Job Details

University of California Santa Barbara
  • Position Number: 2585452
  • Location: Santa Barbara, CA
  • Position Type: Science - Geology, Earth Sciences & Oceanography

Position overview

Position title: Benioff Ocean Initiative Junior or Assistant Specialist
Percent time: 100
Anticipated start: Position start date is negotiable and ideally anticipated to start in January 2022
Position duration: This position is a 100% time appointment for one year from the start date with the possibility of reappointment, contingent upon performance and funding.

Application Window

Open date: October 22nd, 2021

Next review date: Wednesday, Nov 10, 2021 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Thursday, Mar 31, 2022 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 Benioff Ocean Initiative ( is an applied research center at the University of California Santa Barbara's Marine Science Institute. The Benioff Ocean Initiative team works to leverage the power of marine science and technology to develop and implement tangible solutions to a wide range of ocean problems.

The Benioff Ocean Initiative seeks a Junior or Assistant Specialist to provide research support for one of our flagship programs, the Clean Currents Coalition (CCC). The CCC is a global network of nine projects piloting solutions to turn off the tap of plastic waste in rivers reaching the ocean. The projects are based across North and South America, Africa, and Asia and are led on the ground by inspiring and innovative partner organizations. Benioff Ocean Initiative researchers and CCC partners are together breaking ground on novel technologies for intercepting plastic waste, developing the world's largest dataset about plastic waste captured in rivers, and empowering communities to take action against plastic pollution.

The qualified individual will work closely with Benioff Ocean Initiative researchers in the implementation of the project's research activities based at UC Santa Barbara. Principal duties will include:

-Conducting data entry, quality assurance/quality control, analysis, and processing of the CCC dataset on plastic pollution
-Developing compelling visualizations and actionable insights about the CCC dataset to contribute to the body of knowledge informing plastics science and policy
-Communicating about research progress and findings with stakeholders and the public via social media posts, media outreach, newsletters, and blogs
-Coordinating in-person and virtual meetings with project partners, including creating presentations and agendas, taking notes, and writing summary reports
-Assisting with research tasks for other Benioff Ocean Initiative projects based on interest and need

This appointment includes a competitive benefits package with medical, dental and vision insurance and a UC retirement plan. Salary is commensurate with the applicant's qualifications and experience.

Position open until filled.

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)

    A Bachelor's degree in a relevant field (environmental studies, marine science, ecology, biology, earth science, data science, or a related field) is required at the time of application.

Additional qualifications (required at time of start)

    To be hired at the Assistant Specialist level, a Master's degree (or five years of experience demonstrating relevant expertise) in a relevant field (environmental studies, marine science, ecology, biology, earth science, data science, or a related field) is required at the time of appointment.

Preferred qualifications

    -Experience with data management, analysis, and visualization
    -Proficiency in one or more analytical tools, such as Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, R, Tableau, or other similar software or programming language
    -Experience in science communications (newsletters, blogs, social media, traditional/news media, etc.)
    -Experience in stakeholder engagement, event planning, and/or meeting coordination
    -Strong verbal and written communication skills
    -Willingness and ability to work effectively with a wide range of stakeholders, from NGO leaders to corporate partners
    -Proficiency in Spanish, Swahili, Thai, Bahasa (Indonesian), or Vietnamese a plus
    -Understanding and acceptance of diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace

Application Requirements

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

  • Cover Letter

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity - We encourage applicants to submit an optional Statement of Contributions to Diversity. These statements, if submitted, will be reviewed for evidence of teaching, research, professional and/or public service contributions that promote diversity, equal opportunity and equitable access.

Reference requirements
  • 3 required (contact information only)

The search committee may contact references of the top candidate(s) after the interviews.

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, CA

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