Employment Opportunity at CWS - Junior Specialist. Posting Ends 5/11

CWS is hiring a new Junior Specialist in the Johnson lab, starting this summer. Closing date for applications is May 11th. The job will mainly be lab-based (fish dissection, otolith prepping, reading, and isotope analyses), but there will be opportunities for data analysis, contributing to publications, and occasional field work. The current position is for up to 1 year with the potential for extension.  Please share advertisement widely.  See advertisement here: https://recruit.ucdavis.edu/apply/JPF02128. 

CWS Fish Otolith Junior Specialist

The Primary responsibility of this position is to prepare fish otoliths (earstones). Using otolith isotope chemistry and growth increments to reconstruct age, growth, environmental histories and movements patterns. Candidate will be involved in multiple studies focusing on native fish migration, habitat use, survival and condition of the California Central Valley and freshwater delta. There may be occasional opportunities for fieldwork but the position is primarily working in a laboratory setting. Individual will be trained in all aspects of the position to take a prominent role in sample preparation including fish dissection, otolith mounting, grinding and polishing, increment analysis used to identify and measure the widths of daily growth rings, probe-based isotopic analyses using laser ablation multi-collector mass spectrometry. Data entry and QAQC measures. The candidate will be expected to independently review scientific literature on chemistry and composition of fish otoliths research to evaluate the methodology used in the laboratory, including discussing research performed with laboratory members, using strong interpersonal communication and decision making skills, working independently and as a part of a team. Participate in professional or technical societies or groups and other educational and research organizations to gain knowledge and net work in areas related studies. Participate in department and campus activities and committees as appropriate. May include helping draft annual reports, actively and significantly involved in publishable research activities such as reviewing journal articles, engaging in discussions on research to assist interpreting results and assisting researchers with preparation of manuscripts for peer-review journals


  • Bachelor degree in ecology, fisheries, hydrology, biology or related fields. Students graduating soon may apply but must have a Bachelor's degree at the start of the appointment.
  • Experience working in a laboratory and/or field setting.
  • Analytical skills to identify and measure growth rings.
  • Experience using Microsoft Excel, Access, and similar computer software.
  • Experience with data entry, paying close attentions to details.
  • Organizational and time management skills.
  • Ability to us microscopes and forceps.


  • Experience in otolith microstructural (aging and growth).
  • Experience in chemical analyses in wet chemistry, geochemistry and/or mass spectrometry.
  • Experience in ArcGIS, Image J, Image Pro and R.