Field Ecologist II - NEON Program - Limnology - D3 Florida

Employer
Battelle Memorial Institute
Location
Gainesville, Florida, US
Salary
Competitive
Posted
Jul 09, 2021
Closes
Aug 06, 2021
Ref
2289934455
Discipline
Climate Change
Employment Type
Full time
Salary Type
Salary
Battelle delivers when others can't. We conduct research and development, manage laboratories, design and manufacture products and deliver critical services for our clients-whether they are a multi-national corporation, a small start-up or a government agency.
We recognize and appreciate the value and contributions of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences and welcome all qualified individuals to apply.
Company Overview
Battelle manages and operates the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) program, 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. Our teams use cutting-edge technology, including an airborne observation platform that captures images of regional landscapes and vegetation; mobile, relocatable, and fixed data collection sites with automated ground sensors to monitor soil and atmosphere; and trained field crews who observe and sample populations of diverse organisms and collect soil and water data. Once structures are completed, a leading-edge cyberinfrastructure will calibrate, store and publish this information. The Observatory includes more than 500+ personnel and is the first of its kind designed to detect and enable forecasting of ecological change at continental scales.
We are currently seeking a Field Ecologist II - NEON Program - Limnology - D3 Florida . This position is in Gainesville, FL .
Field Ecologist II - The Field Ecologist II is a biological sampling lead performing seasonal and periodic sampling activities and sample processing and will be the technical lead for performing routine maintenance and inventory management on all sampling equipment. The Field Ecologist II will provide guidance to temporary field crews while working in the field and laboratory
LOCATION
NEON's Domain 03 is headquartered in Gainesville, Florida, home of the University of Florida. This is a nice, medium-sized college town with a lot to do in off-hours. The climate is hot and wet during the summer and cool and dry in winter. Frequent thunderstorms occur from late spring through the summer and sometimes into fall. This is also the hurricane season.
We travel frequently since our remote sites are the Disney Wilderness Preserve (about 2.5 hours south) and the JW Jones Ecological Research Center in Georgia (about 4.5 hours north). The Disney site is a wetland project, so the ground is frequently wet. Sampling at these sites is usually an overnight trip, sometimes all week. Lodging is provided and expenses are reimbursed. The local site is the Ordway Swisher Biological Field station (University of Florida) in nearby Melrose.
The terrain is generally flat with some rolling hills. The plant communities vary by site and range from flatwoods matrix with wetlands at Disney and varying degrees of sandhill at both Ordway Swisher (local) and Jones (Georgia). There is a high degree of plant and animal diversity. There are many stinging insects and plants that cause rashes. Since this is the south, there are venomous snakes, and alligators to contend with, but if you are careful they should not be an issue.
Working schedules are generally straight-forward, except for some split days (off in the middle of the day) for the small mammal team and some evening work for the plant team. Weeks are 40 hours with possible overtime and usually not weekends. Field Technician will need to be flexible in the hours that they will be asked to work with some days starting before dawn and some ending after dusk. The ratio of field to lab work is about 75% field and 25% lab. There is plentiful housing available in the Gainesville area.
MAJOR RESPONSIBILITIES
- 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.
- 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
- Bachelor's degree in ecology, environmental sciences or related scientific discipline.
- Three (3) or more years of related experience.
- 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), ticks, biting insects and other natural hazards.
- Ability and willingness to travel overnight frequently (e.g. semi-monthly for 3-4 nights) is required.
Applicants must have authorization to work in the United States.
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's insurance provider.
LEGAL DISCLAIMER
The above statements are intended to describe the nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this job. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, activities and skills required of staff members. No statement herein is intended to imply any authorities to commit Battelle unless special written permission is granted by Battelle's Legal Department.
SALARY
Pay rate: $18 - $21 an hour
This information reflects the anticipated base salary range for this position based on current national data. Minimums and maximums may vary based on location. Individual pay is based on skills, experience and other relevant factors.
BENEFITS
Battelle's competitive benefits program includes comprehensive medical and dental care, matching 401K, paid time off, flexible spending accounts, disability coverage, and other benefits that help provide financial protection for you and your family.
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 or expression, 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.
For more information about our other openings, please visit www.battelle.org/careers