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

Position overview

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.

Application Window

Open date: September 25, 2023

Most recent review date: Friday, Oct 13, 2023 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: 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 of a research project. 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.


I. 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.

Provide specialized field expertise in survey method development for floodplains and river channels in the Central Valley and by participating in other field efforts related to salmonid life histories and rearing and migratory habitats. Lead field sampling efforts for Watershed Center PIs via sampling of fish, aquatic macroinvertebrates, zooplankton, water samples, and stream discharge from a variety of locations within the Central Valley.
This position will contribute specialized data analysis skills including model development for physical/ecological drivers of juvenile salmonid growth. Quality Control (QC) data and enter into 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 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 floodplain 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 and 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 Ecology 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 technical liaison on issues of floodplains and food webs as they relate to critical salmon rearing habitat and respond to the needs of State agencies (e.g., DWR, SWRCB, CDFW) and federal agencies (e.g., NOAA, NMFS, USFWS, USEPA), NGOs (e.g., CalTrout, TNC, and similar) 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.

Commensurate on experience level, with a minimum of $56,600. Benefits included for 12 months duration appointment at full-time of 100%.

How to Apply:
Create an Application ID
Provide required information and upload documents
If any, provide required reference information

• Curriculum Vitae - Current/updated C.v.
• Cover Letter
• Statement of Research (Optional)
• Statement of Contributions to Diversity - Diversity contributions documented in the application file will be used to evaluate applicants. Visit for guidelines about writing a diversity statement and why one is requested.


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

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 working in a field and/or laboratory.

Field experience collecting fish, zooplankton, macroinvertebrate and water quality samples.

Experience collecting field samples wading and from boats in calm and swift-water conditions.

Experience of collecting stream discharge with a variety of methods.

Knowledge of California fish identification.

Experience using Office Software suite or comparable computer software.

Knowledge of statistical analysis using R statistical programming language.

Knowledge of lab and field safety including swift water.

Organizational and time management skills for serving as field research coordinator.

Writing skill to contribute to peer reviewed publications and to review publications and proposals within area of specialized expertise.

Knowledge to contribute to creative activities including outreach, project design, grant writing, proposal review and data analysis in the areas of fish growth and food webs.

Preferred qualifications (other preferred, but not required, qualifications for the position)

Experience in motorboat operation in a variety of conditions.

Experience in drone operation for ariel photography and surveying.

Experience using an ADCP for stream discharge.

Experience with zooplankton collection.

Knowledge of data entry techniques, working with large data sets, and quality control during and after entry of data into databases.

Application Requirements

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

  • Cover Letter (Optional)

  • Statement of Research (Optional)

  • Statement of Teaching (Optional)

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - Contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion documented in the application file will be used to evaluate applicants. Visit for guidelines about writing a statement and why one is requested.

Reference requirements
  • 3-5 required (contact information only)
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Job location

Davis, Ca