Regenerative Agriculture Cooperative Extension Assistant Specialist (AP# 22-62) Merced
Date Posted: September 22, 2022
Closing Date: November 28, 2022
Location Headquarters. Housed at the University of California, in Merced, California
Purpose. The Regenerative Agriculture Cooperative Extension (CE) Specialist will carry out a collaborative, multifaceted research and outreach program focused on helping both growers and policymakers understand the benefits, limitations, and scaling potential of soil carbon management practices and assist growers in implementing practices that will help California meet its carbon neutrality goals.
The Cooperative Extension (CE) Specialist will develop multi-disciplinary collaborations with other UC and outside researchers to address needs, and should seek out opportunities to bring private-sector partners and other stakeholders into these collaborations.
The CE Specialist will be expected to develop an extramurally-funded research and extension education program to address limited water conditions; forge strong interactions with local, regional, state and national partners and clientele, as well as with UC colleagues; contribute to core research and extension goals established within UC ANR; and assist in establishing an innovative multi-disciplinary program in their field of expertise.
This is an exciting opportunity to have meaningful impacts throughout California. Opportunities abound for research and extension partnerships that link consumers and resource professionals with relevant science-based information and promote effective problem-solving. The CE Specialist will also join a team of highly motivated UCCE and UC Merced (UCM) colleagues who are passionate about their work and are dedicated to making a difference within the communities and throughout California. The potential for collaborative projects within the UC ANR and UCM systems is nearly limitless.
Reporting Relationship: The CE Specialist is academically and administratively responsible to the Chair of UC Merced’s Department of Life and Environmental Sciences (LES) in the School of Natural Sciences at UC Merced, with input from the ANR Vice President. UC ANR will oversee the merit and promotion process, consistent with other ANR CE Specialists. The position will be housed in the LES Department. There is an opportunity for the CE Specialist to hold an additional 0% (uncompensated) Adjunct Professor series appointment, reporting academically and administratively to the LES Department Chair.
Research & Extension
All CE Specialists are expected to develop and implement applied research programs to provide science-based information addressing complex issues. This position will focus generally on validating Regenerative Agriculture methods and learn to accurately account for their impact on soil carbon, health, and food system resilience. The specialist will work with researchers at UC Merced and other UCs on long-term monitoring of carbon sequestration and under regenerative practices.
The position will research and promote regenerative agricultural management practices that reverse land degradation and rebuild soil carbon reserves as a crucial step to buffer fossil fuel emissions; stabilizing the earth's climate, and creating more resilient agriculture systems.
The CE Specialist’s objective will be to foster a collaborative, multidisciplinary, cutting-edge research and extension program, to support farm advisors and growers in transitioning from resource-intensive and land-degrading practices. They will develop applied, soil-based climate solutions and bring them to scale regionally and globally. The CE Specialist will partner with key stakeholders.
The CE Specialist will be expected to produce rigorous, novel, relevant research and prepare targeted materials, reports, and journal articles. Extension activities will also include the development of workshops and webinars, collaborative symposia, and field visits for technical assistance and training. Outreach responsibilities include supporting farmer and state agency planning processes, as appropriate, and making relevant data and resources publicly available and usable on UCM and UC ANR web portals.
Qualifications and Skills Required
Education A minimum of a Ph.D. is required (or international equivalent) related to Soil Science, Agroecology, Agronomy, Environmental Engineering, or related discipline. Applicants who have not yet earned a Ph.D. must be within 12 months of completing their degree in order to be considered for the position.
Excellent written, oral and interpersonal communication skills are required. A demonstrated ability in applied agricultural research and extension of information is desirable. Experience in securing and managing extramural grants, carrying out field-based research, and publishing multi-disciplinary research is desirable.
- Postdoctoral or related work experience is preferred
- All UC ANR CE specialists are responsible for performance in the areas of 1) applied research and creative activity, 2) extending knowledge and information, 3) professional competence and activity, and 4) University and public service.
The CE specialist will interact with UC ANR program teams, CE advisors, other CE specialists, and others within the research/extension network and advisory groups to develop, strengthen and expand the delivery of statewide products.
- Conduct and report needs assessments to identify priority issues or problems relevant to the local clientele groups being served.
- Develop and implement effective UC ANR Cooperative Extension applied research and educational programs to address the identified priority needs of the clientele that are consistent with ANR’s Strategic Vision and ANR initiatives;
- Conduct applied research designed to monitor changes and solve statewide and locally relevant problems related to water quantity and quality in crop production;
- Disseminate appropriate, science-based information to inform clientele, using extension methods that are responsive to clientele needs and appropriate for the audience and situation;
- Maintain and promote UC ANR Cooperative Extension’s credibility by providing science-based knowledge;
- Evaluate programs and report accomplishments, results, and potential or actual impacts to scientific and lay audiences through a variety of outreach methods e.g., peer-reviewed publications, internet, workshops, newsletters.
