Temporary Field Technician

  • NEON
  • Tuscaloosa, AL, USA
  • Aug 21, 2018
Temporary Biology - Ecology Environmental Science - Engineering Fisheries - Marine Science - Aquatic Biology Research Water Quality Watershed - Stormwater - Wastewater

Job Description

COMPANY OVERVIEW

Battelle and its affiliate, Battelle Ecology, Inc. manage and operate the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) project, which is solely funded by the National Science Foundation. A 30+ year project dedicated to understanding how changes in climate, land use and invasive species impact ecology, the observatory’s scientists and engineers are collecting a comprehensive range of ecological data on a continental scale across 20 eco-climatic domains representing US ecosystems. 

We are currently seeking a Temporary Field Technician. This position located in Tuscaloosa, AL.

Note:  this is to help with the 2018 fall sampling. 

LOCATION

The NEON Project’s Domain 08 support facility is based in Tuscaloosa, home to the University of Alabama.  This relatively small town has all the atmosphere, sports and entertainment options you would expect to find as the host of a top university. Birmingham is less than an hour’s drive away, with Atlanta and New Orleans both a four-hour drive away, making weekend trips to these great cities very doable. 

Tuscaloosa receives an abundance of sunlight with short moderate winters, while summers are very hot, humid, long and punctuated by inland storms and tropical events. High levels of heat and moisture can also produce volatile weather patterns, such as convective storms which generate lightning, often resulting in wildfires. 

Our Core Site in the Oakmulgee District of the Talladega National Forest is characterized as a fire dependent, longleaf pine ecosystem. The role of riverine flooding is also fundamental to all our seasonal monitoring and sampling efforts which are conducted directly within the swamps and bottomland hardwood forests. The Black Warrior and Tombigbee River watersheds are the primary aquatic focus for this domain. 

While conducting all terrestrial and aquatic sampling, teams consistently travel into three diverse landscapes with frequent overnight stays. Days and workweeks are long, with the majority of activities conducted outside but generally balanced with laboratory time.

JOB SUMMARY

Temporary Field Technicians perform seasonal and periodic sampling of physical, chemical and biological data at one (1)-five (5) field sites, while exercising good judgement and decision-making abilities to interpret protocol requirements. Temporary Field Technicians are assigned an area of primary responsibility within the scope of data collection: botany, entomology, mammalogy (except Puerto Rico and Hawaii), or limnology (except Hawaii). 

Field observations and collection are conducted using approximately 30 different protocols and multiple Standard Operating Procedures with varying schedule requirements based on local ecosystem and current field conditions. 

Daily and weekly work schedules will fluctuate.  Workdays can be up to twelve hours long and may be split with both morning and evening work, with work, at times, beginning at dawn and going through to dusk.  Workweeks can include weekends and occasionally may be up to 12 consecutive days. 

Individuals are responsible for their own housing and transportation to primary work location, and must have permanent authorization for US employment.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Performs field assignments in a variety of conditions (e.g., weather, terrain, diverse assigned biomes, etc.).
  • Follows established, standardized field procedures for sample collection; records data from sample collection; and processes samples.
  • Records activities and completed work according to Field Operations protocol.
  • Follows safety and Field Operations policy and procedures.
  • Reports issues with implementation of procedures and coordinates resolution with manager and technicians.
  • Assists with routine administrative duties, special projects and other duties as assigned.
  • Carries, moves and lifts field supplies (pack weighing up to 40 lbs.) to assigned field site (which involves diverse and uneven terrain).

REQUIRED: EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE, KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS

  • High School Diploma.  Some post high school, specialized training or technical certificate may be required.
  • Knowledge of best practices for accurate and repeatable field and laboratory measurements across multiple scientific disciplines. Complex and variable systems require judgment and independent decision-making abilities
  • Technical skills using best practices in field and ability to identify and use dichotomous keys to identify  local flora and fauna to genus and species. Local variability e.g. 200 to 1,500 local plant species.
  • Due to the limited number of positions in each domain, technicians must be willing and able to learn and perform procedures and methods outside of the primary responsibility.
  • Willingness to perform maintenance and field sampling outdoors in sparsely populated, remote locations, with distances ranging from 1/2 hour to 6 hours from the domain office. Overnight travel, hiking off trail, and wading in water are typical in most locations.
  • Ability to perform strenuous outdoor activity, carry field equipment and endure variable outdoor field conditions including cold and wet winter weather and extreme heat.
  • Ability to travel/ hike/walk on uneven terrain to work site.
  • 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 to hike off-trail for long distances carrying field equipment, for extended periods of time.
  • Ability to work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult or hazardous terrain.
  • Ability to work on instrument towers ranging in height from 26 feet to 240 feet and at altitudes of up to 11,000 feet (depending on assigned Domain), involving the ability to ascend and descend multiple flights of stairs.
  • Ability to withstand exposure to fumes, dust, and noise.
  • Proficiency with MS Office Suite (e.g., Excel, Word).
  • Ability to follow written and verbal instructions.
  • High level of attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Strong work ethic and enthusiasm.

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

Employment is contingent on background screen, drug screen, motor vehicle records check and physical. 

Must possess a current and valid State issued driver’s license with insurable Department of Motor vehicle record (parking violations, minor driving offenses excluded) as determined by Battelle Ecology Inc.’s insurance provider.

This position offers competitive total rewards including 401(k), health, vision and dental insurance, paid time off and the opportunity to work at an organization with a great mission. 

Battelle provides employment and opportunities for advancement, compensation, training, and growth according to individual merit, without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, age, genetic information, disability, veteran-status, or any other characteristic protected under applicable Federal, state, or local law. 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.


 

Job Level

Entry-level  

Sector

Consulting