U.S. nationals: Surface Water Research Support

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Ada, OK, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


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The EPA Environmental Research and Business Support Program has an immediate opening for a full-time Surface Water Research Support position with the EPA facility in Ada, OK.

What the EPA project is about

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.

The Groundwater, Watershed, and Ecosystem Restoration Division (GWERD) located in Ada, Oklahoma conducts basic and applied research to understand processes that affect the quality and availability of ground water and to evaluate and develop strategies and technologies to protect ground water resources.  Scientists conduct research to evaluate ground water flow and factors influencing the fate and transport of anthropogenic and naturally occurring contaminants in the subsurface.  Scientists also conduct research focused on ecosystem processes and manipulations that can be used to achieve restoration goals.  Additionally researchers provide technical support to federal and state environmental regulators on issues regarding subsurface contamination, contaminant fluxes to other media (such as surface water and air), and ecosystem restoration.

To support these activities, GWERD 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 to support research to protect surface water resources, field support for collection of samples from selected streams and reservoirs included in the study, spreadsheet and database support for file organization, and additional project support as needed.

What you will be doing

As a team member, you will provide field sample collection, logistics, laboratory sample analysis, data management, data curation and data analysis support for ecological and biogeochemical research projects related to floodplains, ground water, river, and watershed aquatic ecosystems. You will be split between the laboratory, field, and administrative desk duties.  Primary duties shall be assisting with lab management, data collection, and input of that data into electronic formats, analytical support, and any associated administrative duties such as HASP/QAPP development or revisions.  You will assist with data collection activities, data checking/verification activities, data analysis, and occasional sample analysis.  You will be required to assist with preparation for field trips and log in/receipt of samples for processing after field trips, including glassware washing and field equipment decontamination processes at GWERD.  Quarterly travel to field sites and assistance with sample collection will also be required.  You will collect data, verify data, input data, and generate reports.

Depending upon experience, you may be trained and pass a proficiency test on analytical equipment, sample preparation, and standard operating procedures for the specific equipment.  Analytical and research equipment may include, but not limited to gas chromatography, spectrophotometry, fluorometry, Hach Kits, and multi-parameter sondes.  You will be asked to write and communicate procedures and protocols on field and lab activities.

Required skills

  • Experience with general laboratory techniques, such as using pipets, balances, preparation of solutions, etc.;
  • Experience with field data collection in aquatic systems;
  • Documented course work with laboratory credit in chemistry, physics, and biology;
  • Physical ability to lift up to 50 pounds and tolerate hot/cold/wet field conditions during field trips for sample collection;
  • Demonstrated experience with Microsoft Products Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook;
  • Proficiency in oral, written and electronic communication in English; and
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently. 

Desired skills

  • Demonstrated experience with R, Access, SPSS and EndNote.

How you will apply your skills

  • Coordinating field trip preparation and sample collection;
  • Developing, managing, and maintaining systems and databases to track lab and field scientific research;
  • Developing procedures and protocols to support research; and
  • Developing graphs and presentation materials, prepares spreadsheets, charts, and narrative information.

You may be able to participate in meetings or seminars in support of the Statement of Work.

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

Salary: Selected applicants will become temporary employees of ORAU and will receive an hourly wage of $20.95 for hours worked.

Hours: Full time

Travel: Field travel will be required, including overnight. Student shall have the ability to drive.

Expected start date: The position is full time and expected to begin November 2019. The initial project is through May 14, 2020, with potential options periods.

Working conditions: You will be supervised by a mentor who will provide direction, as well as coach, advice and counsel the student, and review the student contractor’s work.  The mentor for this position will be a federal EPA employee. 

You will primarily be involved in work in a laboratory setting and may involve exposure to hazardous elements.  Limited travel to field sites and assistance with sample collection may also be required.  Work will be performed in an office or laboratory setting at the GWERD and at select field sites.  During work in the laboratory, you will wear safety glasses, a laboratory coat (provided by GWERD), and closed-toed shoes.  Work performed at field sites may require HAZWOPER training, life jackets, hearing protection, safety glasses, and other specialized safety equipment (provided by GWERD) as dictated by the Health and Safety Plan for the field site.  The work day will be eight hours Monday through Friday unless otherwise agreed to by you and EPA mentor.


  • Be at least 18 years of age and
  • Have A Bachelor of science degree in ecology, biology, limnology, environmental science, chemistry, environmental engineering, or a closely related scientific field of study 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: Bachelor's Degree or Master's Degree received within the last 24 month(s).
  • Overall GPA: 2.00
  • Discipline(s):
    • Engineering (27 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (13 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (47 )
    • Other Physical Sciences (12 )