Research Assistant

Virginia Commonwealth University

Richmond, VA, US

Description of the Job

Recruiting 2 technicians to support research and outreach focused on the ecology of riverine rock pools. Rock pool technicians will we trained in macroinvertebrate identification and field exampling, experimental design, data management and curation, and basic GIS. Most field work will be conducted on the “dry rock” on the Southside of Belle Island. Students will need to be able to commit at least 20 hours per week, will need to complete required safety, animal handling, and ethics training. Responsibilities will likely include 

  1. Conducting surveys of biodiversity of rock pools, 
  2. Conducting surveys of dragonfly and damselfly activity in and around rock pools, 3. Identification, sorting, and counting of aquatic invertebrate samples, 
  3. Helping identify and add new rock pools to our database and maps, 
  4. Measuring aquatic organisms using basic image analysis software, 
  5. Maintaining field notebooks, 
  6. Assisting in the set up and take down of large experiments conducted in artificial rock pools, 
  7. Monitoring rock pool temperature and oxygen, 
  8. Assisting in outreach education about rock pools, 
  9. Maintaining lab equipment in proper calibration, 
  10. Helping maintain lab web page.

This is an excellent opportunity for students interested in careers in ecology, conservation, or natural resource management.


Previous experience in aquatic field ecology, a valid drivers’ license, familiarity with common insect identification, use of identification keys, use of Excel, R, ArcGIS, Collector for ArcGIS, Storymaps for ArcGIS, WordPress, are all preferred by not required to start.