Senior Specialist

Website California Almonds

This position supports all aspects of the Almond Board’s work related to management of pests in almond production. The position reports to the Chief Scientific Officer, with additional accountability to the head of the Field Outreach & Education team in the Global Communications Department. It is estimated that the position will entail half time managing ABC-sponsored pest management research and half time spent on field outreach to growers and Pest Control Advisors (PCAs). The position will also provide technical support for the Global Technical and Regulatory Affairs Department (GTRA) related to pesticide use, as needed.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS:

This position serves as the technical expert for the Almond Board on pest management, serving as a bridge between research and industry outreach. As such, the position requires both an understanding of research and the ability to communicate effectively with researchers, as well as the ability to translate and communicate effectively with audiences of growers and industry professionals. This is an exempt position based in Central California.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES: The following duties are typical of those performed by employees in this job title; however, employees may perform other related duties.

  • Serve as primary resource on pest management issues for the Almond Board’s research and communications
  • Lead pest management research program, including but not limited to:
    • Serve as staff manager of the Pest Management Working Group that supports Strategic AG Innovation Committee (SAIC), including identifying strategic research issues for working group input, developing agendas for Pest Management Working Group meetings, and managing meetings with working group industry chair
    • Contribute to technical review of research proposals and project reports
    • Oversee technical aspects of research grant implementation, including interactions with researchers, reviewing and understanding research findings
    • Represent ABC pest management activities to the research community through speaking at research conferences and events
  • Conduct outreach to growers and PCAs on pest management best practices, including but not limited to:
    • Identifying opportunities from research to communicate new findings and best management practices
    • Collaborating with ABC staff on developing written materials for weekly newsletters and other industry outreach vehicles
    • Conceiving, planning, and implementing in-person and virtual outreach and training events in collaboration with ABC staff, ranging from field events, webinars, symposiums, and sessions at The Almond Conference
    • Identifying opportunities to collaborate with the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) and the California Association of Pest Control Advisors (CAPCA) to amplify ABC outreach through co-development of events or resource materials for pest management
    • Consideration of both pre- and post-harvest pest management aspects
  • Serve as liaison and support to the Global Technical and Regulatory Affairs Department:
    • Consult with team members on research priorities and proposal reviews to ensure relevant policy/regulatory/supply chain issues are incorporated
    • Provide input on technical and practical issues associated with pesticide use, including, but not limited to, the Pest Management Strategic Plan, as requested
    • Supplement work done by the GTRA group; there is no expectation this person will be an expert on the regulatory and environmental elements of pest management.

QUALIFICATIONS:

Skill in:

  • Implementing and managing process workflows and schedules
  • Critical review of data and reports; tracking, recording and reporting detailed information
  • Data analytics. Developing and maintaining data and information tables, charts and graphs, using spreadsheets, databases and graphing software; Requires strong database, Excel and PowerPoint skills
  • Solid interpersonal skills to establish and maintain relationships with our valued stakeholders and team members
  • Using initiative and judgment to manage workload and accomplish tasks independently or with minimal supervision
  • Approaching work tasks in a highly organized and systematic manner
  • Strong, effective written and oral communications, including grammatically correct and clearly written report preparation, correspondence, and presentation skills.

OTHER REQUIREMENTS:

  • Demonstrated ability to direct and maintain effective relationships with researchers to meet ABC and industry goals.
  • Ability to communicate with growers and agricultural service provides (e.g. PCAs) and maintain effective relationships with organizations who provide training and services to growers.
  • A valid California driver’s license and driving record acceptable for insurance purposes to travel within California for field visits.

ILLUSTRATIVE EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE: A typical way to obtain the above knowledge and skill is a combination of education and experience equivalent to:

  • A master’s degree in an area of science related to entomology or pest management, with at least two years of research experience acquired as part of education or work experience.
  • Understanding of the principles and conduct of scientific research, such as experimental design and analyses of research results.
  • At least two years of grower-related field experience acquired during research or previous agricultural positions.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: The physical abilities involved in the performance of essential duties are:

  • Ability to work at a computer for extended periods of time
  • Vision sufficient to read handwrit­ten and printed documents and computer screens
  • Speech and hearing sufficient to communi­cate by phone and in person
  • Manual dexterity sufficient to use a variety of office equipment and tools, computer key­boards, and to manipulate papers
  • May lift up to 30 pounds (15 kilos) and manipulate heavier objects using dollies
  • Travel estimation 35% of time