ANR Employees
University of California
ANR Employees

2014 New Call for Positions

2014 URS Call for Positions

This proposal has been formally submitted for the 2014 cycle.

Position Details

069 Area Freshwater Aquatic Invasive Species Specialist

Proposed Location/Housing

Department of Environmental Science and Policy, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, UC Davis

Proposed Area of Coverage

California - statewide with emphasis in the Tahoe Basin.

Contacts

Associated Documents

Comments

12 Comments

1
I strongly support the establishment of a freshwater aquatic invasive species (AIS) specialist within the UC Davis Department of Environmental Science and Policy. As stated in the position description, the impact and spread of freshwater aquatic invasive species represent substantial and urgent challenges throughout California and Nevada. All levels of government and the private sector face these challenges on a regular basis. Much of the response from these organizations has focused on documenting the extent of an infestation, followed by public education and outreach, and in some cases new regulations to support programs aimed at preventing future introductions. The capacity and commitment to applied research, however, is sorely lacking. Establishing a permanent position with the ability to conduct applied research aimed at (1) increasing regional and statewide understanding of the processes driving the introduction and management of freshwater aquatic invasive species (AIS); (2) predicting the impacts of AIS on freshwater ecosystems and water quality, and (3) developing and implementing methods and programs to prevent the spread of AIS would fill a substantial void the exists throughout the State and surrounding region.
I also want to express my strong support for having the Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC) provide the office and laboratory space for the AIS specialist. TERC has a proven track record in AIS research, has established strong relationships with government agency and non-governmental organizations throughout the region, and has the capacity to support AIS research in freshwater systems throughout the State. This location also has the advantage of placing the specialist in one of the regions that is most threatened by AIS – the Sierra Nevada Ecoregion. Placing the position at TERC will greatly increase the opportunities for early and ongoing success.

