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Water Equity and Adaptation Policy Cooperative Extension Specialist

Job Description

Location Headquarters. Housed in the Luskin Center for Innovation (LCI), University of California - Los Angeles, and appointed through UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR).

Purpose. The CE specialist in Water Equity and Adaptation Policy will conduct a collaborative, multifaceted research and outreach program focused on providing regional and statewide leadership in water equity and adaptation policy and planning, to address issues around water quality, access, affordability and sustainability for disadvantaged urban and rural communities.

The CE specialist will develop multi-disciplinary collaborations with other UC and outside researchers to address needs, and should seek out opportunities to bring government, non-profit, community-based and private-sector partners and other stakeholders into these collaborations.

The CE specialist is expected to develop an extramurally-funded research and extension education program to address water scarcity and equity conditions; forge strong interactions with local, regional, state and national partners and clientele, as well as with UC colleagues; contribute to core research and extension goals established within UC ANR; and assist in establishing an innovative multi-disciplinary program in their field of expertise.

This is an exciting opportunity to have meaningful impacts throughout California in conjunction with and embedded within the UCLA Luskin Center, which has a demonstrated track record of impact. Opportunities abound for research and extension partnerships that link communities and resource professionals with relevant science-based information and promote effective problem-solving.  The CE Specialist will join a team of highly motivated UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) colleagues who are passionate about their work and dedicated to making a difference within the communities and throughout California.  The potential for collaborative projects within the UC ANR system is nearly limitless.

Reporting Relationship:  The CE specialist is academically and administratively responsible to one of the Co -Directors of the Luskin Center for Innovation (LCI), with input from the UC ANR Associate Vice President. UC ANR will oversee the merit and promotion process. The position will be stationed at the UCLA campus located in Los Angeles, CA.  There may be an opportunity for the CE specialist to maintain an additional 0% (uncompensated) Adjunct Professor series appointment in one or more UCLA academic departments, reporting academically and administratively to the Department Chair.

Research & Extension

All CE Specialists are expected to develop and implement applied research programs to provide science-based information addressing complex issues such as drought, its interactions with metabolic processes, and social impacts.  This position will focus broadly on providing more research-policy and planning support in the areas of water equity and water-climate adaptation issues which are already pressing at the state, and increasingly national, scales.

Key priority areas of focus include, but are by no means limited to: (1) drinking water system consolidation for sustainability and equity outcomes; (2) a “Just Transition for Water” Systems framework, including support for small water system source diversification and resilience to heat, flood and fire events, and affordability of major transition investments in larger systems(3) addressing water-fire-growth planning concerns which relate to housing affordability objectives ; (4) efforts to understand and enhance tap water trust and its relationship to health, especially among youth; and (5) equity in sanitation and stormwater planning (“One water” equity)

Additional areas of engaged research to support planning and policy efforts include: direct customer water affordability assistance, just conservation transitions, and equitable groundwater use in Southern California.  The CE Specialist will build on a recently-launched LCI effort, through its Human Right to Water Solutions Lab, to make data and training resources collected or generated through its research more publicly available, usable, relevant and current to the full range of interested stakeholders. The CE Specialist would also provide practical support to and increase the visibility of other community, scholarly, and policy partner efforts in advancing water equity solutions.


The CE Specialist’s objective will be to foster a collaborative, multidisciplinary, cutting-edge research and extension program, both integrated with and building on the model of UCLA LCI, in partnership with UCCE Advisors and Specialists as well as the UCLA community, local, and state stakeholders across sectors. The CE Specialist will also act as a representative to link Southern California, ANR, and UC-wide water research and policy efforts, including several similarly-focused, recent ANR specialist appointees.

The CE Specialist will be expected to produce rigorous, novel, policy-relevant research such as preparing targeted policy briefs, reports and journal articles. Extension activities could also include development of workshops and webinars, collaborative symposia, and field visits for technical assistance and training. Outreach responsibilities include supporting local and state public agency planning processes, as appropriate, and making relevant data and resources publicly available and usable on LCI and UC ANR web portals.

Qualifications and Skills Required Required Qualifications


A minimum of a Ph.D. is required (or international equivalent) related to water policy and planning, with demonstrated expertise and interest in climate adaptation and equity issues. Possible disciplinary backgrounds include: planning, public policy, community development, public health, economics, sociology, political science, environmental science, engineering, and geography. Applicants who have not yet earned a Ph.D. must be within 12 months of completing their degree in order to be considered for the position.  Excellent written, oral and interpersonal communication skills are required.  A demonstrated ability in water equity research and extension of information is desirable.  Experience in securing and managing extramural grants, carrying out field-based research, and publishing multi-disciplinary research is desirable. We particularly welcome candidates whose experience in research, or community service has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and excellence.

Additional Expectations

All UC ANR CE specialists are responsible for performance in the areas of 1) applied research and creative activity, 2) extending knowledge and information, 3) professional competence and activity, and 4) university and public service.

Skills Required

The CE specialist will interact with UC ANR program teams, CE advisors, other CE specialists, LCI and the broader UCLA community, and others within the research/extension network and advisory groups to develop, strengthen and expand the delivery of statewide products.

Technical competence

    Conduct and report needs assessments to identify priority issues or problems relevant to the local clientele groups being served. Develop and implement effective Cooperative Extension applied research and educational programs to address the identified priority needs of the clientele that are consistent with UC ANR’s Strategic Vision and ANR initiatives and the UCLA LCI’s mission and values; Conduct applied research designed to assess and address statewide and locally relevant problems related to water equity and climate adaptation.


