Senior Field Ecologist-Limnology

  • NEON
  • Fresno, CA, United States
  • Jan 12, 2018
Full time Biology - Ecology Environmental Science - Engineering Fisheries - Marine Science - Aquatic Biology

Job Description

JOB SUMMARY

Field Ecologists reports to the Field Operations Manager.

  • Senior Field Ecologist (Technician Specialist C6049B) - The Senior Field Ecologist is the shift lead performing and supervising seasonal and periodic sampling activities and sample processing, and will have primary responsibility for coordinating sampling and laboratory activities at terrestrial sampling sites. The Senior Field Ecologist will have additional roles and responsibilities assisting the Field Operations Manager with management of the Domain Support Facility, hiring and training seasonal field staff, and acting as manager in the absence of the Field Operations Manager.

 

LOCATION

The NEON Project's Domain 17-CA primary work location is in Fresno, CA. This position supports sites in the Pacific Southwest Domain, which covers most of CA. Pacific Southwest sites are located at the San Joaquin Experimental Range and on the High Sierra Ranger District of the Sierra National Forest near Fresno, CA. These sites are distributed along an elevation gradient from the Sierra foothills to about 9000’ in the Sierras. Vegetation ranges from oak savannah and scrub at the lower elevations, coniferous forest (including giant Sequoias) and granite domes in the mid to upper elevations, and alpine vegetation and barren peaks at the highest elevations. The office is located less than 3 hours from Yosemite and Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks, the Pacific Coast, and the San Francisco area. 

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Limnology emphasis:

  • Monitor and sample aquatic sites for water quality, biological indicators, physical properties of site (e.g. gaging streams, geomorphic mapping, etc.), and leading field crews to perform the aforementioned items.
  • Test, troubleshoot and operate instruments, calibration equipment and test fixtures.
  • Inspect and maintain aquatic sensors, gear and equipment.
  • Assist the NEON Project Systems Engineering Product Team with instrument installation and testing (approximately the first 6 months).
  • Perform aquatic vegetation diversity and primary productivity measurements.
  • Sample for aquatic invertebrate and fish diversity and abundance.

 

General duties include:

  • Report activities, completed work, and sampling problems according to Field Operations protocols.
  • Inspect, maintain and operate field, safety and laboratory equipment.
  • Operate laboratory equipment (e.g. Wiley Mill, drying oven, analytical balance, centrifugal mill, pH meter, microscope, and muffle furnace).
  • Assist the Field Operations Manager with recruiting and training of seasonal field personnel.
  • Provide instruction and technical guidance to seasonal field personnel.
  • Perform plot establishment by locating plots with GPS navigation as well as measuring and marking plots.
  • Assist the Field Operations Manager with materials planning, inventory and ordering as well as day-to-day oversight of personnel and scheduling of activities coordinated from the field office.
  • Follow NEON Project safety and Field Operations policy and procedures.

Field activities may include:

  • Follow established, standardized field protocols for sample collection and handling; record and verify accuracy of data from sample collections; process samples in the laboratory; send samples to external analytical labs. Train and lead field crews performing the aforementioned items.
  • Perform other field sampling activities as assigned including: ground beetle collection (pitfall trapping), mosquito collection (CO2 light traps, tick collection (dragging and flagging) and soil core collection.
  • Test, troubleshoot and operate tower, soil and aquatic instruments, calibration equipment and test fixtures.
  • Inspect and maintain civil infrastructure including boom arms, sensor mounts, towers, boardwalks and instrument huts.
  • Monitor and sample aquatic sites for water quality, biological indicators and physical properties of site (e.g. gaging streams, geomorphic mapping).

Physical demands:

The work is physical and involves walking, hiking, prolonged standing, walking and bending. Heavy items (e.g. equipment and packs up to 40 pounds) must be lifted and carried on a routine basis.

 

Work environment:

Fieldwork includes exposure to extreme weather conditions and terrain, pesticides, poisonous plants, biting insects, and wild animals. Tower work involves performing work on instrument towers ranging in height from 24 feet to 300 feet, which will include ascending and descending multiple flights of stairs.

REQUIRED: EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE, KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS

The NEON Project will be selecting a Senior Field Ecologist. Equivalent education and experience may be considered.

Senior Field Ecologist (Technician Specialist C6049B)

  • Bachelor’s Degree in ecology, environmental sciences or related scientific discipline.
  • Five (5) or more years’ related experience.
  • Previous experience in scheduling, training, leading and auditing the performance of field crews required.

All Field Ecologist Levels:

  • Ability to work in a team environment.
  • Experience should include performing scientific data entry and data management.
  • Ability to hike off-trail to assigned field site for long distances carrying field equipment (pack weighing up to 40 lbs.) for extended periods.
  • Ability and willingness to travel overnight frequently (e.g. semi-monthly for 3-4 nights).

The NEON Project will take into consideration qualifications for specific and diverse experience in the following areas:

Leadership:

  • Effective leadership skills and the ability to motivate others.
  • Effective problem solving skills and the ability to determine and act on changing priorities in a fast paced dynamic environment.
  • Ability to organize and execute multiple activities and priorities.

Skills:

  • Ability to perform minor troubleshooting, calibration, and repair of field equipment.
  • Ability to follow written and verbal instructions.
  • Ability and willingness to learn and adopt new technologies as needed.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • High level of attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Ability to make effective decisions that take into consideration safety and operational standards.

 Working conditions:

  • Ability and willingness to work varied field operations schedules (up to 12+ hours per day), including split shift, part-time, pre-dawn early mornings, evenings and weekends.
  • Ability and willingness to work on towers ranging in height from 24 feet to 300 feet including ascending and descending multiple flights of stairs on instrument towers.
  • Perform field assignments in a variety of terrain and of weather conditions including cold and wet winter weather and extreme heat.
  • Ability to withstand exposure to fumes, dust, noise and toxicodendron plants (e.g. poison ivy and poison oak).
  • Ability and willingness to travel overnight frequently (e.g. semi-monthly for 3-4 nights) is required.

Must have permanent authorization for US employment. Battelle Ecology, Inc. will not provide any kind of visa sponsorship.

Battelle Ecology, Inc. is a NEON contractor and provides employment and opportunities for advancement, compensation, training, and growth according to individual merit, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, age, genetic information, or disability. Our goal is for each staff member to have the opportunity to grow to the limits of their abilities and to achieve personal and organizational objectives. We will support positive programs for equal treatment of all staff and full utilization of all qualified employees at all levels within Battelle Ecology, Inc.   

           

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Job Level

Senior-level

Sector

Nonprofit- NGO

Salary

Position offers competitive total rewards including 401(k), health, vision and dental insurance, paid time off

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