Battelle Memorial Institute Temporary Field Technician - NEON Project - D03 - Florida in Gainesville, Florida

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Primary Function

Application Instructions: ONLY apply to the one (1) temporary position and location you would consider as your first choice. During the application process, you will provide additional domains/locations you would be willing to work at if your first choice is not available.

Battelle manages and operates the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) project, 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 Temporary Field Technicians . These positions are located in Gainesville, FL .

SAMPLING PERIOD –

Start Date: February-June 2019

End Date: September-November 2019

Major Responsibilities

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 poisonous snakes, and alligators to contend with, but if you’re careful they won’t 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. Techs 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

Temporary Field Technicians perform seasonal and periodic sampling of physical, chemical and biological data at one (1)-five (5) field sites, while exercising good judgement and decision-making abilities to interpret protocol requirements. Temporary Field Technicians are assigned an area of primary responsibility within the scope of data collection: botany, entomology, mammalogy (except Puerto Rico and Hawaii), or limnology (except Hawaii).

Field observations and collection are conducted using approximately 30 different protocols and multiple Standard Operating Procedures with varying schedule requirements based on local ecosystem and current field conditions.

Daily and weekly work schedules will fluctuate. Workdays can be up to twelve hours long and may be split with both morning and evening work, with work, at times, beginning at dawn and going through to dusk. Workweeks can include weekends and occasionally may be up to 12 consecutive days.

Individuals are responsible for their own housing and transportation to primary work location.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Performs field assignments in a variety of conditions (e.g., weather, terrain, diverse assigned biomes, etc.).

  • Follows established, standardized field procedures for sample collection; records data from sample collection; and processes samples.

  • Records activities and completed work according to Field Operations protocol.

  • Follows safety and Field Operations policy and procedures.

  • Reports issues with implementation of procedures and coordinates resolution with manager and technicians.

  • Assists with routine administrative duties, special projects and other duties as assigned.

  • Carries, moves and lifts field supplies (pack weighing up to 40 lbs.) to assigned field site (which involves diverse and uneven terrain).

Position Requirements

  • High School Diploma. Some post high school, specialized training or technical certificate may be required.

  • Knowledge of best practices for accurate and repeatable field and laboratory measurements across multiple scientific disciplines. Complex and variable systems require judgment and independent decision-making abilities

  • Technical skills using best practices in field and ability to identify aquatic or terrestrial flora and fauna to genus and species.

  • Due to the limited number of positions in each domain, technicians must be willing and able to learn and perform procedures and methods outside of the primary responsibility.

  • Willingness to perform maintenance and field sampling outdoors in sparsely populated, remote locations, with distances ranging from 1/2 hour to 6 hours from the domain office. Overnight travel, hiking off trail, and wading in water are typical in most locations.

  • 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 to hike off trail, long distances, on uneven terrain, at remote locations, in all types of weather, carrying packs weighing up to 40lbs.

  • Ability to work on instrument towers ranging in height from 26 feet to 240 feet and at altitudes of up to 11,000 feet (depending on assigned Domain), involving the ability to ascend and descend multiple flights of stairs.

  • Ability to withstand exposure to fumes, dust, and noise. Field work may require frequent exposure to toxicodendrons (e.g. poison ivy and poison oak), ticks, biting insects and other natural hazards.

  • Proficiency with MS Office Suite (e.g., Excel, Word).

  • Ability to follow written and verbal instructions.

  • High level of attention to detail and accuracy.

  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.

  • Strong work ethic and enthusiasm.

Previous NEON Project field experience will be highly considered

US Citizen or permanent resident only

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BENEFITS

Battelle is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and supports diversity in the workplace. Applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, age, genetic information, disability, veteran-status, or any other characteristic protected under applicable Federal, state, or local law. For more information about our other openings, please visit www.battelle.org/careers