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Postdoctoral Scholar in Agroecology/Climate Solutions

Position overview

Position title: Postdoctoral Scholar
Salary range: See Table 23 for the salary range for this position. A reasonable estimate for this position is $60,000 - $ 71,952.
Percent time: 100%
Anticipated start: Available immediately, no later than January 1, 2023
Position duration: 2 Years

Application Window

Open date: August 24, 2023

Most recent review date: Thursday, Sep 7, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.

Final date: Sunday, Dec 31, 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

A Postdoctoral Scholar position is available to work on collaborative, interdisciplinary research on climate solutions in California. California’s landmark policy on methane emissions (SB 1383) mandates the diversion of 75% of organic waste from entering landfills by 2025. This policy will result in unprecedented use recycled organics for application to lands. There is an urgent need to develop decision support that can optimize the benefits of organics land application in the form of carbon sequestration, nutrient delivery, and water management while avoiding negative impacts, particularly to air and water quality. The project aims to develop decision support tools that will help realize the full benefits of California’s methane emissions policy.

The successful candidate will lead laboratory and field experiments focused on soil greenhouse gas emissions, carbon dynamics, and resilience of organic amended soils and on the biogeochemistry of food waste composting. These projects will address relevant knowledge gaps on composting and compost benefits, and the link between carbon, nitrogen, and water management. They will also contribute to an interdisciplinary partnership with researchers and stakeholders, including integrating experimental measurements and modeling efforts.

This position is funded by the University of California Climate Action Research program and is part of a collaborative team of researchers at UC Merced, UC Santa Cruz, UC Davis, and UC Berkeley. The postdoc hired for this position will be expected to work independently and in teams, respectfully engage with community partners, develop novel research ideas, and write research papers in a timely manner. In addition, the postdoc will be able to mentor graduate students and undergraduate students who will work on relevant projects as needed.

The postdoc will be mentored by Dr. Rebecca Ryals, and will collaborate with a team of researchers at UC Merced, UC Santa Cruz, UC Davis, and UC Berkeley.


Basic qualifications

Applicants must have obtained a Ph.D. in agroecology, soil science, biogeochemistry, ecology, agronomy, environmental sciences, geosciences or related fields by the start date of the position.

Applicants must have experience in field and laboratory research methods.

Applicants must have a valid driver’s license.

Applicants must interest and experience in stakeholder engagement.

Preferred qualifications

The ideal candidate will be highly motivated, and the desirable expertise in the person include knowledge of measurement of soil carbon and greenhouse gas fluxes; chemical, physical and biological soil health indicators; composting; agroecological approaches to food production; nature-based climate solutions; soil sampling methodologies; and excellent data analyses and communication skills.

Application Requirements

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

  • Cover Letter

  • Statement on Contributions to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion - Statement on your contributions to equity, diversity, and inclusion, including information about your understanding of these topics, your record of activities to date, and your specific plans and goals for advancing equity and inclusion. Please review the UC Merced Diversity Statement Guidelines and UC’s Commitment to Diversity

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

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. This includes the University of California Policy on Vaccination Programs:

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