate)
• Experience preparing and organizing supplies for laboratory and field research
• Skills following research sampling protocol to handle and transport samples, and maintain records from sampling events and laboratory analyses
• Bachelor degree in Environmental Science or a related field with a minimum of 1 years’ experience in soil science, hydrology, and/or hydrogeology related research
Preferred qualifications:
• Experience deploying, managing, and decommissioning environmental sensors from different manufacturers
• Experience with soil laboratory analysis
• Experience with statistical data analysis tools (e.g. Strater, Grapher, Surfer, GIS)
• Programming in R or Python.

SALARY RANGE: Step I - $39,500 annually [100%] plus benefits

TERM OF APPOINTMENT: 100% for 6 months with the potential for extension to 12 months upon satisfactory progress. Starting ASAP or by latest November 15, 2019.

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 Anna Lee 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

UC Davis is a smoke & tobacco-free campus (

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

2019 Forbes Award: Best Employers for Diversity 2019 Forbes Award: America

Job location

Davis, CA


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

  • Cover Letter (Optional)

  • Transcripts (Optional)

Reference requirements
  • 2-4 required (contact information only)