    Disseminate appropriate, science-based information to inform clientele, using extension methods and LCI platforms that are responsive to clientele needs and appropriate for the audience and situation; Maintain and promote UC ANR Cooperative Extension’s and UCLA LCI credibility by providing science-based knowledge; Evaluate programs and report accomplishments, results, and potential or actual impacts to scientific and lay audiences through a variety of outreach methods e.g., peer-reviewed publications, social media, workshops, newsletters.

Collaboration & Teamwork

    Interact with campus academic colleagues, thereby creating synergies that will advance the programmatic goals of both the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation and of UC ANR; Interact with UCLA undergraduate students and graduate students in relevant graduate programs via occasional lectures and other academic functions (such as serving on dissertation committees, oral exams, etc.) as appropriate.  In accordance with UC Academic Personnel Policy 334, Specialist in Cooperative Extension Series, the teaching of regular undergraduate or graduate courses will not be a primary responsibility of the position; Engage in campus faculty meetings, campus faculty committee service, and other activities of the UCLA faculty as appropriate. Maintain close contact and working relationships with relevant stakeholder groups and agencies.

Lifelong Learning

Demonstrated commitment to ongoing self-improvement - both professionally and as a person.

Learn more about Skills and Areas of Programmatic Review All UC ANR CE specialists are responsible for performance in the areas of 1) applied research and creative activity, 2) extending knowledge and information, 3) professional competence and activity and 4) University and public service (with awareness and impact in relation to Affirmative Action and DEI).

About UC ANR and UCLA

The University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) consists of a network of scientists and educators working in partnership across the California.  We are committed to developing and supporting healthy food systems, healthy environments, healthy communities, and healthy Californians.  UC ANR administers UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE), which is responsible for program development and delivery in the counties throughout the state of California.

UCLA is a public, comprehensive university. Founded in 1919, it later became the first "branch campus" of the University of California. An internationally renowned research university, UCLA emphasizes interdisciplinary teaching and exposes undergraduates early to research opportunities with faculty.  The UCLA LCI’s approach is collaborative. The center works with dozens of scholars across an array of disciplines and engages with hundreds of civic partners that inform and utilize our research. Civic partners include government agencies, advocacy organizations, and community leaders. The LCI team includes 20 affiliated faculty and currently employs 11 full-time staff and 20+ students including two postdoctoral scholars and five doctoral students.  LCI is part of the UCLA Meyer and Rene Luskin School of Public Affairs, an interdisciplinary environment that focuses on human well-being at every level of analysis and is known for cultivating leaders and change agents who advance solutions to society’s most pressing problems.

Salary & Benefits


: Beginning salary will be in the

Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist Series

and commensurate with applicable experience and professional qualifications. This is an indefinite-track position.  All provisions of UC Academic Personnel Policy 334, Specialist in Cooperative Extension Series apply. For information regarding the Cooperative Extension Specialist salary scale, please refer to


Benefits: The University of California offers comprehensive benefits including two days per month paid vacation, one day per month paid sick leave, and approximately thirteen paid holidays per year. This position is eligible for sabbatical leave privileges as per the terms of University policy.    For more information, refer to the UC Benefits website at: http://ucnet.universityofcalifornia.edu/

Learn more about

    UC ANR at https://UCANR.edu UC LA at https://www.ucla.edu   UCLA LCI at https://innovation.luskin.ucla.edu/ Our UC ANR Strategic Initiatives http://ucanr.edu/sites/StrategicInitiatives/ Our UC ANR Public Value statements at  https://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/2016-2020_Strategic_Plan/Goal_5__Prioritize_programs_and_services/Public_values_statement/ DEI: Further to the above, CE Specialists are expected to share and exhibit UC ANR’s commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion https://ucanr.edu/sites/Professional_Development/Office_-_Team_Management/Diversity_Equity_Inclusion_Belonging/ To learn more about how UCLA thinks about contributions to equity, diversity, and inclusion, please review EDI Statement FAQ  document. Affirmative Action: Further to the above, CE Specialists are expected to share and exhibit UC ANR’s commitment to affirmative action. Learn more of UC ANR Affirmative Action policy: http://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/Diversity/Affirmative_Action/ The University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce and will honor your experiences, perspectives and unique identity. We encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ+ community members, and others who demonstrate the ability to help us create and maintain working and learning environments that are inclusive, equitable and welcoming.

How to Apply If interested in this position, please visit:


and choose “applicants” (refer to position #



Closing Date: To assure full consideration, application packets must be received by November 14, 2022 (open until filled).

Interview information:

A search committee comprised of UC ANR and UCLA representatives will review all applications, interview candidates, and recommend individuals most suitable for the position.

Questions? Contact Tatiana Avoce; email: tavoce@ucanr.edu

Applicants may wish to explore the UC Davis Services for International Students and Scholars web page at https://siss.ucdavis.edu  and the UC ANR Green Card Sponsorship Guidelines & FAQ's  for reference.

University of California Cooperative Extension

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Policy .  All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of Full Vaccination or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, and/or Religious Objection) or Deferral (based on pregnancy) no later than the applicable deadline.   New University of California employees should refer to Appendix F, Section II.C. of the policy for applicable deadlines.  (Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.)  Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.  

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, age, protected veteran status or other protected categories covered by the UC nondiscrimination policy. 

As of January 1, 2014, ANR is a smoke- and tobacco-free environment in which smoking, the use of smokeless tobacco products, and the use of unregulated nicotine products (e-cigarettes), is strictly prohibited. 

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