Natural Resources Technician

South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Vermillion, SD, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
Experience Level: 
Not Specified


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This is a Full-Time 40 Hours Weekly position with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. For more information on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, please visit

Major areas of responsibility include:

  • collecting water samples from the statewide Ground Water Quality Monitoring Network that will be used to assess the condition of the state's shallow ground water resources. Tasks include the use of pumping equipment, pH meters, conductivity meters, and thermometers; troubleshooting equipment failures; identifying land-use practices near monitoring sites, performing field analysis and recording the results; collecting water samples using accepted purging and decontamination procedures to obtain the most representative samples possible; managing of sample storage and delivery of samples to the State Department of Health Laboratory within established holding times.
  • developing new wells and maintaining 150 existing wells in the statewide Ground Water Quality Monitoring Network. Tasks include the use of various well development techniques based on the intended use of the well, depth to water, well-screen depth, and water-producing properties of the aquifer; assembly and installation of dedicated submersible pumps into the well network; using global positioning system (GPS) equipment to collect site location data; assisting in surveying the elevations of well casing and ground surface; maintaining and repairing well casings, well protectors, and submersible pumps.
  • assisting in the planning and implementation of sampling programs. Tasks include estimating the time required to complete sampling events; ordering equipment and supplies to maintain a mobile field laboratory; maintaining historical pumping and well recovery data to streamline sampling of wells; helping in the design of field documentation to ensure accurate and comprehensive reporting of field measurements and site conditions; recommending modification of field procedures to ensure efficient collection of high quality data.
  • the Geological Survey Program conducts various hydrogeological investigations using its own drilling personnel and drilling equipment. Areas of responsibility will be to assist with the drilling and well-installation activities in the capacity of a roughneck and to develop and sample wells used in the various investigations. Well development could include using submersible pumps, bailers, or compressed air. Water samples could be collected using a submersible pump, bailer, or compressed air. A strict sampling protocol will have to be followed and documented to ensure the collection of a representative sample.
  • install, program, and retrieve data from in-situ data loggers used for continuous water-level measurements. Areas of responsibility will be to install data logger and transducer in wells, program the data logger to record data at specified intervals, and periodically download data from the data loggers and transfer it to a database.
  • entry of geologic and hydrologic information into databases. Tasks include entering hydrogeological and water quality information into computer databases or spreadsheets that are used by the Technician and other staff for data analysis; performing other data management activities as assigned.
  • the drilling, well-installation, well development, and water sampling commonly occur April - November and will require that time be spent in the field to assist with or perform these activities. Field work may, however, also be required at other times of the year. Overnight stays away from home for 1 to 3 nights per week may be required during some of the field work. Field work can occur in a wide range of weather conditions and may require the lifting of up to 100 pounds and other hard manual labor. Much driving is required to complete some of the job duties.

The successful candidate must hold a valid driver license and must either have, or obtain, a Class A or B commercial driver's license (CDL) within six months of the hire date. The license is necessary so that the successful candidate can drive water trucks that are used in the Geological Survey's drilling activities, if the need arises. The incumbent will be subject to pre-employment, random, reasonable-suspicion, post-accident, follow-up, and return-to-duty drug and alcohol testing.

Field work can occur in a wide range of weather conditions and may require the occasional lifting of up to 50 pounds and other hard manual labor; frequent driving will be required for certain portions of the job; and will include working in the outdoors and in the office.

Normal work hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. However, fieldwork may require the flexing of the work schedule to include longer work days but not to exceed 40 hours per work week.

The Ideal Candidate Will Have:

Knowledge of:

  • well construction and maintenance;
  • basic mechanics of small engines and air compressors;
  • general terminology of geology, geohydrology, and water chemistry;
  • data processing and management;
  • computer applications for data retrieval and storage.

Ability to:

  • learn how to install, troubleshoot, and repair data loggers and continuous recorders;
  • learn how to troubleshoot and repair water level measuring devices;
  • learn how to use survey-grade Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment;
  • collect data according to already developed protocol and to keep accurate records of activities;
  • use Microsoft Office computer software such as Word and Excel;
  • deal effectively and courteously with the public;
  • communicate information clearly and concisely;
  • work effectively with others in a team environment;
  • work independently on assigned tasks;
  • keep accurate and well organized records of field data and procedures.