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Western Wildfire Resilience Index Project Manager at NCEAS

Position overview

Position title: Western Wildfire Resilience Index Project Manager
Salary range: The posted UC salary scales set the minimum pay determined by rank and step at appointment. See Table 36 for the salary range. A reasonable starting salary for this position is $65-$75k annual. Full benefits package included.
Percent time: 100%
Anticipated start: Position is expected to start as early as June 2023 and no later than October 2023.
Position duration: The initial appointment is for 12 months, with the possibility of extension pending available funds and strong performance.

Application Window

Open date: May 9, 2023

Next review date: Tuesday, Jun 6, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Sunday, Dec 31, 2023 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


The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at UCSB seeks an experienced Project Manager to support a newly funded program focused on developing a Western (US and Canadian) Wildfire Resilience Index. Built on the success of the NCEAS’ Ocean Health Index, the Western Wildfire Resilience Index will provide policymakers and the public with clear, actionable metrics on wildfire resilience to improve management. As part of this two year project you will work together to guide a dynamic project team of researchers including an expert working group, two postdoctoral fellows, two data analysts, a communications and policy officer, and a web developer towards achieving ambitious project milestones and deliverables. Together this team will work to create the first quantitative, applied index of wildfire resilience in the West. This is a two-year long position and will be based at NCEAS in Santa Barbara, California.

Position Description

As a successful Project Manager you will work with the broader Western Wildfire Resilience Index Team to ensure this large research endeavor is executed effectively and efficiently. Your responsibilities will include 1) planning and leading regular (at least weekly) meetings with the internal project team to discuss research activities and larger workshops with external wildfire experts, 2) working closely with the communications and policy officer to support engagement with agency and academic communities, 3) developing and adapting a detailed project plan to monitor and track progress on research activities and deliverables to ensure our approach is responsive to key project learnings and executed in a timely manner, and 4) ensuring that the project team maintains a positive, inclusive, and productive working environment for all involved.

We are seeking a detail-oriented, motivated team player who is able and willing to juggle a broad spectrum of responsibilities to fill this exciting and dynamic role. The successful candidate will have the management, organizational, and interpersonal skills to lead a large and diverse team of project researchers and to build and strengthen relationships with external researchers and policymakers.


NCEAS is located in scenic downtown Santa Barbara, California. The Center is known for fostering interaction and collaboration, a characteristic that leads to the success of its scientists. NCEAS has a growing and thriving community of postdocs, resident scientists, and analysts, and a frequent influx of leading scientists and practitioners from around the world participating in working group projects across a diverse range of initiatives. NCEAS is also a leader in data science training, offering courses and expertise in reproducible workflows, data infrastructure, and environmental statistics. We expect that the candidate will contribute their knowledge, interests, and enthusiasm to the intellectual atmosphere. The candidate should anticipate spending the vast majority of their time in residence at the Center and will have the opportunity to travel to relevant national and international events and conferences, with a special focus on meeting and networking opportunities across the Western US and Canada.

NCEAS is committed to improving diversity and inclusion in science. We value the diversity of expertise, backgrounds, needs, and experiences reflected among our residents, visitors, and broader communities. We are committed to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, age, gender identity, parental status, sexual orientation, (dis)ability, citizenship status, and nationality. To see the steps we are taking to advance diversity and inclusion please see our full statement here:

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


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)
  • Applicants must be enrolled in a Masters Degree program or currently have a Masters Degree in environmental science, earth science, ecology, data science, computer science, or a related field
Additional qualifications (required at time of start)
  • Applicants must have their Masters degree conferred by the start date of the position
Preferred qualifications
  • At least 1-2 years of experience providing project management, communication, and administrative support to research, consulting, or industry projects
  • Experience working with groups outside of academia (policymakers, industry, NGOs, etc.)
  • Experience developing detailed project plans to monitor and track milestones and deliverables to keep projects and staff on track
  • Experience managing collaborative projects and teams related to natural resource management or environmental science topics
  • Experience developing systems and processes to increase organizational efficiency
  • Familiarity with wildfire resilience research and policy with a strong interest in developing deep expertise in this area of resource management
  • Experience working with project management and communications platforms such as Github, Slack, Asana, Airtable, or Trello
  • Exceptional attention to detail and strong organization and time management skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Demonstrates an understanding and acceptance of diversity, equity, and inclusion concepts that are broader than only race, ethnicity, and gender

Application Requirements

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

  • Cover Letter - Cover Letter including:

    Interest in the position
    Qualifications related to the positions
    Experience in supporting diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice

Reference requirements
  • 3 required (contact information only)

Name and contact information for three references. The top candidate's references will be contacted before the final job offer.

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 Policy on Vaccination Programs – With Updated Interim Amendments. All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine Primary Series or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, Religious Objection, and/or Deferral based on pregnancy or recent COVID-19 diagnosis and/or treatment) no later than the applicable deadline. All Covered Individuals must also provide proof of receiving the most recent CDC-recommended COVID-19 booster or properly decline such booster no later than the applicable deadline. New University of California employees should refer to Exhibit 2, Section II.C. of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Attachment for applicable deadlines. All Covered Individuals must also provide proof of being Up-To-Date on seasonal influenza vaccination or properly decline such vaccination no later than the applicable deadline. Please refer to the Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Program Attachment. (Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.) Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.

Job location

Santa Barbara, CA