Job Description

Payroll Title:
Hiring Pay Scale
$100,000 - $115,000/ Annually
Appointment Type:
Appointment Percent:
Total Openings:
Work Schedule:
Days, 8 hrs/day, Mon-Fri

#128417 Field Operations Manager

Filing Deadline: Mon 6/17/2024

UC San Diego values equity, diversity, and inclusion. If you are interested in being part of our team, possess the needed licensure and certifications, and feel that you have most of the qualifications and/or transferable skills for a job opening, we strongly encourage you to apply.

UCSD Layoff from Career Appointment: Apply by 03/01/2024 for consideration with preference for rehire. All layoff applicants should contact their Employment Advisor.

Special Selection Applicants: Apply by 03/12/2024. Eligible Special Selection clients should contact their Disability Counselor for assistance.




The Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes (CW3E) is leading the development and implementation of new research and applications capabilities focused on extreme weather and climate events in the Western US. CW3E is developing and implementing weather and climate observations, numerical models, machine learning algorithms, and decision support tools focused on atmospheric and land-surface conditions related to extreme events and their impacts. CW3E is an interface between UCSD departments, other universities around the country and local, state, and federal agencies, in the operation, utilization and expansion of a new state- of-the-art weather observing network recently deployed in California. A key program of the Center is Forecast Informed Reservoir Operations (FIRO), with goals to develop, demonstrate, and implement tools, including enhanced monitoring, and science that enable more effective management of reservoirs. CW3E’s mission is to provide 21st century water cycle science, technology and outreach to support effective policies and practices that address the impacts of extreme weather and water events on the environment, people and the economy of Western North America. To learn more, refer to the center’s webpage at

CW3E aspires to promote the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion in every aspect of our work. The Center understands the intrinsic value of a diverse workforce and continually seeks to expand the representation of people from diverse backgrounds and identities in geosciences. CW3E aims to foster an environment where all of our members feel valued, supported and included. The Center strives to partner with and include the perspectives of historically underrepresented communities in our research, education, and outreach. More information can be found on our dedicated EDI website at


The CW3E Field Operations Manager manages all facets of CW3E's land-based observations effort, including program strategy, goals, and budgets, which are carried out on the US West Coast, throughout the nation, and may include international sites. Serves as primary resource for assigned programs / initiatives within area of responsibility. Independently oversees all aspects of the field program life cycle and contributes original ideas of major significance.

Organizes, manages, coordinates and reports on research as well as coordinating internal collaborations, external partnerships, communications and outreach of the program. Ensures projects are completed on time, within budget, and delivered with high quality. Develops detailed tasks and procurement plans, oversees and manages the day-to-day activities of the field team (researchers, engineers, and contract staff), and regularly interfaces and coordinates with team members to track progress, schedules, budgets, and deliverables. Reports progress on research using field observations to vested program sponsors; collaborates with AR Program Manager, FIRO Program Manager, and management team to ensure coordination of research, communication and internal reporting and administrative processes. Monitors and evaluates progress of grant awards. Develops methods for ensuring project plans have an articulated scope with measurable outcomes and benefits. Clearly identifies deliverables for the project. Communicates project and program progress to key constituents through written documentation, including comprehensive progress reports.

Interprets, educates and informs the PI and research team members about program policies and procedures required for the development and implementation of the project, e.g. safety and training requirements, and logistical and permitting requirements. Ensures that all policies and guidelines are adhered to. Ensures robust archiving, quality control and metadata of CW3E data collected in the field. Leads and co-authors scientific journal publications. Translates research findings into information that can be easily understood by both experts and non-experts and will be responsible for gathering all information for and writing comprehensive progress reports. The CW3E Field Operations Manger is responsible for supervising multiple field team members, including Engineers, Field Researchers, and Research Data Analysts.

The position requires involvement in the scientific, regulatory, administrative and budgetary goals of the program, excellent communication, project management skills, and strict adherence to timelines and milestones.


  • Academic background and experience in selected area of research. Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science, Geography, Environmental Engineering, or a related discipline, or a combination of education and work experience.

  • Experience in working within an academic or applied research environment, over a broad range that includes conceiving research problems and approaches, conducting research, managing research and communicating results

  • Extensive knowledge of scientific and engineering principles as applied to the design and development of innovative scientific instrumentation systems. Demonstrated ability to implement new methods for scientific investigation and to translate data information requirements to robust sensor systems capable of collecting such information.

