Job Opening March 2023: Postdoctoral Scholar

UPDATE 4/19/23: We are reviewing applications, and still welcoming additional candidates.

Postdoctoral Scholar: Studying Youth Community Action and Science

Position Overview

The UC Davis Center for Community and Citizen Science (CCCS) seeks an accomplished science education researcher to join a collaborative team working on across multiple projects. A key role for this scholar will be to join a large-scale National Science Foundation DRK12-funded research and development project. The Youth Community Action and Science in Our Forests (“Our Forests”) project is a partnership between the Center for Community and Citizen Science at UC Davis, the Sierra Streams Institute (SSI), and the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools (NCSoS). Together we are developing, implementing, and studying a field-based education program for 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students and their teachers, who partner with local forest scientists, land managers and community organizations to study local forest health and fire risk in Nevada County, California. In addition to joining this project team, the Postdoctoral Scholar will collaborate with Center Faculty Director Heidi Ballard in scoping and developing new projects focusing on studying social and learning outcomes at the individual and community level in the specific context of collaborative watershed monitoring of the effects of dam removal. Thus the position offers the opportunity to join an established project focused on the data analysis and publication phase, as well as help to initiate new research projects.  They will be an important member of the growing community of faculty, staff, and students that make up the Center for Community and Citizen Science at UC Davis. They will have the opportunity to play a key role in shaping the education research activities of the Center into the future.

This is a full-time two-year position, contingent on funding availability, starting June 01, 2023. Application review will be on a rolling basis until the position is filled, and we will begin considering applications on April 15 (but please contact us ASAP if you plan to apply).

Position Expectations

The Postdoctoral Scholar will join the PI and current Postdoctoral Scholar mixed-methods, primarily qualitative, case-study research as well as some basic quantitative survey administration and analysis. This role includes research design, data collection at case study sites, data analysis, literature reviews, leading and supporting writing of peer-reviewed journal articles, coordinating and leading research-focused virtual and in-person meetings, and assisting project staff in developing outreach and communication materials.

Importantly, for the Our Forests project, the Postdoctoral scholar will also collaborate with and support Project Staff in the development and delivery of the periodic teacher meetings. Core responsibilities of this position are:

  • to join the lead post-doc in overseeing the daily research activities of the project.
  • to conduct qualitative and quantitative data analysis of observational, interview and survey data collected at case study programs in field-based settings over each year;
  • to develop and deliver presentations at professional conferences;
  • to lead author and co-author peer-reviewed journal articles in areas of science education, environmental education, learning sciences, and/or conservation;
  • to assist SSI Project Staff in the continuing refinement of the Forest Investigation curricula as it is revised for dissemination;
  • to mentor and supervise the research assistants as needed;
  • to assist with the planning and implementation of virtual and in-person Advisory Board meetings, and assist with writing annual NSF reports; and
  • to contribute to products useful to practitioners in collaboration with SSI. 

The primary worksite location is the Center for Community and Citizen Science, UC Davis with travel to Nevada County, and for the watershed monitoring project, other locations as appropriate.

Required Qualifications, Knowledge & Skills

  • Ph.D. in education or environmental studies with a preferred focus on science education, environmental education, learning sciences, youth development, or related field.
  • Experience working with youth (ages 8-11 preferred but not required).
  • Experience with qualitative research methods including interview data collection and analysis, field and ethnographic observational data collection and analysis.
  • Experience with data management for large projects.
  • Ability to write independently and collaboratively on deadline, and documented evidence of scholarly publications.
  • Excellent organizational and communication skills, and preferably some project management experience.

Preferred Qualifications, Knowledge & Skills

  • Experience with community and citizen science (research and/or practice)
  • Knowledge of social learning theories and issues in education (formal or informal settings)
  • Experience with Dedoose or other qualitative data analysis software 
  • Demonstrated capacity to lead a social science research team in highly collaborative research
  • Demonstrated ability to mediate and facilitate a process involving multiple stakeholders with diverse interests 

To Apply

Send a CV and cover letter to with subject line “CCCS Forests Postdoc.” Application review will be on a rolling basis until the position is filled, and we will begin considering applications on April 15. Please contact us if you plan to apply. 


Salary is commensurate with experience. The position includes full benefits, as well as funds for project-related travel, equipment, and other research-related expenses.

Full job ad in PDF form is available here.

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