Research Technician: Wyoming

University of Wyoming
Thunder Basin National Grassland-Wyoming
Job Category
Temporary/Seasonal Positions
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
Summer Field Technician Location: Thunder Basin National Grasslands, Bill, WY Hours of work: 40 hours per week (4 x 10 hour days per week) Pay: $14/hr; housing provided Dates: May 25–August 12, 2021 Please submit applications by February 1 for full consideration. Please email application materials (cover letter, resume, and references) and questions to: Lauren Porensky Research Ecologist Rangeland Resources Systems Research Unit Katie Estep Biological Science Technician Rangeland Resources Systems Research Unit GENERAL JOB DESCRIPTION Research technician for the University of Wyoming, based out of the Thunder Basin National Grasslands in Bill, WY, but may offer the opportunity to travel to South Dakota field sites. In collaboration with the USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station in Rapid City, SD and the USDA Rangeland Resources Systems Research Unit (RRSRU) of Agricultural Research Service (ARS) based in Fort Collins, CO technicians will assist with summer data collection for an ongoing research project focused on vegetation response to prescribed fire. In fall 2018, 2019 and possibly spring 2021 prescribed burns were implemented across 16 research sites. The technician will be working as a part of a 2-person crew while working closely with collaborators on research examining fire effects on herbaceous regeneration across northeastern WY. The aim of this research is to increase our understanding of grassland and shrubland response to fire and recovery following fire. We will specifically be examining the regrowth of important forbs utilized by pollinators and sage-grouse as well as how pre-fire plant community composition affects post-fire regrowth across a gradient of invasive annual brome abundance. MAJOR DUTIES Collects vegetation data at 16 research sites and is responsible for quality assurance/quality control of data collected. Other field duties may include soil characteristics, using nutrient probes to assess post-fire nutrient availability, and mowing around research plots. This work will primarily involve fieldwork in remote areas of Thunder Basin National Grassland. Keeps exact, detailed records of experimental data. Provides data in an appropriate format for incorporation into computer spreadsheets. Enters data into computer spreadsheets and performs quality control on entered data. Makes and records observations of unusual happenings, phenomena or trends that might influence interpretation of plot or field data. Manages fieldwork program semi-autonomously; takes responsibility for solving problems and adapting to current conditions and events without constant supervision. Operates, maintains, cleans, repairs and constructs equipment used in plot and field experiments including, but not limited to, vehicles, field equipment, and on-site weather stations. Ensures that all safety and environmental concerns are addressed to provide a safe work environment, and that activities in support of research do not pose an environmental threat.
DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS Technical knowledge of plant identification, structure and function of plant communities, and theory and practice of rangeland monitoring methods. Ability to do efficient and high-quality work without direct supervision. Ability to proactively solve problems and manage tasks adaptively in order to get the job done on time. Skill in the use of personal computers to utilize software packages such as: word processing, data entry and manipulation in spreadsheets (e.g., Excel). Communication skills necessary to follow directions precisely and produce positive interactions with scientists, research personnel, and the general public. Knowledge of range science, soil science, general biology and ecology. Practical knowledge of general vehicle maintenance and repair. Knowledge of safe operating procedures when using equipment or vehicles. Experience with GPS/Trimble navigation is a plus. Physical demands The work requires standing, walking, bending and lifting of objects weighing as much as 50 pounds. Certain phases of the work require extended (such as most of a work day) periods of standing or sitting while accomplishing detailed experimental procedures. Some procedures require stamina and endurance. Need to have the physical capability to perform required duties without hazard to self or others when working with machinery, cattle, horses, fire or chemicals. Work Environment The job is located in a remote part of NE Wyoming. The work environment is about 90% in the field and 10% in the shop or office. The work involves regular and recurring moderate risks or discomforts which require special safety precautions, e.g., working outdoors. Throughout the year, the person may encounter belligerent livestock, insects, dust and extremes of weather. The person is required to wear protective clothing (e.g., coats, boots, goggles, gloves, and respirator) as conditions warrant.
Contact Person
Lauren Porensky
Contact eMail
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