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Junior Specialist for The Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS)

Position overview

Position title: Junior Specialist
Salary range: Salary is based on the University of California Academic Salary Scales.
Percent time: 100%
Anticipated start: Estimated start date of May 10, 2021 with the possibility of hiring two individuals for the same position.

Application Window

Open date: April 7th, 2021

Next review date: Tuesday, Apr 20, 2021 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Friday, May 21, 2021 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

The Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) is a fully functioning research unit with the University of California, Merced and is recognized as one of the four CITRIS campuses: UC Merced, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, and UC Santa Cruz. CITRIS strives to create information technology solutions for society's most pressing challenges by leveraging cutting-edge technologies and incorporating a convergence of student-driven initiatives, seed grants and faculty research, and corporate partnerships. The candidate should have the expertise required to assist in the continued development and operations of the UC/CITRIS Aviation and related projects.

The Junior Specialist duties will include, but are not limited to, assisting in UAS project coordination of UC/CITRIS Aviation drone activities, assisting in drone fleet maintenance, and developing UAS data products/GIS map products. Lab analyses and field deployments will require geospatial and hydrospatial analysis, including: directed field data collection, use and deployment RTK DGPS survey equipment, use of ArcGIS/ENVI/QGIS and/or Pix4D software, and use of R, Python, MatLab, or other mathematical and statistical software; environmental engineering analysis and research, including: preparing/reviewing technical reports, preparing and conducting data collection efforts, expanded engagement in project management (e.g., budget, quality assurance, EH&S, FAA) and preparing and conducting feasibility reports. Additional duty includes responsibility as lead operator for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for research purposes, responsibility as lead lab technician for all UAV/UAS inventory, its maintenance and performance, and integration into broader campus efforts (i.e., CITRIS Aviation), and lead party for course development on applied UAS research and UAV safety. Limited supervisory activities are required, as is FAA certification for UAV/UAS piloting as recognized by UC EH&S Drone Safety Center, ability to operate campus vehicles under campus policy, as well as successful participation in other applied research training activities such as CPR, First Aid, MOTC. The candidate will also supervise Student Assistants as needed in the office and field setting, developing and maintaining field safety protocols and best practices. The candidate will also assist in project development, writing project reports, technical publications, and academic articles as well as participate in science communication and training, including conferences, workshops, and industry events. They will also test new technologies and software as needed, providing leadership and guidance on research & development.


Basic qualifications

    Highly self-motivated individuals who have demonstrated the ability to conduct scientific research with strong written and verbal communication skills are encouraged to apply. Applicants should have obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering or a related field. Experience in UAS operations or related technology is required as well as proficiency in GIS software (ESRI or QGIS) and one or more coding language (R, Python, etc.). Successful applicants must have a FAA Remote Pilot license or be able to obtain one within 1 month of the appointment. Experience with field work and Wilderness First Aid and CPR/AED is an asset. Ability to operate campus vehicles under campus policy is required, as is occasional travel and/or alternative work schedules. This is an exempt position.

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter

Reference requirements
  • 2 required (contact information only)
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Campus Information

The University of California is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and invites applications from all qualified applicants, including women, minorities, veterans, and individual with disabilities, who will enrich the teaching, research and public service missions of the university. All qualified applicants will be considered 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: UC Nondiscrimination & Affirmative Action Policy (

The University of California, Merced, is the newest of the University of California system’s 10 campuses. With 8,500 undergraduate and graduate students (, UC Merced provides outstanding educational opportunities to highly qualified students from the heart of California, the nation, and abroad. The campus has special connections to nearby Yosemite National Park; is on the cutting edge of sustainability in construction and design; and supports the economic development of Central California. The Merced 2020 Project doubled the physical capacity of the campus, and enhanced academic distinction, student success, and research excellence (

UC Merced is a smoke & tobacco free campus (

Job location

Merced, CA