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Open Positions at the Berkeley Seismological Lab

Systems Administrator | Applications Programmer | BSL Program Coordinator

BSL Program Coordinator

The UC Berkeley Seismological Laboratory operates a seismic and geophysical network in northern California for research and training of students and to provide earthquake information to governmental organizations and the public. The BSL collaborates with the USGS Menlo Park, to jointly operate the northern California component of the USGS Advanced National Seismic System to provide public earthquake information, earthquake early warning, and long-term earthquake monitoring activities.


Manages, plans and administers a range of administrative operations in the Berkeley Seismology Lab (BSL) -- a small to medium non-academic department or program:

  • Administrative operations include budgetary financial management, human resources, payroll management with a focus on contracts and grants and includes responsibilities to liaison with Berkeley Regional Services (BRS) and BSL Administrative team.
  • Oversight of BSL business processes in regards to BluCard reconciliation, FedEx account, procurement in BearBuy, reimbursement processes, financial journal preparation and expense log updates for utility and telemetry costs and other matters upon request.
  • Provides customer service to 3+ BSL researchers related to salary funding, payroll re-distributions, funding changes per their request and providing Campus resource information as needed.
  • Coordinates and participates in a variety of human resources activities including employment, training, classification and ensuring the completion of forms and documents related to HR and Payroll for the unit.
  • Many funds overlap such that special care must be exercised to ensure that appropriate effort and resources are allocated to each individual fund according to the terms of the agreements.
  • Conceives and generates new financial resource reports, strategic plans and models; analyzes and forecasts staff/faculty salary budgets based on complex funding streams from contracts, grants, gifts, and endowments with differing project timelines.
  • Tracks percentage of time spent by approximately 24 faculty, staff, and students working on multiple projects to ensure that all projects receive appropriate levels of attention and that all positions are fully funded.

Develops and prepares budgets and financial reports for funding of multiple awards for seismic field station operation, data collection, manipulation and dissemination, which are complex, including:

