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Junior Specialist in Agroecology/Urban Soil Biogeochemistry

Position overview

Position title: Junior Specialist
Salary range: See Tables 24B and 24BN for the salary range for this position. Depending on the rank hired into, a reasonable estimate for this position is at least $49,000 per year.
Percent time: 100
Anticipated start: 7/1/2023
Position duration: One year through 6/30/2023

Application Window

Open date: May 10, 2023

Next review date: Monday, Jun 12, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Friday, Jun 30, 2023 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 Ryals Agroecology Laboratory is looking to hire a Junior Specialist to assist with research on the effects of compost application to urban turfgrass systems on carbon storage and soil health.

In this role, a junior specialist will be assisting with a project funded by the Alameda County Waste Authority in partnership with the cities of Dublin and Pleasanton, California. This work entails coordinating meetings with project team members and staff as needed to identify field sampling locations and to collect historical land management data. Additionally, the junior specialist will assist in the experimental design, soil sampling, and field data collection of soil gas fluxes, soil conditions,
and turf health. Laboratory process of soil and plant sampling entails preparation for elemental analysis, nutrient analysis on a microplate reader, microbial biomass, texture, pH, and standard soil health indicators. The junior specialist will also assist in the organization and analysis of data and in the preparation of a manuscript. The junior specialist will attend meetings with Dr. Ryals and the research team.

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Policy: All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of Full Vaccination or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, and/or Religious Objection) or Deferral (based on pregnancy) no later than the applicable deadline. For new University of California employees, the applicable deadline is 14 days after their first date of employment.


Basic qualifications
  • Bachelor's degree in Environmental Systems Science, Natural Resource Management, Soil Science, or related field
  • Valid California driver's license
  • Experience doing laboratory and/or field research
  • General computer skills
  • Ability to lift up to 50 pounds
Preferred qualifications
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to follow protocols
  • Ability to maintain detailed records of experiments and outcomes
  • Excellent organizational skills and demonstrated ability to accurately complete detailed work
  • Interest in working with team settings
  • Experience operating equipment, such as gas analyzers and microplate readers
  • Experience sampling soil

Application Requirements

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

  • Cover Letter

Reference requirements
  • 3 required (contact information only)
Apply link:

Help contact:

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 over 9,000 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