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#17-20 Asst. Specialist in CE, Soil-Plant-Water Relations/Deficit Irrigation (100%)

Recruitment Period

Open date: March 6th, 2018
Last review date: May 1st, 2018
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.
Final date: December 31st, 2018
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.


This is a 100% Cooperative Extension (CE) appointment, an academic position in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources. The successful candidate will be expected to develop an externally funded, applied research program in soil-plant-water relationships with emphasis on deficit irrigation, and to develop an extension education and outreach program that extends research-based information to diverse clientele groups (e.g., growers, farm managers, consultants, water districts, and agencies). The individual will be expected to work closely with academic colleagues, including academic senate faculty, government scientists, and University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Specialist’s and Advisors within UC’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) working in related fields (e.g., soil science, plant sciences, irrigation management, water resources management, crop-stress physiology, remote canopy-stress assessment).

Specialists in Cooperative Extension (CE) provide statewide leadership to University colleagues, public agencies, community-based organizations, youth, consumers, and citizens in their area of expertise. The Specialist is expected to work closely with campus- and county-based University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) academics keeping them and relevant clientele appraised of emerging issues and research findings and directions, conducting applied research and developing applications for research-based knowledge to specific problems, and providing educational leadership and technical information support for county-based CE academics and clientele. A Specialist in CE is a primary liaison between University research units and statewide clientele. The Specialist will be expected to provide leadership and participation in ANR Program Teams, workgroups, and Strategic Initiatives, work closely with CE academics toward the resolution of water scarcity issues of regional and statewide importance, and coordinate statewide programming with UCCE and AES colleagues throughout California. The Specialist also identifies and considers the needs of all relevant major clientele groups in planning, developing and executing applied research and education programs. The Specialist in CE is evaluated for merit and promotion using four areas of expectation that include Extension Education, Applied Research, Professional Competence and Activity, and University and Public Service.

I. Focus of the position: To develop an extensive and collaborative applied research and extension program that addresses irrigation management of agronomic, vegetable and/or horticultural crops in California in the context of sustained water scarcity. Accordingly, applicants should have the professional background necessary to conduct original applied research related to soil-plant-water relationships, soil science, irrigation management strategies and/or crop-stress physiology.
II. Educational and professional background requirements: A Ph.D. degree in irrigation science, plant science, bio-hydrology, soil science, agricultural engineering, agronomy, horticulture or other closely related discipline focused on crop response and management under water-deficit conditions is required. The successful candidate must have a record that documents productivity and excellence in research as evidenced by publications in peer-reviewed journals and demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate and extend research-based knowledge to audiences with diverse backgrounds. Post-doctoral experience is preferred.

III. Supporting units: The duty station for this position will be at the UC Davis Campus and will be supported by the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources. CE Specialists serve as an integral, academic member of the faculty with appropriate support for office space, lab space and access to departmental staff who provide administrative services, including grant administration, information technology, and personnel matters.

  1. Recommend FTE: This is a 100% Cooperative Extension position to be recruited at the Assistant Specialist in Cooperative Extension level and is a fiscal-year (11-month) appointment.

Expected Contributions:

By developing reciprocal and mutually beneficial relationships with colleagues and with various stakeholders, the Specialist in CE is expected to create public value by creating a program with four elements:

Extension Education: Key extension activities include but are not limited to:
• Provide statewide and national leadership in irrigation management and crop response under water-deficit conditions.
• Plan, organize, and participate in programs designed to educate CE Advisors and other clientele including meetings, workshops and conferences related to irrigation water management.
• Develop extension materials including print and electronic materials and websites that address irrigation strategies to optimize crop response under water scarce conditions and novel yet effective methods of characterizing and monitoring plant stress and crop development.
• Provide campus faculty and county based CE academics, with up-to-date and user-friendly information on drought related topics and emerging irrigation management practices that optimize crop response with limited water supplies.
• Conduct educational programs that focus on soil-plant-water relations and state of the art techniques for measuring crop water use and plant stress such as via remote sensing, physical measurements (e.g., water potential, gas fluxes, stem diameter fluctuations) and/or biochemical monitoring.