Collaboration & Teamwork
- Interact with their campus academic colleagues, to create synergies that will advance the programmatic goals of both UC Merced Department of Life and Environmental Sciences in the School of Natural Sciences and of UC ANR;
- Engage with campus faculty and staff on design and construction, research, and educational outreach associated with the UC Merced Experimental Smart Farm, which is currently under development;
- Interact with UC Merced Department of Life and Environmental Sciences undergraduate students and graduate students in Environmental Systems and other relevant graduate programs via occasional lectures and other academic functions (such as serving on dissertation committees, oral exams, etc.) as appropriate. In accordance with UC Academic Personnel Policy 334, Specialist in Cooperative Extension Series, the teaching of regular undergraduate or graduate courses will not be a primary responsibility of the position;
- Engage in campus faculty meetings, campus faculty committee service, and other activities of the UC Merced faculty as appropriate.
- Maintain close contact and working relationships with industry groups.
- Demonstrated commitment to ongoing self-improvement - both professionally and as a person.
Learn more about Skills and Areas of Programmatic Review All UC ANR CE specialists are responsible for performance in the areas of 1) applied research and creative activity, 2) extending knowledge and information, 3) professional competence and activity and 4) University and public service (with awareness and impact in relation to Affirmative Action and DEI).
About UC ANR and UCM
The University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) consists of a network of scientists and educators working in partnership across the California. We are committed to developing and supporting healthy food systems, healthy environments, healthy communities, and healthy Californians. UC ANR administers UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE), which is responsible for program development and delivery in the counties throughout the state of California.
Opened in 2005 as the newest campus of the University of California, UC Merced continually strives for excellence in carrying out the university's mission of teaching, research, and public service, benefiting society by discovering and transmitting new knowledge and functioning as an active repository of organized knowledge (https://www.ucmerced.edu/ucmerced-mission). The Department of Life & Environmental Sciences (LES) (https://les.ucmerced.edu) includes more than 20 faculty with a common interest in interdisciplinary research and education in natural and human-impacted Earth systems. Research and teaching carried out by LES faculty address fundamental and applied problems associated with the environment and its sustainability at the intersection of biological, chemical and physical sciences. The LES faculty advise graduate students within the interdisciplinary Environmental Systems (https://es.ucmerced.edu/) and Quantitative & Systems Biology (https://qsb.ucmerced.edu) programs while supporting two undergraduate majors, environmental systems science and biological sciences.
Learn more about
- UC ANR at https://UCANR.edu
- UC Merced https://www.ucmerced.edu/
- Our UC ANR Strategic Initiatives http://ucanr.edu/sites/StrategicInitiatives/
- Our UC ANR Public Value statements at https://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/Divisionwide_Planning/UC_ANR_Public_Values/
- DEI: Further to the above, CE Specialists are expected to share and exhibit UC ANR’s commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion https://ucanr.edu/sites/Professional_Development/Office_-_Team_Management/Diversity_Equity_Inclusion_Belonging/
- Affirmative Action: Further to the above, CE Specialists are expected to share and exhibit UC ANR’s commitment to affirmative action. Learn more of UC ANR Affirmative Action policy: http://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/Diversity/Affirmative_Action/
- The University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce and will honor your experiences, perspectives and unique identity. We encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ+ community members, and others who demonstrate the ability to help us create and maintain working and learning environments that are inclusive, equitable and welcoming.
Salary & Benefits
Salary: Beginning salary will be in the Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist Series and commensurate with applicable experience and professional qualifications. This is a career-track position that is eligible for indefinite status. All provisions of UC Academic Personnel Policy 334, Specialist in Cooperative Extension Series apply. For information regarding the Cooperative Extension Specialist salary scale, please refer to https://www.ucop.edu/academic-personnel-programs/_files/2022-23/july-2022-salary-scales/t29.pdf
Benefits: The University of California offers comprehensive benefits including health insurance, retirement plans, two days per month paid vacation, one day per month paid sick leave, and approximately thirteen paid holidays per year. ANR is part of UC’s Family-Friendly Policies. For more information, refer to the UC Benefits website at: https://ucnet.universityofcalifornia.edu/compensation-and-benefits/index.html
How to Apply
If interested in this position, please visit: https://recruit.ucanr.edu/ and choose “applicants” (refer to position #22-62)
Closing Date: To assure full consideration, application packets must be received by
November 28, 2022 (open until filled).
A search committee will review all applications, interview candidates, and recommend individuals most suitable for the position.
Approximately 2 to 3 weeks after the submission deadline, applicants with appropriate and applicable education and experience will be invited to participate in a preliminary, remote interview.
The formal interviews (via Zoom or in person) will take place approximately 2 to 3 weeks after the preliminary interviews for those applicants selected to proceed.
Contact Alma Jackson; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Applicants may wish to explore the UC Davis Services for International Students and Scholars web page at https://siss.ucdavis.edu and the UC ANR Green Card Sponsorship Guidelines & FAQ's for reference.
University of California Cooperative Extension
As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Policy. All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of Full Vaccination or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, and/or Religious Objection) or Deferral (based on pregnancy) no later than the applicable deadline. New University of California employees should refer to Appendix F, Section II.C. of the policy for applicable deadlines. (Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.) Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.
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, protected veteran status or other protected categories covered by the UC nondiscrimination policy.
As of January 1, 2014, ANR is a smoke- and tobacco-free environment in which smoking, the use of smokeless tobacco products, and the use of unregulated nicotine products (e-cigarettes), is strictly prohibited.