FCP Integrative Ecological Modeler

Fisheries Collaborative Program - UC Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz, California

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details Budgeted Salary: $90,000 - $110,000/year. Salary commensurate with skills, qualifications and experience.
Deadline Apr 15, 2024


For full consideration, applicants should attach their resume and cover letter when applying for a job opening. For guidance related to the application process or if you are experiencing difficulties when applying, please review the Applicant Resources on our Talent Acquisition website. 

Submit applications to the UCSC Staff Employment Portal here: https://jobs.ucsc.edu/

Search FCP Integrative Ecological Modeler or job posting #66340

Email FCP-hr@ucsc.edu if you have any questions.


Application materials submitted by 11:59 pm on the IRD will be routed to the hiring unit for consideration. Materials submitted after the IRD will ONLY be forwarded at the request of the hiring unit. To ensure your application is routed for consideration, submit your materials before 11:59 p.m. on the IRD.  Talent Acquisition cannot accept application materials outside of the jobs portal, and is unable to update submitted applications on an applicant's behalf, or forward communications to the hiring units. For more information about the IRD and the applicant review process, view this link.

The IRD for this job is: 04-15-2024


UC Santa Cruz is a public university like no other in California, combining the experience of a small, liberal arts college with the depth and rigor of a major research university. It's known as an unconventional place where innovation and experimentation is part of the campus's DNA. That playful, bold spirit still thrives today, all on a campus renowned as among the most beautiful in the world.


The Institute of Marine Sciences (IMS) is an organized research unit whose mission is to increase knowledge of the world's oceans and inhabitants to better understand their economic importance and the impact people have on them. Through this effort, IMS maintains the responsibility to encourage, develop, and support marine research and education and does this by providing research opportunities, resources, facilities, and support for scientists within the institute and with other marine research institutions.

As part of its mission's efforts, IMS launched the Fisheries Collaborative Program (FCP) to help foster research collaborations between NOAA scientists, UCSC faculty, IMS researchers, and students. The FCP's research activities include field and laboratory experiments, modeling, and computational studies and they involve marine and freshwater species and habitats where comprehensive studies are being conducted on the ecology and life history of Pacific salmonids and other fishes. FCP serves to support resource managers (e.g., Pacific Fisheries Management Council), fisheries, and resource science in general.

More information can be found at https://fisheries.ucsc.edu


The Fisheries Collaborative Program (FCP) at University of California, Santa Cruz is seeking an Integrative Ecological Modeler to address challenges in integrative research on salmon and their ecosystems in California. The FCP is a community of UC and NOAA fisheries researchers focused on providing science to support management and recovery of living marine resources of California, and has a diverse research portfolio spanning multiple ecosystems, spatial scales, and levels of biological organization. This new position will be under the general direction of an FCP Research Team Lead and in collaboration with university PIs and NOAA collaborators. As a member of the FCP, the incumbent will provide computer programming and data management expertise to support a workgroup of researchers using quantitative life-cycle models to integrate diverse research findings for endangered salmon metapopulations in California. The incumbent will contribute to the development of a reproducible model integration system to couple ecological, genetic, and environmental models.

This position requires a strong aptitude for computer programming. Specific duties and responsibilities include

1) Provide programming support for a team developing recovery scenarios for winter-run Chinook salmon, using existing quantitative models;

2) Refine or update the programming toolbox used by this team for model integration, using established approaches in the field of computer science and emphasizing reproducible approaches;

3) Use the tools to support FCP teams developing new integrated life-cycle models for other salmon metapopulations in California.

Programming support will include generating code to integrate scientific models written in a variety of program languages (e.g., Python, R, MATLAB, SQLite, Java, etc) to streamline workflow and couple models. This will require the incumbent to provide guidance for data systems management, provide clear documentation of workflow, demonstrate familiarity with large datasets and version control, demonstrate familiarity with cloud computing, and demonstrate a commitment to the FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, reproducible) guiding principles. Once the model integration workflow is established for a specific project focused on endangered winter-run Chinook salmon, the workflow will be adapted to incorporate ecological models generated by researchers within the broader FCP community. This is an opportunity for the incumbent to generate novel workflows and communicate effectively with senior scientists to codify best practices for computational ecology and reproducible methods for an environmental researcher community working on fundamental environmental problems in California.

The hiring unit will not sponsor employment-eligible immigration statuses for this position.


Budgeted Salary: $90,000 - $110,000/year.  Salary commensurate with skills, qualifications and experience.
Under California law, the University of California, Santa Cruz is required to post a reasonable estimate of the compensation for this role. The salary shown above is the budgeted amount the University reasonably expects to pay and the salary extended should not exceed this posted amount.

