Job title: Biological Science Technician (USDA-Agricultural Research Service)
Dates: March/April-September/October (1 position, 80% lab, 20% field), April/May- September/October (2 positions, 75% field, 25% lab/office)
Location: Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center, Burns, Oregon, USA
Number of Positions: 3
The research unit focuses on applied management questions in grassland and shrubland ecosystems, collaboration with a broad set of managers and other researchers, and engagement with diverse audiences and stakeholders.
Lab position (1): One technician will work on a lab-based project to quantify seed and seedling traits; these will be used to improve restoration success by matching plant species to environment. Tasks include: conducting seed germination trials in plant growth chambers, daily seed counts and seedling measurements, scanning and weighing delicate plant tissue samples, and data management. Attention to detail, strong organizational skills, and ability to work independently are essential. Fieldwork will be an option during some parts of the field season.
Field positions (2): Two technicians will work on field-based projects assessing restoration success and post-fire plant communities in the eastern Oregon sagebrush steppe. Primary duties include: identifying native and non-native plant species, vegetation sampling (cover, density, seedling survival), measuring plant physiological responses to stress, and site characterization (aspect, slope, elevation, soil sampling, GPS location). The position will also include data entry, sample processing, and other miscellaneous tasks. Fieldwork will occasionally involve short camping trips in remote areas.
Opportunities for research extensions and mentorship are possible for interested applicants for both technician roles.
Salary, Housing, and Benefits
Full time (40 hours/week) and $15.10-16.73 per hour depending on GS level (see requirements above). Field technicians will be on a four day/week, 10 hour/day schedule. Lab technician will be on a five day/week, 8 hour/day schedule. Housing is provided at the field station. Per diem is provided for camping fieldwork. Leave benefits included. Health care benefits available.
USDA-ARS is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
Requirements and Qualifications
Undergraduate studies and experience in botany, ecology, environmental science, range, soils, wildlife, or other natural resource fields required. Must be able to lift objects that weigh up to 50 pounds and kneel/squat for extended periods of time for sample collection. Must have a valid state motor vehicle operator's license and be able to operate motor vehicles. Must be able to work in adverse weather conditions and hike over rugged and steep terrain. Must be a US Citizen.
GS-4: 6 months of general AND 6 months of specialized experience; OR successful completion of 2 years of post-high school education that included at least 12 semester hours in any combination of courses such as biology, chemistry, statistics, entomology, animal husbandry, botany, physics, agriculture or mathematics of which 6 semester hours of courses relate directly to the duties of the position (plant biology, range/ecology, or natural resource management).
GS-5: One year of specialized experience at the GS-4 level; OR successful completion of a bachelor's degree (a) with major study in an appropriate field (i.e., biology, chemistry, statistics, entomology, animal husbandry, botany, physics, agriculture, or mathematics) or (b) that included at least 24 semester hours, or the equivalent, in courses such as biology, chemistry, statistics, entomology, animal husbandry, botany, physics, agriculture, or mathematics of which 6 semester hours relate directly to the position to be filled (plant biology, range/ecology, or natural resource management); OR a combination of specialized experience and post-high school education.
Email (1) a cover letter including your interest in either or lab, or field, or both technician types, and your dates available to work, (2) resume, (3) references, (4) college transcripts (unofficial versions accepted), and (5) a list of natural resources, rangeland science, botany, wildlife, ecology and environmental science courses to: Stella Copeland at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Seasonal Plant Ecology / Botany Technician”. Deadline for applications is January 14th, 2022. Review of applications will begin immediately after that date.