Field Technician- Fairbanks, AK
Friday, November 06, 2015 10:23 PM

COMPANY OVERVIEW

The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is a $430 million dollar observatory project dedicated to understanding how changes in climate, land use and invasive species impact ecology. For the next three decades NEON will collect a comprehensive range of ecological data on a continental scale across 20 eco-climatic domains representing US ecosystems. NEON will use cutting edge technology including an airborne observation platform that will capture images of regional landscapes and vegetation; mobile, re-locatable, and fixed data collection sites with automated ground sensors to monitor soil and atmosphere; and trained field crews who will observe and sample populations of diverse organisms and collect soil and water data. A leading edge cyber-infrastructure will calibrate, store and publish this information. The Observatory will grow to 300+ personnel and will be the first of its kind designed to detect and enable forecasting of ecological change at continental scales.


LOCATION


The Domain 18/19 Field Operations Manager’s primary work location is in Fairbanks, AK. This position supports sites in the Taiga and Tundra Domains. Taiga Domain candidate sites are located at the Caribou-Poker Creeks Research Watershed near Chatanika, AK, south of Delta Junction, AK and near Healy, AK. Tundra Domain candidates sites are located at Toolik Field Station south of Prudhoe Bay and at Barrow Environmental Observatory. The Taiga and Tundra domains include most of Alaska.


JOB SUMMARY


The Field Technician reports to the Field Operations Manager and will be hired as a Field Technician I, II, or III level depending on skills, experience, and education.

Field Technician I

The Field Technician I is a biological sampling lead performing seasonal and periodic sampling activities and sample processing. Seasonal field sampling is conducted with the assistance of temporary field crews under the guidance of the Field Technician.

Field Technician II

The Field Technician II is a biological sampling lead performing seasonal and periodic sampling activities and sample processing. The Field Technician II will be the technical lead for performing routine maintenance and inventory management on all terrestrial sampling equipment. The Field Technician II will provide guidance to temporary field crews while working in the field and laboratory.

Field Technician III

The Field Technician III is the shift lead performing and supervising seasonal and periodic sampling activities and sample processing. The Field Technician III will have primary responsibility for coordinating sampling and laboratory activities at terrestrial sampling sites. The Field Technician III will have additional roles and responsibilities assisting the Field Operations Manager with management of the Domain Support Facility, hiring and training seasonal field staff, and acting as manager in the absence of the Field Operations Manager.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

NEON will be selecting individuals for each of the following:

Instrumentation (tower) emphasis:

  • Test, troubleshoot and operate instruments, calibration equipment and test fixtures.
  • Inspect and maintain civil infrastructure including boom arms, sensor mounts, towers, boardwalks and instrument huts.
  • Assist the NEON Systems Engineering Product Team with instrument installation and testing (approximately the first 6 months).
  • Record activities, completed work and trouble tickets according to Field Operations protocol.

Mammalogy emphasis:

  • Lead, perform and coordinate teams performing small mammal trapping.
  • Obtain measurements and record observations of captured rodents including animal identification of local species.
  • Collect tissue and blood samples from captured rodents.
  • Train domain staff on best practices for animal handling and sample collection techniques.

General duties include:

  • Report activities, completed work, and sampling problems according to Field Operations protocols.
  • Inspect, maintain and operate field, safety and laboratory equipment.
  • Operate laboratory equipment (e.g. Wiley Mill, drying oven, analytical balance, centrifugal mill, pH meter, microscope, and muffle furnace).
  • Assist the Field Operations Manager with recruiting and training of seasonal field personnel.
  • Provide instruction and technical guidance to seasonal field personnel.
  • Perform plot establishment by locating plots with GPS navigation as well as measuring and marking plots.
  • Assist the Field Operations Manager with materials planning, inventory and ordering as well as day-to-day oversight of personnel and scheduling of activities coordinated from the field office.
  • Follow NEON safety and Field Operations policy and procedures.

Field activities may include:

  • Follow established, standardized field protocols for sample collection and handling; record and verify accuracy of data from sample collections; process samples in the laboratory; send samples to external analytical labs. Train and lead field crews performing the aforementioned items.
  • Perform other field sampling activities as assigned including: ground beetle collection (pitfall trapping), mosquito collection (CO2 light traps, tick collection (dragging and flagging) and soil core collection.
  • Test, troubleshoot and operate tower, soil and aquatic instruments, calibration equipment and test fixtures.
  • Inspect and maintain civil infrastructure including boom arms, sensor mounts, towers, boardwalks and instrument huts.
  • Monitor and sample aquatic sites for water quality, biological indicators and physical properties of site (e.g. gaging streams, geomorphic mapping).

Physical demands: The work is physical and involves walking, hiking, prolonged standing, walking and bending. Heavy items (e.g. equipment and packs up to 40 pounds) must be lifted and carried on a routine basis.

Work environment: Field work includes exposure to extreme weather conditions and terrain, pesticides, poisonous plants, biting insects, and wild animals. Tower work involves performing work on instrument towers ranging in height from 24 feet to 300 feet which will include ascending and descending multiple flights of stairs.

REQUIRED: EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE, KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS

All Technician Levels:

  • Ability to work in a team environment.
  • Experience should include performing scientific data entry and data management.
  • Ability to hike off-trail to assigned field site for long distances carrying field equipment (pack weighing up to 40 lbs.) for extended periods of time.
  • Ability and willingness to travel overnight frequently (e.g. semi-monthly for 3-4 nights).

NEON will be selecting individuals for Field Technician I, II and III levels. Equivalent education and experience may be considered. Indicate the level you are most qualified for on the application.

Field Technician I

  • Bachelor’s degree in ecology, environmental sciences or related scientific discipline.
  • One (1) or more years’ of related experience.

Field Technician II

  • Bachelor’s Degree in ecology, environmental sciences or related scientific discipline.
  • Three (3) or more years’ of related experience.

Field Technician III

  • Bachelor’s Degree in ecology, environmental sciences or related scientific discipline.
  • Five (5) or more years’ related experience. Previous experience in scheduling, training, leading and auditing the performance of field crews required.

NEON will take into consideration qualifications for specific and diverse experience in the following areas:

Leadership:

  • Effective leadership skills and the ability to motivate others.
  • Effective problem solving skills and the ability to determine and act on changing priorities in a fast paced dynamic environment.
  • Ability to organize and execute multiple activities and priorities.

Skills:

  • Ability to perform minor troubleshooting, calibration, and repair of field equipment.
  • Ability to follow written and verbal instructions.
  • Ability and willingness to learn and adopt new technologies as needed.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • High level of attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Ability to make effective decisions that take into consideration safety and operational standards.

Working conditions:

  • Ability and willingness to work varied field operations schedules (up to 12+ hours per day), including split-shift, part-time, pre-dawn early mornings, evenings and weekends.
  • Ability and willingness to work on towers ranging in height from 24 feet to 300 feet including ascending and descending multiple flights of stairs on instrument towers.
  • Perform field assignments in a variety of terrain and of weather conditions including cold and wet winter weather and extreme heat.
  • Ability to withstand exposure to fumes, dust, and noise.
  • Ability and willingness to work on towers ranging in height from 24 feet to 300 feet including ascending and descending multiple flights of stairs on instrument towers.

Must possess a valid US driver’s license. Must have permanent authorization for US employment. NEON, Inc. will not provide any kind of visa sponsorship.

This position offers competitive total rewards including 401(k), health, vision and dental insurance, generous paid time off and the opportunity to work with at an organization with a great mission.

NEON, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, Minorities, Veterans and Disabled Persons are encouraged to apply.

Please apply to: www.neoninc.org