New job opening @ Berkeley: geospatial informatics program coodinator

Academic Coordinator III Position

The University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR), Informatics and Geographic Information Systems (IGIS) Program is seeking a Statewide Program Coordinator for both local and statewide program development and delivery. The IGIS Statewide Program seeks to provide innovation, technology, training, and data support for UC ANR’s research and extension mission through the collection, analysis and visualization of geospatial data. We are interested in developing and delivering data-driven tools, research results, and training to support UC ANR Strategic Initiatives: Endemic and invasive pests and diseases, Healthy families and communities, Sustainable food systems, Sustainable natural ecosystems, and Water quality, quantity and security.

The program coordinator will help fulfill the goals of the IGIS Program by facilitating the delivery of research, training, and data support to the UC ANR network. We are looking for a highly specialized academic who will provide vision and leadership on geospatial data resources, analysis and visualization that will serve multiple scientific constituencies at the state and national level. These data resources include: sensor networks, ecological datasets, existing statewide research databases, web-based data frameworks such as APIs, open data collections, and remote sensing collections. 

This is a unique academic position within the University of California that allows for intellectual growth, interaction with multiple scientists and academics, and the development of impactful datadriven solutions to California’s agricultural and natural resource challenges. 

If you have questions, you can email me:


Closing Date: December 31, 2015

Job Description: Download
Download Application: Word | PDF

Minimum and Required Qualifications:

  • A PhD Degree in Ecology, Geography, Agriculture, Statistics, or an appropriate related field with experience in data science, geographic information sciences, remote sensing, or ecological informatics is required. 
  • Experience synthesizing large ecological or socio-ecological datasets and using them in complex local and statewide research projects is required. 
  • Experience developing and managing research projects including agriculture, ecology, or climate change is required. 
  • Experience using GIS, remote sensing, and/or web programming software is required. 
  • The ability to communicate and extend technical information in an understandable manner is required. 
  • Strong leadership, administration, financial, and management skills are required. 
  • Knowledge of human relations is required including the ability to work with people with a diversity of views and values, to motivate people and adapt to changing situations.


Planning for the future: core values, mission statements, and strategic thinking

I've been working on two strategic plans for programs and facilities I am directing: GIF and IGIS, and am thinking about what are the key elements in such a plan that communicates clarity, purpose, and mission. The current thinking out there seems to be to think about not just Mission and Vision, but also Core Values. Here is one from ANR that can help me think through my tasks.

ANR Mission, Guiding Principle, and Core Values


The mission of the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources is to serve California through the creation, development and application of knowledge in agricultural, natural and human resources.

ANR Guiding Principle

ANR’s research and extension programs serve the public good of California through the creation, development and application of knowledge addressing critical issues in agricultural, natural and related human resources, through a system of community-driven research and outreach programs with CE advisors, CE specialists, and AES scientists supporting each other.

ANR Core Values

  • The highest standards of ethical behavior, honesty and integrity, with the recognition that the trust and confidence of the public is absolutely essential to our success.
  • Academic excellence and maintaining credibility as an objective source of knowledge.
  • Scientifically valid research as a foundation for anticipating problems and developing practical solutions.
  • Responsiveness to state and local needs in California, and consideration of the global context that shapes these needs.
  • Diversity within our organization, equal access to knowledge by all people, and equal opportunity for self-reliance through education.
  • Collaboration, teamwork and mutual respect among ourselves, in partnership with other organizations, and in interaction with our clientele.
  • Academic freedom, with the recognition that individual freedom goes hand in hand with a high standard of professional responsibility and personal accountability to ANR’s land-grant mission.

Job Opening: Informatics and Geographic Information Systems Program Coordinator

The University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources, a statewide program with local development and delivery, is seeking an Academic Coordinator to provide IGIS analysis, coordination and support to the Informatics and Geographic Information Systems (IGIS) team to the meet the IGIS mission.  IGIS is established to assist and advance research and extension activities by coordinating the development of Informatics and GIS tools and applications and make them available through an online web‐accessible portal.

The IGIS program coordinator will coordinate with the IGIS leadership team to advance ANR’s Strategic Vision of close partnerships between researchers, Cooperative Extension specialists and advisors, and the people of California by providing geospatial and informatics tools, data, training, consultation, and map products to the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. The program coordinator will support IGIS interests and projects across ANR, encouraging collaboration across ANR operational units, and develop contacts within the University’s geospatial community.

Location headquarters: Davis or Berkeley, Calif.

Position description:

IGIS website:

ANR website:

UCOP web site:

Summary of IGIS Survey (from 2013)

In 2013, the IGIS team developed the Survey of Informatics and GIS Needs, Knowledge and Data Availability that ran from January 14 – March 15. It was a short and comprehensive survey that helped us to evaluate the level of Informatics and GIS expertise and use of geospatial tools and data in ANR. The results are assisting the IGIS team to design and provide tools, analysis, and training to ANR personnel.

