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Senior Research Scientist

California State University, Monterey Bay
California, United States
Salary Not specified
Posted Date
Jul 13, 2022

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Science, Technology & Mathematics, Agriculture & Animal Sciences
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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Senior Research Scientist

Classification: Grade 9
Department Name: Applied Environmental Science
Job Number: FP2022-815
Status: Open Until FilledOpen Until Filled
Priority Screening Date: 07/26/2022
Recruitment Status: Open Until Filled

Position Description:
Water, Agriculture, Technology and Remote Sensing (WATRS) Lab NASA Ames Research Center / CSUMB Applied Environmental Science
This position is dependent upon grant funds. Subject to annual NASA review Position August 1, 2022 through July 29, 2024

The University Corporation at Monterey Bay is a non-profit institution that is related and affiliated to the California State University, Monterey Bay. The Corporation is a nonprofit 501© (3) public benefit corporation that is a recognized auxiliary organization of California State University and was established in July 1994. The Corporation's mission is to further the educational purposes of the University. The University Corporation at Monterey Bay is an equal opportunity employer and committed to building a pluralistic university by hiring personnel with competencies and experience related to the regional and State population. The Corporation is committed to a standard of excellence in the services it provides and in the quality of work expected of its employees.

Under the general direction of the Principal Investigator under the NASA ARC-CREST Cooperative Agreement, the Research Scientist is responsible for conducting scientific research, deploying and
maintaining instrumentation in the field, publishing scientific papers, and developing proposals for new research activities. Project focus: remote sensing of agricultural lands, with an emphasis on
evapotranspiration, cover cropping, vegetation water stress and irrigation management. The main objective of the research is to apply satellite and field observations to accurately quantify evapotranspiration from agricultural lands and adjacent riparian areas and incorporate evapotranspiration data into: 1) irrigation management practices; 2) assessments of cover crop extent and water use; 3) assessment of irrigated and
fallowed agricultural acreage; and 4) vegetation water stress in agricultural and forested land cover types. This position is within the Water, Agriculture, Technology and Remote Sensing (WATRS) lab and will work closely with scientists at NASA Ames Research Center. The successful candidate will also have the opportunity and support to develop and lead innovative research on remote sensing applications for agriculture and water resources management.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include, but are not limited to, the following:
  1. Work with the Principal Investigator (PI), scientists and software engineers in WATRS lab to deploy and maintain eddy covariance instrumentation in agricultural fields and adjacent riparian areas in the Salinas Valley and Central Valley of California.
  2. Analyze satellite data using reflectance-based and surface energy balance models to quantify evapotranspiration (ET) data.
  3. Analyze eddy covariance data and author manuscripts assessing the accuracy of satellite-based ET datasets using the eddy covariance data.
  4. Conduct research on mapping of ET and cover crop extent using satellite multispectral and thermal infrared data and quantify ET from cover crops.
  5. Conduct research to develop approaches to integrate thermal infrared satellite measurements collected at different times of day into energy-balance based ET models.
  6. Work with agricultural producers and irrigators to expand use of ET data in irrigation management practices.
  7. Conduct research to quantify evaporative stress in agricultural and forested land cover types.
  8. Author peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts, research and technical reports, and research proposals.
  9. Present research results and scientific meetings and to partners and stakeholders at workshops and meetings.
  10. Foster and maintain collaborative links with local groups and individuals, including agricultural producers, water resource management agencies, research organizations, and the public.

Other Functions:
  1. Promotes and maintains an atmosphere of excellent internal and external customer service within the department and the campus community.
  2. Attends workshops, conferences as needed.
  3. Performs other duties as assigned.
  4. Assists with other projects as needed.
Field research environment in agricultural settings in the Salinas Valley and Central Valley, as well as a standard research environment with standard equipment and tasks. Work location - CSUMB and
NASA/Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA. Position is required to work in the field as well as at a computer/video display terminal and desk for extended periods of time. Will require travel to off-campus locations for field research for extended time periods. This position also requires sitting, standing, bending, pushing, pulling, talking and using manual dexterity, eye-hand coordination. Ability to lift and carry 50 lbs.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
The position requires skills and previous experience with multispectral and thermal infrared satellite data processing and analysis, quantification of evapotranspiration using eddy covariance instrumentation in agricultural environments, data quality control and quality assurance, Python programming, geospatial analysis using ArcGIS software, publication of peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts, public speaking, planning and coordinating tasks remotely and in-person, and demonstrated ability to work well with a diverse team of scientists and software engineers. The candidate should have excellent verbal and written communication skills. Candidate must be capable of working in exposed agricultural settings, as well as in an interdisciplinary scientific atmosphere.

Minimum Qualifications:
Education and Experience:Equivalent to a Doctorate Degree in Geography, Hydrology, Earth Systems Science, Environmental Science, Plant and Soil Science, Agronomy, Biology, or a closely related field AND relevant scientificexperience in technology and/or science industries involving sensor networks, plant biology, computing, analysis, and data processing. Previous experience with the following is also required: i) Analysis of multispectral and thermal infrared satellite imagery for research related to hydrologic, agronomic, orecologic processes; ii) Use of micrometeorological instrumentation and eddy covariance techniques to quantify evapotranspiration; iii) Ability to program in Python to automate processing and analysis of satellite and meteorological data; iv) Experience using Google Earth Engine and ArcGIS to process satellite and climate data and generate datasets and maps; v) experience preparing scientific manuscripts andresearch proposals; and vi) experience with public speaking and presentation of scientific results to a variety of audiences.

