Research Technician - Environmental Data Center at the Toolik Field Station

    Apply now
  • Job Number:521750
  • Classification:Research Technician 3
  • Grade:Grade 77
  • Work type:On Campus, Staff Full-time
  • Administrative Unit:University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • School/Business unit:UAF Institute of Arctic Biology
  • Location:Fairbanks, Toolik Lake
  • Categories: Research/Science/Grants

Position Summary:

The Toolik Field Station at the Institute of Arctic Biology is seeking applications from enthusiastic individuals who are interested in ecological fieldwork in northern Alaska to work as a Research Aide at the Environmental Data Center. Responsibilities will include collecting data on plant phenological and greening events, arrival and departure status of bird species, as well as data entry and organization under general supervision.

Duties:

1-50Field Data Collection (50% - based at TFS) Collect baseline environmental data throughout the year including plant phenology, plant greenness, active layer depth, bird and mammal identification, snow depth, and ice thickness. In addition to the baseline data, provide field support to projects at the station through field assistance for projects in camp, and remote access for projects that are not on-site at the station. Examples of field assistance and remote access include: year-round water sampling, permafrost sampling, plant cover and density measurements, plant phenology, insect & mammal trapping, river and stream discharge among others. Monitor autonomous instrumentation for the SEDC as well as for researchers. Types of autonomous instrumentation include time lapse cameras, meteorological stations with data loggers (Campbell Scientific and Hobo), and atmospheric monitoring equipment. Under intermittent supervision of the SEDC Manager when they are not in camp, plan and coordinate activities with the EDC seasonal technician and intern(s) to fulfill summer work requests.Essential
2-15EDC Data and Analysis (15% - at TFS and Fairbanks) Assist the SEDC manager with maintaining baseline monitoring datasets of measurements and imagery and updating of the data repositories. Provide quality assurance and quality control of the datasets and metadata. When possible, automate the analytical processing of data using batch processing techniques and/or computer programing/ scripting languages (eg. R, python, etc.). Assist in updating the publication database. Write the Naturalist Journal when the Toolik Naturalist is not in camp. As needed, assist the SEDC Manager and GIS & RS Manager with new research site selection.Essential
3-15Updating, maintaining, and managing the common-use field and laboratory equipment (15% - at TFS) Provide, maintain, and schedule the use of common-use scientific equipment. Common-use equipment ranges from lab equipment such as microscopes and scales, to deionized water systems and autoclaves. Field equipment spans from water chemistry sensors, spectral reflectance to thermometers and anemometers. Researchers at TFS checkout common-use equipment online and the SEDC approves the use of all equipment and provides tutorials on how to properly operate the equipment. Regular maintenance and repair is needed on the common-use equipment to keep it functioning for all researchers working out of TFS. On a given day repair or maintenance of equipment may vary from repairing a leaking deionized water system, calibrating a piece of equipment, to examining the electrical connections in a sensor. Conduct web-based research to identify equipment and software to support TFS research. Occasionally prepare specifications and forward equipment or software quotes to the SEDC Manager for equipment/ supplies such as new drying ovens, cameras, field spectrometers, etc. Troubleshoot all equipment problems and report issues and resolution to the SEDC manager.Essential
4-10Community engagement (10% - at TFS) Engage with the TFS community Participate in Community based activities and initiatives to improve the TFS community as a whole. Example - participate in the DEI initiatives in camp. Help other departments at TFS when needed (dishes, shoveling, moving boxes, helping fix things)Essential
5-10Logistical support (10% - at TFS) Active communication with researchers about their support and equipment requests through the TFS online platform and using tools such as Slack and email. Help facilitate shipping of samples to researchers institutions. Regular communication and reporting to the SEDC Manager.Essential
Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:
  • Interest in arctic flora and fauna and the ability to use field guides and keys to identify organisms
  • Experience with data collection (ecological, hydrological, meteorological, etc.), entry, and quality control.
  • Attention to detail and willingness to learn new skills
  • Familiarity with field equipment to measure greenness, discharge rates, water chemistry sondes, GPS units and handheld data recording.
  • Technical skills at troubleshooting and repairing field and laboratory equipment.
  • Ability to write and execute simple statistical analysis (Excel, R, other software).
  • Proficient in using Microsoft Office products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and Online Google products.
  • Strong organizational and record keeping skills and attention to detail.
  • Work independently under intermittent supervision of the SEDC manager to accomplish multiple tasks and work requests; assist the SEDC manager in advising the seasonal EDC technician and intern(s) when providing support to research projects.
  • Ability to seek input from supervisor as needed and to learn quickly by experience and instruction.
  • Ability to work independently in a team setting and to stay on task with a minimum of supervision.
  • Ability to interact positively with a diverse community of scientists (ranging from undergraduates to senior PIs) as well as federal and state agency personnel.
  • Strong communication skills (verbal, written, and interpersonal). This position requires frequent interaction with researchers as well as federal and state agency personnel.
  • Willingness to work in a remote field site and live in a community setting
  • Ability to use a variety of types of transportation to access field sites including, but is not limited to: driving a 4 wheel drive pickup truck along the Dalton Highway, access sites via truck and over the uneven tundra on snow machines, skis, snowshoes, hiking, and across lakes with motor boats, row boats and canoes.
  • Ability to participate in rigorous fieldwork under adverse conditions (hot, cold, sunny, windy, snowing, freezing).
  • Physically capable of traveling 10 miles (round trip) per day across uneven tussock tundra or snow while transporting required equipment (up to 50lbs) occasionally in inclement to severe weather.
  • This position requires living at a remote facility, often with limited privacy, for significant periods of time. Shifts will sometimes need to be shorter or longer than what is detailed above. The position will often be required to work significant overtime (on average 54 hours a week), and will regularly work 6+ days a week when on-site.
  • It is expected that all Toolik Field Station team members act as a team. In a remote location with a small staff and an important mission, everyone at TFS is expected to assist all others when safe and appropriate to do so. This includes, but is not limited to, basic housekeeping, janitorial, customer service, snow removal, food service, general labor, and other duties as assigned.
Typical Experience:
College-level work in biological sciences, experience with plant and bird identification, ecological fieldwork experience.
Preferred Experience Includes: Interest and familiarity with arctic flora and fauna. Attention to detail and willingness to learn new skills. Prior experience with ecological data collection, entry, and summary. Experience with herbaria.
Required Education or Training:

