Battelle Memorial Institute Lead Temporary Field Technician - NEON Project - D08 - Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Battelle is guided by a founding mission. We invest our knowledge, talents and resources, helping our customers achieve their most important goals. We apply scientific rigor and creativity, succeeding where others may fail and we invest in our communities, making the world better for generations to come. All of us share a common purpose: to solve the greatest challenges of today and tomorrow.

Our 22,000 employees work at the forefront of scientific innovation to tackle critical challenges in security, human health, manufacturing, energy and environmental management. Battelle’s work is grounded in the belief that science, technology and a passion for excellence can make industries more competitive and the world a better place.

Primary Function

Application Instructions: ONLY apply to the one (1) temporary position and location you would consider as your first choice. During the application process, you will provide additional domains/locations you would be willing to work at if your first choice is not available.

Battelle manages and operates the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) project, which is solely funded by the National Science Foundation. A 30+ year project dedicated to understanding how changes in climate, land use and invasive species impact ecology, the observatory’s scientists and engineers are collecting a comprehensive range of ecological data on a continental scale across 20 eco-climatic domains representing US ecosystems. Our teams use cutting-edge technology, including an airborne observation platform that captures images of regional landscapes and vegetation; mobile, relocatable, and fixed data collection sites with automated ground sensors to monitor soil and atmosphere; and trained field crews who observe and sample populations of diverse organisms and collect soil and water data. Once structures are completed, a leading edge cyberinfrastructure will calibrate, store and publish this information. The Observatory includes more than 500+ personnel and is the first of its kind designed to detect and enable forecasting of ecological change at continental scales.

We are currently seeking Lead Temporary Field Technicians . These positions are located in Tuscaloosa, AL .

SAMPLING PERIOD –

Start Date: February-May 2019

End Date: September-November 2019

Location

The NEON Domain 8 support facility is based in Tuscaloosa, home to the University of Alabama. This relatively small town has all the atmosphere, sports and entertainment options you would expect to find as the host of a top university. Birmingham is less than an hour’s drive away, with Atlanta and New Orleans both a four-hour drive away, making weekend trips to these great cities very doable. Tuscaloosa receives an abundance of sunlight with short moderate winters, while summers are very hot, humid, long and punctuated by inland storms and tropical events.

High levels of heat and moisture can also produce volatile weather patterns, such as convective storms which generate lightning, often resulting in wildfires. Our Core Site in the Oakmulgee District of the Talladega National Forest is characterized as a fire dependent, longleaf pine ecosystem. The role of riverine flooding is also fundamental to all our seasonal monitoring and sampling efforts which are conducted directly within the swamps and bottomland hardwood forests. The Black Warrior and Tombigbee River watersheds are the primary aquatic focus for this domain. While conducting all terrestrial and aquatic sampling, teams consistently travel into three diverse landscapes with frequent overnight stays. Days and work-weeks are long, with the majority of activities conducted outside but generally balanced with laboratory time.

Major Responsibilities

Lead Temporary Field Technicians perform and supervise seasonal and periodic sampling of physical, chemical and biological data at one (1)-five (5) field sites, while exercising good judgement and decision-making abilities to interpret protocol requirements. Lead Temporary Field Technicians are assigned an area of primary responsibility within the scope of data collection: botany, entomology, mammalogy (except Puerto Rico and Hawaii), or limnology (except Hawaii).

Field observations and collection are conducted using approximately 30 different protocols and multiple Standard Operating Procedures with varying schedule requirements based on local ecosystem and current field conditions.

Daily and weekly work schedules will fluctuate. Workdays can be up to twelve hours long and may be split with both morning and evening work, with work, at times, beginning at dawn and going through to dusk. Workweeks can include weekends and occasionally may be up to 12 consecutive days.

Individuals are responsible for their own housing and transportation to primary work location.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Performs and supervises field assignemtns in a variety of conditions (e.g., weather, terrain, diverse assigned biomes, etc.).

  • Provides training to seasonal and temporary field personnel.

  • Follows established, standardized field procedures for sample collection; records data from sample collection; and processes samples.

  • Records activities and completed work according to Field Operations protocol.

  • Follows safety and Field Operations policy and procedures.

  • Reports issues with implementation of procedures and coordinates resolution with manager and technicians.

  • Assists with routine administrative duties, special projects and other duties as assigned.

  • Carries, moves and lifts field supplies (pack weighing up to 40 lbs.) to assigned field site (which involves diverse and uneven terrain).

Position Requirements

  • High School Diploma. May require an Associate's degree or experience as a fully qualified Temporary Field Technician with one (1) – two (2) years of related experience

  • Knowledge of best practices for accurate and repeatable field and laboratory measurements across multiple scientific disciplines. Complex and variable systems require judgment and independent decision-making abilities

  • Technical skills using best practices in field and ability to identify aquatic or terrestrial flora and fauna to genus and species.

  • Due to the limited number of positions in each domain, technicians must be willing and able to learn and perform procedures and methods outside of the primary responsibility.

  • Willingness to perform maintenance and field sampling outdoors in sparsely populated, remote locations, with distances ranging from 1/2 hour to 6 hours from the domain office. Overnight travel, hiking off trail, and wading in water are typical in most locations.

  • 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 to hike off trail, long distances, on uneven terrain, at remote locations, in all types of weather, carrying packs weighing up to 40lbs.

  • Ability to work on instrument towers ranging in height from 26 feet to 240 feet and at altitudes of up to 11,000 feet (depending on assigned Domain), involving the ability to ascend and descend multiple flights of stairs.

  • Ability to withstand exposure to fumes, dust, and noise. Field work may require frequent exposure to toxicodendrons (e.g. poison ivy and poison oak), ticks, biting insects and other natural hazards.

  • Proficiency with MS Office Suite (e.g., Excel, Word).

  • Ability to follow written and verbal instructions.

  • High level of attention to detail and accuracy.

  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.

  • Strong work ethic and enthusiasm.

Previous NEON Project field experience will be highly considered

US Citizen or permanent resident only

Legal Disclaimer

BENEFITS

Battelle is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and supports diversity in the workplace. Applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, age, genetic information, disability, veteran-status, or any other characteristic protected under applicable Federal, state, or local law. For more information about our other openings, please visit www.battelle.org/careers