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Job ID: 221210

Staff Research Associate 3 (9611C) - 58849
University of California, Berkeley

Date Posted Sep. 13, 2023
Title Staff Research Associate 3 (9611C) - 58849
University University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA, United States
Department Environmental Science, Policy, and Management
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Research Scientist/Associate
  • Horticulture
    Forest Ecology & Management
    Environmental Science & Ecology
    Agronomy/Plant & Soil Sciences

Staff Research Associate 3 (9611C) - 58849

About Berkeley

At the University of California, Berkeley, we are committed to creating a community that fosters equity of experience and opportunity, and ensures that students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds feel safe, welcome and included. Our culture of openness, freedom and belonging make it a special place for students, faculty and staff.

The University of California, Berkeley, is one of the world's leading institutions of higher education, distinguished by its combination of internationally recognized academic and research excellence; the transformative opportunity it provides to a large and diverse student body; its public mission and commitment to equity and social justice; and its roots in the California experience, animated by such values as innovation, questioning the status quo, and respect for the environment and nature. Since its founding in 1868, Berkeley has fueled a perpetual renaissance, generating unparalleled intellectual, economic and social value in California, the United States and the world.

We are looking for equity-minded applicants who represent the full diversity of California and who demonstrate a sensitivity to and understanding of the diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ethnic backgrounds present in our community. When you join the team at Berkeley, you can expect to be part of an inclusive, innovative and equity-focused community that approaches higher education as a matter of social justice that requires broad collaboration among faculty, staff, students and community partners. In deciding whether to apply for a position at Berkeley, you are strongly encouraged to consider whether your values align with our Guiding Values and Principles, our Principles of Community, and our Strategic Plan.

At UC Berkeley, we believe that learning is a fundamental part of working, and our goal is for everyone on the Berkeley campus to feel supported and equipped to realize their full potential. We actively support this by providing all of our staff employees with at least 80 hours (10 days) of paid time per year to engage in professional development activities. To find out more about how you can grow your career at UC Berkeley, visit

Departmental Overview

The Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management is a multidisciplinary program that recognizes the urgency of the challenges, and the enormous opportunities that may lead to transformative change. We have award-winning faculty in climate science, biodiversity, environmental policy, land use, and community outreach - all driven by a collective interest in our environmental future.

We strive to serve as the campus portal to environmental research and issues. Berkeley is founded on the principle of knowledge for the public good. Our department builds on this promise. We offer a portfolio of exciting undergraduate majors that offer diverse career options to students interested in biology, environmental science, environmental policy, and preparation for the health professions. Our highly ranked graduate program consistently serves as a gateway to exciting careers in research, teaching, and public outreach.

The Staff Research Associate 3 will be the lead plant technician for a three-year USDA-funded Sustainable Agroecosystems project on quaking aspen forest resilience to drought. Quaking aspen is the most widely distributed tree species in North America, but is experiencing high mortality due to ongoing regional droughts. This project there seeks to determine the genetic and physiological basis of drought tolerance in this species. The project will be growing, in a Berkeley greenhouse, several hundred genotypes of aspen collected from across North America; then the project will measure drought tolerance and other physiological properties of these genotypes. This data will be used to develop genetic tools to help land managers identify at-risk and drought- tolerant genotypes for future planting/conservation efforts.

The incumbent will carry out tasks directly, and will also supervise 2-4 undergraduate interns and/or work-study students carrying out a subset of these tasks, at the judgment and discretion of the employee.

Flexible working days and hours are available. All work will take place at the Oxford Tract greenhouse, which is 1 block northwest of the main Berkeley campus. There is also the possibility of optional field travel to help collect additional root samples.

Application Review Date

The First Review Date for this job is: 09/25/2023.


  • Propagate aspen saplings from root stocks and shoots, using sterile technique and appropriate rooting hormones, manage up-potting of shoots into larger pots and handle hardening into lath house conditions.
  • Propagate trees, care for saplings, and assist with drought and physiological measurements.
  • Work directly with the lead postdoctoral researcher on the project, as well as the faculty principal investigator.
  • Work unsupervised on a daily basis but will have weekly check-ins with supervisors.
  • The incumbent will also be invited to attend regular research group lab meetings and social events, and to engage in the underlying scientific research questions if of interest.
  • The overall research group is a diverse environment involving students and staff from multiple countries and backgrounds that strongly believes in providing an inclusive and welcoming work environment, as well as regular professional development opportunities.
  • Regularly care for saplings via rotation of individuals through greenhouses and outdoor spaces (watering and pest control will be handled by greenhouse staff).
  • During short- term (1-month long) drought experiments, manage watering schedules.
  • The project will provide initial training in protocols and standard operating procedures to carry out the work efficiently and safely.
  • Assist with measurements of plant performance and physiology (e.g. growth rate, hydraulic conductance, spectral reflectance) after training in protocols and instrumentation with the project team.
  • Supervise undergraduate work-study or intern student carrying out the same tasks (i.e. delegate some roles): Provide daily safety supervision of students.
  • Assign tasks to students.
  • Provide initial training on protocols and safety to students.
  • Carry out tasks directly, and will also supervise 2-4 undergraduate interns and/or work-study students carrying out a subset of these tasks, at the judgment and discretion of the employee.
  • Maintain digital records inventorying plant identity and location throughout the greenhouse occasional informal summary reports to supervisor on inventory status.
  • Procure supplies: Use BearBuy ensure adequate supplies of consumable supplies are on hand for work. Use EH&S safety portal to maintain accurate chemical inventory.

Required Qualifications

  • Ability to lift 15 pounds.
  • Ability to stand for 2-3 hours/shift in warm greenhouse conditions, or outdoors in potentially rainy weather.
  • Knowledge of use basic spreadsheet programs for data entry.
  • Knowledge of basic plant care.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Prior experience with horticulture, ecology, forestry, gardening, or other plant care.
  • Ability to work alone without direct supervision for extended periods of time.
  • Ability to organize and track complex datasets.
  • High attention to detail.
  • Prior experience working with or supervising students.
  • Effective professional communication skills.
  • Team-focused attitude.
  • Bachelor's degree or Master's degrees in Biology, Plant Biology, or Cell Biology and/or related experience/training.

Salary & Benefits

This is a 50% part-time (20 hrs a week) non-exempt career position, which is paid hourly and eligible for UC Benefits.

For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University, please visit the University of California's Compensation & Benefits website.

Under California law, the University of California, Berkeley is required to provide a reasonable estimate of the compensation range for this role and should not offer a salary outside of the range posted in this job announcement. This range takes into account the wide range of factors that are considered in making compensation decisions including but not limited to experience, skills, knowledge, abilities, education, licensure and certifications, analysis of internal equity, and other business and organizational needs. It is not typical for an individual to be offered a salary at or near the top of the range for a position. Salary offers are determined based on final candidate qualifications and experience.

The budgeted salary or hourly range that the University reasonably expects to pay for this position is $31.50 (Step 2).

How to Apply

  • To apply, please submit your resume and cover letter.

Other Information

This position is governed by the terms and conditions in the agreement for the Research Support Professionals Unit (RX) between the University of California and the University Professional and Technical Employees (UPTE). The current bargaining agreement manual can be found at:

  • This is not a visa opportunity.

Equal Employment Opportunity

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, or protected veteran status. For more information about your rights as an applicant, please see the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission poster.

For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy, please see the University of California Discrimination, Harassment, and Affirmative Action in the Workplace policy.

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