Project Scientist Water Resources and Water Resiliency (Assistant Rank)

University of California

Napa County, CA, USA 🇺🇸

County Location: Napa County

Date Posted: August 24, 2022
Closing Date: October 3, 2022

Job DescriptionDownload

The Project Scientist makes significant and creative contributions to a research or creative project in their academic discipline. The appointee possesses the subject matter expertise and the creative energy necessary to function at a high level of competence. The appointee will participate in activities to increase, improve, or upgrade competency. Appointees with Project Scientist titles may engage in University and public service. They do not have teaching responsibilities. Although the Project Scientist is expected to work independently under the general guidance of an academic member with an independent research program they are not required to develop an independent research program or reputation. They will carry out research or creative programs with supervision by an individual in an academic title that carries with it automatic Principal Investigator status. The Project Scientist does not usually serve as a Principal Investigator but may do so by exception.

Purpose and Clientele:
Water is the life blood of California’s economy and the underpinning of its diverse ecosystems. As such, water supply and water quality are critical issues facing the state’s agricultural, urban, and natural ecosystems now and into the future. As a primarily rural area with a strong agricultural economy and commitment to open space, Napa County has a vested interest in ensuring a stable and reliable water supply for all stakeholders and encouraging water resiliency across our diverse ecosystems. The Project Scientist will be based at the UC Cooperative Extension facility in Napa County. Principally, the Project Scientist will engage in professional activities to develop water resiliency strategies for stakeholders across the region and diverse ecosystems, including agriculture, forestry, open space and urban. As such, the Project Scientist will make creative contributions and lead the collaborative development of an active research program in the area of water resources and resiliency, including selection of appropriate methods, project design and implementation. In fulfillment of their duties, the Project Scientist will interface with agriculturalists, public agencies, non-profit organizations, urban water users, and the public, as well as existing technical committees such as Napa County Groundwater Sustainability Agency (NCGSA) and the Watershed Information Center (WIC). The Project Scientist will design and implement creative research, acquire and share technical knowledge, and promote stewardship of surface and groundwater resources in Napa County to meet the needs of competing users and natural systems.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:


Research Activity (50%)
This position requires creative contributions to and collaborative development of an active research program investigating topics relevant to water resources and resiliency. The candidate will develop collaborative teams with other UC ANR academics, campus-based specialists and faculty, and community-based stakeholders to determine and meet research goals and outreach objectives. The Project Scientist will design specific projects, including the selection of appropriate methods and techniques. In some cases, the candidate may supervise students or technicians regarding the technical aspects of the research, including methods development, trouble-shooting problems, interpreting results and planning follow-up experiments.

Publication (10%)
Either independently or in collaboration with the members of the research & outreach team, the Project Scientist will publish research results and management guidelines in peer-reviewed journals, newsletters, and other electronic and print resources that are accessible to professionals and the lay audience.

Proposal development (5%)
If the appointment is to continue beyond the period of County-based support, the candidate, in collaboration with the PI and research team, would seek other sources of funding to support the Project Scientists’ salary and benefits, as well as those of any support staff. Options for funding support include competitive grants from state and federal agencies, as well as other sources such as donations or fundraising. The Project Scientist will assist in formulating proposals for funding from federal and state agencies and other funding organizations. The Project Scientist will interact with funding agencies and prepare reports, modifications of budgets and other reporting components as required by the granting agencies.

Outreach and Public Service (15%) 
The Project Scientist will engage in outreach activities that include presenting evidence-based assessments of water resources and water resiliency strategies. They will use communication methods that are responsive to stakeholders, and appropriate for the audience and situation, particularly with respect to race, culture, and ethnicity. In collaboration with UC colleagues, they will deliver impactful, evidence-based educational programs (seminars, workshops, field days) and resources (handouts, videos) to stakeholders including agricultural professionals, natural resource managers, public agencies, non-profit organizations, urban water users, and the public. They will engage with existing technical committees, such as NCGSA and WIC. As appropriate, the Project Scientist will act as a facilitator in the public policy arena to effectively bridge divergent interests around issues of water quality, sustainability, and resiliency.

Professional Competence and Activity (20%)
The candidate will participate in professional societies and conferences appropriate to their discipline. The candidate will serve as a reviewer or research proposals or scientific publications, as appropriate. The candidate will attend seminars to present research results and will give oral presentations to the public and to professionals in the agricultural and supporting industries.

Reporting Relationship: The Project Scientist is administratively responsible to UC ANR Viticulture Advisor (Napa).

Required Qualifications

  • An earned Ph.D. in hydrologic sciences, water resources or a closely related field is required at the time of appointment.
  • Possess a strong foundation in water resources planning and management, including water supply and quality.
  • Diverse understanding of water systems and water users, including in natural areas, urban settings and agroecosystems.
  • Strong quantitative skills.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Experience with water quality and quantity monitoring.
  • Expertise with tools and methods to design sustainable water resources systems.
  • Working knowledge of statistical packages, mapping and spatial analytics technology to perform spatiotemporal analyses and evaluate water resources management strategies
  • Experience executing objectives, providing deliverables, and communicating outcomes and impacts.
  • Experience leading individuals and facilitating group discussions of water resources.

Skills Required:   To be successful, a Project Scientist requires skills in the following:

Technical Competence and Impact

  • Interact with collaborating scientists to achieve project objectives.
  • Collect and analyze data for agency reporting and journal publications. Participate in extension education and outreach activities.


  • Demonstrated excellence in written, oral, interpersonal and information technology communication skills.
  • Skills to communicate and extend technical information to diverse audiences are required.
  • Participation in professional societies and conferences and ability to give presentations at seminars and continuing education functions.

Collaboration, Teamwork and Flexibility

  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively as a team member with others.
  • Able to adapt as circumstances warranted.
  • Promote diversity, equity and inclusion.

Lifelong Learning

Demonstrated commitment to ongoing self-improvement – both professionally and as a person.

About UC ANR

The University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) consists of a network of scientists and educators working in partnership across the California. We are committed to developing and supporting healthy food systems, healthy environments, healthy communities, and healthy Californians. UC ANR administers UC Cooperative Extension UCCE), which is responsible for program development and delivery in the counties throughout the state of California.

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Salary & Benefits

SALARY:  Beginning salary will be in the Assistant Project Scientist Rank – Salary range $68,400 – $87,000.  For information regarding the Project Scientist series salary scales, please refer to This is a represented position.

The Assistant Project Scientist position is a definite term appointment.  The position is a one-year renewable term appointment with a merit cycle every two years.  The performance in the position will be evaluated annually.  The position will be extended based on performance and availability of funding.

Benefits: The University of California offers comprehensive benefits including health insurance, retirement plans, two days per month paid vacation, one day per month paid sick leave, and approximately thirteen paid holidays per year. For more information, refer to the UC Benefits website at:

How to Apply

If interested in this position, please visit: and choose “applicants” (refer to position #22-66)

Closing Date: To assure full consideration, application packets must be received by October 3, 2022 (open until filled).


Contact Pam Tise @ [email protected] for any questions.

Applicants may wish to explore the UC Davis Services for International Students and Scholars web page at and the UC ANR Green Card Sponsorship Guidelines & FAQ’s for reference.

University of California Cooperative Extension

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.   New University of California employees should refer to Appendix F, Section II.C. of the policy for applicable deadlines.  (Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.)  Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.  

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status or other protected categories covered by the UC nondiscrimination policy. 

As of January 1, 2014, ANR is a smoke- and tobacco-free environment in which smoking, the use of smokeless tobacco products, and the use of unregulated nicotine products (e-cigarettes), is strictly prohibited. 





IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development