This position will be involved in interdisciplinary research in the areas of plant sciences related to forage crops, ruminant nutrition, and animal response. Forage crops include alfalfa, sorghum, switchgrass, hemp, and miscellaneous forages, and are the third most important economic crop in the US. This candidate will work across disciplines (Plant and Animal Sciences) to further research goals. The best candidate will have the following characteristics (1) strong desire to conduct scientific studies as part of a career path, 2) ability and knowledge to conduct field agronomic studies and help with harvests and processing of various forages, (3) ability and interest in working with livestock feeding trials, (4) interest in laboratory analysis and careful data management skills to measure forage quality parameters, (5) oral and written communication skills and ability to work as a team member, (6) decision-making that allows for independent work with little supervision. Must be willing to work outside with plants and animals, including planting, plant sampling, soil sampling, conduct animal feeding, data acquisition and monitoring, irrigation, and harvests of field crops, sometimes under hot and dusty conditions. Must be willing to travel to research sites in California. The best candidate is one who is strongly interested in crop science fields, forage utilization, ruminant nutrition, measurements of forage quality, livestock response and sustainable agriculture.
MAJOR RESPONSBILITIES AND DESIGNATED AREAS OF EXPERTISE
I. Research in Specialized Areas (90% Effort)
The Junior Specialist will be involved in research that will lead to peer-reviewed publications. The field research will involve the feeding of specific research diets to dairy cattle as well as planting, harvesting, sampling, and monitoring various crops. Laboratory work will include grinding samples and using NIRS (Near Infrared Spectroscopy) and wet chemistry laboratory techniques to determine the composition of various plant samples. The Junior Specialist will be responsible for data collection and will help the supervisors with statistical analysis of the data. As a member of the research team the Junior Specialist will assist the weighing of feed, collection of samples (plant material, rumen fluid, feed, blood, and feces), and the preparation of samples for lab analyses utilizing wet chemistry procedures and NIRS. The experimental design of research projects will be done by supervisors in the Department of Plant Sciences. The Junior Specialist will be responsible for helping the research investigators to conduct the studies. The Junior Specialist will assist with preparing peer-reviewed publications. Duties will include helping the supervisors with a literature search and data collection, data entry and data analysis, and preliminary drafting of research results. The Junior Specialist will enter data into spreadsheets that will be used by the investigator for statistical analyses. The Junior Specialist will help the investigators in the preparation of manuscripts by reading drafts of the publication, and where necessary helping to write sections, for example helping to write the section related to materials and methods of the research.
II. Professional Competence and Activity (5% Effort)
a. The Junior Specialist will assist the investigator in preparing and presenting written progress reports and final summaries to the granting agencies. Depending on interest and availability of research funds, the Junior Specialist may also assist in outreach of the research findings at a scientific meeting (for example, the Western Alfalfa and Forage Symposium). b. Participation in appropriate professional/ technical societies or groups, other educational and research organizations. c. Review of journal manuscripts and other publications related to forage research, ruminant nutrition, and related subjects.
III. University and Public Service (5% Effort)
a. Participate in activities of committees with the Plant Sciences Department, college, campus and other university entities as appropriate. b. May maintain liaison and respond to the needs of various industry organizations, state and federal agencies, and other external groups on issues related to area of expertise. c. Participate in training activities, such as working with high school and undergraduate interns and training them in molecular lab work and data 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.