Website University Corporation at Monterey Bay

Research Scientist

University Corporation at Monterey Bay

Salary: $78,000.00 – $85,200.00 Annually

Job Number: 2023-00009

Location: Various Field Locations (see posting)

Department: Applied Environmental Science


Open Until Filled. Priority Screening Date: May 4, 2023
Water, Agriculture, Technology and Remote Sensing (WATRS) LabNASA Ames Research Center / CSUMB Department of Applied Environmental ScienceThis position is dependent upon grant funds. Subject to annual NASA reviewPosition tentatively runs through April 30, 2025
The University Corporation at Monterey Bay is a non-profit institution that is related and affiliated with the California State University, Monterey Bay. The University Corporation at Monterey Bay is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) public benefits corporation that is a recognized auxiliary organization of California State University and was established in July 1994. The University Corporation’s mission is to further the educational purposes of the University. The University Corporation at Monterey Bay is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building a pluralistic university by hiring personnel with competencies and experience related to the regional and State Population. The University Corporation at Monterey is committed to a standard of excellence in the services it provides and in the quality of work expected of its employees.

Under the general direction of the Principal Investigator under the NASA ARC-CREST Cooperative Agreement, the Research Scientist is responsible for conducting scientific research, processing and analyzing UAV and satellite data, publishing scientific papers, and developing proposals for new research activities. Project focus: remote sensing of agricultural lands, with an emphasis on plant pathogens in strawberries, lettuce and other high value specialty crops. The main objective of the research is to apply data from remote sensing instruments on UAVs and satellites in combination with field data to identify the presence of plant pathogens and develop models to forecast crop yields. This post-doctoral position is within the Water, Agriculture, Technology and Remote Sensing (WATRS) lab and will work closely with scientists at NASA Ames Research Center. The successful candidate will also have the opportunity to develop and lead innovative research on remote sensing applications for detection of plant pathogens.

Examples of Duties
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include. but are not limited to. the following:

• Work with the Principal Investigator (PI), scientists and software engineers in the WATRS lab to collect and analyze data collected from airborne instruments on UAVs to develop approaches for mapping plant pathogen presence and density in high value specialty crops.
• Collaborate on processing and analysis of remote sensing data to develop algorithms to quantify plant canopy conditions and indicators of pathogen presence and density.
• Develop models to forecast crop yields using a combination of remote sensing data and field measurements collected by the WATRS lab and research partners.
• Conduct research to develop approaches to scale the new capabilities developed over larger areas using hyperspectral airborne and satellite data.
• Work with agricultural producers to apply the data to support variable rate fumigant management to reduce fumigant costs for agricultural producers.
• Author peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts, research and technical reports, and research proposals.
• Present research results and scientific meetings and to partners and stakeholders at workshops and meetings.
• Foster and maintain collaborative links with local groups and individuals, including agricultural producers, water resource management agencies, research organizations, and the public.

• Promotes and maintains an atmosphere of excellent internal and external customer service within the department and the campus community.
• Attends workshops, conferences as needed.
• Performs other duties as assigned.
• Assists with other projects as needed.
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Field research environment in agricultural settings in the Salinas Valley and Central Valley, as well as a standard research environment with standard equipment and tasks. Work location – CSUMB and NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA. Position is required to work in the field as well as at a computer/video display terminal and desk for extended periods of time. Will require travel to off-campus locations for field research for extended time periods. This position also requires sitting, standing, bending, pushing, pulling, talking, and using manual dexterity, eye-hand coordination. Ability to lift and carry 50 lbs.

The position requires skills and previous experience with multispectral and/or hyperspectral data collected by instruments onboard UAVs and satellites, processing and analysis, development of automated data processing workflows and algorithms to map plant pathogen presence and impacts on yields, data quality control and quality assurance, Python programming, geospatial analysis using ArcGIS software, publication of peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts, public speaking, planning and coordinating tasks remotely and in-person, and demonstrated ability to work well with a diverse team of scientists and software engineers. The candidate should have excellent verbal and written communication skills. Candidate must be capable of working in exposed agricultural settings, as well as in an interdisciplinary scientific atmosphere.

Education and Experience:
Equivalent to a Doctorate degree in Agronomy, Botany, Geography, Hydrology, Earth Systems Science, Environmental Science, Plant and Soil Science, or a closely related field AND relevant scientific experience in technology and/or science industries involving remote sensing, specialty crops such as strawberries and lettuce, sensor networks, plant biology, computing, analysis, and data processing. Previous experience with the following is also required for this position: i) Publication of scientific manuscripts; ii) Development of modeling tools for analysis of satellite data; iii) Development of research concepts and proposals; iv) Use of Pix4D and ArcGIS, and Python to develop automated data processing pipelines for remote sensing data; v) Experience using ArcGIS to create and share maps and summary data products with agricultural producers; vi) Experience with public speaking and presentation of scientific results to a variety of audiences.


