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Project Scientist – Climate and Agriculture (UC Merced) AP# 21-62

County Location: Merced County
Location: UC ANR - Davis

Date Posted: April 4, 2022
Closing Date: May 16, 2022

Job Description: Download

Location Headquarters: UC Merced, Sierra Nevada Research Institute, Merced, CA

Position Overview


The Project Scientist will lead research and development of locally relevant, agricultural decision support tools that can effectively integrate weather and climate information. The Project Scientist will also assist project team to disseminate tools to give California agriculture a competitive edge in increasing resilience and reducing risks associated with climate variability and change. The Project Scientist will work closely with project investigators at UC ANR, UC Merced, USDA California Climate Hub, USDA Agricultural Research Service, and partners at the UC Davis to develop an ensemble of decision support tools and resources in collaboration with Informatics and GIS (IGIS) team to help growers make strategic decisions such as managing and preparing for weather and climate extremes, pests and disease management decisions, irrigation decisions, and decisions based on crop specific agroclimatic indicators.

The Project Scientist will routinely publish research findings related to climate science applications in agriculture and development of decision support tools in high-ranking peer-reviewed journals in collaboration with project investigators. Additionally, the Project Scientist is expected to assist project investigators in developing proposals for funding from federal, state agencies, and other funding organizations such as commodity boards. The UCANR project scientist will be located at and affiliated with the UC Merced, with substantial multi- UC campus multi-institutional collaborations.

Major Responsibilities: To be successful, a Project Scientist requires skills in the following:

Programmatic Competence

  • Research related to agriculture and climate interactions and development of web-based decision support tools through effective integration of historic and projected climate and weather information for agricultural decisions
  • Analyze data and publish manuscripts in peer reviewed journals in collaboration with project investigators as well as in non-technical formats.


  • Present research at professional society meetings.
  • Coordinate outreach and extension around research in cooperation with project directors.
  • Develop resources in formats such as fact sheets, short videos for web-based agroclimate information portal

Collaboration, Teamwork & Flexibility

  • Collaborate with stakeholder, commodity boards, project steering committee, ANR academics, and state and federal agencies to understand and document types of decision support tools needed.
  • Assist project investigators in writing grants and soliciting external funding.

Professional Development & Lifelong Learning

  • Maintain a program of continuous self-improvement by participating in in-service training, seminars, workshops, work group & program team meetings, short courses, professional society meetings and other relevant opportunities.

Reporting Relationship: The Project Scientist is administratively responsible to the Climate Adaptation in Agriculture CE Specialist located at the UC Merced – Sierra Nevada Research Institute.

Qualifications and Skills Required 

Required Qualifications

  • An earned Ph.D. in agricultural engineering, climate science, biometeorology, irrigation, agronomy, crop sciences, data science, or closely related field is required at the time of appointment.
  • Strong statistical and quantitative skills
  • Experience publishing peer-reviewed research in high impact journals is required

Desired Qualifications:

  • Experience and/or knowledge in computer programming skills with applications in climate and agricultural sciences
  • Skills to integrate a variety of climate, ecosystem, and crop models
  • Sound understanding and familiarity with California’s agriculture

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

Salary & Benefits

SALARYBeginning salary will be in the Assistant Project Scientist Rank, Step 1 ($65,700/annually).   For information regarding the Project series salary scales, please refer to:  https://www.ucop.edu/academic-personnel-programs/_files/2022/july-2021-scales/t37-b.pdf.   This is a represented position.

The Assistant Project Scientist position is non-career track position.  The position is a one-year renewable term appointment (up to 2 years total) with a merit cycle every two years.  The performance in the position will be evaluated annually.  The position will be extended beyond the two years, based on performance and availability of funding.

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 #21-62)

Closing Date: To assure full consideration, application packets must be received by May 16, 2022 – open until filled


Contact Alma Jackson; email: ajackson@ucanr.edu

Applicants may wish to explore the UC Davis Services for International Students and Scholars web page at https://siss.ucdavis.edu/ as a resource.

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.