Local recruitment: Environmental Research Assistant

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Ada, OK, USA 🇺🇸

Organization: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Reference Code: EPA-NSSC-0008-14

How to Apply: Click HERE to apply. 


The EPA National Student Services Contract has an immediate opening for a full time Environmental Research Assistant position with the Office of Research and Development at the EPA facility in Ada, OK.

The Office of Research and Development at the EPA supports high-quality research to improve the scientific basis for decisions on national environmental issues and help EPA achieve its environmental goals. Research is conducted in a broad range of environmental areas by scientists in EPA laboratories and at universities across the country.

What the EPA project is about

The Center for Environmental Solutions and Emergency Response (CESER) plans, coordinates and conducts an applied, customer-driven, national research and development program to improve decision making by EPA, federal, state, tribal and local agencies, when faced with challenging environmental problems in the built environment.  Within CESER, the Groundwater Characterization & Remediation Division (GCRD) plans, coordinates and conducts an applied, national-scale, customer-driven research program to provide data, tools, models, strategies, and technologies to protect and restore groundwater.

To support these activities, GCRD laboratories are equipped with state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation for chemical characterization of ground water and surface water.  The analytical function of the Division is critical to supporting the research and technical assistance mission of the laboratory.  This project involves analytical support for the analysis of water and aquifer samples to support research to protect ground water and surface water resources, possible field support for collection of samples, and additional project support as needed.

GCRD work is supported by the Safety Health and Environmental Management Program (SHEMP), as well as the Facilities Operations Program.  The Safety Health and Environmental Management Program is comprised of a SHEMP Manager, a Senior Environmental Employment Program (SEEP) Training Coordinator and an Environmental Research Apprenticeship Program (ERAP) student. The SHEM Program is responsible for laboratory and chemical waste management, laboratory and field health and safety plans, safety training, environmental compliance and other areas relating to occupational and environmental health.   The Facilities Operations Program consists of the GCRD Facility Manager and an on-site facility operation and maintenance contract. The Facilities Operations Program is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the RSKERC, as well as developing and/or maintaining policies, procedure and facilities for compliance of laboratory operations with local, state and Federal environmental code requirements. 

What experience and skills will you gain?

As a team member, you will assist the SHEMP Manager and the Facilities Manager with occupational health and safety issues and operation and maintenance issues relating to research currently being conducted at the Groundwater, Watershed and Ecosystem Restoration Division (GCRD). 

Safety Health and Environmental Management duties will include assisting with:

  • Inspecting, testing, and evaluating workplace environments, equipment, and practices to ensure they follow safety standards and government regulations;
  • Collecting samples of potentially toxic materials, checking that hazardous materials are stored correctly and managing small quantities of laboratory and chemical waste as well as universal waste;
  • Conducting weekly inspections of the hazardous waste building and maintaining careful and accurate records in a written Log Book and an online spreadsheet. The Log Book and all other data produced under this order will be the property of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; 
  • Maintaining the online chemical inventory database by inputing and barcoding chemicals received;
  • Collecting empty, unwanted, and/or waste chemicals from laboratories and managing for recycling, neutralization or disposal;
  • Performing pH analysis of laboratory waste; and 
  • Researching and determining waste codes for hazardous waste generated at RSKERC. 

Facility Management duties will include assisting with:

  • Space use and utilization, energy conservation, inventory management, and maintaining compliance with state, local, and federal building codes; 
  • Monitoring critical Laboratory support systems including fire & life safety systems;
  • Monitoring ventilation and maintaining laboratory spaces in accordance with ASHRA E standards and EPA SHEM policies; 
  • Developing and maintaining policies and procedures for compliance of laboratory operations with local, state, and Federal environmental code requirements; and
  • Updating E-Pass Security badge information for RSKERC employees.

The student will receive on-site training on basic safety requirements and hazardous waste management at GWERD before he or she begins work in the laboratory. The student will follow written laboratory Health and Safety Plans (HASP). 

Required Knowledge, Skills, Work Experience, and Education

  • Demonstrated ability to work independently without direct supervision, following written protocols.
  • Demonstrated understanding of routine laboratory procedures, including preparation of solutions, safe handling and disposal of chemicals, routine maintenance and calibration of monitoring equipment and pH meters and documentation of activities in lab notebooks.
  • Documented course work with laboratory credit in chemistry.
  • The physical ability to lift up to 50 pounds.
  • Experience with Microsoft Products Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in oral, written and electronic communication in English.

Location:  This job will be located EPA’s facility in Ada, OK.

Salary: Selected applicant will become a temporary employee of ORAU and will receive an hourly wage of $22.24 for hours worked.

Hours: Full-time.

Travel: Limited travel may be required. 

Expected start date: The position is full time and expected to begin October 2022. The selected applicant will become a temporary employee of ORAU working as a contractor to EPA. The contract renews each May through 2025.

For more information, contact [email protected]. Do not contact EPA directly.


  • Be at least 18 years of age and
  • Have earned at least a Bachelor’s degree in environmental science, chemistry, or another related scientific discipline from an accredited university or college within the last 24 months and
  • Be a citizen of the United States of America or a Legal Permanent Resident.

EPA ORD employees, their spouses, and children are not eligible to participate in this program.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Citizenship: LPR or U.S. Citizen
  • Degree: Any degree .
  • Discipline(s):
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (14 )
    • Other Physical Sciences (12 )


I certify that I am at least 18 years of age; a recent graduate with at least a Bachelor’s degree in environmental science, chemistry, or another related scientific discipline from an accredited university or college within the last 24 months; a citizen or a Legal Permanent Resident of the United States of America; and not a current employee of EPA ORD or the spouse or child of an EPA ORD employee.

Click HERE to apply. 

ORAU is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE AA M/F/Vet/Disability); visit the ORAU website for required employment notices.





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