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Visualization Specialist

Position overview

Position title: Visualization Specialist (Assistant Specialist)
Salary range: Commensurate with qualifications and experience. The posted UCSC Salary Scales set the minimum pay determined by rank and step at appointment. See the scale titled, Represented Specialist Series Fiscal Year. “Off-scale salaries”, i.e., a salary that is higher than the published system-wide salary at the designated rank and step, are offered when necessary to meet competitive conditions. A reasonable estimate for this position is $60,000 to $66,000.
Percent time: Full-time (100%)
Anticipated start: September 18, 2023
Position duration: Initial appointment will be for two (2) years, with the possibility of reappointment. Should the hiring unit propose reappointment; a review to assess performance will be conducted. Reappointment is also contingent upon the availability of funding.

Application Window

Open date: July 27, 2023

Most recent review date: Monday, Aug 28, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.

Final date: Friday, Dec 1, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

The Center for Coastal Climate Resilience (CCCR) and the Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) invite applications for a Visualization Specialist who will work under the direction of Dr. Michael Beck. The successful applicant will integrate wave and flood risk models with video game engine software to produce cutting edge still and animated visualizations of current and future coastal risks and the role of nature-based solutions (NBS), such as reefs and wetlands, in reducing these risks. The specialist will leverage industry-standard game development and visual effects tools to develop new procedures for intaking, processing, and displaying a diverse range of file formats and numerical model outputs. They will work closely with our hydrodynamic modeling team to depict regional flooding with and without different climate adaptation solutions to emphasize the impact of flooding and the benefits of NBS on coastal infrastructure and communities. These site-specific models will be coupled with geospatial data to depict locally relevant impacts.

The specialist will work on solutions-focused research alongside interdisciplinary experts on projects funded by the UCSC Center for Coastal Climate Resilience, National Science Foundation, and Department of Defense. They will have ample opportunities to work on projects supported by and done in collaboration with researchers from other campuses and the private sector.
The position requires that the specialist collaborates and successfully works as part of a large team and responds to feedback from modelers, the director, and other members of the center.

The specialist is expected to demonstrate intellectual independence and critical thinking skills, as well as strong communication and interpersonal skills, and to contribute to the preparation of publications. They should also possess general familiarity with the 3D modeling and rendering pipeline and experience with scripting, animation, and visualization programs.

Applicants with expertise in any of the following areas are strongly encouraged to apply:

  • Experience developing automated tools in Unreal Engine and SideFX Houdini.
  • Proficiency with sourcing and processing geospatial data in QGIS/ArcGIS or a similar Geographic Information System (GIS).
  • Expertise in Python, MATLAB, or a similar high-level scripting language.
  • Expertise in technical art and procedural modeling.
  • Expertise with game engines

The hiring unit will not sponsor employment-eligible immigration statuses for this position.

The Coastal Resilience Lab:

Institute of Marine Sciences:


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)
  • MFA, MA, or MS (or equivalent foreign degree) in digital arts, game development, or visual effects, or a field relevant to the advertised position.
  • Experience developing automated tools, sourcing and processing geospatial data.
  • Knowledge of scripting language.

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter

  • Sample of Technical Art and Procedural Modeling (1 of 3) - Please provide a sample document demonstrating relevant expertise in technical art and procedural modeling.

  • Sample of Technical Art and Procedural Modeling (2 of 3) - Please provide a sample document demonstrating relevant expertise in technical art and procedural modeling.

  • Sample of Technical Art and Procedural Modeling (3 of 3) - Please provide a sample document demonstrating relevant expertise in technical art and procedural modeling.

  • List of Professional References - Please provide a list of professional references that includes names and contact information. Your list must include a minimum of three references and a maximum of four. The search committee will contact the references for those applicants who are under serious consideration.

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About UC Santa Cruz

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, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. UC Santa Cruz is committed to excellence through diversity and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees. Inquiries regarding the University’s equal employment opportunity policies may be directed to the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 or by phone at (831) 459-2686.

Under Federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally able to work in the United States as established by providing documents as specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Certain UCSC positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check (see The university sponsors employment-based visas for nonresidents who are offered academic appointments at UC Santa Cruz (see

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If you need accommodation due to a disability, please contact Disability Management Services at (831) 459-4602.

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The University of California offers a competitive benefits package and a number of programs to support employee work/life balance. For information about employee benefits please visit

As a University employee, you will be required to comply with all applicable University policies and/or collective bargaining agreements, as may be amended from time to time. Federal, state, or local government directives may impose additional requirements.

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Job location

Santa Cruz, California