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Area Water and Soil Resources Advisor (Applied Research and Extension) AP 22-42

County Locations: Marin County, Mendocino County, Napa County, Sonoma County

Date Posted: January 30, 2024
Closing Date: March 21, 2024

Job Description: Download

Position Overview

The University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) offers a unique recruitment opportunity for a UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Area Water and Soil Resources Advisor. UC ANR operates a statewide network of researchers and educators dedicated to the development and application of knowledge to address local agricultural, environmental and health issues. Over 150 UC ANR UCCE advisors conduct research, outreach and education from locally based CE offices serving all 58 counties from 70+ locations throughout the state. Our mission is to bring the University of California directly to Californians through research, extension and education programs that support:


  • Sustainable, safe, and nutritious food production and delivery
  • Economic success in a global economy
  • A sustainable, healthy, and productive environment
  • Science literacy and youth development

By working and living among those we serve, UC ANR expands the University of California’s reach to engage all people and communities in California, ensuring equal access to the UC system.


Location Headquarters: UCCE Sonoma County, Santa Rosa, CA.

Purpose: The Area Water and Soil Resources Advisor will serve as an expert for issues related to irrigation water management and soil, focusing on strategies to meet agricultural and managed ecosystem water requirements while stewarding soil quality. This position will support agriculture production by incentivizing on-farm practices to promote innovative water use, e.g., to increase irrigation water use efficiency, ensure the sustainable use of groundwater and/or recycled water, and promote climate-smart water and soil management practices. The advisor will assist agricultural producers and natural resource managers to meet water demands through innovation. The candidate will conduct research to understand and develop solutions to increase the resilience of agriculture and natural ecosystems to extreme weather and climate change. This position can expand public awareness of climate risks and effective adaptation strategies.

Research and Extension: Wine grape vineyards comprise the majority of irrigated acreage in agricultural production in the three-county area, with significantly fewer acres in other crops receiving applied water.

Applied Research: The Area Water and Soil Resources Advisor will develop a research program to improve the understanding and use of technology, such as to monitor plant water stress and soil moisture, optimize irrigation scheduling, and mitigate the effects of damaging heat waves. This may include research on cost-effective aerial remote sensing tools that capture plant, soil and atmospheric data to enable growers to quantify the annual differences in water use due to increasingly variable weather conditions, increase water storage and holding capacity, as well as identify areas of reduced soil health that require modified management practices. The advisor can also validate innovative practices such as precision irrigation, and strategies including regulated deficit irrigation and collaborate with UC ANR colleagues to study the response and adaptation of grapevines and other crops to prolonged drought or other extreme climatic conditions.

The position will help growers modify practices to enable compliance with regulations associated with agricultural water use, such as the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program (ILRP) and the Sustainable Groundwater Water Management Act (SGMA) as well as support assessments of the impacts of irrigated agriculture on the environment. A diverse clientele base with different interests in the use of and policies associated with water resources exists in this region and the Advisor will be an important part of the team by conducting research to evaluate strategies that will allow growers to meet new requirements.


Extension and Outreach: The Area Water and Soil Resource Advisor is expected to develop an outreach program to encourage adoption of sustainable practices that improve irrigation management in irrigated agriculture, and explore agricultural groundwater recharge opportunities and increase soil water storage. The candidate will work with growers and industry organizations in each county to disseminate information and work across disciplines with campus faculty, CE Specialists, and CE advisors in Land, Air and Water Resources, Viticulture and Enology, Plant Sciences, and Natural Resources.

There are numerous opportunities for extension and research partnerships with a variety of stakeholders in the three counties served including the Regional Water Quality Boards, Groundwater Sustainability Agencies required by SGMA, and the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Programs in each region. Additional agencies include Sonoma Water, the Napa County Groundwater Sustainability Agency and Watershed Information Council, Marin Water, North Marin Water District, Russian River Flood Control & Water Conservation Improvement District, and others, as well as local USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Resource Conservation Districts (RCD), and industry groups, such as Farm Bureaus and others.

The Area Water and Soil Resources Advisor joins a team of highly motivated UCCE colleagues who are passionate about their work and are dedicated to making a difference within the communities and throughout California. There is an opportunity and expectation to work collaboratively within the UC ANR system.


Counties of Responsibility. This position will be headquartered in the UCCE Sonoma County Office and serve Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, and Marin Counties.


