Soil Science (Urban Soil and Biogeochemistry), Assistant Professor (520821)

  • California State Polytechnic University Pomona
  • Pomona, California
  • Oct 29, 2022
Full Time Education and Training Public Health Sciences and Laboratory

Job Description


Tenure Track Faculty Position: Urban Soil & Biogeochemistry

Department of Plant Science

Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture

Salary Range: $79,000-$81,500 Annual

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona invites applications for a tenure track faculty position at the rank of Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant Science to begin August 2023. We seek a scholar and teacher who will explore soil biogeochemical processes in urban ecosystems.

Cal Poly Pomona is one of three polytechnic universities in the 23-campus California State University system and among 12 such institutions nationwide. Since its founding in 1938, Cal Poly Pomona students have participated in an integrative experiential learning education that is inclusive, relevant, and values diverse perspectives and experiences. With a variety of degree programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, engineering, and professional disciplines, the university is well known for its learn-by-doing approach and Teacher Scholar Model .

The university is noted for its scenic and historic 1,400-acre campus, which was once the winter ranch of cereal magnate W.K. Kellogg. We acknowledge that Cal Poly Pomona resides on the territorial and homelands of the Tongva and Tataavium people who are the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar. The university’s nearly 30,000 students are taught and mentored by the campus’s more than 1,400 faculty as part of 54 Baccalaureate and 29 Master’s degree programs, 11 credential and certificate programs, and a doctorate in educational leadership.

Highly regarded among its peer institutions, Cal Poly Pomona is No. 3 in the U.S. News and World Report rankings of top public regional universities in the west and was named the No. 28 best value college in the nation by Money Magazine. Cal Poly Pomona, a Hispanic-Serving Institution and an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution, stands as a national leader in promoting social mobility , and was placed among the 25 top institutions in the country in awarding bachelor’s degrees to minoritized students by Diverse Issues in Higher Education .

The Cal Poly Pomona campus is located less than 30 miles east of downtown Los Angeles at the intersection of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. It is within an hour’s drive of beaches, mountains and deserts. For additional information about the university, please visit , and for more about faculty life, please see YourLife@CPP .

Student Population. California residents comprise the majority (96%) of applicants to undergraduate programs at Cal Poly Pomona - nearly half (49%) of new students were transfers in Fall 2020. 58% of Cal Poly Pomona students are first generation, 70% receive financial aid, and 44% qualify as Pell-eligible. The university enrolls a diverse student body that identifies as 49% Latinx, 21% Asian, 15% White, 3% Black, 5% International, 3% two or more races, 3% unknown, and less than 1% Native Hawaiian or Native Pacific Islander and less than 1% Native American Indigenous. 39% of the student body were STEM majors with the top enrolled programs including psychology, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, biology and computer science.

Inclusive Excellence Criteria. We aspire to be the model inclusive polytechnic university in the nation. We have a strong commitment to inclusive excellence and to educational experiences that leverage the diverse perspectives and experiences needed to succeed and thrive in a diverse society.

Tenure track faculty hires will demonstrate a commitment and record of contributions through their teaching, scholarship, or service to these inclusive excellence criteria (a minimum of two must be addressed in the Student Success Statement):

1. Integrates the values of equity and inclusivity into their teaching, scholarship and/or service contributions with diverse student populations;

2. Incorporates the contributions and struggles of historic ethnic minority groups and communities into their teaching, scholarly work, and/or service contributions;

3. Adopts teaching strategies that support the learning and success of students from diverse student populations;

4. Mentors and engages diverse student populations in discovery, scholarship, and creative activities;

5. Engages students in problem-based projects and learning that address the needs of diverse communities;

6. Possesses knowledge of challenges and barriers for underrepresented students and faculty within the discipline;

7. Mentors and assists diverse student populations interested in pursuing graduate education;

8. Engages in community-responsive action research or service with diverse student populations and communities;

9. Has experience in or demonstrates a commitment to adopting experiential learning activities and pedagogy with diverse student populations and communities; and

10. Has expertise in or demonstrated commitment to teaching, scholarship and/or service that contributes to access, diversity, and equal opportunity in higher education.