Posted Jun 18, 2014 8:16 AM by Nancy Vucinich
2
Please consider this email as support from the Town of Truckee for the establishment of a freshwater aquatic invasive species (AIS) specialist within the UC Davis Department of Environmental Science and Policy. As stated in the position description, the impact and spread of freshwater aquatic invasive species represent substantial and urgent challenges throughout California. Specifically in Truckee, two years ago the Town Council adopted a mandatory inspection ordinance for water craft entering water bodies in the Town- most significantly Donner Lake. During the process of adopting and implementing this ordiance the science of AIS and the vulnerability of area water bodies was challenged due to water temperature, chemistry and other factors. . Truckee took the tact that lacking conclusive science that it is not scientifically possible for AIS to successfully establish populations in Truckee area water bodies, the extra protection created by an inspection program was merited. The discussion around implementation of our local regulations was at times acrimonious and the quality of the dialogue would have been significantly improved by the availability of better science around the issue of AIS in alpine lakes in California. Establishing a permanent position with the ability to conduct applied research aimed at (1) increasing regional and statewide understanding of the processes driving the introduction and management of freshwater aquatic invasive species (AIS); (2) predicting the impacts of AIS on freshwater ecosystems and water quality, and (3) developing and implementing methods and programs to prevent the spread of AIS would fill a substantial void that exists throughout the State.
I also want to express my strong support for having the Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC) provide the office and laboratory space for the AIS specialist. TERC has a proven track record in AIS research, has established strong relationships with government agency and non-governmental organizations throughout the region, and has the capacity to support AIS research in freshwater systems throughout the State. This location also has the advantage of placing the specialist in one of the regions that is most threatened by AIS – the Sierra Nevada Ecoregion. Placing the position at TERC will greatly increase the opportunities for early and ongoing success.
I sincerely hope ANR will establish this freshwater AIS specialist position. Do not hesitate to contact me should you require further information
Posted Jun 24, 2014 9:28 AM by Tony Lashbrook, Town of Truckee Town Manager
3
As the Lake Tahoe representative on the Board of Supervisors, I know all too well the potential threat to our ecosystems, infrastructure, economics and recreation by aquatic invasive species in our waterways. Public agencies throughout the region have moved proactively to prevent serious and irreparable harm, but there needs to be constant supervision and prevention to withstand this significant threat to the water bodies within El Dorado County. I strongly support the position of Freshwater Aquatic Invasive Species Specialist and I look forward to the position being implemented and providing immediate intervention and prevention of this serious threat to our environment. Thank you.
Posted Jun 24, 2014 11:02 AM by Supervisor Norma Santiago, El Dorado County Board of Supervisors
4
I strongly support the establishment of a freshwater aquatic invasive species (AIS) specialist within the UC Davis Department of Environmental Science and Policy, and advocate stationing this position at the Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC). The Sierra District of the California Department of Parks and Recreation (CA State Parks) has been battling to remove and control aquatic invasive species in our underwater parks, especially in the Lake Tahoe area. AIS prevention, detection, and control are and will be issues going forward for CA State Parks Sierra District, as well as Department-wide. AIS remains a big challenge for CA State Parks because we do not have the ability, capacity, and funding to fully address the threats of AIS, or conduct applied research and needed monitoring to better understand the threats and inform the application of the minimal resources we do have. Fortunately within the Lake Tahoe Basin, government agencies are coordinating efforts on many fronts to manage AIS within Lake Tahoe. However, there is an unmet need for applied AIS research focused on assessing the risk of new introductions, feasible control methods, and on the vulnerable freshwater lake and river systems in the Sierra Nevada ecoregion.
TERC is an ideal place for this position to be stationed. Not only is there physical space to house this position and to provide laboratory space, TERC has been an active supporter of AIS research in the Lake Tahoe Basin. They have worked with CA State Parks at Emerald Bay Underwater Park on control projects targeting aquatic invasive weeds and Asian clams. Placing this position at TERC would help to broaden scientific input and ideally, encourage more interest in this area of research.
Posted Jul 7, 2014 10:37 AM by Tamara Sasaki, Sr. Environmental Scientist, Sierra District, CA Dept. of Parks and Recreation
5
There seems to be tremendous overlap among this, the aquaculture specialist and the aquatic weed management specialist. (Many of the invasives are weeds). Will they be all be able to develop full-blown extension programs without overlapping each other?
Posted Jul 10, 2014 3:03 PM by Maxwell Norton
5.1
I sincerely hope those determining which specialist positions to fill will have the time to read the position proposals for themselves. Unfortunately Mr. Norton's assessment of 'tremendous overlap' among the aquaculture, aquatic weed management, and freshwater aquatic invasive species (AIS) specialist positions is incorrect and misleading. There is potential overlap in research topics between the aquatic weed management and freshwater AIS specialists, but given the size and complexity of the challenges facing California now and in the future this overlap is more than likely a good thing. Future there are many issues that will keep the work of these specialist separate including the habitats they would work in, the geographic focus, the species of concern, risk of new introductions vs. control of existing introduced species. Aquatic invasive species is a very large topic area and of very substantial concern throughout the State.
Posted Jul 18, 2014 3:08 PM by Zachary Hymanson
6
I am writing to express my strong support for the establishment of a freshwater aquatic invasive species (AIS) specialist within the UC Davis Department of Environmental Science and Policy. As stated in the position description, the impact and spread of freshwater aquatic invasive species represent substantial and urgent challenges throughout California. All levels of government and the private sector face these challenges on a regular basis. Much of the response from these organizations has focused on documenting the extent of an infestation, followed by public education and outreach, and in some cases new regulations to support programs aimed at preventing future introductions. The capacity and commitment to applied research, however, is sorely lacking. Establishing a permanent position with the ability to conduct applied research aimed at (1) increasing regional and statewide understanding of the processes driving the introduction and management of freshwater aquatic invasive species (AIS); (2) predicting the impacts of AIS on freshwater ecosystems and water quality, and (3) developing and implementing methods and programs to prevent the spread of AIS would fill a substantial void the exists throughout the State.
I also want to express my strong support for having the Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC) provide the office and laboratory space for the AIS specialist. TERC has a proven track record in AIS research, has established strong relationships with government agency and non-governmental organizations throughout the region, and has the capacity to support AIS research in freshwater systems throughout the State. This location also has the advantage of placing the specialist in one of the regions that is most threatened by AIS – the Sierra Nevada Ecoregion. Placing the position at TERC will greatly increase the opportunities for early and ongoing success.
Posted Jul 14, 2014 11:59 AM by Jennifer Montgomery, Placer County Supervisor, District 5
7
Having recently retired from a 37 research year career focused on developing effective AIS management approaches, I can attest to the critical need for bolstering our efforts to reduce the impacts and continued introductions of these species. Some tremendous strides have been made in some areas, including efforts to exclude further introductions of AIS in the Tahoe Basin; however, it is clear that this threat continues and that our current resources are inadequate to properly address this problem. Filling the proposed position is an important step in closing the research and extension gap and a wise and necessary investment in the sustainability of freshwater ecosystems and they services they provide to all of us. I strongly support this position, and the nexus with TERC, particularly the proposed laboratory space and related resources at TERC facility. Furthermore, the person in this role can provide a critically needed focal point on AIS management not only in the Tahoe Basin, but throughout the state and region. Through collaborations among state, federal, county and private stakeholders the successful candidate in this proposed position can leverage broad support and create an effective synergy within the AIS research and management community.
Posted Jul 15, 2014 6:51 AM by Lars Anderson
8
The threat of aquatic invasive species to the Tahoe ecosystem and economy is of paramount importance to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, the bi-state environmental authority of Lake Tahoe. In fact, TRPA is the leading agency at Lake Tahoe focused on this threat from a policy perspective. I am writing to express my strong support for the establishment of a freshwater aquatic invasive species (AIS) specialist within the UC Davis Department of Environmental Science and Policy.

