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University of California
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR)
Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz
Website URL:
Posted: 10/7/2021
Junior Specialist (Research Specialist Series) AP# 21-23 (UC Santa Cruz)

Location Headquarters: University of California, Santa Cruz                 


The Junior Specialist will work with the CE Specialist for two CDFA-FREP-funded projects. The first project develops and examines an organic nitrogen management model in the lab and field settings (developing a nitrogen mineralization model for organically managed vegetable farms on the Central Coast) and the second project tests effectiveness of high carbon amendments in reducing nitrate leaching during rainy winters at lab and field conditions (immobilization of nitrate in winter fallow vegetable production beds to reduce nitrate leaching).

The Jr. Specialist is responsible for preparing and implementing lab and field trials, conduct soil and plant samplings, analyze soil for inorganic nitrogen contents using Lachat flow injection analyzer, and summarize data and draft agency reports. The position requires familiarity with and experience in nitrogen mineralization and immobilization incubation trials in laboratory and field settings, soil and plant sampling and processing protocols in the lab, and maintaining and running Lachat flow injection analyzer. It also requires an ability to effectively summarize data and write draft reports to the funding agency. Further, the Jr. Specialist will assist presentations of project outcomes by making figures and tables.

Major Duties and Responsibilities

· Under supervision of the PI, prepare, assist, and implement incubation trials in laboratory and field settings.

  • Extract inorganic nitrogen from soils and analyze it using Lachat flow injection analyzer. Run and maintain Lachat flow injection analyzer.
  • Summarize data according to the lab protocol and write a draft report for the funding agency.
  • Assist presentations of project outcomes by making figures and tables.

Reporting Relationship: The Jr. Specialist is administratively responsible to the CE Organic Production Specialist at UCSC.

Qualifications and Skills Required

Required Qualifications

· A Bachelor’s degree or other advanced degrees in disciplines such as Environmental Studies, Agroecology, Soil Science or a closely related field is required by the appointment date.

· Knowledge of soil and plant nitrogen dynamics in agroecosystems.

· Proficient in use and maintenance of Lachat flow injection analyzer.

· Experience and knowledge in nitrogen mineralization and/or immobilization trial in laboratory and field settings.

· A valid California driver’s license is required to drive a County or University vehicle.

· Ability and means to travel on a flexible schedule as needed with proof of Liability and Property Damage Insurance on vehicle.

· Ability to be flexible with irregular working hours and schedule to accommodate the academic program of the student and needs of the department.

Additional Qualifications

· Live within a commutable distance of the position headquarters during period of appointment.

Skills Required: To be successful, Jr. Specialists require skills in the following:

University and Public Service

· The Jr. Specialist will support the outreach effort required by the CDFA-FREP-funded research projects. This includes, but is not limited to, assisting presentations, supporting the logistics of the extension meetings, presenting a part of the outcomes at the extension meetings, and responding to inquiries from growers and the general public related to the research projects when appropriate.


· Demonstrated excellence in written, oral, interpersonal and public speaking communication skills.

· Skills to communicate and extend technical information to diverse audiences are required.

Collaboration, Teamwork and Flexibility

· Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively as a team member with others.

· Able to adapt as circumstances warranted. Promote diversity, equity and inclusion.

Lifelong Learning

Demonstrated commitment to ongoing self-improvement - both professionally and as a person.

About UC ANR

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.

Learn more about

· Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI): Further to the above academics are expected to share and exhibit UC ANR’s commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Salary & Benefits

The salary will be in the Jr. Specialist Rank, Step 1 ($22.42/hour). For information regarding the Jr. Specialist series salary scales, please refer to:

This is a represented position.

The Jr. Specialist position is an 8 month limited term appointment at 60% time (due to limited funding). The performance in the position will be evaluated prior to the appointment end date. At that time, the position may be extended based on performance, continued need for the appointment and availability of funding.

Benefits: The University of California offers comprehensive benefits including 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:

How to Apply

If interested in this position, please visit: and choose “applicants” (refer to position #21-23)

Closing Date: To assure full consideration, application packets must be received by 11/5/2021; open until filled.


Contact Alma Jackson; email:

Please note that successful applicants are responsible for ensuring their eligibility to work in the United States (i.e. citizen or national of the United States, a lawful permanent resident, a foreign national authorized to work in the United States without need of employer sponsorship) for the duration of the appointment period.

Please note the UC Policy on COVID vaccination and working for UC: For the safety and well-being of the entire university community, the policy will require, with few exceptions, that all students, faculty and staff be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus before they will be allowed on campus or in a facility or office." Please visit for more information.

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.