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Water Management, Health and Justice Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist (22-60)

Date Posted: October 10, 2023
Closing Date: November 27, 2023

Job Description: Download

The University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) offers a unique recruitment opportunity for an Assistant Cooperative Extension (UCCE) in Water Management, Health and Justice. UC ANR operates a statewide network of researchers and educators dedicated to the development and application of knowledge to address local agricultural, environmental and health issues. Over 150 UC ANR UCCE advisors conduct research, outreach and education from locally based CE offices serving all 58 counties from 70+ locations throughout the state. Our mission is to bring the University of California directly to Californians through research, extension and education programs that support:

  • Sustainable, safe, and nutritious food production and delivery
  • Economic success in a global economy
  • A sustainable, healthy, and productive environment
  • Science literacy and youth development

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.
Location Headquarters. Housed at University of California - Irvine, and appointed through UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR).

Purpose. The Assistant Cooperative Extension (CE) Specialist in Water Management, Health and Justice will deliver a collaborative, multifaceted research and outreach program focused on a holistic approach to water management for long-term resilience and reliability to meet community and ecosystem water needs in southern California and statewide. The position will undertake research and extension activities that address challenges in water resources management, water resource systems analysis, and utility and asset management, all in the context of health and social equity.

The CE Specialist will have the opportunity to develop multi-disciplinary collaborations across the UC, California State University, and the water management community to address applied water research challenges. The CE Specialist is expected to develop an extramurally-funded research and extension education program that addresses key water management challenges, builds collaborative projects with colleagues at the University of California Irvine (UCI) and UC ANR, forges strong interactions with local and regional agencies, contributes to core research and extension goals established within UCI and UC ANR, and assists in establishing an innovative multi-disciplinary program in their field of expertise.This is an exciting opportunity to have meaningful impacts throughout California. Opportunities abound for research and extension partnerships that link consumers and resource professionals with relevant science-based information and promote effective problem-solving.  Expectations include collaboration with various agencies and sectors in the state to implement health and justice into water management issues.  The CE Specialist will join a community of practice in applied water research in UC and UC ANR, including Water UCI, the California Institute for Water Resources (CIWR) and water-related teams in UC ANR, who are dedicated to making a difference within the communities and throughout California. 

Reporting Relationship: The position will be located at the UCI campus in Irvine, CA with a joint appointment in the Department of Urban Planning and Public Policy in the School of Social Ecology and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the School of Engineering. UC ANR will oversee the merit and promotion process, consistent with other UC ANR CE Specialists and in consultation with UCI department chairs. There may be an opportunity for the CE Specialist to hold an additional 0% (uncompensated) Adjunct Professor series appointment, reporting academically and administratively to the appropriate Department Chair(s).


CE Specialists are expected to develop and implement applied research programs to provide science-based information addressing complex issues of 21st Century agricultural and natural resources management. This position will focus generally on providing research-policy and planning support in the areas of addressing water equity, health, affordability, and access. Areas of possible research include, but are not limited to the areas of:

  • Developing holistic water management strategies for equitable and affordable access to water;
  • Using advanced models, data science methods, or Artificial Intelligence to enhance education and sustainability principles that promote health and equity in access to water;
  • Assessing or supporting advanced water treatment and reuse, including long-term economic, environmental, and societal benefits associated with reuse of stormwater and municipal wastewater;
  • Supporting local and regional water supply, demand, and watershed management, which informs development of future policies that incorporate equity, health, and affordability considerations,
  • Evaluating disproportionate impacts of emerging water management challenges and current responses to them for water agencies and residents, such as evaluating the impacts of future water investments on small communities.


As part of the Cooperative Extension, the CE Specialist will foster a collaborative, multidisciplinary, cutting-edge research and extension program that involves diverse local and regional participants and integrates research objectives across disciplines that include environmental engineering, environmental sciences, policy, social science, and economics. The CE Specialist will develop stakeholder outreach programs to solicit needs and disseminate research outcomes to target audiences in collaboration with UC ANR programs; and develop an integrated interdisciplinary educational program to train students, farmers, state and local water engineers, water quality regulators, landscapers, NGOs and general public about opportunities to manage drainage and storm waters and how these strategies fit within a portfolio of other management practices.

Qualifications and Skills Required

Required Qualifications

Education A minimum of a Ph.D. (or international equivalent) is required by the time of appointment in a relevant field, which would include water resources management, water sciences, utility management, economics, policy, finance, public health, social equity, planning and development, and related fields. 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 research and extension of information and policy and local government management, water infrastructure and management, or health and social equity, is desirable.  Experience in securing and managing extramural grants, community-based needs assessment and engaged research, and publishing multi-disciplinary research is desirable.

Additional 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.

Skills Required

The CE Specialist will interact with UC ANR program teams, 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.

Technical Competence

  • Conduct and report needs assessments to identify priority issues or problems relevant to the local clientele groups being served.
  • 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;
  • Conduct applied research designed to monitor changes and solve statewide and locally relevant problems related to water quantity and quality, health, and justice.


  • 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;
  • Collaborate closely with various partners (e.g., Water UCI Program, California Institute for Water Resources, ANR Water Quality and Quantity Strategic Initiative Panel).

Collaboration & Teamwork

  • Interact with their campus academic colleagues, thereby creating synergies that will advance the programmatic goals of both the UC Irvine and of UC ANR;
  • Interact with UC Irvine undergraduate students and graduate students in Environmental Systems and other relevant graduate programs via occasional lectures and other 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 primary responsibility of the position;
  • Engage in campus faculty meetings, campus faculty committee service, and other activities of the UC Irvine faculty as appropriate.

Lifelong Learning

  • Demonstrated commitment to ongoing self-improvement.

About UC ANR and UCI

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 state of California.  We are committed to developing and supporting healthy food systems, healthy environments, healthy communities, and healthy Californians.  UC ANR administers Statewide Programs and Initiatives (SWP/I’s) that focus research and extension on solving priority problems that engage ANR academics and UC faculty in integrated teams to work on complex issues requiring trans-disciplinary approaches; as well as UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE), which is responsible for program development and delivery in counties throughout the state.

Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and is ranked among the nation’s top 10 public universities by U.S. News & World Report. The campus has produced five Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 224 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $7 billion annually to the local economy and $8 billion statewide. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.

Water UCI is an interdisciplinary center in the School of Social Ecology that facilitates seamless collaboration across schools, departments, and existing research centers around questions of fundamental and applied water science, technology, management, and policy.

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Salary & Benefits

Salary: The salary range for this Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist position is Assistant Step 1 ($84,100 to Step VI ($110,100).  Step placement in the CE Specialist series is based on applicable experience and professional qualifications. This is an indefinite-track, position. All provisions of UC Academic Personnel Policy 334, Specialist in Cooperative Extension Series apply. For information regarding the Cooperative Extension Specialist salary scale, please refer to  https://www.ucop.edu/academic-personnel-programs/_files/2023-24/july-2023-acad-salary-scales/t29.pdf

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 paid holidays. This position is eligible for sabbatical leave privileges as per the terms of the University policy. 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 #22-60).

Closing Date: To assure full consideration, application packets must be received by November 27, 2023 (open until filled).

Interview information:

A search committee comprised of UC ANR and UCI representatives will review all applications, interview candidates, and recommend individuals most suitable for the position.


Contact Tatiana Avoce; email: tavoce@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 University employee, you will be required to comply with all applicable University policies and/or collective bargaining agreements, as may be amended from time to time.  Federal, state, or local government 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.