Required Experience:
Two years of course work towards a Bachelor's degree in a field of science (Biology, Ecology, Geography, Chemistry, Environmental science, or a comparable field).
Two years of experience relevant to this position or a combination of training and experiences.
Valid AK driver’s license or able to obtain one within three months of being hired.

Preferred Experience:
Bachelor's degree or higher in a relevant field of science (Biology, Ecology, Geography, Chemistry, Environmental science, or a comparable field)
Two years of post-bachelors work experience, or graduate school experience.
Wilderness First Aid or Wilderness First Responder, or willingness to be certified.

Salary Information:

This is a full-time, 12-month, non-exempt staff position complete with both a competitive salary and full employee benefits package. New hires will be placed on the UA staff salary schedule, Grade 77, based on education and experience.

Special Instructions to Applicants:

Please attach a resume, cover letter, and the names and contact information (email address and phone number) for three (3) professional references with your application.

To ensure consideration, please apply prior to the review date. The review process for applications will be begin on October 3, 2022.

UAF COVID Requirements:

Effective immediately, all new UAF hires, whose job function or work location results in the employee being subject to the UAF vaccine requirements guided by the Federal Contractor Employee vaccine mandate*, must be fully vaccinated with an FDA- or WHO- authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine or have obtained a university-approved disability/medical or religious exemption no later than six weeks from the new hire's start date.

*Employees based on UAF’s Troth Yeddha’ (Fairbanks) campus, regardless of university affiliation and remote work status; Employees based in UAF research units outside Fairbanks (including Seward Marine Center, Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center, HAARP, Poker Flat, Lena Point, and Toolik Field Station); and Employees, regardless of their work location, paid by or directly working on impacted UAF federal contract.


This position is a term-funded position and is reviewed annually for contract renewal at the University's discretion.

*To be eligible for this position, applicants must be legally authorized to work in the United States without restriction.  Applicants who now or may in the future require visa sponsorship to work in the United States are not eligible.


The University of Alaska (UA) is responsible for providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities throughout the applicant screening process. If you need assistance in completing this application or during any phase of the interview process, please contact UA Human Resources by phone at 907-450-8200.


UA is an AA/EO employer and educational institution and prohibits illegal discrimination against any individual: www.alaska.edu/nondiscrimination


The successful applicant is required to complete a background check. Any offer of employment is contingent on the background check.


Your application for employment with the University of Alaska is subject to public disclosure under the Alaska Public Records Act.


If you have any questions regarding this position, please contact University of Alaska HR at 907-450-8200.

Advertised: Alaskan Daylight Time
Applications close:

Back to search results Apply now Refer a friend

Share this:

| More

UA