Assistant Cooperative Extnesion Specialist - University of California

Division of Ag and Natural Resources - Water and Watershed Sciences

LOCATION HEADQUARTERS: University of California - Merced, Merced County, California

SUBMISSION DATE: To assure full consideration, submit application materials by August 24, 2018. Those received after August 24, 2018, may be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

POSITION PURPOSE: The CE specialist in Water and Watershed Sciences will focus on carrying out a collaborative, multifaceted research and outreach program with the goal of improving factors affecting the health of source-water areas and their linkage with downstream water uses statewide, with special attention to the Sierra Nevada-Central Valley watersheds.

In particular, there is an opportunity for the CE specialist to take a leading role in developing science and policy that will accelerate restoration of Sierra Nevada forests for multiple water-related ecosystem services. The CE specialist will develop multi-disciplinary collaborations with other UC and outside researchers to address these needs; and should seek out opportunities to bring land managers, 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 on watershed management; 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 ANR; and assist in establishing an innovative multi-disciplinary program in their field of expertise.

BACKGROUND: University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR), is the statewide division of the University of California that administers Cooperative Extension, and is responsible for local program development and delivery throughout the state of California. UC Merced is the 10th campus in the University of California system and the first American research university of the 21st century, and serves as a major base of advanced research in California's Central Valley, home to some of California's most productive agricultural areas. UC ANR's CE advisors, CE specialists and Agricultural Experiment Station (AES) faculty develop and deliver practical, science-based solutions that contribute to healthy food systems, healthy  environments, healthy communities, and healthy Californians. CE specialists are responsible for identifying and addressing critical issues in agricultural and natural resources, as well as youth and community development. Stationed throughout the state of California, they respond to issues at the local level by bringing the benefits of UC's scientific knowledge and advancement to the public for the general good.

Much of their work is conducted in partnership with ANR's county-based UCCE advisors. This UCCE specialist advisor partnership creates an applied research network that benefits both the University and the public at large.

ANR priorities in research, education, service, and resource allocation are guided by the UC Strategic Vision ( There are five strategic initiatives that ANR is currently focusing on: Endemic and Invasive Pests and Diseases (EIPD), Healthy Families and Communities (HFC), Sustainable Food Systems (SFS), Sustainable Natural Ecosystem (SNE), and Water Quality, Quantity and Security (WQQS). This position will contribute to priorities found in at least two Strategic Plans namely Sustainable Natural Ecosystems and Water Quantity, Water Quality and Security. The Strategic Plans for each strategic initiative can be found at

ACADEMIC EXPECTATIONS: 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.

All CE Specialists are expected to develop and implement applied research programs to provide science based information addressing complex issues. Research may involve assessing technical, economic, social, and/or environmental impacts of water management and policy through field studies, process modeling, or statistical modeling. Research topics are envisioned to include integrated evaluation of watershed-scale processes related to drought resilience of source water areas, climate change, effects of disturbance (fire, disease, pest infestations) and management actions (harvest, thinning, prescribed burns or grazing) on water quantity and quality in mountain forests. It will evaluate strategies for watershed restoration, impacts of land-use change and knowledge to support integrated water and land management in mountain-valley watersheds with emphasis in California.

The CE specialist will develop an extension education program to integrate science and policy for better water resources management. The extension and research program should evolve in collaboration with multiple and diverse stakeholders of California, including regulatory agencies, resource agencies, environmental groups, municipal demands, recreational users and agricultural users and irrigation districts. Typical outreach clientele include regional water quality control boards, state and federal agencies (e.g., USFS, USFWS, BLM, USBR, and DWR), local land owners, and non-profit organizations .The work both serves and draws upon community organizations, land managers, other resource users and managers, and public agency officials at the federal, state, and local levels.

Outreach methods include individual consultations, field days, tours, meetings, web conferences, ANR publications, peer-reviewed journal papers, and an appropriate mix of contemporary and emerging electronic tools such as online learning, web content systems and repositories, social media, impact and evaluation tools, along with specialized and public media outlets. Programs will be developed and carried out in collaboration with other ANR academics as well as related government and private Industries, particularly in counties comprising the Sierra Nevada. Program outcomes and impacts may also be adaptable to other watersheds such as the Cascades in northern California.

