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Academic Coordinator III, ASI Student Farm Director

We are no longer accepting applications for this recruitment


The Student Farm (SF) is a learning community where students from many disciplines work to create, maintain and explore sustainable food systems on a 20+ acre farm. A key component of the Agricultural Sustainability Institute (ASI), the SF has served UC Davis students and faculty and the public with educational, research, and outreach opportunities focused on sustainable agriculture and food systems for 40 years. Each year over 400 students engage in staff- and faculty-mentored experiential learning through which they come to understand sustainability through the soils, crops, climate, and community in which they work and within programs ranging from backyard garden scale to mechanized crop and compost production. The organic crops they grow for the campus community are sold, generating over $130,000 in annual revenue, and donated to UC Davis students through the campus Pantry. Current SF programs include the Market Garden, Ecological Garden, School Gardening Program, a 100 member CSA, Organic Plant Breeding Program, Kids in the Garden Program, and the Food Justice Initiative.

The SF is committed to supporting student initiative, agency, creativity, leadership and empowerment as critical aspects of developing more just and sustainable agriculture and food systems. The SF contributes to ASI’s five thematic areas, most prominently to its Education and Leadership thematic area, which focuses on integrated programs for sustainability education and leadership from kindergarten through post-graduate levels. This work includes supporting diverse undergraduate majors, most prominently, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems, and graduate programs, including International Agricultural Development and Agroecology at UC Davis.

The Student Farm Director Position:
The Student Farm Director is an Academic Coordinator position. The SF Director provides intellectual, academic, and community leadership to the SF and has primary responsibility for overall vision and administration as well as the programs’ educational, research and public service functions. The Director guides a collaborative team of staff and students that shape the program over time, while centering student leadership within program planning and execution. The SF Director reports to the Director of ASI, contributes to the leadership of ASI, and is a major contributor to ASI’s Education and Leadership thematic area.

Provide academic and administrative leadership for SF programs and personnel. Lead and guide collaborative processes to: 1. set academic and programmatic goals and priorities, 2. develop and execute strategies and plans to achieve these goals, and 3. develop, manage and enhance program resources, including staff, funds, facilities and equipment. Contribute to the leadership of the ASI, particularly within ASI’s Education and Leadership thematic area, and facilitate SF’s contributions to ASI and collaborations with other ASI programs. Coordinate with, and serve as liaison to, the College and departments, undergraduate majors, graduate groups and programs, and represent the program within and beyond the College and campus.

SF Intellectual and Academic Leadership:
Provide intellectual and academic leadership to ensure that the SF learning community collectively develops and achieves both short- and long-term educational, outreach and research goals focused on just and sustainable agriculture and food systems, experiential learning, and student leadership and empowerment. This includes leading participatory programmatic planning and development that engages the SF community and other stakeholders and, as appropriate, working with other units and programs on and off campus.

Educational Activities: Supervise, coordinate and participate in the development and delivery of educational programs, activities and services by program staff and others (e.g., teaching faculty) using the program’s resources. Oversee and provide leadership for numerous educational programs and facilities, such as the Market Garden, Ecological Garden, Children’s Garden Program, Community Events Team, Food Justice Initiative, and the SF Shop and Composting facilities. Support and provide leadership to staff engaged in providing mentored educational activities such as internships, volunteer opportunities, and paid student employment, and via efforts such as the SF Leadership Development Training Program and Farm Forum events. Guide the development of the program’s informal educational programs to meet the evolving needs of students and teaching faculty. Oversee SF staff efforts to find new ways to appropriately assess student learning in experiential food systems settings.

Support relevant courses and curricula, including providing classroom and field-based learning activities in various courses. Support and contribute to the leadership of the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems (SAF) major, particularly in areas related to experiential learning. Collaborate with faculty developing and offering courses . Serve as a mentor for students completing internships, research projects and special studies. Serve as a member of appropriate graduate groups and on graduate thesis and exam committees. Provides support and coordination for courses that are integral to SF teaching and educational activities, such as Organic Crop Production Practices (PLS 49), and Garden and Farm-based Experiential Education Methods, (PLS 193).

Outreach Activities: Coordinate the public service, extension and outreach activities of the SF. Collaborate with SF staff and students, and with on- and off-campus partners, in developing goals and priorities for public service activities. Provide general supervision of special programs and tours for visitors, including collaborative oversight of the Kids in the Garden Program with the SF Associate Director. Participate in public service and extension projects and events for agricultural and food system professionals and the public that are sponsored by the program, ASI, the College, UCCE, and private, public and non-governmental organizations. Direct and supervise the program’s outreach efforts.

Research Activities: Coordinate and provide leadership and support for diverse research activities at the SF. Evaluate potential research projects proposed for execution at the SF and coordinate the assignment of field and facility space and the provision of services to researchers, as appropriate. Provide assistance to researchers in areas such as research goals and objectives, experimental design and methods, data analysis and interpretation. Collaborate with other researchers, including UC faculty and students and individuals from other universities, agencies and organizations, in developing and executing research related to sustainable agriculture and farming systems and sustainable agriculture education.

Program Assessment: Provide leadership and guidance for assessment of program and constituency needs to ensure the SF remains focused on agricultural and food system sustainability, experiential learning and student empowerment. As appropriate, collaborate with students, faculty and other colleagues on campus to evaluate programmatic activities and effectiveness and develop recommendations for improvement.

SF Resource Management:
Ensure that SF’s personnel, funds, facilities, equipment, and other resources are managed, maintained and utilized to meet the SF’s academic and programmatic goals and priorities.

