Research Position in Agronomic Practices for Hemp, Switchgrass, Sorghum and Forages
University of California Davis Department of Plant Sciences
United States

Junior Specialist Position in Agronomic Practices for Hemp, Switchgrass, Sorghum and Forages (Putnam Lab)

Job #JPF03465
  • Agricultural and Environmental Sciences - PLANT SCIENCES

Recruitment Period

Open date: March 17th, 2020

Next review date: Tuesday, Mar 31, 2020 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)

Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Tuesday, Jun 30, 2020 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)

Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.


Junior Specialist Position – Agronomic Practices for Hemp, Switchgrass, Sorghum and Forages (Putnam)

The Forage Systems Project of the Department of Plant Sciences is recruiting for a Junior Specialist to work on field trials with hemp, switchgrass, sorghum and alfalfa for use as biofuels, specialty crops, and forage crops. The objective of these trials is to evaluate the impacts of crop phenotype, cultivar, and agronomic practices on utilization, yield, and quality, and to improve sustainability of water use in field crops. The incumbent must be a motivated, organized, independently driven individual with the experience to follow experimental protocols designed by a research team consisting of faculty, graduate students and staff. Must be willing to travel to research sites in the San Joaquin Valley (driver’s license required). For hemp, police background check required. The best candidate is one who is interested in the science of crop production and developing the skills of field crop research. As the major contributor to research studies, the incumbent is expected to contribute to scholarly manuscripts, outreach publications and reports as needed and under direction of graduate students and staff, and will have the opportunity to present work at local, statewide and national meetings. A Bachelor's Degree in Plant Sciences, Soil Sciences or related field is required. Individual will be supervised by Dr. Daniel H. Putnam, CE Specialist, Department of Plant Sciences, UC Davis. Salary for this position is $42,300/year plus benefits at 100% time for 1 years, renewable for 1 year, beginning April 1 or end of spring quarter, 2020. Must be willing to work outside with planting, plant sampling, soil sampling, data acquisition and monitoring, irrigation, and harvests of field crops, sometimes under hot conditions. Must be able to lift 50 lbs.

Minimum qualifications:

• Bachelor's Degree in Plant Sciences, Soil Sciences or related field
• Strong desire to learn about field crops research

• Skills in writing
• Skill in lab work
• Skills in data management.
• Demonstrated work skills (timeliness, work habits, following instructions, teamwork).

Desired Qualifications:

• Farm Experience, experience with farm machinery
• Experience with alfalfa or similar crops
• Laboratory experience
• Irrigation Expertise


The incumbent of this position will be actively and significantly involved in publishable research activities through the following roles and duties:

a. Implement several aspect s of field and laboratory research on switchgrass, sorghum, alfalfa, hemp, and other crops, which includes field activities of planting, harvesting, sampling, sample processing, and monitoring.
b. Implement water schedules in the field, maintaining field systems and research trials to deliver appropriate water amounts, and to monitor for salinity and other water quality parameters.
c. Conduct greenhouse work on experimental plants as needed.
d. Assist with laboratory analysis of samples for forage quality analysis.
e. Manage and compile samples and manage and enter data obtained from research trials, and conduct analysis of data as requested.
f. Assist the Pl in development of grant proposals and reports.
g. Generate data presentations for academic publications and outreach activities in collaboration with PI and research team.


a. Present research at both statewide outreach meetings, regional and national meetings as well as on campus events. Presentations will be in poster and oral presentation formats.
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 and related subjects.


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.

Note: The junior specialist rank is an entry-level position, accordingly it is inappropriate to hire applicants with advanced degrees in this field or with a bachelors degree and three years of relevant work experience (see APM-UCD 330).

Job location



Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.
  • Cover Letter (Optional)
Reference requirements
  • 2-4 letters of reference required

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