• Demonstrated understanding of and commitment to the CSUMB Vision Statement and the core values of mutual respect, collaboration and service orientation, multiculturalism and diversity, community service and institutional excellence.

Special Conditions of Employment

• Demonstrated ability to address the essential functions associated with this position including the knowledge and abilities identified above.
• Flexible working hours. Ability to complete and pass on-line defensive driving training. Must continue to meet the established driving standards as a condition of employment.
• Ability to travel for extended time periods to conduct field research and maintain equipment. The position will require multiple field campaigns in rural areas extending up to 2-4 days each month.
• Ability to safely operate a 4WD vehicle on farm roads.
The person holding this position is considered a “mandated reporter” under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment.

A background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate can be offered a position with the University Corporation. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may affect the application status of applicants or the continued employment of current University Corporation employees who apply for the position.

This position will have a duty to report to the Campus Title IX Officer information pertaining to victims of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, and stalking as required by CSU Executive Order 1095.

The University Corporation at Monterey Bay is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. We consider qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, genetic information, medical condition, disability, marital status, or protected veteran status. This position is required to maintain confidentiality as outlined in the Department of Education’s Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and California’s Educational Code Chapter 13 regarding sensitive student issues.

Please note: University Corporation employment is separate and distinct from CSU Monterey Bay or State of California employment. University Corporation employees are not employees of either CSUMB or of the state of California.

All employees must be eligible for employment in the U.S. The University Corporation is not a sponsoring agency for any positions.

University Corporation at Monterey Bay positions are “at-will” employment.

CSUMB is a smoke and tobacco-free campus.

The campus leadership has committed the resources needed to achieve an engaged, safe, and in-person experience. The health and safety of our community remain our highest priority, and we are confident that existing public health measures provide for a safe environment capable of delivering a complete college experience on the CSUMB campus. Being an Otter means caring for each other and doing your part to protect your community.

In compliance with state and federal crime awareness and campus security legislation, including The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act, California Education Code section 67380, and the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), the Cal State University, Monterey Bay Annual Security and Fire Safety Report is available at

Special License or Certifications and Conditions:

• Must possess and maintain a valid license to drive in the State of California, pass the Defensive Training Class, and be insurable under the University’s liability coverage.
• May require occasional evenings and/or weekend work.

Questions can be sent to:

Compensation and Benefits:The University Corporation is committed to providing our employees with a comprehensive program that rewards efforts that are appreciated by your colleagues, students, and the customers we serve. Salary placement is determined by the education, experience, and qualifications the candidate brings to the position, internal equity, and the hiring department’s fiscal resources. Our salary schedule is available

The monthly hiring range for this position is $6,500 – $7,100. Classification: Grade 7, Staff. This is an exempt position and as such is not eligible for the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The Corporation offers a rich benefits package that constitutes a major portion of total compensation. Benefits include medical, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits, contributory retirement plan, TSA (403b), and other benefits. Please review our for details about sick time, vacation, and holidays.

The University Corporation at Monterey Bay also provides access to affordable campus housing:

Although CSUMB is located in a high-cost housing area, Schoonover Park rental homes are affordably priced. Monthly rent rates include cable television, garbage service, and sewer. Convenient floorplans, attractive interior appointments, and numerous community amenities make Schoonover Park Rental Homes an exceptional value. Schoonover Park is near the main campus, yet a tranquil world away. The community lies nestled in the secluded beauty of rolling coastal hills three miles east of campus. Living in one of the most desirable areas of California, you will enjoy the natural splendor and cultural abundance of the Monterey Peninsula. Quality of life begins with your home in Schoonover Park and extends through every aspect of your California coastal lifestyle.

How to Apply:All prospective applicants must apply online. You must complete the entire application for submission. We only accept applications for the open positions listed. Please do not fax or mail in a printed version of the electronic applications or a resume in lieu of an application. If you are having difficulty applying or need assistance, please call (831) 582-3389. All positions are open until filled. The completed online application and resume must be submitted by 5:00 pm PST on the priority screening date. Applications received after this date will be reviewed at the discretion of the Corporation.

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION/EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER: The Corporation is an Equal Opportunity-Affirmative Action employer seeking to recruit and support a broadly diverse community of faculty and staff. We value and celebrate diversity in all its forms and strive to foster an inclusive culture built on respect that affirms inter-group relations and builds cohesion. We consider qualified applicants for employment for their anticipated contributions and without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, genetic information, medical condition, pregnancy, marital status, veteran status, or disability.

To apply, please visit


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