UC ANR: Area Water and Soil Resources Advisor

Posted on February 7, 2024
UC ANR: Area Water and Soil Resources Advisor
Position description and responsibilities:

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.


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.
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.

how to apply:

Visit Here: https://ucanr.edu/About/Jobs/?jobnum=2722

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.