Assistant Specialist I -Food-web Carbon Quantification Specialist
NATURE AND PURPOSE
The position of Specialist has a narrow focus in a specialized area and provides technical or specialized expertise (e.g., with instrumentation and research equipment or with social science research methods) in the planning and execution of a research project. The Specialist stays apprised of emerging issues and problems and maintains technical competence in the designated area(s) of specialization. Within this defined area and when appropriate, the Specialist is expected to provide leadership, facilitate teamwork, and develop collaborative relationships with colleagues and to participate in the planning of research and educational programs. Normally, Specialists do not have Principal Investigator (PI) status but may obtain permission by exception or collaborate with a PI in preparing research proposals for extramural funding. The Specialist is evaluated for merit and promotion on the basis of three basic criteria outlined below.
MAJOR RESPONSIBILITIES AND DESIGNATED AREAS OF EXPERTISE
I. Research in specialized areas (85% effort) The research objective of this position is to quantify carbon flow in aquatic food-webs in floodplain, marsh, and river habitats using zooplankton community data, stable isotopes, fatty acids, and direct and indirect carbon flow measurements. Specialized field, laboratory and data analysis techniques will be utilized to ensure that data is properly collected and analyzed. The researcher will be expected to work independently with limited supervision and to make substantial contributions toward publishable research.
A. Provide specialized expertise at the Center for Watershed Sciences in food-web carbon quantification via field data collection, laboratory, and data analysis to quantify carbon flow in zooplankton communities as well as above and below this level in river, marsh, and floodplain food-webs.
Provide specialized field expertise for the quantification of organic carbon flow by collecting dissolved and particulate organic matter, zooplankton, and water quality samples in floodplain, marsh, and river habitats. Field collection includes samples for zooplankton community analysis, stable isotope and fatty acid analysis, dissolved organic carbon quantification, characterization, and biological assays, particulate organic carbon quantification, and field deployment of optical sensors for indirect carbon flow measurements. Provide carbon quantification field efforts in calm and swift-water conditions both wading and from boats. Incumbent will require certifications including UC Davis Boat Operator, jet boat adverse field condition training, wading and cold-water swift-water training and wilderness first aid to meet field safety standards.
This position will contribute specialized laboratory and data analysis for food-web carbon quantification. Laboratory analysis of zooplankton communities (zooplankton identification to species or genus taxonomic level), sample preparation for isotopic and fatty acid analysis, long-term biological assays, quantification of dissolved organic and particulate organic matter, and characterization of dissolved organic carbon with optical techniques including SUVA254. QC data and enter into project databases. Analyze laboratory and field data using the R statistical programming language.
B. Serve as a research coordinator for food-web carbon quantification projects conducted by PIs at the Center for Watershed Sciences. By using specialized expertise on carbon quantification, zooplankton analysis, isotopic analysis, and food-webs, responsible for ensuring uninterrupted communication between laboratory, and data management. Project functions and project output functions including preparation of reports, posters, and participation in manuscript writing. Creative activities include assisting in project design, grant writing, proposal review and data analysis by providing to these endeavors the specialized expertise in carbon quantification in food-webs for the PIs in the Center for Watershed Sciences. Responsible for writing grant reports for agencies on projects within the area of expertise as requested by PIs and for writing research methods sections of papers in areas of expertise and reviews/comments on manuscripts.
II. Professional competence and activity (10% effort)
A. The researcher will present at and contribute to presentations of others for at least one professional meeting or workshop per year. Expected events for participation include at the American Fisheries Society regional CALNEVA annual meeting, the biennial Bay-Delta Science Conference in Sacramento and the Interagency Ecology Program Annual Workshop. B. Where opportunities allow, the researcher will review proposals or publications related to their areas of scientific expertise and practical experience.
III. University and public service (5% effort)
A. Act as technical liaison on issues of carbon quantification including how zooplankton, organic carbon flow, and food-web ecology contributes to restored, managed, and natural habitat and respond to the needs of State agencies (DWR, SWRCB, CDFW) and federal agencies (NOAA, NMFS, USFWS, USEPA), NGOs (CalTrout, TNC, and similar) and other external groups. B. Serve on committees of department, college, campus and other University entities, as appropriate. Potential committees include Peer Groups (other Assistant/Associate Specialists), Voting Group (for new appointments only at the Specialist level), Serve as a member of one or more Center of Watershed Sciences ad hoc committees (field equipment, sharing/maintenance, field safety planning, laboratory shared space coordination.
Master's degree in ecology or related fields, or technical expertise equivalent to a Master's degree in the area of specialization or five years of training in the area of specialization.
Experience in carbon quantification and characterization.
Experience working in a laboratory and/or field setting.
Field experience collecting zooplankton, particulate and whole-water samples, and water quality samples for carbon quantification and isotopic analysis.
Experience collecting field samples wading and from boats in calm and swift-water conditions.
Experience with of water quality instruments and similar sensor systems.
Experience with zooplankton identification.
Knowledge of preparing samples for isotopic and fatty acid analysis.
Knowledge of long-term labile carbon assays, SUVA254, and particulate organic matter quantification.
Knowledge of UV persulfate organic carbon analysis.
Knowledge of analyzing optical oxygen sensor data.
Knowledge of driving jet boats in adverse and high flow conditions.
Experience using Office Software suit or comparable computer software.
Knowledge of statistical analysis using R statistical programming language.
Organizational and time management skills for serving as research coordinator.
Writing skill to contribute to peer reviewed publications and to review publications and proposals within area of specialized expertise.
Knowledge to contribute to creative activities including project design, grant writing, proposal review and data analysis in the areas of carbon quantification, zooplankton communities, organic carbon, and food webs.
Experience in using water quality instrumentation to collect field data, including optical sensors.
Experience in preparation of samples for isotopic and fatty acid analysis.
Experience in zooplankton identification to species.
Experience in long-term labile carbon assays, SUVA254, and particulate organic matter quantification.
Experience with UV persulfate organic carbon analysis.
Experience in analyzing optical oxygen sensor data.
Experience in driving jet boats in adverse and high flow conditions.
Experience of data entry techniques and quality control during and after entry of data into databases.
Experience of in statistical analysis using R statistical programming language.
Experience participating in collaborative writing efforts such as in preparation of manuscripts for peer review and of grant proposals.
UC Davis is the home of the Aggies — go-getters, change makers and problem solvers who make their mark at one of the top public universities in the United States. Since we first opened in 1908, we’ve been known for standout academics, sustainability and Aggie Pride as well as valuing the Northern California lifestyle. These themes are woven into our 100-plus-year history and our reputation for solving problems related to food, health, the environment and society.Our 5,300-acre campus is in the city of Davis, a vibrant college town of about 68,000 located in Yolo County. The state capital is 20 minutes away, and world-class destinations such as the San Francisco Bay Area, Lake Tahoe and the Napa Valley are within a two-hour drive.