Research technician: Influence of agricultural conservation practices on stream water quality and watershed nutrient loads

Heidelberg University

Tiffin, OH, USA 🇺🇸

Description

Reporting to the Director of the National Center for Water Quality Research, the research technician will work primarily on a project examining the influence of agricultural conservation practices on stream water quality and watershed nutrient loads.  This project is funded by the USDA-NRCS Conservation Effects and Assessment Program (CEAP) and is in collaboration with The Ohio State University’s Pilot Water Program. In addition, they will assist with sampling wetlands to assess nutrient reductions associated with the Ohio Department of Natural Resource H2Ohio Program and the overall operation and success of the NCWQR. The ideal candidate will have a passion for environmental sciences, be detail-oriented, and enjoy working in a fast-paced research center on projects with a substantial amount of field work and a possible mix of laboratory analysis.  

SUPERVISION RECEIVED:

Reports directly to the Director of the National Center for Water Quality Research. 

SUPERVISION EXERCISED:

The research technician may supervise student employees.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

Pilot Watershed Project (35%)

Prepare for and conduct fieldwork on two small watersheds in the Blanchard River watershed collecting storm samples, managing water quality sensors, measuring stream discharge, and assisting with the project overall.

Manage field data entry and calculations following field work

Assist with data analysis and modeling efforts

Attend project meetings and conferences

H2Ohio Wetland Monitoring (35%)

Assist the wetland research technician with field work from wetlands throughout Northwest Ohio, including water and soil collection, water sensor deployment, physical measurements, and general observations.

Other field and laboratory activities (20%)

In the water chemistry laboratory, assist with the sample preparation and analysis for the projects listed above as well as the Heidelberg Tributary Loading Program, and any other relevant projects.  

As needed, help with data management, field station maintenance and repair, weekly sample collection, and preparing for sample collection for the Heidelberg Tributary Loading Program.  

Assist with other laboratory projects and the private well testing program (see more at https://ncwqr.org/)

Education and Outreach (10%)

Train and supervise student interns and assist students with independent research projects.

Help with laboratory tours, educational outreach days, or other general outreach activities.

Requirements

CORE VALUES AND PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES:

Core values – models leadership values of integrity, honesty, humility, transparency, respectfulness, diversity, caring, loyalty and accountability in all work. 

Intellectual dynamism – demonstrates mental sharpness, capability and agility.

Self-knowledge – gains insight from successes and mistakes.

Personal learning – seeks feedback and counsel to improve managerial behavior.

Peer relationships – encourages collaboration and cooperation across the organization.

Teamwork – performs most effectively as a hard-working member of a team.

Constituency focus – completes work to meet constituencies’ expectations and requirements.

Community focus – brings a spirit of enthusiasm and energy to the campus and town.

DESIRED ATTRIBUTES AND QUALIFICATIONS:

Education and Professional Experience:

(A) Completion of a Bachelor of Science in the Natural Sciences, Engineering, or a related field. Previous experience in stream sampling, water quality analysis, and/or agroecosystems is preferred.

(B)  Ability to work in adverse field conditions and to lift equipment and samples weighing up to 50 lbs.

(C)  Must have a valid driver’s license and be willing to work a flexible schedule.  

Necessary Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Must demonstrate analytical and strategic thinking abilities.  
  • Outstanding oral and written communication skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to manage several projects simultaneously.  
  • Ability to relate to diverse cross-sections of individuals.
  • Ability to work independently and with a team.
  • Ability to travel as needed or required, work evenings and / or weekends as needed.

TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT USED:  Knowledge of operation and use of various office equipment including, but not limited to:  personal computer, including spreadsheet and word processing software, integrated database software, fax machine, copier, telephone, scanner, and printers.  Employee in this position must have a valid driver’s license.  Will be trained in the use of field and laboratory analytical instrumentation and sample preparation equipment.  

PHYSICAL DEMANDS: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this position.  

While performing the duties of this job, the employee will work in an outdoor environment, the NCWQR laboratory, or in an office setting.  The employee is frequently required to use arms, hands, and fingers to operate instrumentation and may be frequently required to be mobile and communicate.  Specifically, the employee will be required to stand for long periods of time and be mobile in difficult outdoor environments (deep mud, water, uneven terrain). The employee will regularly be subject to a variety of outdoor environmental conditions including heat, cold, and precipitation. 

The employee must frequently lift and/or move up to ten (10) pounds and occasionally lift and/or move more than fifty (50) pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus. Mental demands include varied degrees of occasional stress while performing job duties.

WORK ENVIRONMENT: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.  

While performing the duties of this job, the employee frequently works in a laboratory and office setting, and outdoors in stream, wetland, and/or other field environments. The noise level in the work environment will range from moderately quiet to rarely loud.

SELECTION GUIDELINES:  Candidates should upload a cover letter describing why they’re interested in this position, a current resume, and the contact information for three references. Review will begin March 23, 2023 and applications will be considered until interviews begin. The Research Technician will be selected after a formal application procedure, education and experience rating, oral interview, and reference check. Job related tests may be required.  All offers of employment are contingent upon a satisfactory criminal background screen, motor vehicle record search, drug and alcohol screen, and/or physical examination at the University’s discretion.


POSITION TYPE

ORGANIZATION TYPE

EXPERIENCE-LEVEL

DEGREE REQUIRED

IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development