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Postdoctoral Scholar, Environmental policy - Earth Research Institute

Position overview

Position title: Postdoctoral Scholar

Application Window

Open date: May 26th, 2021

Last review date: Friday, Aug 6, 2021 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.

Final date: Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

A two-year position as a Postdoctoral Scholar is available in the Earth Research Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The successful candidate will participate in a research project led by Professor Patricia Holden. We seek to hire a postdoc with interests in cannabis production, agriculture and environmental governance, grower decision-making behavior and extension/science communication. The postdoc will lead a 2-year social science research project to survey cannabis growers and other relevant stakeholders to characterize cannabis production practices as well as the drivers behind the use of these practices in Santa Barbara county. This position is within a large interdisciplinary team that includes field, experimental, and spatial data scientists, with whom coordination is required.

Work will be carried out under the supervision of lead PI Dr. Patricia Holden (, and with input and guidance from project co-PIs Dr. Houston Wilson (Dept. Entomology, UC Riverside; and Dr. Hekia Bodwitch (Cannabis Research Center, UC Berkeley; This survey project is part of a larger proposal to characterize the relationship between cannabis regulatory policy, production practices, pesticide residues, and movement of agrichemical inputs into waterways. This postdoc position will be based in the Holden Lab on the UC Santa Barbara campus, and survey work will require fieldwork at various regional locations around Santa Barbara county. Funding is through a grant from the CA Bureau of Cannabis Control.

We are looking for candidates that are highly collaborative, willing to work with other disciplines, with a positive attitude, and attune to the various sensitivities involved in surveying growers about their agricultural practices, especially cannabis farmers in a region where this ‘new’ form of agriculture is under dispute.

This is a full-time position with Dr. Patricia Holden as the lead PI. Competitive salary and benefits commensurate on experience. The initial appointment is for two years. The anticipated start date will be July 1, 2021.

The University is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research, teaching and service as appropriate to the position.


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

    Must have PhD in environmental policy, rural sociology, geography or related field.

Preferred qualifications

    Strong publication record (adjusted for time since degree)

    Excellent oral and written communications in English

    A driver's license valid in California to drive to field sites to conduct grower interviews throughout Santa Barbara county.

    Enthusiasm for fieldwork in sometimes challenging conditions.

    Interested in cannabis production, agriculture and environmental governance, grower decision-making behavior and extension/science communication .

    Must be able to coordinate with a large interdisciplinary team that includes field, experimental, and spatial data scientists.

    Able to communicate in nontechnical terms to growers, crop consultants, policy makers and the public.

    Demonstrates expertise in social science and survey research in an agricultural setting.

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter - Please provide a cover letter describing research interests and career goals (2 pages max)

Reference requirements
  • 3-5 required (contact information only)

Names and emails of 3 references who are prepared to provide letters of
recommendation upon request.

Apply link:

Help contact:

Campus Information

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 status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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. For new University of California employees, the applicable deadline is eight weeks after their first date of employment. (Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.)

Job location

Santa Barbara County, CA