TRPA has made invasive species prevention and control one its top priorities and continued research by academic institutions is crucial. As stated in the position description, the impact and spread of freshwater aquatic invasive species represent substantial and urgent challenges throughout California. All levels of government and the private sector face these challenges. Much of the response from organizations such as ours has focused on documenting the extent of an infestation, followed by public education and outreach, and in some cases new regulations to support programs aimed at preventing future introductions. The capacity and commitment to applied research, however, is sorely lacking. Establishing a permanent position with the ability to conduct applied research aimed at (1) increasing regional and statewide understanding of the processes driving the introduction and management of freshwater aquatic invasive species (AIS); (2) predicting the impacts of AIS on freshwater ecosystems and water quality, and (3) developing and implementing methods and programs to prevent the spread of AIS would fill a substantial void the exists throughout the State.
I also want to express my strong support for having the Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC) provide the office and laboratory space for the AIS specialist. TERC has a proven track record in AIS research, has established strong relationships with government agency and non-governmental organizations throughout the region, and has the capacity to support AIS research in freshwater systems throughout the State. This location also has the advantage of placing the specialist in one of the regions that is most threatened by AIS – the Sierra Nevada Ecoregion. Placing the position at TERC will greatly increase the opportunities for early and ongoing success.

I sincerely hope this AIS specialist position becomes a reality. Please contact me should you require further information.
Posted Jul 18, 2014 1:30 PM by Joanne Marchetta, Executive Director, Tahoe Regiona Planning Agency
9
I am writing to express support for an established position for a freshwater aquatic invasive species (AIS) specialist within the UC Davis Department of Environmental Science and Policy. Throughout California, the impact of AIS to freshwater aquatic systems is alarming and affects all levels of government and the private sector. It will be important to address challenges related to AIS at the statewide level. Remarkable progress has been made at Lake Tahoe, through bi-state collaboration, to develop effective strategies for management and research, and these efforts can be a springboard for collaboration statewide in California.
Establishing a permanent position with the ability to conduct applied research aimed at (1) increasing regional and statewide understanding of processes that drive the introduction and management of freshwater AIS, and (2) predicting the impacts of AIS on freshwater ecosystems and water quality will fill voids that exist throughout the State.
Having the Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC) provide the office and laboratory space for the AIS specialist would create a platform for increased collaborative opportunities by using what has been gained at Lake Tahoe to address statewide issues. TERC has a proven track record in AIS research, has established strong relationships with government agency and non-governmental organizations throughout the region, and has the capacity to support AIS research in freshwater systems throughout the State. This location also has the advantage of placing the specialist in one of the regions that is most threatened by AIS – the Sierra Nevada Ecoregion.
Please do not hesitate to contact me should you require further information.
Posted Jul 18, 2014 4:59 PM by Kim Boyd
10
I am writing to express my strong support for the establishment of a freshwater aquatic invasive species (AIS) specialist within the UC Davis Department of Environmental Science and Policy. As stated in the position description, the impact and spread of freshwater aquatic invasive species represent substantial and urgent challenges throughout California. All levels of government and the private sector face these challenges on a regular basis. Much of the response from these organizations has focused on documenting the extent of an infestation, followed by public education and outreach, and in some cases new regulations to support programs aimed at preventing future introductions. The capacity and commitment to applied research, however, is sorely lacking. Establishing a permanent position with the ability to conduct applied research aimed at (1) increasing regional and statewide understanding of the processes driving the introduction and management of freshwater AIS; (2) predicting the impacts of AIS on freshwater ecosystems and water quality; and (3) developing and implementing methods and programs to prevent the spread of AIS, would fill a substantial void the exists throughout the State.