Mission-oriented Research
• Potential research areas may include, among others, evapotranspiration, water deficit effects at the plant, field and district scales, regulated deficit irrigation strategies, crop responses to spatially and temporally variable soil water content, soil management practices that promote irrigation efficiency, crop stress/canopy reflectance relations, novel techniques to measure crop stress, tree-stress carryover effects, and/or water-stress interactions with other abiotic and biotic stresses.
• The candidate will collaborate with academic senate faculty, campus and UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) academics and stakeholders on emerging issues related to crop production in water scarce environments and conduct research and extension activities designed to address new approaches that will optimize crop response under water limited conditions.
• The successful candidate is expected to publish research findings in refereed journals such as Plant and Soil, Irrigation Science, Frontiers in Plant Science, Crop Science, Agricultural Water Management, Journal of American Society of Horticultural Science, Soil Science Society of America Journal (among others) and in various other electronic and print venues such as California Agriculture or UC/ANR publications that reach wider audiences.

Professional Competence and Activity: The appointee will be expected to participate in professional society activities including presenting papers at national and international meetings; reviewing manuscripts and grant proposals in his/her area of expertise; and establishing productive working relationships with scientists and extension personnel statewide, and in other states and countries. The goal is to gain national and international recognition for scholarly contributions in the study of irrigation management in water-scarce environments within their specific area of expertise, as he/she advances to the higher ranks in the UC system.

University and Public Service: The appointee will serve on committees that support the needs of the Department, University and ANR, including appropriate ANR Program Teams, Strategic Initiatives, and Workgroups. The appointee may also serve on advisory councils and boards appropriate to the candidate’s area of expertise. The candidate should ultimately be recognized as a knowledgeable partner who can provide reliable information and build research-informed networks to address public issues in the state of California.

  1. Availability of Space and Resources: This position will be in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources in Veihmeyer Hall on the UC Davis central campus. Department faculty share administrative and accounting staff in the Metro PES cluster.

UC Davis is an affirmative action/equal employment opportunity employer and is dedicated to recruiting a diverse faculty community. We welcome all qualified applicants to apply, including women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities.

UC Davis supports Family-friendly recruitments. UC Davis covers travel expenses for a second
person to accompany an invited faculty recruitment candidate who is a mother (or single parent of either gender) of a breast or bottle-feeding child less than two years of age.

UC Davis recognizes the necessity of supporting faculty with efforts to integrate work, family and other work-life considerations. To recruit and retain the best faculty, the campus sponsors a Work Life
Program that provides programs and services that support faculty as they strive to honor their commitments to work, home and community.

UC Davis was ranked #1 in 2016 on Forbes Magazine list of the 13 most important STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) universities for women, and is expecting to earn the U.S. Department of Education’s “Hispanic Serving Institution” designation by 2018-2019. Davis celebrates the multi-cultural diversity of its student body by creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for students through such organizations and programs as the Center for African Diaspora Student Success; the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual Resource Center; Casa Cuauhtémoc Chicano-Latino Theme House; Asian Pacific American Theme House; ME/SA (Middle astern/South Asian) living-learning community; Multi- Ethnic Program (MEP); Chicano/Latino Retention Initiative; and Native American Theme Program.

The UC Davis Partner Opportunities Program (POP) is a service designed to support departments and deans’ offices in the recruitment and retention of outstanding faculty. Eligibility for POP services is limited to full-time Academic Senate Ladder Rank faculty (including Lecturers with Security of Employment (LSOE), Lecturers with Potential Security of Employment (LPSOE) Senior Lecturer with Security of Employment (SLPSOE)), and Cooperative Extension Specialists.

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. (includes publication list)

  • Statement of Research and Extension Interests and Goals

  • Summary or Abstract of the Ph.D. Dissertation

  • List of Links to recent relevant publications or Pub #1

  • Pub #2 (Optional)

  • Pub #3 (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.

  • Cover Letter (Optional)

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

How to apply

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  2. Provide required information and documents
  3. If any, provide required reference information
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