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Post-doctoral research position: Hydrology & Soil Science (Dept of LAWR at UC Davis)

Recruitment Period

Open date: January 17th, 2020

Last review date: Saturday, Feb 15, 2020 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: Wednesday, Apr 1, 2020 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.



Post-doctoral research position: Hydrology & Soil Science

Smart Irrigation and the Food-Energy-Water Nexus in California’s Central Valley
The Nocco Conservation Irrigation Lab and Scow Soil Microbial Ecology Labs at the University of California Davis are seeking a postdoctoral scholar for a 2-year project who is passionate about agricultural water+energy sustainability and sensor-driven “smart” irrigation management. We are interested in working with an experienced field scientist who can think creatively and practically about what it is going to take to implement both short-term and long-term coupled water and energy saving strategies in California’s Central Valley.

The successful candidate will lead sensor-driven field studies to evaluate several different smart irrigation strategies in both conventional and climate-smart agricultural systems. The evaluations and supporting data will be made available to California growers and food-energy-water stakeholders through a public web platform in order to provide detailed, comprehensive, and generalizable comparisons of different smart sensor platforms and stimulate more widespread adoption of smart irrigation practices, reducing California’s overall energy and water use, while maintaining food production. Within overarching project goals, the candidate will have intellectual freedom to develop and pursue the research directions they find most interesting.

This position is based at the Agricultural Sustainability Institute, a research center within the University of California, Davis, and the selected candidate will have the opportunity to collaborate statewide with scholars at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Energy Solutions, and the Center for the Built Environment (CBE) at UC Berkeley, as part of a multi-institution project funded by the California Energy Commission. This position’s direct supervisor will be Dr. Mallika Nocco ( Mentorship will focus on helping you meet your professional development goals, whether in academia or elsewhere.

● 90%: Conduct fundamental research on soil-plant-water relations in irrigated Central Valley systems
o Prepare and deploy sensors to monitor evapotranspiration, soil moisture, and soil water potential in plot and on-farm experiments
o Measure stem water potential, photosynthesis, and stomatal conductance
o Estimate coupled water-energy budgets using agroecosystem models
o Coordinate project meetings
o Prepare manuscripts for publication
o Develop and pursue new research directions related to water in agricultural landscapes
o Present results at conferences and publish results in peer-reviewed journals
● 10%: Extension, Mentorship, and Outreach within the UC Davis and greater California agriculture community

● Ph.D. in soil science, agroecology, plant physiology, irrigation management, agrohydrology, or field related to soil-plant-water relations by start date
● Demonstrated ability to write and publish papers
● Willingness to collaborate and demonstrated ability to communicate effectively across disciplines
● Demonstrated excellent research capabilities required to carry out innovative and insightful research.
● expertise in soil moisture, tension, and evapotranspiration field measurements
● strong scientific communication skills as evidenced by peer-reviewed publications, extension work, and conference presentations;

● Familiarity with subsurface drip irrigation systems
● Familiarity with mediterranean cropping systems
● Experience validating soil hydrologic models using field measurements
● Well-developed data processing skills, including experience with R and/or Python

SALARY: Commensurate with qualifications and experience. Benefits include university staff privileges; group medical, dental, vision, AD&D, and life insurance options.

The position is 100% for 12 months initially, renewable for an additional 12-month period contingent on satisfactory progress.

Review of applications will begin February 15, 2020. The position will remain open until filled with a preferred start date of April 1, 2020 with some flexibility for the right candidate.

● To apply, please go to the following link: Applicants should submit the following:
○ Cover letter (one page)
○ Statement of contributions to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (one page, guidelines at
○ CV
○ Names and contact information for 3 references familiar with your work
○ Graduate school transcripts (unofficial copies acceptable).

For further information about the position, contact Dr. Mallika Nocco ( with ‘Post-doctoral research position: Hydrology & Soil Science’

The University of California, Davis, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy (including pregnancy, childbirth, and medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth), physical or mental disability, age, medical condition (cancer related or genetic characteristics), ancestry, marital status, citizenship, sexual orientation, or service in the uniformed services (includes membership, application for membership, performance of service, application for service, or obligation for service in the uniformed services) status as a Vietnam-era veteran or special disabled veteran, in accordance with all applicable state and federal laws, and with university policy. As required by Title IX, the University of California, Davis, does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its educational programs, admissions, employment or other activities.

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

Job location

Davis, CA


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