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.
Multiple seasonal positions available. Full-time and part-time positions available. Domain 1 (D01) is located near Fitchburg, MA.
The Seasonal Field Technician will perform a variety of scientific and technical tasks. The Seasonal Field Technician is a biological sampling technician performing seasonal and periodic sampling activities. Seasonal field sampling is conducted with direction from and assistance of Field Technician I, II and III. In a lead role, the Seasonal Field Technician may provide guidance to temporary field crews. The Seasonal Field Technician will also perform field and laboratory activities. This position reports to the Manager Field Operations.
Under the direction of the Manager Field Operations, Seasonal Field Technicians assist with field observation; sample collection and handling; sample processing and sample shipment of a variety of taxa.
This is a temporary assignment expected to begin in April to June 2013 and continue through August to September 2013. Daily and weekly work schedule will fluctuate. Work days can be up to twelve hours long. Work days may be split with morning and evening work. At times work will begin at dawn and go through dusk. Work week 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.
This position pays between $11-$13 per hour for Seasonal Field Technicians.
Must have permanent authorization for US employment.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
• Follow established, standardized field procedures for sample collection; record data from sample collection; process samples in the domain lab; and send samples to external analytical labs.
• Field sampling activities include the following observation and specimen collection activities:
• Small mammal abundance
• Small mammal-borne disease (i.e. Hantavirus)
• Breeding bird population counts
• Ground beetle abundance and diversity
• Mosquito phenology, diversity, and disease (i.e. West Nile Virus)
• Plant phenology observations
• Soil and water sample collection for microbial diversity and biogeochemical analysis
• Terrestrial and aquatic vegetation diversity and primary productivity measurements
• Aquatic invertebrate and fish diversity and abundance
• Stream morphology mapping
• Operate laboratory equipment including Wiley Mill, drying oven, analytical balance, centrifugal mill, and muffle furnace.
• Perform plot establishment by locating plots with GPS navigation system, measuring and marking plots, and placing and setting traps.
• Perform inspection and maintenance of laboratory and field equipment.
• Assist the Field Operations Manager with materials planning and ordering.
• Record activities and completed work according to Field Operations protocol.
• Perform field assignments in a variety of conditions (e.g., weather, terrain, diverse assigned biomes).
• Carry, move and lift field supplies (pack weighing up to 40 lbs.) to assigned field site (diverse and uneven terrain).
• Follow NEON safety and Field Operations policy and procedures.
• High School diploma or equivalent.
Required Experience, Knowledge, Skills:
• Must be at least 18 years of age.
• 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.
• Ability to perform in strenuous outdoor activity, carry field equipment and endure different outdoor field conditions including cold and wet winter weather and extreme heat.
• Depending on assignment, current and valid State issued driver’s license with clean Department of Motor Vehicle record (parking violations, minor driving offenses excluded) as determined by NEON’s insurance provider.
• Depending on site assignments, ability to travel/ hike/walk on uneven terrain to work site.
• Ability to work effectively up to 12 hours per day and varied field operations schedules, including part-time and weekends.
• Ability to hike off-trail for long distances carrying field equipment, for extended periods of time.
• Ability to work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult or hazardous terrain.
• Ability to ascend and descend multiple flights of stairs on instrument towers.
• Ability to work on towers ranging in height from 24 feet to 300 feet and at altitudes of up to 11,000 feet (depending on assigned Domain).
• Ability to withstand exposure to fumes, dust, and noise.
Preferred Education, Experience, Knowledge, Skills:
• Bachelor’s degree in an associated scientific discipline (ecology, forestry or related field).
• Experience conducting ecology related lab or field work.
• Experience trapping small mammals and collecting blood samples (small mammal techs only).
• Experience backcountry hiking and navigating (maps, compass, and GPS).
• Backcountry safety training course or other safety training.
• Experience leading field sampling activities, hikes, or assisting nature societies with seasonal nature observations.
Upload Cover Letter, Resume and References - if asked to provide, as ONE document
NEON Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, Minorities, Veterans and Disabled Persons are encouraged to apply.