  • Financial Grant Management:
    • Formulates moderate to complex annual operating budgets, proposal budgets, expenditure projections, analysis of financial data, and forecasting.
    • Understands past performance and determine present and future performance and/or resource allocations.
    • Develops financial plans, budget models, long-term projections and recommendations; monitors expenditures to ensure financial coverage for rapidly changing resource needs; designs and prepares ad hoc summary reports and background materials.
    • Signs off on monthly financial reviews, according to SAS-115
    • Utilizes reports to anticipate and resolve operational, fiscal, or other discrepancies.
    • In conjunction with BSL Administrative Manager, develops research group fiscal operating policies and procedures.
    • Helps implement and maintain policy and procedural updates.
    • Utilizes campus on-line financial systems for financial reporting.
    • Reviews and reconciles monthly financial reports.
    • Advises research groups on optimal fund usage as well as on expenditure policy restrictions.
    • Establishes and maintains spreadsheet programs for tracking expenditure transactions.
  • Funds Administration:
    • Facilitates pre-proposal preparation process for numerous sponsors.
    • Prepares budgets for research proposals and coordinates submission with SPO.
    • Interprets and analyzes agency proposal format, content, budgetary components and funding guidelines.
    • Conceives of and maintains department chart of accounts or other data management tools, and related business processes.
    • Serves as liaison between Principal Investigator(s), SPO, and BRS RAs and other agencies.
    • On behalf of the PI, coordinates, projects and reviews spending on all accounts.
    • Uses CalAnswers to track expenses, including purchases and payroll records
    • Works with BRS Research Administrators (RA) and BSL Administrative Staff on reallocation of funds as necessary.
    • Keeps abreast of changes to University policies, procedures and funding agencies procedures and deadlines.
  • Reporting:
    • Assists in the design and drafting of reports and correspondence to organizational constituents.
    • Assists Operations Manager and BSL Director to compile and prepare non-technical reports, research summaries, annual and final reports for submission to funding agencies to support continued renewal of grants.
    • Coordinates and authors non-technical sections of yearly and final reports of grants and contract proposals.
    • Coordinates monthly budgetary analysis, expenditure reconciliation, and financial transfers and close-outs of contracts and grants.
    • Designs and implements reconciliation reports for internal reporting.
    • Creates and maintains a timeline for preparation of interim and final technical reports to funding agencies.
    • Special projects and tasks as requested.
    • May supervise a small staff of support employees and/or students.
    • Provides training as needed.
    • Serves on committees, representing department/unit.
    • Attends EPS/BSL Finance Team meetings. Required Qualifications
    • Thorough knowledge or ability to learn of University rules and regulations, processes, protocols and procedures for budget, account and fund management, personnel management.
    • Thorough knowledge of financial analysis and reporting techniques, human resources policies and procedures for staff and academic employees.
    • Knowledge of a variety of administrative operations activities such, basic fundraising processes, risk management planning, , accounting and payroll, and contracts and grants regulations and guidelines.
    • Knowledge of or ability to learn of common University-specific computer application programs.
    • Interpersonal communication skills to include verbal and written, active listening, critical thinking, persuasiveness, advising and counseling skills.
    • Strong skills in short and long term planning, analysis and problem-solving and customer service.
    • Demonstrated commitment to high-quality customer service with an emphasis on support for the Director, the Operations Manager, technical staff, and the university administration.
    • Proficiency in the use of spreadsheet and database software in financial analysis, fiscal management, and financial reporting; comfortable with both Mac and PC applications.
    • Excellent attention to detail, ability to produce work with a high degree of accuracy.
    • Ability to identify, research, and resolve problems; set priorities and meet deadlines; anticipate and meet needs; follow through on assignments with minimal direction.
    • Maintain knowledge in applicable federal (particularly OMB Circulars A-21 and A-110), state, local, sponsor and institutional regulations, policies, and guidelines in support of research and educational activities in a university environment.
    • Experience with contract and grant proposal preparation and submission of both paper and electronic applications.
    • Understanding of cost accounting standards including; allowability, allocability, and reasonableness; ability to research regulations as necessary.
    • Current working knowledge of applicable compliance regulations in all areas of research administration including those related to financial conflict of interest.
    • Accounting and budgeting skills to manage complex financial accounts and funds, as well as generally accepted accounting, fiscal, and reporting principles.
    • Ability to prepare customized budgets, perform complex financial analysis, and design specialized reporting tools.
    • Ability to present complex finance related information in a clear and concise manner, both in writing and verbally.
    • Willingness to develop professional skills and knowledge to meet challenges and changes in job processes/requirements.
    • Proficiency in the Microsoft Office Suite with particular emphasis on Excel skills.


Bachelor's degree in related area and/or equivalent experience/training

Preferred Qualifications

Expertise in UCB systems including CalAnswers, COEUS, BFS, BearBuy, Travel & Entertainment, UCPath or similar systems at other institutions.

For a complete description of the position and requirements, and to apply, please see the UC Berkeley jobs page (job ID number is #26673).

Systems Administrator

The UC Berkeley Seismological Laboratory operates a seismic and geophysical network in northern California. In collaboration with the USGS Menlo Park seismic network, the BSL jointly operates the northern California component of the USGS Advanced National Seismic System to provide public earthquake information, earthquake early warning, and long-term earthquake monitoring operations. This position provides system administration and IT support for these projects.


  • Operate, monitor, troubleshoot, and maintain computer systems for the production and distribution of rapid automatic earthquake products in an on-call, 24/7 operational environment.
  • Install, update, and patch operating systems, libraries, and auxiliary applications in a Linux environment.
  • Implement and maintain security measures according to campus and project practices and guidelines.
  • Develop and maintain documentation on procedures related to the supported systems, software, and operations.
  • Install, update, and operate applications, such as ShakeAlert and AQMS software, including supporting libraries, utilities, and configurations.
  • Manage code builds, run-time configurations, and metadata in a repository using modern code management tools.
  • Support the testing and certification environments for projects, such as ShakeAlert and AQMS.
  • Support developers and the development environments for projects, such as ShakeAlert and AQMS.
  • Collaborate with internal and external academic, government, and industrial partners in design, integration, and operation of earthquake early warning systems.
  • Perform all other duties as assigned, including varied technical assignments requiring the use of standard scientific principles and technique.

