Postdoctoral Scholar - UC Davis School of Education

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Davis, CA
United States

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Job Description:

Through an in depth case study approach (using observations, interviews, and surveys), the main objectives of the project are to:

  • increase our understanding of the ways in which community and citizen science (CCS) and other forms of PPSR can foster science learning, environmental stewardship, and civic engagement among children and youth; and
  • provide both educators and citizen science/PPSR practitioners with a rationale and set of strategies and practices to expand and deepen youth participation in PPSR programs.

There are 3 domains that this project is exploring in relation to youth participation in community and citizen science: 

  1. program structure and strategy
  2. activities and practices, and                    
  3. learning outcomes and areas.  Within these, we are interested in science learning, environmental stewardship, and civic engagement and the intersection between the three.

The overarching research question is: What are the impacts for youth in relation to science learning/identity, environmental stewardship, and civic engagement through participation in CCS and other forms of PPSR, and what program structures and activities facilitate this learning (in both formal and informal educational settings)? Some additional questions addressed in this project are:

  • What are the underlying principles for CCS/PPSR programs to foster all three outcomes (science learning/identity, environmental stewardship, and civic engagement)
  • What are the opportunities and barriers for providing effective (in terms of positive changes in science learning, environmental stewardship, and civic engagement) youth opportunities in CCS/PPSR programs?

The project will result in the development of a new youth CCS/PPSR framework, several scholarly papers, research summaries for a variety of audiences, a web-based practitioner toolkit of strategies and practices, a typology of programs/resource list, and a convening of scholars and practitioners.

The postdoctoral researcher will coordinate the empirical research on CCS/PPSR program case studies, assist the PI in overseeing data analysis, the literature reviews and research summaries, and annotated program resource list/typology of CCS/PPSR projects, and in coordinating with a facilitator to plan a researcher/practitioner convening.  This will primarily involve the supervision of the Graduate Student Researchers (GSRs) in planning and implementation of data collection and analysis for all facets of the project and overall project management.  The postdoc will also be responsible for drafting at least two of the peer‐reviewed journal publications and overseeing the development of the Youth CCS/PPSR framework and toolkit.  Mentoring for all these aspects will be provided by the PI, Advisory Board, and related faculty at U.C. Davis and beyond. The 3 ½ year project began in 2014 and is ending its second year.

The postdoc position for this project ends June 30, 2017, but similar position may continue contingent on future funding, contracted on a yearly basis.

This is an immediate opening with a preferred start date in March 2016, remote work initially can be negotiated.

Required Qualifications, Knowledge & Skills:

  • Ph.D. in education or environmental studies with a preferred focus on science education, environmental education, learning sciences, youth development, or related field
  • Experience working with youth (ages 5-18) (in classroom or out-of-school contexts)
  • Experience with qualitative research methods including survey design, implementation, and analysis, and interview and focus group data collection and analysis
  • Experience with data management
  • Ability to write independently and collaboratively on deadline and documented evidence of scholarly publications
  • Strong organizational skills and preferably some project management experience
  • Preferred - Experience with citizen science and/or other forms of PPSR/CCS projects or programs
  • Preferred - Knowledge of equity/social justice theory and issues in education (formal or informal settings)
  • Preferred - Experience with Nvivo or other qualitative data analysis software

For additional information, contact:

Dr. Heidi Ballard, Associate Professor, School of Education, UC Davis,, 530-754-6255


How to Apply:

To apply, send a CV and letter of interest via email to Ms. Kendra Iwamura,

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Contact Name:

Dr. Heidi Ballard

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