Personnel: Provide leadership, coordination, supervision and support for a diverse team of SF professional and student employees and dozens of student interns and volunteers. Provide general guidance and support for two Academic Coordinator positions and work with them to supervise other career staff, grant-funded employees and graduate and undergraduate students. Work collaboratively with employees to set and meet goals and develop strategies to contribute to both the program’s mission and the employees’ creativity, productivity, and development.

Financial Resources: Develop and manage the budget and financial resources of the program. Coordinate and participate directly in developing extramural grants and donations, from government, foundation and individual sources. Plan, prioritize and coordinate income-generating programmatic activities (e.g., crop sales, fees for tours and public education programs, and recharges for research and other services) and ensure an appropriate balance between income generation and the academic mission of the program.

Land, facilities and equipment: Supervise the management, development and utilization of the program’s lands, built facilities, equipment, tools and other physical resources. These currently include: a. more than twenty acres of land including open fields for annual crop production, permanent educational teaching gardens, small perennial crop blocks and a composting area; b. the Bowley Center classrooms and offices and the Student Farm Field House workspaces and offices, a greenhouse, a lath house, an equipment shop and some small outbuildings; c. equipment and tools used for classroom instruction, farming and horticultural operations, and general administration. As appropriate to the mission of the SF, improve, expand, develop and acquire new facilities, equipment and other resources and coordinate the use and development of SF lands and facilities with allied and nearby programs and facilities.

ASI Leadership:

Contribute to the development and strengthening of the ASI by actively participating in the ASI leadership team, promoting and facilitating collaborations among various ASI programs and projects, contributing to the leadership the undergraduate SAF major and related educational activities, and collaborating with ASI-affiliated faculty on various education, research and outreach projects.

• Provide intellectual leadership and scholarship to the SF, and to ASI, particularly in programs and activities within ASI’s Education and Leadership thematic area.
• Participate in professional societies and conferences, particularly those focused on aspects of sustainable agriculture education.
• Mentor undergraduate and graduate students, including student interns and employees.
• Coordinate, support and contribute to research efforts at SF, in ASI, and, as appropriate, with on- and off-campus collaborators.
• Serve as PI or Co-PI on educational, outreach and research grants consistent with the mission of the SF.


• Coordinate outreach and service activities of SF and, as appropriate, ASI.
• Represent the SF, the ASI, the College and the campus to other units within the University, to farmers, gardeners, educators, public agencies, the private and non-profit sectors, and the general public.
• As appropriate, make presentations to the public and collaborate with appropriate partners inside and outside the University to achieve common goals.

• Serve on campus committees and ANR workgroups
• Provide guest lectures and field-based learning activities in various courses
• Serve on graduate student thesis committees

Formal teaching is not part of Academic Coordinator (AC) responsibilities. Therefore, a Lecturer (Unit 18) appointment may be secured for the AC for the Director to engage in formal teaching, such as courses in organic crop production (PLS 49) and experiential education methods (PLS 193) that are integral to the SF’s educational programs.

-Master’s degree in a natural science, agriculture, education, or related area.

-Demonstrated commitment to more just and sustainable agriculture and food systems.
-Experience in facilitating experiential learning in sustainable agriculture and food systems, teaching and mentoring students, and supporting student agency, initiative, and empowerment.
-Demonstrated practice of addressing agroecological challenges through critical thinking, problem-solving, systems thinking, experimentation and inquiry.
-Practical knowledge, skills and experience in managing crops or agricultural production systems, including supervising others.

-Demonstrated strong communication skills, including speaking, listening, and writing.

-Skills to facilitate group processes and to foster open dialogue, collaboration, and problem solving.
-Experience facilitating a team approach with shared leadership, decision-making, and management.
-Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work effectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds including students, faculty and the public.
-Supervisory skills to help employees to set and meet goals, motivate individual and collective effort, and evaluate performance.
-Evaluative skills to analyze, define, and assess problems, issues, and needs, and identify needed actions.

-Strong organizational and time management skills to establish goals and priorities, oversee multiple projects, achieve goals, and meet critical deadlines.
-Budget, financial and infrastructure management skills.
-Demonstrated skills required for grant writing, fund raising and maintaining donor relations.
-Demonstrated commitment to creating and maintaining, working and learning environments which are inclusive, diverse and welcoming.

APPLICATIONS: Applications should be submitted on-line at (
Applicants should submit: curriculum vitae or resume (required); cover letter (required); statement of teaching and mentoring, including formal and informal teaching, mentoring and supporting learners in any context, and with any age groups (required); contact information for 6 references. The position will remain open until filled. To ensure consideration, applications should be received by February 21, 2017.

SALARY: Commensurate with qualifications

UC Davis is an affirmative action/equal employment opportunity employer. The ASI is committed to the values of social justice in our work and building a diverse and welcoming organization for people of all backgrounds. People of color, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities, and other under-represented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

UC Davis is a smoke- and tobacco-free campus effective January 1, 2014. Smoking, the use of smokeless tobacco products, and the use of unregulated nicotine products (e-cigarettes) will be strictly prohibited on any property owned or leased by UC Davis-- indoors and outdoors, including parking lots and residential space.

Job location

Davis, CA


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

  • Cover Letter

  • Statement of Teaching and Mentoring - Statement of teaching, including formal and informal teaching, mentoring and supporting learners in any context, and with any age groups.

Reference requirements
  • 6 references required (contact information only)