Our conclusion from the survey is that IGIS can play a large and new role in training, analytical support, and databasing across ANR. We can fill a need with IGIS: 79% of respondents are not getting assistance from ANR, yet across the board, ANR personnel need Informatics and GIS assistance - over 70% of respondents need GIS work or analytical support on their projects. While 81% have not taken ANR provided GIS training, 80% would take ANR provided GIS training. Also, despite the ability for ANR personnel to use the UC Davis site license, nearly half of respondents do not think they have access to GIS software.

We received 112 unique responses from across ANR. Respondants came from across ANR, and included:

  • Academic Administrators    2
  • Academic Coordinators   2
  • Administrators    4
  • AES Faculty    6
  • Lab Staff    3
  • Office Staff    5
  • Other    10
  • REC Directors    2
  • UC Researchers    3
  • UCCE Advisors    32
  • UCCE Specialists    15
  • UCCE Statewide Program Staff    2

We are looking at doing another survey in 2014, to continue to understand GIS needs in ANR.

IGIS Retreat 2013

We just concluded our first IGIS Program all-hands-on-deck retreat. We evaluated our program components and made huge progress on planning for the future.  Key in our discussion was GIS Training for ANR, and linkages with the ANR Research and Extension Centers (RECs). The IGIS Program components include:

  • GIS Services Center: If you are in ANR and need help with your GIS Project, check out the ANR Services Center!
  • Training: We are developing a curriculum of GIS training.  Stay tuned! The first session ("Intro to WebGIS for ANR" involving Google and ESRI products) will be scheduled by the end of 2013.
  • ANR InfoBase: We are developing a database of REC related data and research project information.  These data will be made available through an online webGIS portal that is linked to other similar and complementary efforts statewide (including HOLOS).  
  • ANR EON: Eddy covariance towers and climate sensors will be placed at each ANR RECs. All sensor data will be available to ANR and other researchers. Check out Todd's post on setting up one of these towers.

ANR Statewide Program on GIS

Mission Statement: IGIS aims to support high-priority programs to advance research and extension projects that enhance agricultural productivity, natural resource conservation and healthy communities into the future by providing Informatics and Geospatial Information Systems tools and applications.

ANR Recently announced the development of a new Statewide Program called the Informatics and GIS (IGIS) program. The new program aims to over the next five years become the nexus for ANR’s rich and diverse geospatial and ecological data, research information, and resources for academics and the public who rely on geospatial and informatics data, analysis and display.  Through data capture, information sharing, and collaboration, we aim to increase our ability to make meaningful predictions of the agricultural, ecosystem, and community response to future change, to increase our understanding of California’s diverse natural, agricultural and human resources, and to support research and outreach projects that enhance agricultural productivity, natural resource conservation and healthy communities into the future.

The IGIS team needs your input to design this resource to be an efficient and helpful delivery of information and GIS support. If you are affiliated with ANR, please take a few minutes to complete the Survey of Informatics and GIS Needs, Knowledge and Data Availability.  This is a short and comprehensive survey that will assess GIS, data and information needs, evaluate your level of informatics and GIS expertise and use of geospatial tools and data.  Your response will be of great assistance toward building a successful State-wide program.

New ANR Statewide Program on GIS announced

We are pleased to announce the development of a new statewide program called the ANR Informatics and Geographic Information Systems Statewide Program (IGIS). IGIS will organize, digitize and make Web-accessible some of California’s longest continuous data pertaining to agriculture and natural ecosystems, including weather and productivity related to management inputs — concrete data for modeling responses to change across the state.

IGIS will be supported and directed by a leadership team including Maggi Kelly (director), Lisa Fischer, Karl Krist and Joni Rippee, with key staff Shane Feirer, Kris Lynn-Patterson and Todd Perez. The responsibilities of the leadership team are to maintain IGIS direction, explore collaborations and maintain connection between ANR and UC campuses.  The team will work with an advisory board that will assist the leadership team on all components of IGIS from data standardization and acquisition to data access and specific project selection and feedback from potential users.

Our vision is that over the next five years IGIS will provide a home for ANR’s rich and diverse collection of data, information and resources for academics and members of the public who rely on geospatial and informatics data, analysis and display.

In service of the ANR continuum, University of California researchers, academics from other institutions and the public, IGIS will provide the ability to connect with rich and diverse ANR resources, datasets and information through an online web accessible portal. IGIS will assist in applied research and extension activities that rely on geospatial data, analysis and display. IGIS will offer networking and collaboration and, when possible, provide training and research support on important agricultural and natural resource issues.

Specifically, IGIS will become the umbrella for ANR-wide GIS and informatics activities in order to

Provide coordination for research and extension activities that require GIS and/or geospatial analysis
Provide acquisition, storage and dissemination of large data sets from ANR Research and Extension Centers for researchers, managers and the public via Web-access (REC RAC, REC Web, Cal-EON)
Create a virtual GIS and Informatics service center to provide for project level work that has Division-wide application (GIS Service Center)
For more information, please see our developing website

Barbara Allen-Diaz
Vice President, Agriculture and Natural Resources