Specialized Skills:

Preferred Qualifications:
Demonstrated understanding of and commitment to the CSUMB Vision Statement and the core values of mutual respect, collaboration and service orientation, multiculturalism and diversity, community service and institutional excellence. Experience working with a diverse and multicultural population and performing community services; demonstrated technical literacy.

Special Conditions of Employment:
The person holding this position is considered a “mandated reporter” under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment.
A background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate can be offered a position with the University Corporation. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may affect the application status of applicants or the continued employment of current University Corporation employees who apply for the position.
This position will have a duty to report to the Campus Title IX Officer information pertaining to victims of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, and stalking as required by CSU Executive Order 1095.
The University Corporation at Monterey Bay is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. We consider qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, genetic information, medical condition, disability, marital status, or protected veteran status. This position is required to maintain confidentiality as outlined in the Department of Education’s Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and California’s Educational Code Chapter 13 regarding sensitive student issues.
Please note: University Corporation employment is separate and distinct from CSU Monterey Bay or State of California employment. University Corporation employees are not employees of either CSUMB or of the state of California.
All employees must be eligible for employment in the U.S. The University Corporation is not a sponsoring agency for any positions.
University Corporation at Monterey Bay positions are “at-will” employment.
CSUMB is a smoke and tobacco-free campus.
The campus leadership has committed the resources needed to achieve an engaged, safe, and in-person experience. The health and safety of our community remain our highest priority, and we are confident that existing public health measures provide for a safe environment capable of delivering a complete college experience on the CSUMB campus. Being an Otter means caring for each other and doing your part to protect your community. All CSUMB/University Corporation employees must be fully vaccinated, including booster (when eligible), against COVID-19, unless they are exempt from this requirement because an exemption has been granted based on a medical contraindication or sincerely held religious beliefs. Fully vaccinated means that an individual has received all recommended doses of a COVID-19 vaccine that has received Emergency Use Authorization or full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and that it has been at least two weeks since the final recommended dose. All students, faculty, and staff who have not been vaccinated and received a booster must test weekly beginning February 4, 2022. See: The California State University COVID-19 Vaccination Policy In compliance with state and federal crime awareness and campus security legislation, including The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act, California Education Code section 67380, and the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), the Cal State University, Monterey Bay Annual Security and Fire Safety Report is available at
Special License or Certifications and Conditions:
  • Must possess and maintain a valid license to drive in the State of California, pass the Defensive Training Class, and be insurable under the University’s liability coverage.
  • May require occasional evenings and/or weekend work.

Questions can be sent to:

Compensation and Benefits:
The University Corporation is committed to providing our employees with a comprehensive program that rewards efforts that are appreciated by your colleagues, students, and the customers we serve. Salary placement is determined by the education, experience, and qualifications the candidate brings to the position, internal equity, and the hiring department’s fiscal resources. Classification: Grade 9, Staff. The montly hiring range for this position is $9,500 - $10,500. This is a non-exempt position and as such is eligible for the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The Corporation offers a rich benefits package that constitutes a major portion of total compensation. Benefits include medical, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits, contributory retirement plan, TSA (403b), and other benefits. Please review our benefits guide for details about sick time, vacation, and holidays.
The University Corporation at Monterey Bay also provides access to affordable campus housing:
Although CSUMB is located in a high-cost housing area, Schoonover Park rental homes are affordably priced. Monthly rent rates include cable television, garbage service, and sewer. Convenient floorplans, attractive interior appointments, and numerous community amenities make Schoonover Park Rental Homes an exceptional value. Schoonover Park is near the main campus, yet a tranquil world away. The community lies nestled in the secluded beauty of rolling coastal hills three miles east of campus. Living in one of the most desirable areas of California, you will enjoy the natural splendor and cultural abundance of the Monterey Peninsula. Quality of life begins with your home in Schoonover Park and extends through every aspect of your California coastal lifestyle.

How to Apply:
To apply, visit

All prospective applicants must apply online. You must complete the entire application for submission. We only accept applications for the open positions listed. Please do not fax or mail in a printed version of the electronic applications or a resume in lieu of an application. If you are having difficulty applying or need assistance, please call (831) 582-3389. All positions are open until filled. The completed online application and resume must be submitted by 5:00 pm PST on the priority screening date. Applications received after this date will be reviewed at the discretion of the Corporation.
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION/EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER: The Corporation is an Equal Opportunity-Affirmative Action employer seeking to recruit and support a broadly diverse community of faculty and staff. We value and celebrate diversity in all its forms and strive to foster an inclusive culture built on respect that affirms inter-group relations and builds cohesion. We consider qualified applicants for employment for their anticipated contributions and without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, genetic information, medical condition, pregnancy, marital status, veteran status, or disability.

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