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Aquatic Ecology Field Technician

Company: University of Minnesota
Location: Duluth
Posted on: April 3, 2024

Job Description:

Apply for JobJob ID360199
LocationDuluth
Job FamilySupplemental Employee
Full/Part TimePart-Time
Regular/TemporaryRegular
Job Code0001
Employee ClassCivil Service
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About the Job


Researchers in the Water Research Group at the Natural Resources Research Institute, University of Minnesota Duluth, are hiring 3-4 aquatic ecology summer field technicians. The primary role of these positions is to investigate the condition of Great Lakes Coastal wetlands and Lake Superior streams using fish and aquatic macroinvertebrates. The technicians will also assist with a project investigating invasive crayfish trapping on inland Minnesota lakes. Field technicians will work in teams of 2-4 individuals to conduct surveys by boat, hiking overland, or wading in streams. This work will require overnight travel from mid-June to early August on up to four, 5-8 day trips. Crews can expect to travel anywhere from Green Bay, WI to Keweenaw Peninsula, MI and as far north as Grand Portage, MN. Local work in the Duluth area will primarily occur in early June, August and September. Transportation, lodging, and a meal allowance is provided during travel away from Duluth. When crews are working around Duluth on a standard work schedule (M-F) and on days off, crew are responsible for their own transportation, housing, and food. This appointment will last until crew members need to return to classes or until the work is completed (typically into September), but will not extend past October 31st, 2024.

Technicians will receive considerable safety and project training before field excursions, including boat handling and trailering training and safety. UMD, NRRI, and project orientation in-person and online trainings will start at the end of May. New employees will have opportunities to practice boat trailering and field safety skills at NRRI before the first field excursion. Coastal wetland field training will occur in mid to late June during a weeklong field trip with all crew members. Field training will cover basic boat operation, boat trailering, water safety, handling and identifying fish and crayfish, macroinvertebrate sampling, and collecting and processing water quality samples.

NRRI will provide personal protection equipment (PPE) for field work such as waders, life jackets, basic rain gear, eye and hand protection, sunscreen, bug spray, hand sanitizer, head nets, etc. Employees are responsible for procuring their own field-appropriate clothing, lunchbox/day pack, water bottles, and kit of anything needed for a long day of fieldwork
(e.g., SPF lip balm, medicines, lunches/snacks). When crews are working around Duluth on a standard work schedule, and on days off, crew are responsible for their own transportation, housing, and food.

All applicants must be able to travel on 5-8-day overnight field trips this summer (4-6 trips total). Strong applicants will also have a background in boating, first aid, a demonstrated ability to learn new skills and work cooperatively on a team, and mechanical aptitude to diagnose and fix broken things.

Job Duties

  • Field sampling and travel. Technicians will document fish, aquatic macroinvertebrates, habitat, aquatic vegetation, and water quality in Great Lakes coastal wetlands and tributaries of Lake Superior; electro fish and sample aquatic invertebrates and habitat in wadable streams, use minnow traps for crayfish trapping, and other similar duties. Field technicians must be capable of hiking all day in wadable streams and through trail-less forested areas, should be able to swim, and must be able to work cooperatively in small groups during extended overnight travel. (75%)
  • Organizing field equipment, preparing/packing for field trips, reporting on sample collection activities. (10%)
  • Processing invertebrate or water quality samples in the laboratory.(10%)
  • Using computer and GPS to navigate to sampling sites and manage field data. (5%)

    Qualifications


    Required Qualifications
    • High school graduation or the equivalent with some science courses and two years of experience in relevant academic and work experience may be substituted.
    • Valid driver's license and clean driving record (absolutely no moving violations; any offer of employment is contingent upon passing a motor vehicle background check).
    • Must have daily transportation to and from NRRI facility and have or obtain housing in the Duluth, MN area for the term of this appointment.
    • Ability to communicate and work closely with team members in both a laboratory and outdoor setting.
    • Physical ability to work long hours outdoors, sometimes in inclement weather, and carrying heavy equipment over uneven terrain.
    • Must be able to travel away from the Duluth, MN area for fieldwork 4-6 times throughout the summer on 5-8 day field trips.
      Preferred Qualifications
      • Preference for spending time outdoors
      • Experience sampling and identifying fish, invertebrates, aquatic vegetation and/or collecting water samples.
      • Classwork in biology, ecology, limnology, or similar.
      • Boating and trailering experience; have a Boaters Safety Certificate.
      • Strong communication skills, positive attitude, experience working on a team.
      • Computer skills performing data entry and Excel spreadsheet management.
      • Familiarity using handheld GPS, compass, and reading topographical maps.
      • Mechanical aptitude: e.g., changing vehicle and trailer tires, troubleshooting boat motors, performing routine maintenance of vehicles, trailers, boats, and motors.
        We encourage applications from those who do not have all the preferred qualifications.
        About the Department


        The Natural Resources Research Institute was established by the Minnesota legislature in 1983 as an applied science and engineering research organization to inform state citizens and decision-makers while leveraging the power of the University of Minnesota. NRRI is guided by the forward-looking charter provided by the Legislature to foster the economic development of Minnesota's natural resources in an environmentally sound manner to promote private sector employment. NRRI's mission is to deliver integrated research solutions that value our resources, environment, and economy for a sustainable and resilient future. We are a mission-driven, project-focused team working to create opportunities for natural resource stewardship. With industrial-scale facilities in Duluth and Coleraine, MN, NRRI works across five strategic research platforms. These platforms address Minnesota's soil, forest, water, and mineral resources:
        • Applied Ecology and Resource Management
        • Minerals and Metallurgy
        • Materials and Bioeconomy
        • Data Collection and Delivery
        • Commercialization Services
          How To Apply


          Applications must be submitted online. To be considered for this position, please click the Apply button and follow the instructions. You will have the opportunity to complete an online application for the position and attach a resume. Closing date for this position is April 3, 2024.Additional documents may be attached after application by accessing your "My Job Applications" page and uploading documents in the "My Cover Letters and Attachments" section.You are required to attach a Cover letter and Resume.To request an accommodation during the application process, please e-mail employ@umn.edu or call (612) 624-8647.
          Diversity


          The University recognizes and values the importance of diversity and inclusion in enriching the employment experience of its employees and in supporting the academic mission. The University is committed to attracting and retaining employees with varying identities and backgrounds.The University of Minnesota provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. To learn more about diversity at the U:
          Employment Requirements


          Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check. Our presumption is that prospective employees are eligible to work here. Criminal convictions do not automatically disqualify finalists from employment.
          About the U of M


          University of Minnesota, Duluth (UMD)The University of Minnesota, Duluth (UMD) consistently ranks among the top Midwestern, regional universities in U.S. News and World Report's "America's Best Colleges" issue.Overlooking Lake Superior, UMD provides an alternative to both large research and small liberal arts environments and attracts students looking for a personalized learning experience on a medium-sized campus of a major university. A firm liberal arts foundation anchors a variety of traditional degree programs, as well as professional and graduate students that draw on UMD's many research institutes and labs.At the University of Minnesota, we are proud to be recognized by the Star Tribune as a Top Workplace for 2021, as well as by Forbes as Best Employers for Women and one of America's Best Employers (2015, 2018, 2019, 2023), Best Employer for Diversity (2019, 2020), Best Employer for New Grads (2018, 2019), and Best Employer by State (2019, 2022).

Keywords: University of Minnesota, Duluth , Aquatic Ecology Field Technician, Engineering , Duluth, Minnesota

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