Research Associate, Entomology

As an integral part of a research and education team at the Cal Poly Strawberry Center, the Research Associate will plan and execute laboratory- and field-based research under supervision of the Center Entomologist. Efforts will be focused on research to improve the sustainability of strawberry production in California and will be closely aligned with the priorities established annually by the California Strawberry Commission.

Typical Essential Functions:

  • Plan and execute laboratory- and field-based research using sound experimental design and a thorough understanding of the biological systems being studied. Current research priorities include insect and disease management, farming without fumigants, irrigation, water quality and nutrient management, labor-saving automation and other important issues in California strawberry production
  • Collect, organize and summarize experimental data. Operate personal computer with proficient use of the Microsoft Office Suite, especially Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  • Conduct statistical analyses using standard statistical software programs such as SAS, Minitab, ARM, Sigma Plot or other appropriate software
  • Review literature, research results, testing procedures, and laboratory operations
  • Prepare written drafts of research publications. Prepare and deliver oral presentations at field days, grower and scientific meetings and other events to represent the Strawberry Center and disseminate research results to growers, pest control advisors and the scientific community
  • Train, assist and provide supervision and mentoring of students and other staff working on Strawberry Center projects and related activities
  • Work with, apply and safely handle agricultural chemicals such as insecticides, fungicides, soil fumigants, biological control agents, fertilizers and other products currently in use or for experimental purposes
  • Plan and execute assigned duties related to educational activities (i.e. short courses, symposia, special projects, etc.)
  • Follow good agricultural practices to ensure compliance with laws and regulations and common sense regarding safety
  • Order and maintain needed inventory of research and farming supplies
  • Build and maintain partnerships with research teams including growers, part-time labor, researchers, and scientists to successfully execute projects
  • Operate and maintain equipment. Laboratory equipment may include: stereo-microscope, scale, environmental chambers, drying ovens, etc. Field equipment may include: backpack and tractor-mounted spray equipment, drip and sprinkler irrigation, pumping and injection systems, tractors and implements
  • Maintain a clean and organized workspace including office, vehicles, storage and field
  • Perform other duties as assigned

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Graduation from an accredited four-year university with an agricultural degree [(entomology preferred), horticulture, agronomy, plant pathology, etc.] or completion of four-year college degree plus two years of agricultural field experience
  • Obtain a Qualified Applicator License (QAL) or Qualified Applicator Certificate (QAC) from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation within the first year of employment
  • Ability to occasionally work long hours in order to meet deadlines and complete projects
  • Valid California driver’s license and satisfactory driving record
  • Ability to travel to strawberry production regions within California
  • Demonstrated skills or aptitude in technical writing and statistical analysis
  • Ability to use standard office software applications, including word processing, spreadsheets, databases, publishing, electronic mail, and calendaring systems
  • Ability to prioritize, plan, organize, and meet deadlines
  • Ability to hire and lead others in managing tasks; train and evaluate the performance of assigned personnel
  • Ability to establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationship with a diverse population
  • Excellent verbal and written skills, including English grammar, spelling, punctuation, composition, and proof reading
  • Ability to establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationship with others
  • Excellent verbal and written skills and the ability to interface with all levels of staff, university community, including students, faculty and staff, and the public
  • Ability to maintain a variety of complex and confidential files and records
  • Ability to maintain regular, punctual and reliable attendance
  • The person holding this position is considered a ‘mandated reporter’ under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment
  • A background check is required for all regular benefited positions

Apply today:

Salary Range: $52,832 to $79,227 annually

Subject to continued grant/center funding. Cal Poly Corporation provides excellent benefits including medical, dental, vision, life insurance, retirement, paid sick leave/vacation and holidays. Employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a criminal background check, educational and employment verification, and reference check, as required.

AA/EEO/Disability/Protected Veteran Employer

Job Type: 
Job Listing Expiration: 
60 Days
Company Name: 
Cal Poly Corporation
Name of Contact Person: 
Jennifer R Luedtke
Contact Person's Phone: 
San Luis Obispo
United States
Contact Person's Email: