Job Title: Ecological Pest Management Program Specialist
Location: Based out of CAFF’s Davis office with regular travel throughout the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley region
FTE: 1.0 FTE
Starting Salary: $58,000-$61,000
Reports To: Director of Ecological Agriculture
Start Date: Early January 2021
The Ecological Pest Management (EPM) program is CAFF’s newest on-the-ground program. CAFF seeks an Ecological Pest Management Program Specialist to launch and implement this new program, starting with the recently awarded project: Promoting Biologically Integrated Orchard Systems in Walnuts in Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys.
The EPM Program Specialist will work with farmers and key partners including UC Cooperative Extension/ UC Integrated Pest Management (IPM), pest control advisors (PCAs), commodity boards and others to advance biologically integrated pest management solutions in California agriculture. While this position is intended to expand to multiple cropping systems, the primary initial project of the EPM program will be in Biologically Integrated Orchard Systems (BIOS) for Walnuts. The EPM Program Specialist will be responsible for implementing the BIOS for Walnuts project which will demonstrate, investigate and promote key integrated pest management practices including mating disruption technique for key pests such as codling moth, navel orangeworm, and biological control of spider mites. The EPM Program Specialist will be in a unique position to work with growers, field technicians and partners in extension to conduct on-farm research and demonstration projects, facilitate farmer-to-farmer learning opportunities through extension events and the development of extension resources, and contribute to the scientific body of knowledge around IPM.
The EPM Program Specialist will work closely with the Ecological Farming team at CAFF, project technical advisor and UCIPM partner, and as well as the BIOS management team, a coalition of growers, UCCE advisors and PCAs. The position is currently funded for three years with expectation to secure additional funding in the future.
Major Duties and Responsibilities
40% Manage BIOS project and coordinate on-farm research trials throughout the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys:
-Develop and implement research trial protocols
-Set up and maintain demonstrations sites at six farms
-Oversee weekly monitoring and data collection for 2 seasons at demonstration sites
-Coordinate with contractors to conduct harvest crack out and species identification
-Perform data analysis
-Write technical reports
-Write grant reports
20% Supervise and support BIOS Field Technicians:
-Supervise the work of the two field technicians for the project located in Davis, CA and Northern San Joaquin, respectively.
-Provide support and training in implementation of protocols.
-Regularly review the implementation of monitoring and data collection protocols.
-Support the coordination of monitoring and data collection field work at regional demonstration sites.
20% Lead BIOS outreach and extension efforts:
-Organize and coordinate extension events including field days, grower meetings and farmer-to-farmer webinars.
-Incorporate feedback from the advisory committee.
-Present project findings at conferences in year 3 of the project.
-Coordinate with contractors to develop video shorts and podcasts.
-Develop and distribute written extension materials.
15% Program management and communications
-Coordinate meetings and communication with management team.
-Convene quarterly meetings with the project advisory committee to provide project updates and gather feedback on outreach efforts.
-Establish systems for managing program activities and tracking grant deliverables to ensure timely progress of BIOS project.
-Coordinate demonstration site requirements with collaborating growers.
-Work with UC IPM Advisor, the project’s technical advisor, to incorporate feedback on research protocols, data analysis and to develop scientific papers based on the findings of the project.
5% General CAFF responsibilities
-Participate in CAFF staff meetings.
-Represent CAFF by participating in community activities and events as necessary.
-Participate in other administrative tasks as needed.
-Other duties as assigned.
Master’s degree in entomology, agricultural science or related fields
At least 2 years of professional experience in agriculture
Experience in field research and/or implementation of integrated pest management in perennial cropping systems
Experience managing projects with multiple stakeholders
Experience working directly with farmers preferred
Knowledge of walnut production systems preferred
Experience in conducting insect pest monitoring and use of degree days, implementing insect mating disruption and biological control practices (natural enemy release, cover crops) preferred
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
Interest in sustainable agriculture and family farms in California.
Strong written and oral communication skills.
Experience in data collection, input and analysis in appropriate computer software.
Ability to analyze scientific data, write technical reports and scientific articles.
Ability to think strategically and to problem-solve.
Eager to build relationships with farmers, pest control professionals, University of California Cooperative Extension Advisors and Specialists, and other stakeholders.
Ability to work independently, with minimal supervision, as well as collaborate with others in a team setting.
Ability to work on occasional weekend and/or evening commitments.
Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint); proficiency in Google Suite.
Applicant must have access to transportation to enable frequent travel throughout the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley region and beyond. Must be able to provide valid driver’s license and valid auto insurance.
Spanish language proficiency is a plus.
Ability to sit for long periods of time working at a computer.
Requires a full range of physical mobility, such as bending, stooping, lifting (up to 50 lbs), turning, carrying objects, and grasping.
CAFF’s policy is that all persons are entitled to equal employment opportunities regardless of race, color, religion, gender, marital status, or sexual orientation.
To apply: Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, and the names and contact information of three references with the subject line “Ecological Pest Management Program Specialist” to firstname.lastname@example.org by November 17, 2020.