College of Agriculture: The Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture offers a variety of applied science programs in Agricultural Science, Animal Health Science, Animal Science, Food Science & Technology, Nutrition Science and Dietetics, and Plant Science, as well as management and technology programs in Agribusiness & Food Industry Management and Apparel Merchandising & Management. We are the legacy College of Cal Poly Pomona and a foundational aspect of the university’s identity and heritage. Located in Los Angeles County, the most populated county in the nation with over 10 million people, and close to the second largest U.S. city (Los Angeles), we are committed to the development and support of urban agriculture and of sustainable food, agriculture, and related systems in California. Our educational programs prepare our students for exciting careers in the food, agriculture, nutritional health, animal health, and apparel sectors as well as opportunities in federal and state agencies. We are the primary provider of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in these disciplines in Southern California. Our orchards, greenhouses, vineyards, 150-acre urban farm with organic certified acreage, animal units and laboratories, veterinary clinic, food science laboratories, experimental kitchens, and digital apparel design, production, and retail laboratories, provide hands on experiences for our students under Cal Poly Pomona’s “learn by doing” philosophy. Our students engage with the campus and local community, gaining practical experiences working with faculty and staff in our AGRIscapes Center, the Discovery Farm, and the Farm Store, and with the extended community through industry internships, volunteer activities, and other interactions. Our faculty are engaged teacher-scholars with a strong commitment to student success, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Department of Plant Science: The Plant Science Department is a close-knit, experiential learning focused community where students get to know their professors well. We offer one major, Plant Science (B.S.), with the opportunity for students to minor in Agronomy, Horticulture, Pest and Disease Management, Soil Science, Urban and Community Agriculture, or Water Resources and Irrigation Design. We also have a Master’s of Science in Agriculture with an emphasis in Plant Science . The Plant Science curriculum focuses on environmental sustainability, responsible use of water, land, and other natural resources, and incorporates economic profitability components required to keep farms and plant science businesses thriving. We have also incorporated social sustainability components in our curriculum through a required class in ethics, and another in sustainability science. Graduates enter a wide array of careers in the horticultural, landscape, agronomic, specialty crop fruit and vegetable industries, golf course and sports turfgrass management, government, research and development, consulting, and postbaccalaureate education.

The department is home to AGRIscapes Center with over 46,000 square feet of greenhouse space supporting research and student activities in nursery production, hydroponics, specialty crops, and controlled environment agriculture. Department facilities and resources include Spadra Educational Farm, located one-half mile from campus with 150 acres of farmland, including a 10-acre block used for certified organic production, a citrus grove, areas for field agriculture, vegetable production, and field and forage crops. Additional cropping is interspersed on campus, including three vineyards, a historical citrus block, a large coffee varietal trial, avocados, and numerous subtropical horticultural plantings.

As a department we affirm that faculty scholarship, teaching, and professional development will have the greatest impacts on student success and faculty well-being when department members from all backgrounds commit to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and belonging ( ).

Position description: The Plant Science Department is seeking a tenure-track faculty member (Assistant Professor) with demonstrated strength in Soil Science, especially related to Urban Biogeochemistry. We are particularly interested in candidates who can address topics such as urban soil carbon storage, nutrient recycling and losses in urban ecosystems, urban soil contaminants (bioavailability and transfer) and remediation, managing urban soils for food production, soils and waste management in urban areas, and/or enhancing awareness about the importance of urban soils.

The faculty member will teach undergraduate soil science courses, mentor undergraduate and master’s students on research projects and nationally competitive teams and develop high-impact teaching practices to develop an inclusive and highly skilled workforce of Cal Poly Pomona graduates. Ideally, the new faculty member will strengthen articulation of our soil science curriculum with state and federal government (U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation District), universities, and private sector pathways to agricultural and environmental soil science careers. This will involve adapting content of existing courses and developing new courses over time.

The person hired is expected to collaborate with peers in support of the Department’s Urban and Community Agriculture Minor Program with enrollment from all Cal Poly Pomona majors and will have the opportunity to provide leadership to the Huntley College of Agriculture’s urban agriculture research, teaching, and community-engagement initiatives. Occasional graduate courses may include one or more of the following areas: graduate seminar in advanced soil science, introduction to graduate research, research design and data analysis, and/or research proposal development.

