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Junior Specialist in Vector-Borne Disease Modeling and Land Systems Science at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

Position overview

Position title: Junior Specialist in Vector-Borne Disease Modeling and Land Systems Science and the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management
Salary range: The posted UC system-wide salary scales set the minimum pay determined by rank and step at appointment. See [Table 24B] for the salary range at UCSB. A reasonable estimated full-time rate for this position at 100% time is $52,600 - 56,000. “Off-scale salaries” and other components of pay, i.e., a salary that is higher than the published system-wide salary at the designated rank and step, are offered when necessary to meet competitive conditions.
Percent time: 100%
Anticipated start: Mid-March, 2023
Position duration: Initial appointment will be for one year, with the possibility of reappointment.

Application Window

Open date: January 12, 2024

Most recent review date: Monday, Jan 29, 2024 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: Saturday, Aug 31, 2024 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 Bren School of Environmental Science & Management is seeking to hire a highly qualified Junior Specialist in vector-borne disease modeling and land systems science with a particular focus on the impacts of climate and land use and land cover change on vector-borne disease risk and transmission in California and Latin America. The incumbent will be supervised by Dr. Andrew MacDonald in the Bren School at UCSB. The position will involve three primary job duties: 1) contribute to leading research efforts in spatial ecology and modeling of mosquito vector distributions and suitability (e.g. machine learning and species distribution modeling), 2) contribute to statistical modeling of the response of disease transmission to global change using earth observation data (e.g., in Google Earth Engine, GIS) and statistical modeling approaches for longitudinal data, and 3) contribute to writing of peer reviewed manuscripts and research grants relevant to the research projects that the incumbent will contribute to, and to advising of student researchers in the MacDonald lab group. The incumbent will be highly self-motivated and self-sufficient in an academic research setting with diverse responsibilities.

Possible projects that the incumbent will contribute to leading include: 1) modeling and risk mapping of West Nile virus in California’s Central Valley, and it’s response to weather extremes; 2) modeling dengue transmission suitability, and potential future distribution of Aedes aegypti in California; 3) modeling the response of vector-borne diseases to land use change in the Amazon basin.

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)

Bachelor’s degree in statistics, data science or related field at time of application.

Additional qualifications (required at time of start)

-Two years of experience in coding and statistical computing (e.g. in R, Stata, or similar).
-Minimum one year applied experience (i.e., outside of formal coursework) with GIS using R or python, and/or spatial data processing in Google Earth Engine.
-Minimum one year applied experience (i.e., outside of formal coursework) applying machine learning techniques to environmental data.

Preferred qualifications

-Experience managing and analyzing large spatial data
-Experience writing peer reviewed manuscripts
-Familiarity with ecology theory as applied to human health
-Familiarity with applied econometrics/causal inference
-Prior experience working on the ecology of vector-borne diseases in California
-Excellent oral and written communication skills

Application Requirements

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

  • Cover Letter

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

Contact information for at least 3 references is required for the application. References will only be contacted following an interview for candidates who are chosen for an interview.

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About UC Santa Barbara

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, as may be amended or revised from time to time. Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.

Job location

Santa Barbara, CA