Assistant Research Scientist (Hydrogeologist) OR Post-Doctoral Fellow (Hydrogeologist)

Desert Research Institute (DRI)

Reno, NV, US

Thank you for your interest in employment with the Desert Research Institute.  We want your  application process to go smoothly and quickly.  We ask that you keep in mind the following when completing your application:

  • Once you start the application process you cannot save your work. Please ensure you have all required attachment(s) available to complete your application before you begin the process.
  • Required attachments are listed below on the posting. Your application will not be considered without the required attachments.
  • Please see the application instructions under each posting for information on submittal deadlines.

If you need assistance or have questions regarding the application process, contact Human Resources Hotline at (775) 673-7431 or [email protected].

Job Description

The Desert Research Institute’s (DRI’s) Division of Hydrologic Sciences, in Reno, NV, is seeking an innovative scientist with expertise in the general areas of hydrology, geology, and geochemistry. The successful candidate will contribute their expertise on a project studying northern Nevadans’ exposure to harmful environmental contaminates as part of a newly funded National Institute of Health (NIH) R01 research project to examine the genetic links between cancer and environmental carcinogens in the form of arsenic and naturally occurring asbestos. The successful candidate must have a strong background in hydrology (groundwater/surface), geology, and excellent data management skills. Candidates that have past experience performing field based hydrologic and geologic studies are strongly encouraged to apply. The successful candidate will contribute to a growing range of new programs at DRI focused on understanding the role the environment plays in influencing human health. As a post-doctoral fellow, individuals will have the opportunity to serve as a lead investigator on future projects related to new environmental-health programs at DRI.

Required Qualifications:

  • MSc or Ph.D. with a focus on hydrology, geology, geochemistry or environmental resource engineering from an accredited institution, with a strong interdisciplinary background;
  • Field-based and/or other applied experience collecting and cataloging aqueous and/or geologic samples;
  • Experience with management and organization of hydrologic, geologic, and/or geochemical data-sets;
  • Able to work extended hours in the field (in remote locations) and drive off road using 4×4 vehicles;
  • Able to carry field equipment and rock/water samples (up to 40 lbs.) across variable terrain;
  • Ability to work independently to fulfill project goals and meet project deadlines;
  • Effective verbal and written skills;
  • Effective interpersonal skills with a demonstrated ability to communicate to the public.

Preferred Qualifications:

MS or PhD: Assistant Research Scientist

  • Experience conducting aqueous and/or rock geochemical analyses;
  • Familiarity with GIS;
  • Skills in statistical analysis;
  • Able to work collegially in a group setting.

PhD: Post-Doctoral Fellow (Including above qualifications)

  • Well-established knowledge of geologic and hydrological processes from local to regional scales;
  • Ability to design, set up, and implement novel field and laboratory experiments;
  • Experience with statistical analysis of hydrologic, geologic, or geochemical datasets;
  • Demonstrated ability to develop oral/poster presentations and write peer-reviewed papers with limited supervision;
  • Ability to participate in the development of research proposals.

Conditions of Employment

Work in remote field locations in northern Nevada, for days at a time; work a variable schedule depending on the program needs.

Organizational Summary

The Desert Research Institute (DRI) is a recognized world leader in investigating the effects of natural and human-induced environmental change and advancing technologies aimed at assessing a changing planet. For 60 years, DRI research faculty, students, and staff have applied scientific understanding to support the effective management of natural resources while meeting Nevada’s needs for economic diversification and science-based educational opportunities. With more than 400 employees and two main campuses in Reno and Las Vegas, DRI is one of eight institutions in the Nevada System of Higher Education.

Living in Reno

Reno is a vibrant community that has something to offer everyone. Whether you want to hit the slopes in the Sierras, relax on the beaches of Tahoe, or just find a great place to read that paper, we’ve got you covered. Learn more about living in the Reno/Tahoe region from our friends at the City of Reno, City of Sparks, and The Chamber of Northern Nevada.


Salary is competitive and commensurate with qualifications. Candidate will be hired at the level/rank that is comparable to candidate’s education, experience, knowledge, skills and abilities. Postdoctoral appointments are assessed annually for up to a maximum of three years being dependent upon performance and availability of funding. DRI offers a benefits package that includes medical, dental, vision, life and long-term disability insurance, retirement with matching contributions, annual leave days, a beginning balance of sick leave days, 11 paid holidays, tuition reduction at NSHE institutions for employee, spouse and dependents, and the option to participate in a flexible spending account or health savings account. Additionally, there is no state income tax and no social security deduction. See this link for a benefits overview:



Full-Time Equivalent 


Required Attachment(s)

Please upload the following documents in the specified section online:

  • A cover letter detailing your research experience, career goals, project interests;
  • A current curriculum vitae;
  • Contact information for three professional/work-related references, to be contacted at the appropriate phase of the recruitment process based on applicant permission                                      

Qualified individuals are encouraged to apply immediately and provide all required attachments to receive full consideration.

Further information on DRI and the Division of Hydrologic Sciences can be obtained at and For questions regarding this position or assistance with your application, please call the DRI recruiting office at 775-673-7319.

Posting Close Date


Note to Applicant

Applicants should fully describe their qualifications and experience with specific reference to each of the minimum and preferred qualifications. The search committee will use this information during the initial review of application materials. 

References will be contacted at the appropriate phase of the recruitment process based on applicant notification and permission.

Newly hired faculty and postdoctoral fellows must assure that their official transcript is submitted to the Human Resources Office within 30 calendar days from the effective date of employment.  Academic degrees must have been awarded by regionally accredited institutions.

This position may require a criminal background check to be conducted on the candidate(s) selected for hire.

As part of the hiring process, applicants for positions in the Nevada System of Higher Education may be required to demonstrate the ability to perform job-related tasks.

DRI employs only U.S. citizens and aliens authorized to work in the U.S. DRI only sponsors aliens applying for research faculty or postdoctoral fellow positions (J-1 or H-1B Visas).

All applicants hired by the Desert Research Institute are subject to E-Verify.