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Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist - Silviculture/Applied Forest Ecology - Environmental Science, Policy & Management

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Position Description: The Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management (ESPM) at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) seeks an Assistant Cooperative Extension (CE) Specialist in Silviculture/Applied Forest Ecology. This position is a full time, career-track appointment. The general disciplinary focus of this position spans the stand level to larger landscape dynamics of managed forests that interact with natural disturbance processes. Priority issues include reforestation, productivity and resiliency of different stand structures, the role of stand structure and dynamics on fire hazard, the development and management of mixed species stands, and the integration of water quality, economic and biodiversity goals into silvicultural practices.

A Ph.D. or equivalent degree in forestry, ecology, silviculture, natural resource management, restoration ecology, or related program is required by the start date. The completion of all Ph.D. degree requirements (or equivalent degree) except the dissertation is required at the time of application. Preferred qualifications include evidence of leadership, teambuilding, organizational skills, and academic promise. The successful applicant is expected to qualify as a Registered Professional Forester (RPF) by the State of California within five years of appointment (see: The client base for this position includes public and private forestland owners and managers, government agencies, a wide variety of forest interest groups and policy makers. Close partnership with county-based CE personnel is expected. The CE Specialist will be expected to develop a nationally competitive research program and to obtain extramural grant funds. The position will be housed in the Department of ESPM in the College of Natural Resources at UCB. The CE Specialist will also be a key member of UCB’s Center for Forestry, which has oversight of over 10,000 acres of UC research forestlands. In addition, the CE Specialist is expected to provide leadership to UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UCANR) forest related teams. Meaningful engagement in UCANR’s Strategic Initiatives and Program Teams is also essential for a successful program; see: and It is expected that the CE Specialist will work closely with the network of UC Forest and Natural Resource CE Advisors, as well as other Forest and Natural Resource CE Specialists at Berkeley, Davis, and Riverside campuses. The CE Specialist works directly under the supervision of the ESPM Department Chair.

Justification: California’s almost 40 million acres of forest and woodlands are valued features of the landscape that provide irreplaceable ecosystem services and valuable economic products. California’s forests are owned and managed by a diverse array of private and public owners with considerable diversity in their composition, structure, and distribution across landscapes. The forces of global change, fire suppression, and low levels of management threaten their continued health and viability. The recent historic drought has only increased the physiological stress as evidenced by elevated rates of mortality across many of the forests of the state. Examples of high priority issues for this position are: 1) Improving the resilience of forest stands and landscapes to drought, and reducing the impact of drought-induced mortality; 2) Designing management regimes to reduce the risk of catastrophic loss from wildfires, pest outbreaks, and pathogen infestations; 3) Developing the means to integrate better water quality and runoff goals with forest management; 4) Understanding the trade-offs associated with carbon sequestration, wildfire risk, biodiversity, and timber production.

Extension: The CE Specialist is expected to work closely with family forest owners, professional resource managers, government agencies, a wide variety of forest interest groups, and policy makers to develop a visible and identifiable program of outreach. Extension activities with these groups include development of workshops, symposia, field days, webinars, and technical publications (online and hardcopy). It is also expected that there will be creative use of online methods and distance learning to extend information to groups and individuals who want to interact with the University at different times and places.

Research: Some of the key research questions to be pursued by the CE Specialist are listed above (see Justification section). The CE Specialist would be expected to publish original findings in journals such as Forest Ecology and Management, Canadian Journal of Forest Research, Forest Science, Journal of Forestry, Forestry, Ecological Applications, Ecology, Ecological Monographs, and other journals appropriate to their background and discipline. Other important outlets include proceedings of various conferences, IUFRO task forces, California Agriculture, professional or landowner publications (such as ANR leaflets and manuals), and trade or organizational journals.

ANR Network: There is a rich network of Berkeley academics working in forestry including 15 ESPM professors and 10 CE Specialists. Other professors and CE faculty working on forestry issues are at UC Riverside and UC Davis. In addition, ANR faculty, specialists and advisors working on rangelands, oak woodlands, watersheds, and environmental education would be collaborators for this position. Given the need to revitalize and rethink how we manage forests in the era of global change, we must complement our depth in the ecology, policy, sociology, and economics of forest with comparable expertise in improving the health and quality of our forests. Applied forest ecology/silviculture is a key gap in the research-extension continuum.

Network External to ANR: There is a network of scientists with the USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW). PSW includes a group of silvicultural researchers in the Redding and Davis PSW labs that would be important collaborators, and closely allied forest scientist at other PSW labs (Arcata, Albany, Fresno, Riverside). The USDA Forest Service and USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) have a diverse array of professional experts providing technical expertise to the forestry community in California. USGS and other federal scientists working on forest ecology and restoration are housed in various locations throughout California. The Silviculture/Applied Forest Ecology CE Specialist would be expected to develop relationships with members of these external groups.

Support: The CE Specialist would have an office and laboratory space on the Berkeley Campus. It is also anticipated that there would be opportunities for a field office/laboratory at one of the Center for Forestry research forests if desired. A startup package would be used to allow the purchase of field sampling equipment, computers, and lab equipment. Funds for travel, supplies and expenses would be provided consistent with levels provided to other CE Specialists.

Other support: The CE Specialist will be expected to develop a competitive research program including acquisition of for extramural funding grants from USDA (NIFA, Forest Service), US EPA, NSF, JFS, and other federal sources. Within California, it is anticipated that the Specialist would compete for the large source of forestry related grants funded by the Greenhouse Gas program, timber tax, and fire mitigation funds. The various UCANR competitive grants through the Core Issues Program, and the Renewable Resources Extension Act are other sources of funding. It is also expected that specialist will work with foundations, NGOs, and forest industry groups that could provide grants or gifts in support of research and extension outreach by the CE Specialist.

To apply, please go to the following link: Applicants should submit the following required documents online: 1) a cover letter, 2) a curriculum vitae, 3) a statement of research and extension interests and experience, 4) a statement of contributions to diversity, 5) three publications, and 6) contact information for three referees who may be asked to submit a letter of recommendation. Each document should be submitted as a separate pdf file. Filenames should include the applicant’s last and first names. Letters of reference will be requested as needed for committee deliberations. All letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. Please refer potential referees, including when letters are provided via a third party (i.e. dossier service or career center) to the UC Berkeley Statement of Confidentiality ( prior to submitting their letters.

To receive full consideration, please submit all materials prior December 29, 2017; the position will remain open until filled. The anticipated start date is July 1, 2018 but is flexible. Salary is commensurate with experience.

Please direct questions to

The department seeks candidates whose research and service has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and inclusion in education and outreach. 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:

Job location

Berkeley, CA


Document requirements
  • Cover Letter - File name should include applicant's last and first names.

  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.
    File name should include applicant's last and first names.

  • Statement of Research and Extension Interests and Experience - File name should include applicant's last and first names.

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity - File name should include applicant's last and first names.

  • Publication #1 - File name should include applicant's last and first names.

  • Publication #2 - File name should include applicant's last and first names.

  • Publication #3 - File name should include applicant's last and first names.

Reference requirements
  • 3 required (contact information only)