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Natural Resource Economics Project Scientist.

Job Location

Santa Cruz, CA


Type of Job



Commensurate with qualifications and experience. Refer to the individual salary scale for the Represented Specialist Series Fiscal Year and Represented Project Scientist Series in the UCSC Salary Scales. chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/

Published By

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Published Date

Oct 4, 2023

About the job

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The Institute of Marine Sciences [] at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), working in conjunction with the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service Southwest Fisheries Science Center (NOAA Fisheries), invites applications for the position of Project Scientist.


The Project Scientist will have expertise in economic modeling and will work directly on a new, multi-institutional project that will explore climate resilience and equity in California water management: COEQWAL (COllaboratory for EQuity in Water Allocations). The project brings together multidisciplinary researchers across many California institutions to broaden the scope and improve the interpretability and accessibility of projections for California’s managed water resources. This ambitious two-year effort will leverage expertise at many University of California campuses, including UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC San Diego/Scripps Institution of Oceanography, but also seeks to develop new expertise through the employment and training of postdoctoral scholars and other academic researcher positions who will assist in many technical aspects of the work.


The Project Scientist will help develop and analyze economic assessment models to inform management of endangered salmon in California’s Central Valley. Job duties may include:

· Collect, summarize, and visualize data from publicly available, agency, and proprietary sources on water deliveries, agricultural water use, agricultural production, fisheries production, and hydrologic conditions.

· Construct models of regional agricultural production

· Construct models of regional fishery production

· Work with hydrologists and ecologists to integrate economic models into combined models of climate, water use, and ecological dynamics

· Construct a framework for quantifying tradeoffs between user groups in water allocation problems

· Develop reproducible workflows

· Publish results in economics and interdisciplinary journals


Initial appointments are typically for a period of two years. Reappointment may be considered contingent upon the availability of work and appropriate funding. The hiring unit will not sponsor employment-eligible immigration statuses for this position. The positions will be supervised by Dr. James Gilbert, Associate Project Scientist in the Fisheries Collaborative Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz and will work closely with NOAA economics staff at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center.


The Institute of Marine Sciences (IMS) is an organized research unit whose mission is to increase knowledge of the world’s oceans and inhabitants to better understand their economic importance and the impact people have on them. Through this effort, IMS maintains the responsibility to encourage, develop, and support marine research and education and does this by providing research opportunities, resources, facilities, and support for scientists within the institute and with other marine research institutions.


As part of its mission’s efforts, IMS launched the Fisheries Collaborative Program (FCP) to help foster research collaborations between NOAA scientists, UCSC faculty, IMS researchers, and students. The FCP’s research activities include field studies, laboratory experiments, modeling, and computational studies involving marine and freshwater species and habitats. Comprehensive studies are being conducted on the ecology and life history of Pacific salmonids and other fishes. FCP research

supports the conservation of coastal biodiversity and the sustainable management of fisheries resources.



Assistant Project Scientist, Associate Project Scientist, or Project Scientist, determined by the qualifications and experience of the selected candidate. Additional information on the qualifications for each rank is available on the recruitment site or on the Academic Personnel Project Scientist sites.



Commensurate with qualifications and experience. Refer to the individual salary scale for the Represented Project Scientist Series in the UCSC Salary Scales.



· Baccalaureate degree (or foreign equivalent degree) in fisheries sciences and management, marine biology and biological oceanography, ocean/marine sciences, oceanography, ecology, evolutionary biology, environmental science, biology, or a related field.



· Demonstrated expertise (through degree, advanced coursework, and/or publication record) in agricultural economics, natural resource economics, environmental economics, fisheries economics, or regional science

· Expertise in econometrics or mathematical programming

· Experience with scripting languages for econometrics or optimization, data processing and visualization; for example, R (preferred), Python, MATLAB, or Stata

· Strong interest in working collaboratively with a team consisting of multiple disciplines in both natural and social sciences (e.g., economics, biology, fisheries, hydrology, agriculture)

· Strong interest in applying economic analysis to natural resource management and protected species issues

· High potential for and some experience with scientific publishing and oral presentation

· Familiarity with water or fisheries issues in California or the western United States



Initial appointments are typically for a period of two years. Reappointment may be considered contingent upon the availability of work and appropriate funding provided.



As soon as possible after initial review of the applications.



Project Scientist: refer to Position #JPF01405 in correspondence referring to applications submitted to this posting)

Note: These postings are for a general Fisheries Collaborative Program recruiting pool. Application materials submitted to these postings will be reviewed in the context of the requirements for this specific position but may be considered for other position openings as well.



· Cover letter describing your interest in the position and briefly summarizing your qualifications (as they relate to the minimum and team preferred qualifications)

· CV Including a list of publications



Applicants who meet the requirements and are under serious consideration will need to provide the names and contact information of professional references (a minimum of 3 are required and a maximum of 5 will be accepted). The hiring unit will request confidential letters* from the references of those applicants prior to moving forward with an appointment request.

*All letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. For any reference letter provided via a third party (e.g., dossier service, career center, etc.), direct the author to UCSC’s confidentiality statement at



Full consideration will be given to applications received by October 30, 2023. Applications received after this date will be considered only if the position has not been filled.

UCSC is committed to promoting and protecting an environment that values and supports every person in an atmosphere of civility, honesty, cooperation, professionalism, and fairness. UCSC expects that every campus member will practice these Principles of Community

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