The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is a $430 million dollar observatory project dedicated to understanding how changes in climate, land use and invasive species impact ecology. For the next three decades NEON will collect a comprehensive range of ecological data on a continental scale across 20 eco-climatic domains representing US ecosystems. NEON will use cutting edge technology including an airborne observation platform that will capture images of regional landscapes and vegetation; mobile, re-locatable, and fixed data collection sites with automated ground sensors to monitor soil and atmosphere; and trained field crews who will observe and sample populations of diverse organisms and collect soil and water data. A leading edge cyber-infrastructure will calibrate, store and publish this information. The Observatory will grow to 300+ personnel and will be the first of its kind designed to detect and enable forecasting of ecological change at continental scales.
Reporting to the Assistant Director for Aquatic Sciences and working closely with members of the Aquatic Team in their effort to develop the Program and STREON experiment, the Associate Scientist will perform a variety of tasks and will bring to the team a broad range of skills and experiences-as described in the essential functions. The areas of science the Aquatic team covers includes freshwater (surface and groundwater) and sediment chemistry; algae and aquatic plants, invertebrates, and fish; stream morphology and lake bathymetry; stream discharge; and the STREON experiment. The Associate Scientist will work on groundwater well permitting; write sensor related documentation; and develop and document design work for the installation of water quality instrumentation in streams, lakes and groundwater wells. This role will also assist with installation of infrastructure at NEON Aquatic sites. The Associate Scientist will help define approaches for quantifying and tracking uncertainty, calculating error budgets, and developing models for trend detection. This position is located in Boulder, CO at the Headquarters for the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON).
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
• Completes and submits groundwater well permit applications.
• Oversees groundwater well contractors during infrastructure installation in order to verify that work is completed according to specifications.
• Writes and tests field maintenance plans for sensors.
• Writes sensor related quality assurance and algorithm documents.
• Writes configuration, command and control documents for sensors.
• Documents the design work for installation of water quality instrumentation into streams, lakes and groundwater well installations.
• Assists with field equipment organization, inventory and ordering.
• Conducts research about on site-specific physical and chemical conditions.
• Coordinates, compiles ecologically related data, and conducts quantitative analysis.
• Works on and delivers final products from concept to deployment, including materials for document and training plans.
• Conducts research for published data and information from libraries, local NGOs, researchers, municipalities, Federal and State agencies.
• Participates in the larger NEON science community (e.g., attending working groups).
• Creates and completes reports of NEON site information, and is encouraged to collaborate with other Staff to investigate other publication opportunities.
• The candidate may be exposed to conditions and varied weather in the field.
• Travels on uneven terrain in the field (e.g., dirt banks, stream beds, shallow ponds) carrying equipment and materials weighing up to 40 lbs.
• Travels to Domain sites up to 15% of work time.
• Follow NEON safety requirements, policy and procedures.
Required Education, Experience, Knowledge, Skills:
• Master’s degree from an accredited college or university in Aquatic Ecology, Environmental Engineering.
• Environmental Science or a related field related field and two (2) or more year’s related experience.
• Understanding of sciences within the NEON Aquatic Program.
• Academic or work experience must include hands-on experience in a field setting, performing activities pertinent to the NEON Aquatic program.
• Ability to think critically and synthesize diverse information.
• Knowledge of environmental and ecological processes.
• Demonstrated problem-solving and communication skills.
• Ability to work independently and in a cross-functional team environment.
• Experience with field instrumentation installations and scientific applications.
• Experience and ability to write technical documents.
• High level of attention to detail.
• Self-directed and goal-oriented work style.
• Experience with university library and literature research, including experience using Web of Science.
• Ability to independently gather information from online data portals owned by federal and state agencies, NGOs and other science organizations.
• Experience working with data management software (e.g. Excel, Access, Oracle).
• Effective verbal and written communication; and interpersonal skills.
• Ability and willingness to travel to Aquatic sites up to 15% of the time.
• Ability to multi-task, prioritize competing tasks, and complete assigned tasks within specified timeframes.
• Ability and willingness to travel to domain sites up to 15% of work time.
Preferred Education, Experience, Knowledge, Skills:
• Experience working with GIS to digitize and organize historical maps, images, and aerial photos of sites.
• Previous experience working with engineers.
• Ability and interest in illustrating, photography, and/or videography.
This is a term position with work scheduled until end of construction, which is anticipated to be September 30, 2017.
Must have permanent authorization for US employment.
NEON Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, Minorities, Veterans and Disabled Persons are encouraged to apply.