We encourage applications from candidates with an active research program as well as a sincere commitment to excellence in undergraduate teaching. The position also requires department, college, and university service from serving on and leading committees to community engagement through curricular (e.g., service-learning courses) and co-curricular activities.

Minimum requirements include:
  • PhD in Soil Science or a related field, or an EdD or other appropriate terminal degree, from an accredited university (Degree must be conferred by the start date of the position.)
  • A commitment and a record of contributions to student success through applicant’s teaching, scholarship, or service. This will be described in the Student Success Statement, which must address at least two of the inclusive excellence criteria listed above.

Preferred/Desired Qualifications:
  • Demonstrated teaching experience and commitment to excellence in teaching.
  • Interest and demonstrated ability to take the lead in developing curriculum for and teaching Soil Chemistry (currently listed as PLT 4310/L).
  • Interest and demonstrated ability to take the lead in adapting and teaching existing Soil Science classes (for example: PLT 2310/L - Basic Soil Science (and Lab), PLT 3320/L - Soil Fertility and Fertilizers (and Lab) and developing new classes over time
    Full list of Plant Science classes (scroll down to Courses):
  • Interest and demonstrated ability to revitalize our soil analysis laboratory on campus to better train our students for careers in soil science.
  • Interest and demonstrated ability to supervise undergraduate and/or Master’s student research
  • Familiarity with funding opportunities related to the field (e.g., U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture Urban, Indoor, and Emerging Agriculture; California Department of Food and Agriculture Healthy Soils; National Science Foundation Critical Zone, etc.)
  • Interest and demonstrated ability to engage and collaborate with community organizations, non-profit corporations, and government agencies on urban soil projects (e.g., community-based research, etc.)
  • Record of successful proposal development and/or donor engagement resulting in external funding to support research or creative activities or program development.

Conditions of Employment:

The person offered this position is required to pass a background check.

The CSU requires faculty, staff, and students who are accessing campus facilities to be immunized against COVID-19 or declare a medical or religious exemption from doing so. Any candidates advanced in a currently open search process should be prepared to comply with this requirement. The systemwide policy can be found at . Questions regarding the policy may be sent to

Application Process:

A completed application will consist of
  • Cover letter in which you describe your interest in the position, relevant experience, and how you meet the minimum and preferred qualifications;
  • A Student Success Statement (up to 2 pages, single-spaced) about your teaching or other experiences, successes, and challenges in working with a diverse student population. Please address at least two of the inclusive excellence criteria listed above;
  • Curriculum vitae;
  • Statement of Teaching Philosophy (up to 2 pages, single spaced);
  • Statement of Research, Scholarly, and/or Creative Work (up to 2 pages, single-spaced) that summarizes your current work and the future directions you forsee in your career.
  • A separate document that lists the names and contact information for five individuals that can serve as references;
  • Unofficial transcripts (undergraduate and graduate, official transcripts will be required of finalists).

Finalists for the position will:
  • Be required to provide official transcripts for highest degree before the on-campus interview
  • Three letters of reference
  • Finalists being interviewed are expected to give a teaching demonstration that showcases your teaching methods and covers your career experience, research, and goals for the position. This talk will be given to a diverse audience of faculty, staff, and students.

The position is open until filled. First consideration will be given to completed applications received no later than January 2 nd , 2023.

Please direct inquiries to

Applications accepted only via PageUp - online application portal - for University hires.

Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer. The university seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce as a reflection of our commitment to serve the people of California, to maintain the excellence of the university, and to offer our students richly varied disciplines, perspectives, and ways of knowing. Cal Poly Pomona subscribes to all state and federal regulations and prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity/gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, age, disability, genetic information, medical condition, and covered veteran status. The university hires only individuals lawfully authorized to work in the United States. As required by the Clery Disclosure Act, the university prepares a public annual security report.
Closing Date/Time: Open until filled

Job Address

Pomona, California 91768 United States View Map