Required Qualifications

  • Extensive knowledge of Linux system operations, configuration, and management.
  • Knowledge of shell and other scripting languages (ex. Bash/Python/Perl).
  • Hands-on experience maintaining server-class hardware and external RAID arrays.
  • Knowledge of IP networking.
  • Knowledge of content management systems.
  • Knowledge of code management systems.
  • Work independently on related assignments and projects with only limited supervision, typically receiving only general instructions.
  • Exercise discretion and independent judgment to compare and evaluate various methods, approaches, and resources and decide which will best accomplish each aspect of such assignments and projects.
  • Responsible for completing significant project or assignment milestones.
  • High level of initiative.
  • Proactive, self-starter with excellent interpersonal and presentation skills, and must be able to work with a team that includes remote members.
  • Excellent attention to fine details, writing, and communication skills.


  • Bachelor's degree in physical sciences and/or computer science and/or equivalent experience/training.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with RedHat
  • Knowledge of iptables, IPsec VPNs, multicasting, and vlans
  • Experience with Puppet
  • Experience with Git

For a complete description of the position and requirements, and to apply, please see the UC Berkeley jobs page (job ID number is #26646).

Applications Programmer

The Berkeley Seismological Laboratory (BSL) operates and maintains several networks of traditional geophysical instruments in Northern and Central California. The data collected is archived for research purposes as well as analyzed in real-time, one purpose of which is Earthquake Early Warning, which is currently being developed by the BSL along with other university partners and the USGS. One novel approach to Earthquake Early Warning is to use cell phones and other mobile devices to detect earthquakes, which is what the BSL has achieved with the MyShake project.

In the near future, the MyShake project will not only be detecting earthquakes but will also be providing Earthquake Early Warning alerts. This position exists for the development and support of back-end and mobile application software, such as MyShake, as well as for the software development needs of other BSL projects.


  • Designs, develops, modifies, debugs and evaluates code as needed for back-end services and mobile applications, such as MyShake, as well as for other BSL projects.
  • Monitors and troubleshoots the overall health of back-end services and processes, performing any daily operational procedures that are not automated.
  • Interacts with senior level internal personnel and meets with other team members, including the training and assisting of users in the use of custom-built operational and research tools.
  • Develops and executes performance/integration testing and coordinated deployment of back-end services, as well as tiered app releases.
  • Gathers, analyzes, prepares documentation.
  • Provides analysis for the design and use of databases within the project, recommends and implements changes in development, maintenance and system standards, and understands industry practices and department policies and procedures relating to work assignments.
  • Other tasks as assigned.

Required Qualifications

  • Requires thorough knowledge of applications programming, including back-end services and mobile apps.
  • Must have advanced skills in Scala/Java and Python; other languages (Obj C) and scripting skills are desirable.
  • Must have advanced skills in object oriented concepts, RESTful interfaces, and cloud-based computing (AWS).
  • Must have proficient knowledge of SQL; knowledge of Redis and MongoDB is desirable.
  • Must have some knowledge of Google Firebase, esp. Cloud Messaging, Realtime Database, and Functions.
  • Some knowledge of Apache Kafka desired.
  • Must have knowledge relating to the design and development of applications programs.
  • Requires knowledge of other related areas of IT.
  • Knowledge of department processes and procedures.
  • Requires advanced skills associated with programming design, modification, testing, implementation, configuration, monitoring, and troubleshooting.
  • Requires interpersonal skills in order to work with both technical and non-technical personnel at various levels in the organization.
  • Has skills needed to develop conversion and system implementation plans.
  • Must be able to communicate technical information in a clear and concise manner.
  • Requires ability to understand business needs and how business systems can support those needs.
  • Has ability to interface with management on a regular basis.
  • Must be self motivated, work independently or as part of a team, able to learn quickly, meet deadlines and demonstrate problem solving skills.
  • Must have advanced skills in web applications, web programming language and object oriented programming concepts.


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

Preferred Qualifications

  • Degree in physical sciences and/or computer science preferred.

For a complete description of the position and requirements, and to apply, please see the UC Berkeley jobs page (job ID number is #26588).