Professional Competence: All UC ANR CE specialists are required to demonstrate professional competence in their programmatic areas. Professional competence includes participation in training activities to enhance professional development, such as administrative trainings, professional conferences, or workshops. Professional competence also includes activities that reflect professional standing within the programmatic area, such as presenting at conferences or workshops, holding offices in professional societies, invited presentations, or reviewing/editing publications.

University and Public Service: All UC ANR CE specialists are required to actively serve the University, as well as the public. University service may occur at the local, division, state, national, or international level. Examples of potential University service activities include serving on a university strategic initiative panel or  committee, providing leadership in program teams, or advocacy efforts. Public service should involve activities and events in which the CE specialist uses their professional expertise to benefit groups or efforts outside the University. Examples may include serving on external boards or councils, participating in community events, and leadership of non-University collaborative groups.

MAJOR RESPONSIBILITIES: The CE specialist will interact with UC ANR program teams, Agricultural Experiment Station (AES) faculty, 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. The CE specialist will:

  • Conduct and report needs assessments to identify priority issues or problems relevant to the local clientele groups being served particularly in California’s mountain and valley watersheds;
  • 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, including;
  • Conduct applied research designed to monitor changes and solve statewide and locally relevant watershed problems;
  • 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;
  • Interact with their campus academic colleagues, thereby creating synergies that will advance the programmatic goals of both the UCM School of Engineering and of UC ANR;
  • Interact with UCM School of Engineering undergraduate and graduate students, deliver occasional lectures, and perform similar 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 responsibility of the position;
  • Engage in campus faculty meetings, campus faculty committee service, and other activities of the UCM faculty as appropriate.

RELATIONSHIPS: The CE specialist is academically and administratively responsible to the Chair of UC Merced’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, with input from the ANR Vice President. UC ANR will oversee the merit and promotion process, consistent with other ANR CE Specialists at UCM.

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION: An understanding of and commitment to UC ANR’s  affirmative action goals and commitments is expected of all academics. UC ANR Affirmative Action policy and information can be found at

EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE: A minimum of a Ph.D. is required, though other advanced degrees are encouraged, in watershed engineering or hydrology,  environmental, civil and agricultural engineering, or closely related discipline.

Applicants 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 natural resources and agricultural research and extension of information is desirable. Experience in  securing and managing extramural grants, carrying out field-based research, publishing multi-disciplinary research, and doing outreach related to forest and watershed management is desirable.

SALARY: Beginning salary will be in the Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist Series and commensurate with applicable experience and professional qualifications. For information regarding the Cooperative Extension Specialist salary scale, please refer to

If the successful candidate is currently a UC CE specialist with indefinite status, the candidate will be offered the position commensurate with applicable experience and professional qualifications with eligibility to retain such indefinite status.

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. This position is eligible for sabbatical leave privileges as per the terms of University policy. For more information, refer to the UC Benefits website at:

HOW TO APPLY: To be considered, applicants must electronically submit the following six components of the application packet to

  1. Cover Letter
  2. ANR Academic Application Form— from the ANR website at:
  3. CV or Resume
  4. Statement of Contributions to Diversity: Please submit a 1-page Statement of Contributions to Diversity addressing past and/or potential contributions to diversity through personal experience, teaching, research, extension, professional activity, and/or service. This should include how you would ensure that all potential clientele have access and benefit from your program.
  5. Statement of Research and Extension Interests: Please submit a 2-page Statement of Research and Extension Interests including how your current and/or past research and extension experience could contribute to, or be applicable to, the needs of the local community. Provide examples of potential goals and outcomes from your research and extension activities
  6. College Level Transcripts: Electronic transcripts or legible scanned copies (PDF) of original transcripts will be accepted. Transcripts must identify course work completed, grades earned, degrees conferred and confer dates.

Please do not send letters of reference.

Application and associated materials will not be returned to the applicant.

A search committee will review all applications, interview candidates, and recommend individuals most suitable for the position.

Interview information:
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 in-person interviews will take place approximately 2 to 3 weeks after the preliminary interviews for those applicants selected to proceed. Applicants may wish to explore the UC Davis Services for International Students and Scholars web page at /permanent_residence.html as a resource.

For information regarding this position, please contact
University of California
ANR Academic Human Resources
Kim Ingram



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.