Junior Specialist for WFCB Raveling Endowed Program

Aug 22, 2016 Brenda Chriss
Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, University of California Davis
Application period Aug 22, 2016 10:50 PM to
Aug 31, 2016 11:55 PM
Where Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology
Contact Name Anna Lee

We are seeking a highly motivated and enthusiastic individual to undertake a survey of the role of agricultural habitats in meeting waterfowl needs in the Central Valley of California.

The Central Valley Joint Venture (CVJV) assumes that waterfowl in the Central Valley rely on three major foraging habitats: managed seasonal wetlands, harvested rice fields and harvested grain corn fields. Because two of these three habitat types are provided by agricultural producers, it is critically important to understand how these private lands are being managed relative to waterfowl needs. Specifically, we need to understand the current contribution of agricultural sources to waterfowl food energy supplies, how that may change in the future, and what those future changes would mean to waterfowl. Our greatest areas of uncertainty center on post-harvest practices other than winter-flooding, or on post-harvest practices that precede winter-flooding. For example the CVJV's assumptions about the post­ harvest treatment of rice and corn fields that are not flooded are over 25 years old, and are based on the Joint Venture's 1989 implementation plan. Even recent estimates of food availability in rice fields are compromised by uncertainty  over these post-harvest practices (i.e. those being used in the CVJV plan update). To determine the amount of food provided by rice, we need to understand how rice fields are stratified among the various post-harvest practices used by California producers and sample waste rice in each of these post-harvest categories. There are three critical areas of information need:

(1) a clear understanding of current  post-harvest practices used by rice growers and grain corn growers and the acreage subjected to each;

(2) estimates of the current  food/energy value provided under each of these treatment types; and

(3) projection of future changes in these practices.

The successful candidate will work collaboratively with the Raveling Waterfowl Program at UC Davis and with partners from the US Fish & Wildlife Service, Ducks Unlimited and California Department of Fish & Wildlife to develop and implement surveys to provide this information. The successful candidates will participate in research on the availability and importance of food in agricultural fields for wintering waterfowl. This position will also conduct research on grower post-harvest management practices and futures trends in these practices. The Junior Specialist will be required to be actively and significantly involved in publishable research activities, including reviewing journal articles and engaging in discussions on research and the interpretation of research results.

The Junior Specialist will design and conduct field surveys to identify and define the post-harvest practices currently used by California rice growers and grain corn growers, and conduct a survey of locations/landowners providing a representative sample of rice and corn fields in different regions of the central valley. Duties will include working with partner agencies to develop the survey design, conducting field surveys and meeting with landowners to validate visual roadside surveys. The Junior Specialist will further conduct field sampling to assess the residual rice and corn that remains after harvest. This will require coordination with a large number of growers, sampling at multiple locations throughout the valley, leading a team of assistants and undertaking laboratory analysis of cores and clips taken from sample plots to measure residual seeds. The Junior Specialist will also help to develop a complementary mail-in survey of growers, involving development of the questions, mailings, data collection, data entry and analysis of survey results, summary and write-up of the survey findings. Some of these activities may involve site visits with partner biologists and landowners/growers, independent site visits or interviews with landowners and managers to complete the information survey, or telephone and written contacts with mangers and landowners.

Expectations for Professional Competence and Activity include: participation in appropriate technical committees and other educational and research organizations; and development of research proposals, journal manuscripts, and publications related to area of expertise. The ideal candidate will have strong interpersonal, communication, and decision-making skills; as well as the ability to work well independently and as part of a team. The Junior Specialist must have extensive field experience, be knowledgeable of 

agricultural practices in the Central Valley, have knowledge and training in waterfowl and wetland ecology, and be able to drive through the valley conducting field assessments


  • Bachelor degree in wildlife ecology / biology
  • Field research experience, date entry and data management
  • Interest and familiarity with waterfowl management and ecology
  • Interest and experience conducting field surveys
  • Ability to work independently, outside in various weather conditions
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Drivers license
  • Ability to work with partner biologists and landowners.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.


  • Experience conducting independent studies and surveys in the field.
  • Strong experience and training in waterfowl & wetland ecology and management.
  • Experience working with agricultural partners and growers.


SALARY RANGE:  Step I - $37,548 (100% annual + benefits)

POSITION AVAILABLE/CLOSING DATE: For full consideration, apply by August 31, 2016. Applications received after this date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled. 

TERM OF APPOINTMENT:  50-100% for 12 months October 1, 2016 – September 30, 2017 with possibility of renewal contingent on funding. 

TO APPLY: To apply, please go to the following link: https://recruit.ucdavis.edu/apply. Applicants should submit cover letter indicating how you meet the minimum and desirable qualifications, your most recent CV and contact information for 2-3 recent references. All letters of recommendation will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. Documents/materials must be submitted as PDF files.

QUESTIONS: Please direct questions to Anna Lee via email to m[email protected]   

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 or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:


Under Federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally able to work in the United States as established by providing documents as specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Certain UCSC positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check. More information is available http://www.uscis.gov/e-verify. 

UC Davis is a smoke & tobacco-free campus (http://breathefree.ucdavis.edu/). 

If you need accommodation due to a disability, please contact the recruiting department.

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Position details

Application period

Aug 22, 2016 10:50 PM to
Aug 31, 2016 11:55 PM


Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology

Contact info

Anna Lee

Apply online