I also want to express my strong support for having the Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC) provide the office and laboratory space for the AIS specialist. TERC has a proven track record in AIS research, has established strong relationships with government agency and non-governmental organizations throughout the region, and has the capacity to support AIS research in freshwater systems throughout the State. AIS work in Tahoe is “leading the way” nationally on both prevention and control, and lessons learned from these efforts have already provided benefits to the rest of the State. The establishment and participation of a full-time AIS specialist could put UC at the forefront of this nationally-recognized effort. Locating the AIS specialist at TERC also has the advantage of placing the specialist in one of the regions that is most threatened by AIS – the Sierra Nevada Ecoregion. Placing the position at TERC will greatly increase the opportunities for early and ongoing success.

The 2014/15 State Budget includes an appropriation of $150,000 to the California Tahoe Conservancy (Conservancy). These funds will be used to support projects and activities in Lake Tahoe’s nearshore habitats and require the use of a stakeholder process. Conservancy staff will be seeking the approval of its Board and support of the stakeholders to allocate a portion of these funds (up to $25,000) for scientific efforts related to AIS in Lake Tahoe. These funds are authorized by Senate Bill 630, and we expect future appropriations will occur.

I sincerely hope ANR will establish this freshwater AIS specialist position. Do not hesitate to contact me should you require further information.

Sincerely,
Patrick Wright
Executive Director
California Tahoe Conservancy
Posted Jul 21, 2014 1:32 PM by Patrick Wright, Executive DIrector, California Tahoe Conservancy
11
Senator Diane Feinstein provided a letter supporting the establishment of the Freshwater Aquatic Invasive Species Specialist position. This letter was sent to UC President Napolitano on July 21, 2014. I sent an electronic copy of this letter to Katherine Webb-Martinez and Patricia Harrigan via email.
Posted Jul 21, 2014 4:22 PM by Zachary Hymanson
12
I wish to lend my strong support for the establishment of this position. The last decade has seen a marked increase in aquatic invasive species (AIS) in California’s waterways, particularly in the lakes, rivers and streams of the Sierra Nevada. In many ways these are the last line of defense for the numerous waterbodies downstream – if invasive species become established in the Sierra Nevada it will be almost impossible to prevent the subsequent transfer of them downstream under the simple action of gravity.

Using the Tahoe Basin as an example, in the last ten years Asian clam (Corbicula fluminea) has become established. Science has contributed enormously to controlling their spread through the development of novel treatment techniques that have been put into practice at Lake Tahoe. These techniques have been adopted by lake managers in other systems as well, e.g. Lake George, NY. The problem is that the depth of expertise and the dedication to AIS has not been present. Through the creation of the proposed position, both the expertise and the singular focus on AIS (for both research and outreach) will be present for the first time.
California has a huge range of climatic and ecological conditions and the need for at least one (possibly more) specialists working on AIS is clear. The potential ecological costs and financial costs of continued introductions of species such as Quagga mussels are immense. While expertise has been established in other parts of the country (e.g. the Great Lakes), only a part of that expertise and experience may be relevant to California and its high transparency, oligotrophic and mesotrophic lakes and streams. In short, we cannot simply rely on what is occurring in other places and hope to stay ahead of the challenge.

As the director of the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC), I have committed to house this position at our research lab in the Tahoe Basin, and to make our resources available to support this position. Location at Lake Tahoe is ideal, as it has several immediate AIS challenges that a community of agencies are committed to working on, it is centrally located with respect to the many lakes and reservoirs within the Sierra Nevada and the foothills, and is convenient for both Sacramento and UC Davis. We also have a long-term record of ecological change in response to AIS (many of them deliberately introduced), limnology and meteorology that is indicative of many systems within the Sierra Nevada.

Sincerely,
S. Geoffrey Schladow
Director UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center
Professor, Water Resources and Environmental Engineering
Posted Jul 21, 2014 4:36 PM by Dr S. Geoffrey Schladow

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