Junior Specialist - Plant Soil Interactions in California
The Department of Plant Sciences is recruiting for a Jr/Asst Specialist to work on plant-soil interactions in California. This is a 100% time position for one year, with possibility of renewal.
This position is responsible for conducting research on plant-soil interactions in California grasslands and riparian areas, and will provide technical expertise and skills in a diverse suite of areas, including: soil biogeochemical cycling, plant physiology, and plant community dynamics, which are required for the planning and execution of three large research projects under the supervision of Dr. Valerie Eviner in the Department of Plant Sciences.
The candidate should have experience and desire to lead multiple activities, including: field research, lab processing of plants and soils (including chemistry), synthetic activities including literature searches, data analyses, and writing of results, and outreach presentations to scientists and managers.
Applicants should be independent and able to work as part of a team, and well organized to oversee multiple projects, including:
Effects of soil conditions on restoration success and failure
Effects of organic herbicides and integrated pest management on rangeland plant community composition, particularly the control of noxious weeds
Effects of wildfire on recovery of vegetation and soil
Interactions of multiple global changes on California grassland communities and soil ecosystem services
Long-term plant-soil interactions in response to annual weather variations, small mammals, livestock grazing, and wildfire
Maintenance and development of a database on restoration success and failure.
I. Research in specialized areas (85%)
Lead the planning and execution of multiple field projects
Analyze plant and soil samples for nutrients, carbon and water dynamics
Enter, organize and analyze data.
Help train and lead/oversee undergraduate students to assist in field, greenhouse and seed lab (if hired at Assistant level).
Contribute to data synthesis for manuscripts as well as funding report.
Maintain equipment and facilities in both the laboratory and the field.
II. Professional competence and activity (10%)
This position will present research progress and results at scientific meetings and through peer-reviewed publications, and will be involved with data analysis and database management.
Attend seminars and training programs to enhance knowledge and skills.
III. Service (5%)
This position will be required to provide training for those wishing to use specialized analytical equipment in Dr. Eviner's lab and to assist with methods.
Individual will act as liaison for departmental and campus training required for the lab and will be responsible for ensuring that the lab is in compliance with campus, county, state and federal chemical laboratory safety requirements.
Individual will be involved with stakeholder outreach publications and events.
Bachelor's degree in Ecology, Soil Science, Plant Sciences, or related field
Demonstrated ability to carry out field research focused on plants and soils, often under poor weather conditions (hot and sunny, cool and rainy)
Position will require frequent operation of university vehicles in varied weather conditions on poor-quality dirt roads. Candidate must have a driver's license and be able to go on overnight field trips, sometimes for 4-5 days at a time.
Demonstrated lab experience in analyzing plants and soils. Ability to conduct rigorous and often repetitive analyses, and to organize a high quantity of samples.
Ideal field skills include: an in-depth knowledge of California's grassland plants, soil sampling, experience operating and repairing irrigation systems, mowers, and other specialized field equipment.
Ideal lab skills include: experience in analysis of: stable isotopes, soil nutrients, carbon and water, soil microbes.
Familiarity with concepts of plant-soil interactions, plant community dynamics, plant population dynamics, global change ecology, and soil ecology.
Experience in data management in excel and statistical software.
Note: The junior specialist rank is an entry level position, accordingly it is inappropriate to hire applicants with advanced degrees in this field, or those with bachelor's degrees and three years' relevant work experience. (See APM-UCD 330)
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