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Assistant Specialist For Vegetable Crops Production and Management (AP#23-01) Stanislaus

County Locations: Merced County, San Joaquin County, Stanislaus County

Date Posted: March 1, 2023
Closing Date: April 3, 2023

Job Description: Download
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Location Headquarters:  Stanislaus County, Modesto, California

The University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) offers a unique recruitment opportunity for a Vegetable Crops Production and Management Assistant Specialist.  UC ANR operates a statewide network of researchers, educators and support staff dedicated to the development and application of knowledge to address local agricultural, environmental and (community) health issues. Research, outreach and education from locally based Cooperative Extension offices serves all 58 counties from 70+ locations throughout the state. By working and living among those we serve, UC ANR expands the University of California’s reach to engage all people and communities in California, ensuring equal access to the UC System.


The Assistant Specialist for Vegetable Crops Production and Management (1.0 FTE) will assist in all phases of applied vegetable production and management research and extension efforts in the northern San Joaquin Valley. The position will be headquartered at the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Stanislaus County office in Modesto, CA and will be additionally responsible for conducting research and extension activities in the northern San Joaquin Valley counties of Merced and San Joaquin per the request of projects. The candidate will also have opportunities to participate in national and statewide collaborative project activities.

The Assistant Specialist will provide independent support of research and extension programming by designing, conducting, and communicating results from applied research projects in locally relevant vegetable crops (processing and fresh market tomatoes, watermelons, and leafy and cole vegetables). The specific activities include designing research trials in commercial vegetable fields, creating protocols that guide meaningful measurements of vegetable growth and yield, taking soil and plant samples following specific study protocols, and conducting lab analysis of plant, soil, and fruit samples. The Assistant Specialist will work primarily on projects focusing on soil-borne disease management using vegetable grafting technology and biocontrol methods, and irrigation optimization for various vegetable crops using online decision-support tools. Other topics the Specialist may work on involve insect and weed management for vegetable crops. The position will perform a key role in vegetable production and management research activities and lead technicians and seasonal student assistants. The Specialist will leverage expertise in research data collection and summarization, as well as formal statistical analysis, to assist the supervisor/PI in organizing extension and field meetings, conference calls, and other professional activities.

Reporting Relationship: The Assistant Specialist is administratively responsible to the Vegetable Crops Advisor at UCCE Stanislaus County.  

Required Qualifications and Skills 

Required Qualifications

Education: A master's degree or other advanced degrees in disciplines such as Plant Science, Agronomy, Horticulture, Irrigation, Soil Science or a closely related field is required by the appointment start date.

  • Experience in data analysis using statistical software tools such as R and SAS;
  • Ability and means to travel on a flexible schedule as needed, proof of liability and property damage insurance on vehicle used is required. Must possess valid California Driver's License to drive a County or University vehicle.

Additional Qualifications:

  • Must obtain a Qualified Pesticide Applicator Certificate (QAC) or License prior to applying or supervising the application of any pesticide.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated excellence in the areas of applied vegetable production research and extension;
  • Evidence of publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals;
  • Knowledge and experience in vegetable grafting, irrigation management, and/or pest control;
  • Experience in building partnerships and working with multidisciplinary teams to address production and environmental challenges;
  • Experiences in report writing, public speaking, and extension are preferred; 

Skills Required:   To be successful, the Assistant Specialist requires skills in the following areas:

Technical Competence and Impact

  • Specialists are expected to use their professional expertise to make scientific and scholarly contributions to the research enterprise of the University and to achieve recognition in the professional and scientific community. This will include presenting research results at professional meetings and publishing manuscripts of research results in peer-reviewed journals.


  • Demonstrated excellence in written, oral, interpersonal and public speaking communication skills.
  • Skills to communicate and extend technical information to diverse audiences are required.
  • Participation in professional societies and conferences and the ability to give presentations at seminars and continuing education functions.

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

Salary & Benefits

SALARYThe salary will be in the Assistant Specialist Rank, from Step 1- $56,600 to Step 3 - $63,000 annually. Step placement in this series is based on experience.   For information regarding the Specialist series salary scales, please refer to https://www.ucop.edu/academic-personnel-programs/_files/2022-23/july-2022-salary-scales/t24-b.pdf   This is a represented position.

The Assistant Specialist position is a non-career track position.  The position is a one-year term appointment with a merit cycle every two years.  The performance in the position will be evaluated annually. The position will be extended based on the continued need for the position, 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. 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 #23-01)

Closing Date: To assure full consideration, application packets must be received by April 3, 2023 (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 Policy on Vaccination Programs – With Updated Interim Amendments. All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine Primary Series or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, Religious Objection, and/or Deferral based on pregnancy or recent COVID-19 diagnosis and/or treatment) no later than the applicable deadline. All Covered Individuals must also provide proof of receiving the most recent CDC-recommended COVID-19 booster or properly decline such booster no later than the applicable deadline. New University of California employees should refer to Exhibit 2, Section II.C. of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Attachment for applicable deadlines. All Covered Individuals must also provide proof of being Up-To-Date on seasonal influenza vaccination or properly decline such vaccination no later than the applicable deadline. Please refer to the Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Program Attachment. (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.