Environmental Research Assistant

Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Inc.
Ada, Oklahoma, US
Jun 04, 2021
Aug 04, 2021
Employment Type
Full time
Salary Type
The EPA National Student Services Contract has an immediate opening for a full time Environmental Research Assistant position with the Office of Research and Development at the EPA facility in Ada, OK.

The Office of Research and Development at the EPA supports high-quality research to improve the scientific basis for decisions on national environmental issues and help EPA achieve its environmental goals. Research is conducted in a broad range of environmental areas by scientists in EPA laboratories and at universities across the country.

What the EPA project is about

The Center for Environmental Solutions and Emergency Response (CESER) plans, coordinates and conducts an applied, customer-driven, national research and development program to improve decision making by EPA, federal, state, tribal and local agencies, when faced with challenging environmental problems in the built environment. Within CESER, the Groundwater Characterization & Remediation Division (GCRD) plans, coordinates and conducts an applied, national-scale, customer-driven research program to provide data, tools, models, strategies, and technologies to protect and restore groundwater.

To support these activities, GCRD laboratories are equipped with state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation for chemical characterization of ground water and surface water. The analytical function of the Division is critical to supporting the research and technical assistance mission of the laboratory. This project involves analytical support for the analysis of water and aquifer samples to support research to protect ground water and surface water resources, possible field support for collection of samples, and additional project support as needed.

What experience and skills will you gain?

As a team member, you will spend time in the laboratory with the possibility of some field work. Primary duties will be data input into electronic formats, performing quality assurance checks on data, analytical support, and any associated Administrative duties such as HASP/QAPP development or revisions. The team member will assist with data collection activities, data checking/verification activities, and data analysis for water quality analyses conducted at GCRD. You may be required to assist with preparation for field trips and log in/receipt of samples for processing after field trips and glassware washing processes at GCRD. Limited travel to field sites and assistance with sample collection may also be required. The student will be trained to collect data, verify data, input data, and generate reports.

As a team member, you will maintain careful and accurate records in a laboratory notebook, following the requirements of an approved quality assurance project plan (QAPP), document electronic file contents and locations, and will make entries as necessary into permanent laboratory instrument logbooks. These notebooks and all other data produced under this order will be the property of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. You will receive training on basic safety requirements at GCRD before he or she begins work in the laboratory.

The team member will be trained and pass a proficiency test on analytical equipment and standard operating procedures for the specific equipment. Analytical equipment may include, but not be limited to Inductively Coupled Plasma - Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP-OES), Inductively Coupled Plasma - Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy, and Raman Spectroscopy.

As a team member, you meet with the mentor at least once per week to discuss progress of assigned tasks, problems encountered, and assignment of new tasks. You will be assigned to work with and assist individual Principle Investigators on projects for specific time periods to provide project and field support. The mentor will be responsible for coordinating with the Principle Investigators for specific project/field support assignments.

Required Knowledge, Skills, Work Experience, and Education
  • Experience with ICP-OES, ICP-MS, SEM, FTIR Spectroscopy or Raman Spectroscopy;
  • Experience with laboratory sample collection, sample preparation, routine maintenance/calibration of instruments, handling and disposal of chemicals, laboratory glassware cleaning;
  • Experience and/or knowledge of Quality Assurance/Quality Control and Health and Safety used in laboratories;
  • Demonstrated experience with Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint;
  • Proficiency in oral and written communication in English; and
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and conduct data analysis and evaluation.

Location:This job will be located EPA's facility in Ada, OK.

Salary: Selected applicant will become a temporary employee of ORAU and will receive an hourly wage of $28.70 for hours worked.

Hours: Full-time.

Travel: Limited government travel may be required.

Expected start date: The position is full time and expected to begin June 2021. The selected applicant will become a temporary employee of ORAU working as a contractor to EPA. The initial project is through May 14, 2022, with up to 3 additional option periods.

For more information, contact EPAjobs@orau.org . Do not contact EPA directly.

  • Be at least 18 years of age and
  • Have earned at least a Master's degree in engineering, physics, chemistry, geology, soil science, ecology, environmental science, environmental engineering, or another scientific discipline from an accredited university within the last 24 months and
  • Be a citizen of the United States of America or a Legal Permanent Resident.

EPA ORD employees, their spouses, and children are not eligible to participate in this program.