Position Overview: A reasonable estimate for this position is $70,500.00 - $84,500.00
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 research projects. 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 RESPONISBILITIES AND DESIGNATED AREA OF EXPERTISE I. Research in Specialized Areas (85% effort) The primary research objectives of this position are to study migratory patterns, natal origins, exposure to toxins, temperature reconstructions, population age structures, and growth of native California freshwater fishes. Laboratory and data analysis techniques will be utilized to ensure that data is properly collected and analyzed. The researcher will be expected, within their area of specialization, to work independently under limited direct supervision and to make substantial contributions toward publishable research.
The incumbent will provide specialized laboratory and analytical expertise at the Center for Watershed Sciences to run experiments and generate data for the publication of scientific articles primarily focusing on the use of otoliths as study tool They willUse compound microscopes and image analysis software to count and measure otolith microstructures. Use these structures to estimate age (both daily and annual) and somatic growth. A. Provide specialized laboratory expertise in the preparation and analysis of thin sections from the otoliths of multiple fish species and have the knowledgebase to determine the most appropriate methods for each species.
The specialist will perform isotopic analysis on sectioned otolith samples by using a variety of complex scientific instruments such as Laser Ablation Multi-Collector Inductively Coupled Mass Spectrometer (LA-MC-ICPMS), Inductively Coupled Plasma Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer (ICP-Q-MS), Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer (SIMS), and synchrotron.
Analyze laboratory and instrument data using the R-statistical programming language.
Participate in the writing and review of research end products including technical reports, posters and manuscripts for peer reviewed publication.
Using a combination of creativity and their specialized technical expertise, the incumbent is expected to independently research and develop novel procedures to adapt to advancements in instrumentation, optimize current methods and to meet the demands of emerging scientific questions. B. Laboratory/Project Management The specialist will be responsible for supporting the principal investigators by providing project management coordination to help ensure that projects progress smoothly and that deliverables are completed on time. The Specialist will be responsible for training staff, academics and students and ensuring that they perform laboratory procedures correctly, efficiently and in accordance with UC Davis compliant safety standards. They will help determine project priorities, assign tasks and track progress of staff, academics and students. The specialist configures laboratory work stations, restocks laboratory supplies as needed and orders equipment to keep pace with project requirements. C. Database Design and Management
In consultation with principal investigators and end users, design and implement a fully functional SQL based database that incorporates data from all projects, past and current in consultation with principal investigators and end users. Ensure that project data is accurately entered into the database and that established quality control procedures are followed by all who input data.
Suggest and create advanced queries in SQL to monitor project progress and compile data for laboratory colleagues and PIs for all needs including publication. Support end users through database training and creating targeted queries.
II. Professional Competence and Activity (10% effort) The Specialist 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, the Interagency Ecology Program Annual Workshop and meetings related to otolith research. 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 (05% effort) Act as technical liaison on issues as they relate Otolith Lab activities 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. Serve on committees of department, college, campus and other University entities, as appropriate.
Master's degree in ecology, fisheries, hydrology, biology 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 managing a team in a scientific setting.
Experience in preparing otolith thin sections for microstructure and geochemical analysis.
Experience with microscopy using compound microscopes and stereoscopic microscopes.
Experience with using Image-Pro Premier or similar image analysis software.
Training in measuring otolith microstructure to determine age and growth.
Experience with strontium isotope analysis using a Laser Ablation Multiple-Collection Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-MC-ICPMS).
Experience in the operation of a Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer (SIMS).
Experience in measuring trace elements using an Inductively coupled plasma (quadrupole) mass spectrometer (ICP-Q-MS).
Knowledge of SQL database design and development on both the front and backend.
Experience creating database queries in SQL.
Experience with the R programing language.
Experience using Microsoft office suite or equivalent software.
Writing skills to contribute to scientific communications such as peer reviewed publications, posters, standard operating procedures, reports.
Experience with collecting water samples for isotope analysis.
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.