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ABOLISHED 02/02/2017 PER PAY LETTER 17-11 - Research Agricultural Chemist (2035)

ABOLISHED 02/02/2017 PER PAY LETTER 17-11 - Research Agricultural Chemist

California State Personnel Board Specification

  • Schematic Code: TD40
  • Class Code: 2035
  • Established: 04/11/1989
  • Revised: --
  • Title Changed: --


Under general direction of the Branch Chief, Chemistry Laboratory Services, directs the statewide research and development program of the Agricultural Chemistry Laboratory in the development and/or improvement of testing methodologies.

Typical Tasks

Directs the research and development program in the creation of new or improved methods of testing for the presence and effects of agricultural chemicals and other products on agricultural products and animals and the environment that are used in the five laboratories located throughout the State; supervises and provides direction to chemists and other scientific staff assigned to conduct research studies; initiates contact with State, Federal, and other agencies and convinces them to actively pursue research and development to meet the department's goals; interprets research findings for use in policy development; directs the adaptation of new and innovative technologies and methodologies for use in the Agricultural Chemistry Laboratory; develops methods for automating and otherwise expediting chemical analyses; prepares research findings for publication in scientific literature or for presentation at professional or academic seminars, conferences, or meetings; performs other related work.


The term "research", as applied to this class, is characterized in part by the following attributes:


1. Application of the scientific method including definition of the nature and scope of the problem; development of hypotheses for study, design, and execution of experiments and investigations; analysis and interpretation of findings; and documentation and appropriate dissemination of results.


2. A requirement for the exercise of creativity and critical judgment in recognizing and selecting appropriate problems for study, in selecting or revising appropriate methods for study and analysis, and in interpreting results to achieve maximum understanding of and applicability to the problem.

Minimum Qualifications

Experience: Five years of journey-level professional chemistry research experience in the last seven years that included at least one year in the administration or supervision of a research and development program, with emphasis in analytical chemistry of pesticides or their environmental fate. and


Education: Possession of a Doctoral Degree in Chemistry or Agricultural Chemistry from an accredited college or university or equivalent degree approved by the California Superintendent of Public Instruction under the provisions of California Education Code Section 94310. (A minimum of three years of additional qualifying experience in the pesticide chemistry discipline may be substituted for the doctoral degree. Experience in California state service applied toward this requirement must have been in a class equivalent in responsibility to Associate Pesticide Review Scientist.)

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: Principles and practices of effective supervision and consultation; principles and procedures of chemistry research planning, design, methodology, and analysis; current scientific literature and research developments, trends, and projected future directions as applied to the effects of fertilizing materials, economic poisons, feeding stuffs, livestock remedies, animal products, and other chemical and agricultural materials on agricultural products and animals and the environment, and the methods, materials, and practices used in the manufacture, handling, marketing, and use of these materials; spray residues and other chemical contaminants and residues; statistical methodology and procedures and data processing techniques; physical, organic, and inorganic chemistry and biochemistry; methods of instrumental analysis and the inspection and sampling of agricultural products and chemicals; State and Federal law, rules, and regulations relating to agricultural chemicals and related products; methods used by government agencies to regulate the operation of a private industry; the department's Affirmative Action Program objectives; a supervisor's role in the Affirmative Action Program and the processes available to meet affirmative action objectives.


Ability to: Direct the statewide research and development program of the Agricultural Chemistry Laboratory; establish effective working relationships with management and scientific personnel of State, Federal, and other agencies and motivate them to pursue goals of the Agricultural Chemistry Laboratory; evaluate the adequacy of current testing methodology and direct the development of improved methodology as required; aggressively pursue research that will result in new, innovative methods of testing for agricultural chemicals and other products in agricultural crops and animals and the environment; train and supervise chemists and other scientific personnel; prepare scientific papers for publication; advise the Director and other management personnel on all agricultural chemical-related issues; serve as an effective expert witness; communicate effectively; analyze situations accurately and take effective action; effectively contribute to the department's affirmative action objectives.

Additional Desirable Qualifications

In appraising the relative qualifications of candidates, consideration will be given to those applicants possessing the expertise and type of pertinent training, experience and research accomplishments for the designated specialty over and above that required under "MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS".

  Updated: 8/2/2017
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