  • Thorough knowledge of administrative, budgetary, human resources and financial principles and practices.

  • Solid fundraising experience.

  • Proven leadership and management experience and skills. Strong decision-making and ability to use independent judgement and to respond effectively to unexpected events or changes. Strong knowledge and expertise in the use of project management methodologies and tools.

  • Proven program planning and management of projects. Ability to anticipate project needs and propose alternative solutions. Proven ability to independently execute research projects through the independent planning, organizing, and performing of experiments and selecting of data for analysis.

  • Demonstrated ability to collect, record, and interpret experimental data. Must be able to read and summarize scientific articles pertaining to the prosecution of broad research problems related to the interests of CW3E and proceed without specific direction to organize and plan out all the techniques involved.

  • Proven ability to lead complex field campaigns with multiple funding and partnering agencies, including various different types of instrumentation, managing teams, working with landowners and regulatory agencies, ensuring safety of all participants and robust and reliable data collection.

  • Ability to consolidate and check accuracy of information from multiple team members to write comprehensive progress reports, develop presentations, write grant proposals, and develop other required documents as needed.

  • Demonstrated proficiency to speak and write about scientific research persuasively and creatively and to express complex or technical content in understandable terms. Experience in verbal communication and presentation to large and/ or diverse groups.

  • Strong oral and written communication skills. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills including thoughtfulness, diplomacy, and flexibility in order to work effectively with staff, research teams and key stakeholders. Demonstrated interpersonal, communication and follow-up skills to establish and maintain working relationships with colleagues, faculty, partners with an emphasis on collaboration, and problem solving.

  • Strong ability to think creatively and independently on concepts requiring advanced analytical skills. Demonstrated ability in independent thinking, innovative decision-making, consensus building among researchers that facilitates synergy in studying complex multi-disciplinary research and education.

  • Proven ability to earn the trust of staff, researchers and key stakeholders; mobilize and motivate teams; set direction and approach; resolve conflict; deliver tough messages with grace; execute with limited information and ambiguity. Ability to remove barriers and enable teams to complete their objectives.

  • Strong ability to work collaboratively with internal and external peers and managers. Demonstrated ability to coordinate and manage multi-disciplinary, multi-investigator field research projects.

  • Ability to navigate a highly matrixed organization effectively.

  • Demonstrated ability to handle multiple projects, deadlines, conflicts in an environment of shifting priorities and resource and staff constraints.

  • Skill in computer software applications including Microsoft Office Suite. Experience word processing and e-mail to produce reports, profiles, correspondence and spreadsheets to generate and track required data. Demonstrated aptitude for learning new computer programs and software and specialized scientific equipment and procedures. Knowledge of scientific computing systems including processors, storage and other relevant research infrastructure.


  • Must be willing and able to travel.

  • Job offer is contingent upon successful completion of a background check.

  • Occasional evenings and weekends may be required.

Pay Transparency Act

Annual Full Pay Range: $82,500 - $151,500 (will be prorated if the appointment percentage is less than 100%)

Hourly Equivalent: $39.51 - $72.56

Factors in determining the appropriate compensation for a role include experience, skills, knowledge, abilities, education, licensure and certifications, and other business and organizational needs. The Hiring Pay Scale referenced in the job posting is the budgeted salary or hourly range that the University reasonably expects to pay for this position. The Annual Full Pay Range may be broader than what the University anticipates to pay for this position, based on internal equity, budget, and collective bargaining agreements (when applicable).

If employed by the University of California, you will be required to comply with our Policy on Vaccination Programs, which may be amended or revised from time to time. Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.

To foster the best possible working and learning environment, UC San Diego strives to cultivate a rich and diverse environment, inclusive and supportive of all students, faculty, staff and visitors. For more information, please visit UC San Diego Principles of Community.

UC San Diego 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, age or protected veteran status.

For the University of California’s Affirmative Action Policy please visit:
For the University of California’s Anti-Discrimination Policy, please visit:

UC San Diego is a smoke and tobacco free environment. Please visit for more information.

Application Instructions

Please click on the link below to apply for this position. A new window will open and direct you to apply at our corporate careers page. We look forward to hearing from you!

Apply Online