Job Description

Payroll Title:
Hiring Pay Scale
$80,000 - $95,000 / Year
Appointment Type:
Appointment Percent:
Total Openings:
Work Schedule:
Variable, 8 hrs/day

#122208 Field Research Engineer

Extended Deadline: Thu 6/8/2023

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.

For the safety and well-being of the entire university community, the University of California requires, with few exceptions, that all students, faculty and staff be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus and influenza before they will be allowed on campus or in a facility or office. For more information visit: Flu Vaccine Mandate / COVID Vaccine Policy

UCSD Layoff from Career Appointment: Apply by 3/24/23 for consideration with preference for rehire. All layoff applicants should contact their Employment Advisor.

Special Selection Applicants: Apply by 4/4/23. Eligible Special Selection clients should contact their Disability Counselor for assistance.

Job posting will remain open until a suitable candidate has been identified.



The Field Research Engineer uses professional engineering concepts to perform moderately complex engineering assignments in the field of hydrometeorological and hydroclimatological observational research. Under general supervision, assists with equipment design, preparation, deployment, maintenance, and enhancement of a wide variety of hydrometeorological and hydroclimatological stations throughout the west.

Works on assignments of moderate scope where analysis of situations or data requires a review of a variety of factors. Independently supports and provides guidance to junior researchers, interns, and graduate students to prepare and test in the lab, and then deploy and maintain field equipment in a variety of environments. Supports long-term research projects that rely on hydrometeorological monitoring and sampling as well as keeping current with the latest technologies and research advances. Develop methods to quality control the data and automate these processes.

The Field Research Engineer needs to be highly motivated and flexible, with the ability to manage complex work assignments and assume additional responsibilities as conditions warrant.Conducts research focusing on effective monitoring, process-level understanding, and prediction of extreme events across the western U.S. Presents results from data analyses at scientific and stakeholder meetings and conferences. Represents the field team in designing and implementing observational research studies coordinated with the Center’s senior researchers, stakeholders and partners.


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 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 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. Efforts by CW3E include scientific research, technology development, numerical model development and testing, and development/deployment of smart tools that aid decision makers affected by extreme weather, water and climate events. A key activity of the CW3E Center will be to develop methods and systems to aid future reservoir operations for flood control, water supply and ecosystems.

To foster the best possible working and learning environment, CW3E strives to maintain a climate of fairness, cooperation, and professionalism. To do so, CW3E practices the UC San Diego principles of community.

Must be willing to perform fieldwork in variable terrain using rugged 4WD vehicles, ships, small boats, helicopters, and small planes.


  • Bachelor's degree in related area and / or equivalent experience / training. Master's degree preferred.

  • Proven experience in planning and performing laboratory work and fieldwork necessary to meet project objectives in a safe manner including when traveling with hazardous materials, in adverse conditions such as travel within mountain regions at high altitudes, travel to wet and dry regions, travel in extreme weather including extreme heat, extreme cold and extreme wet, travel in vulnerable areas during wildfire season, and travel to remote mountain areas in all seasons including winter travel by tracked vehicles, skis, and snowshoes.

  • Working knowledge of engineering principles and methods in order to independently perform professional engineering design work of limited scope and complexity. Demonstrated knowledge and experience in materials selection, fabrication techniques, procurement procedures, assembly techniques, testing, troubleshooting, and calibration methods used in hydrometeorological instrument development and production. Skill in designing new sensors and complex analog and digital electronic circuitry.

  • Working knowledge necessary to begin independent application of principles, practices and procedures in the completion of assignments. Knowledge of hydrological measurement principles for streamflow, soil moisture, and other parameters. Demonstrated ability to develop new methods for scientific investigation and to translate data information requirements to hardware capable of collecting such information.

  • Organizational abilities and decision-making to prioritize work assignments. Knowledge and experience in project management to estimate, track and report cost of equipment and personnel, and ensure completion of work by deadlines with adherence to quality standards. Demonstrated experience to provide guidance in an environment of changing priorities and deadlines in the laboratory and in the field.

  • Effective written and verbal communication skills. Proven ability to convey complex information in a clear and concise manner. Proficient writing skills, especially for proposal and specialized technical report publication.

  • Ability to work in a collaborative manner, to assist in identifying any challenges or barriers.

  • Proven ability to work in ambiguous conditions and take relevant responsible action as required. Ability to exercise independent judgment in the field and in the lab.

  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills including thoughtfulness, diplomacy and flexibility with students, staff, faculty, collaborators, stakeholders, communities, and partners from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

  • Willingness and demonstrated ability to embrace and consistently uphold the principles of community for a collaborative work environment.

  • Demonstrated ability to use independent judgment and make responsible and safety-conscious decisions in the lab and in the field.

  • Proven ability to develop and maintain strategic relationships and partnerships with remote stakeholders and partners.

  • Demonstrated knowledge, experience, and understanding of computer systems used in engineering environments: Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, UNIX, and LINUX. Proven ability to program in a variety of languages for instrument design, instrument and sensor performance review, data quality checking, and data processing. Proven experience in mechanical and electronic CAD software necessary for hydrometeorological instrument development.


  • Job offer is contingent upon satisfactory clearance based on Background Check results.

  • Must be willing to go in the field for up to two months per year for periods of up to three weeks throughout the year.

  • Evenings and weekends may be required.

  • Must be willing to work with hazardous materials.

  • Must be able to work under adverse conditions and perform fieldwork in variable terrain.

  • Must be willing to perform fieldwork in variable terrain using rugged 4WD vehicles, ships, small boats, helicopters, and small planes.

  • Must be able to use ladders, climb stairs, and be able to lift over 60 pounds.

Pay Transparency Act

Annual Full Pay Range: $59,700 - $124,300 (will be prorated if the appointment percentage is less than 100%)

Hourly Equivalent: $28.59 - $59.53

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).

Job offer is contingent on successful engagement in the UC COVID-19 Vaccination program (fully vaccinated with documented proof or approved exception/deferral).

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.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, gender identity or sexual orientation. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

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

Application Instructions

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