Benefits Level Eligibility: Full benefits

Schedule Information:

  • Full-time, Fixed
  • Percentage of Time: 100%, 40 Hours per Week
  • Days of the Week: Mon-Fri
  • Shift Includes: Day

Employee Classification: Career appointment 

Job End Date: None

Work Location: Remote - Off Campus

Union Representation: Non-Represented

Job Code Classification: 007300 (APPLICATIONS PROGR 3)

Travel: Up to 25% of the time


35% -

  • Plans, designs, develops, modifies, debugs, deploys programming for model integration workflow and data systems organization. Analyzes existing workflow to formulate logic for new complex systems and devises complex algorithms using reproducible methods. Performs complex data analysis and tests / debugs complex programming. Analyzes the design and use of complex data sources. Applies moderately complex programming security practices, and commits to the FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, reproducible) guiding principles.

30% -

  • Negotiates, develops and executes moderately complex programming for model integration workflows and data systems organization plans. Trains users in the use of new workflow and data management systems using, for example, reproducible notebook methods (Jupyter, R notebooks, etc). Performs complex data modeling, performance, and integration testing and builds workflow for a variety of internal and external constituents. Monitors and employs source code control techniques and configuration management on GitHub.

25% -

  • Gathers, analyzes, prepares, and summarizes recommendations for programming and data systems documentation. Recommends and implements changes in development, maintenance, and system standards. Works with scientific modelers and stakeholders on the creation of model integration systems. Ensures project reports and documentation are current.

10% -

  • Understands and applies industry practices, community standards, and department policies and procedures relating to work assignments. Interacts with ecologists, scientific modelers, principal investigators, and supervisory scientists. Serves as the technical lead for the development of a project integrating scientific modeling into user friendly workflows and programs. Trains users of new work plans. Negotiates project plans with scientific modelers and stakeholders.


  • Bachelor's degree in related area and / or equivalent experience / training.
  • Knowledge in programming languages commonly used in research settings, such as Python (preferred), R, or similar. Willingness and ability to learn a new language if necessary.
  • Thorough experience with identification and use of code libraries and open-source forums, and commitment to FAIR practices and reproducible science.
  • Basic knowledge of version control and code management (e.g., GitHub or equivalent).
  • Demonstrated understanding of cloud platforms (preferably AWS).
  • Basic knowledge of data management practices.


  • Advanced skills associated with software design, modification, implementation and deployment, including object-oriented programming concepts.
  • Demonstrated ability to understand functional needs and how systems can support those needs. Demonstrated ability to develop conversion and system implementation plans.
  • Demonstrated ability to interface with management on a regular basis.
  • Demonstrated ability to contribute technical narrative to grant proposals.
  • Experience with planning for deployment and creation of feedback mechanisms.
  • Demonstrated software repository skills. Demonstrated testing and test planning skills.
  • Demonstrated effective communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate technical information with technical and non-technical personnel at various levels in the organization.
  • Self-motivated and works independently and as part of a team. Able to learn effectively and meet deadlines.
  • Demonstrated broad problem solving skills.


  • In order to comply with security measures at the National Marine Fisheries Service (a federal facility on the UCSC campus), the candidate will be required to participate in a federal security clearance, be fingerprinted, and wear a photo I.D. badge.
  • Ability to work long periods of time at a computer with or without accommodation.
  • Ability to perform essential physical job functions.
  • The selected candidate will be required to work primarily on campus, with periods of remote work possible based on operational needs. If a hybrid work schedule is confirmed, the selected candidate must be able to work successfully from a home/remote office and be able to fulfill the requirements of the UCSC telecommuting agreement.
  • Ability to occasionally work overtime with little or no advance notice.
  • Selected candidate will be required to complete training within established time frames as directed including UC compliance training.
  • Ability to work safely in areas where hazardous materials are present or stored.
  • Ability to travel within a defined regional or service area.
  • The University of California has implemented a Vaccination Policy covering all employees. Employees, including new hires, are required to comply with any applicable policies relating to the University of California vaccine program.


All UCSC employees must understand and follow job safety procedures, attend required health and safety training, proactively promote safety at work, and promptly report actual and potential accidents and injuries.


The University of California is an Equal Employment 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, age, or protected veteran status. UC Santa Cruz is committed to excellence through diversity and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees.


Submit applications to the UCSC Staff Employment Portal here: https://jobs.ucsc.edu/

Search FCP Integrative Ecological Modeler or job posting #66340

Email FCP-hr@ucsc.edu if you have any questions.

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category Ecology , Fisheries