Reporting Relationship: The CE Advisor serves under the administrative guidance of the UCCE Sonoma County Director with input from the UCCE County Directors for Napa, Mendocino, and Marin Counties.


Qualifications and Skills Required

Required Qualifications

Education: A minimum of a master's degree in disciplines such as hydrologic sciences, soil science, agronomy, water resources, agricultural engineering or other closely related fields is required at the time of appointment.

Additional Requirements

  • Coursework or experience is desired in irrigation systems, groundwater systems, experimental design, statistical analysis, soil science, water quality, agricultural engineering, geographic information systems, and remote sensing.
  • Ability and means to travel on a flexible schedule as needed, proof of liability and property damage insurance on vehicle used is Must possess valid California Driver’s License to drive a County or University vehicle.
  • The ability to work with clientele across a wide range of socio-economic classes and ethnicities is
  • This is not a remote The candidate must be available to work onsite.

Skills Required

To be successful, the CE Advisor requires skills in the following area:


Technical Competence and Impact

The candidate should be able to design and implement a program that leads to positive change and impact within the community and beyond. There is an expectation that advisors evolve and grow across their career and respond to changes in the industry and by clientele.



Demonstrated excellence in written, oral, and interpersonal and information technology communication skills. Public speaking to stakeholders is a routine part of this position.

Demonstrated ability to share complex information in a manner tailored to the audience.


Collaboration, Teamwork and Flexibility

Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively as a team member with the agricultural industry, natural resource professionals, and other stakeholders. Able to adapt as circumstances warrant.

Aware and willing to actively promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Lifelong Learning

Demonstrated commitment to ongoing professional improvement. Ability to grow new competencies, adapt programs, and shift focus over time in response to changing stakeholder priorities and organizational needs.


Learn more about Skills and Areas of Programmatic Review (including Professional Competence, University and Public Service and Affirmative Action and DEI) at: https://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/files/319460.pdf

Desired Experience

  • Passion and desire to pursue a career in Cooperative
  • Experience in education and
  • Experience building partnerships and working in multidisciplinary
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively plan projects, manage teams, and implement an applied research and outreach program, including setting measurable goals and objectives.


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 state of California.  We are committed to developing and supporting healthy food systems, healthy environments, healthy communities, and healthy Californians.  UC ANR administers Statewide Programs and Initiatives (SWP/I’s) that focus research and extension on solving priority problems that engage ANR academics and UC faculty in integrated teams to work on complex issues requiring trans-disciplinary approaches; as well as UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE), which is responsible for program development and delivery in counties throughout the state.


Learn more about



  • Affirmative Action: Further to the above, advisors are expected to share and exhibit UC ANR’s commitment to affirmative action. Learn more of UC ANR Affirmative Action policy: http://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/Diversity/Affirmative_Action/
  • The University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce and will honor your experiences, perspectives and unique identity. We encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ+ community members, and others who demonstrate the ability to help us create and maintain working and learning environments that are inclusive, equitable and welcoming.


Salary & Benefits

Salary: The salary range for this Cooperative Extension Advisor position is Assistant Rank, Step I ($79,500) to Step VI ($100,900). Step placement in the advisor series is based on applicable experience and professional qualifications. For information regarding Cooperative Extension Advisor salary scales, please refer to the University of California website: https://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/files/358478.pdf. If the successful candidate is currently a UCCE Advisor, the candidate will be offered the position without change to the candidate’s current rank, step, salary and/or appointment terms; and if applicable, is eligible to retain indefinite status. This position is eligible for indefinite status following three successful reviews and subject to terms noted in UC ANR Policy and Procedure Manual, Section 315 https://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/files/118501.pdf


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 paid holidays. This position is eligible for sabbatical leave privileges as per the terms of the University policy. For more information, refer to the UC Benefits website

at: https://ucnet.universityofcalifornia.edu/compensation-and-benefits/index.html


How to Apply

If interested in this position, please visit: https://recruit.ucanr.edu/ and choose “applicants” (refer to position #22-42)


Closing Date: To assure full consideration,applicationpacketsmustbereceivedby

March 21, 2024 – (open until filled)



Contact Kyla Perez; email mikperez@ucanr.edu

Applicants may wish to explore the UC Davis Services for International Students and Scholars web page at https://siss.ucdavis.edu and the UC ANR Green Card Sponsorship Guidelines & FAQ's for reference.


University of California Cooperative Extension

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.  

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.