2016 Call for Positions
On December 14, 2016 UC ANR Vice President Humiston announced the the release of 26 CE positions from the 2016 call for a new round of hiring over the next two years. This new release continues the commitment for hiring to exceed projected turnover, thus achieving the goal of academic growth. And, as funding becomes available, UC ANR will consider additional positions.
January 12, 2016 solicited proposals for Cooperative Extension (CE) advisor and specialist positions in the ANR Update. The call identified positions for strengthening and expanding the UC ANR network to address programmatic gaps and emerging needs. Below this public webpage displays all 138 new CE position proposals (there is a search tool to assist in finding proposals).
The online submittal process was open from January 12 – May 5 (5:00 PM) to allow as much time as possible for internal consultation and external input from UC ANR stakeholders in all program areas. Submissions were accepted from the following official submitter groups:
- Strategic Initiative Leaders
- Program Team Leaders
- County and Multicounty Partnership Directors List
- Executive Associate Deans
The Review Phase was completed May 5 – August 1. All proposals were reviewed. The program area and unit reviews were conducted by the Program Teams; geographic groups of County/Multicounty Partnership and Research and Extension Center Directors, and the UC ANR affiliated colleges and school. These groups prioritized and provided rationale for the position proposals under their purview. This input was used to inform UC ANR Program Council’s recommendations and ultimately the UC ANR Vice President’s decisions. More information about the review process is available in the review orientation.
The public comment period was open Jan. 12 through July 11, 2016. Comments can be viewed by clicking the position links below. Comments were reviewed by the review groups, Program Council and the Vice President.
- 2016 Position Proposal Review Template (for use by approved review groups only; others use the public comments feature)
- 2016 CE Position Proposal Criteria
- 2014-2015 CE Advisor and Specialist Hires and 2016 Recruitments
- For CE programmatic footprint information refer to the Taxonomy and Personnel System
- 2016 CE positions flowchart(complete process and timeline)
If you have any questions, contact Katherine Webb-Martinez at (510) 987-0029 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2016 URS Call for Positions
135 Viticulture/Automation and Mechanization Specialist
California’s grape growers are confronted by an increasingly expensive and less available labor force, compelling them to reconsider their traditional reliance on hand labor. The focus of this position will be to develop and optimize technologies to automate and mechanize vineyard operations such as site evaluation, soil tillage, spraying, canopy management, weed control, irrigation scheduling, estimating yield, assessing fruit maturity, and harvesting. This position will be located at the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier (KARE), with a main appointment in the Department of Viticulture and Enology and a joint appointment in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. The incumbent will be expected to serve California’s wine, table and raisin grape growers that represent over $5 billion in value and over 800,000 acres planted. The position would join two other complementary existing CE Specialist positions to cover the entire scope of the California grape industry’s research and extension needs.
Kearney Agricultural Research & Extension Center, affiliated with the Depts of Viticulture & Enology and Biological & Agricultural Engineering, UC Davis
Proposed Area of Coverage
Statewide with emphasis in the San Joaquin Valley
- Specialist in Viticulture/Automation and Mechanization (docx), uploaded 05/02/2016 by Mary Delany
My ranking is High if this position can reach across the diversity of vineyards in California. Otherwise, my ranking is Low.
From the position description: “The focus of this position will be to develop and optimize technologies to automate and mechanize vineyard operations such as site evaluation, soil tillage, spraying, canopy management, weed control, irrigation scheduling, estimating yield, assessing fruit maturity, and harvesting.”
It is imperative that our universities have the resources necessary to leverage this move to precision farming in perineal crops and bring the benefits to all growers. I applaud UC ANR for having the foresight to develop and advocate for this critical Extension position.
Having a specialist to guide growers in their journey towards mechanized vineyard operations is by all means justified. It's surprising to see there are only two CE Specialists for the entire state.
Table grapes are an extremely important commodity in California, both in value and in amount of planted acreage. In 2015, the crop had a volume of 110.5 million box units with a value of $1.8 billion, and accounted for over 99% of national table grape production. About 40 percent of California table grapes are exported.
The California table grape industry has identified mechanization and automation as key components for future research work with goals to improve vineyard productivity, fruit quality, and profitability through an innovative, science-driven, and feasible precision viticulture. Unlike winegrape production, most table grape canopy and crop operations, such as canopy management, cluster thinning and harvesting, are presently performed manually, and labor is becoming less available and more expensive. Research in the field of vineyard mechanization and sensing technologies, such as canopy and crop sensing, water use sensing and automated irrigation; and assessing nutrient status of the site and vines is considered essential for modern agriculture.
The California Table Grape Commission supports the new Cooperative Extension Specialist position in Viticulture/Automation and Mechanization, as it believes that research in mechanization and automation will help take modern table grape growing to the next level. The strategic location at the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier is especially welcomed, because of its proximity to multiple grapevine industries, including table grapes.