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Project Manager - Sugarbeet IPM (Staff Research Associate) U.C. Davis

County Location: Imperial County

Date Posted: July 31, 2020
Closing Date: Until Filled

Job Description: Download

Project Manager-Sugarbeet Integrated Pest Management in the Imperial Valley

Dates:  September 1, 2020 to March 30, 2023.

Project Description:  The primary focus of this project is to identify less toxic substitutes for chlorpyrifos in sugarbeet production in the Imperial Valley, and improved IPM practices for insect control generally.  Chlorpyrifos is a known neurotoxin and affects both humans and other animal and fish species.  It can be hazardous to applicators and workers and accumulated in the Salton Sea, arriving via drainage water from surface runoff and tile drains in farm fields.  It has been restricted in California.   Low risk strategies will emphasize IPM practices including pre-irrigation, planting dates, seed treatments and the use of biologicals and natural controls.

Two complementary experiments will be carried out at the UC Desert Research and Extension Center and four growers’ fields each year for two years.  Data collected will include seedling emergence rates and amounts and post-emergence-losses, season-long estimates of insect pest abundance and damage, yield and root quality, and comparative costs of differing treatments.  Trials at the DREC will contrast IPM practices (planting dates and irrigation practices), and their interaction with differing insect controls, and evaluate selected insecticides not yet registered on sugarbeets for efficacy.  The practices preferred by each grower will comprise the control at field sites, and seed treatments plus modest levels of post emergence control until harvest will be a second treatment.  The third contrast will depend on choices growers, their PCAs and project researchers make togehter.  Common monitoring methods for insect damage will be established among researchers and cooperating PCAs for both fall and late spring monitoring periods.

Brief job description:  Under the direction and with the help of the project PI (Dr. Stephen Kaffka), the Project manager will: 

  1. Help implement and manage experiments at the UC DREC and in growers’ fields,
  2. Collect data, supervise and manage data collection by cooperators, and report all data,
  3. Coordinate and lead work with all co-PIs, cooperating Pest Management Advisors, growers, and station personnel at the UC DREC research site,
  4. Complete quarterly and yearly reports to the California Department of Pesticide Regulation in a timely manner, under supervision from the project PI,
  5. Help manage the project budget, under supervision of the project PI,
  6. Participate in field days, industry events, growers’ meetings and other outreach activities,
  7. Help publish results in peer review journals.

A more complete description is available on the job application website below. 

Qualifications:  A bachelors or higher degree (preferred) in applied entomology or pest management.  Some experience or familiarity with commercial crop production is desirable.  See the job application website for a complete list of desired qualifications.

Salary and benefits

Salary and benefits commensurate with experience and qualifications.

How to apply:  Look for position:  SRA 2 NEX (Staff Research Associate)-9402 on the UC Davis website:



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