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Junior Specialist (otoliths): Center for Watershed Sciences

Openings are anticipated throughout the year for the Center for Watershed Sciences at the University of California, Davis for a pool of qualified Junior Specialist focusing on fish otolith isotopes and growth analysis. Screenings of applications is ongoing and will continue as needed. The number of positions varies each year, depending on the needs of the department.

The Primary responsibility of this position is to prepare fish otoliths (earstones). Using otolith isotope chemistry and growth increments to reconstruct age, growth, environmental histories and movements patterns. Candidate will be involved in multiple studies focusing on native fish migration, habitat use, survival and condition of the California Central Valley and freshwater delta. There may be occasional opportunities for fieldwork but the position is primarily working in a laboratory setting. Individual will be trained in all aspects of the position to take a prominent role in sample preparation including fish dissection, otolith mounting, grinding and polishing, increment analysis used to identify and measure the widths of daily growth rings, probe-based isotopic analyses using laser ablation multi-collector mass spectrometry. Data entry and QAQC measures. The candidate will be expected to independently review scientific literature on chemistry and composition of fish otoliths research to evaluate the methodology used in the laboratory, including discussing research performed with laboratory members, using strong interpersonal communication and decision making skills, working independently and as a part of a team. Participate in professional or technical societies or groups and other educational and research organizations to gain knowledge and net work in areas related studies.

Bachelor degree in ecology, fisheries, hydrology, biology or related fields. Students graduating soon may apply but must have a Bachelor's degree at the start of the appointment.

Experience working in a laboratory and/or field setting.

Analytical skills to identify and measure growth rings.

Experience using Microsoft Excel, Access, and similar computer software.

Experience with data entry, paying close attentions to details.

Organizational and time management skills.

Ability to us microscopes and forceps.

Experience in otolith microstructural (aging and growth).

Experience in chemical analyses in wet chemistry, geochemistry and/or mass spectrometry.

Experience in ArcGIS, Image J, Image Pro and R.

SALARY RANGE: Step l at $17.99/ hour or Step II at $19.18/hour, commensurate with qualifications and experience.

TERM OF APPOINTMENT: Seasonal, short term and appointments may be made up to 100%.


REQUIRED DOCUMENTS: Curriculum Vitae, most recent and updated CV, cover letter, Statement of Contributions to Diversity - Diversity contributions documented in the application file will be used to evaluate applications. Visit for guidelines about writing a diversity statement and why one is requested.


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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 or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

Under Federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally able to work in the United States as established by providing documents as specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Certain UCSC positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check. More information is available

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