Soil Science Research Technician

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  • Job Number:521869
  • 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 Agr Nat Res & Ext
  • Location:Palmer
  • Categories: Agricultural/Life Sciences/Vet Medicine, Research/Science/Grants

Position Summary:

This is a staff position that will be part of the Soil Science Research Lab at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Matanuska Experiment Farm and Extension Center, located in Palmer, AK. This position will contribute to lab and field research activities in soil science in Alaska agricultural systems. Field work will include soil and plant material sampling and data collection, experiment monitoring, maintaining and repairing equipment installed at field sites, and coordinating activities with landowners and field crews. Lab work will include analyzing soil and plant samples for chemical, physical, and biological properties using standard laboratory equipment and procedures. This position will include data handling (from data entry through quality control and archiving), and contributing to reporting research results in technical and outreach media. This position will include basic lab administrative tasks including supply orders and maintaining inventory, and contributing to planning outreach events and activities. The position will interface with individuals and entities involved in agriculture, UAF and non-UAF staff, faculty, and students, and the general public. Applicants must have a valid driver’s license.


1-30Sampling soil and plant materials from agricultural field research sites. Assist with setting up field experimental trials, either on the experimental farm or with cooperating farmers. Setting up and maintaining greenhouse and growth chamber experiments. Contributing to farm labor and facilities maintenance.Essential
2-30Conducting chemical, physical, and biological tests of soil and plant samples in the lab. Operating lab and field instruments and associated software (chemical analyzers, sensors, data loggers), troubleshooting problems, and repairing damaged equipment.Essential
3-20Entering and organizing data into spreadsheets, screening data for quality control, formatting and reformatting spreadsheets, and archiving and documenting data sets.Essential
4-10Maintaining a clean, safe, organized lab environment. Maintaining lab inventories (chemical reagents & consumable supplies, placing & receiving orders). Assisting with basic lab administrative tasks.Essential
5-10Contributing to planning and preparations for community outreach events and activities. Assisting with development of technical and outreach media to communicate science to diverse audiences.Essential
Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:
  • Strong organizational skills (for managing equipment, samples, data, records, and communications).
  • Knowledge of computer skills necessary for contributing to research activities (email, word processing, data entry and organization in spreadsheets, internet navigation, file sharing, video conferencing, data management and statistics, GIS software).
  • Uses clear and direct communication, both verbal and written.
  • Familiarity with a laboratory setting and functions (basic equipment, basic chemistry, and lab safety).
  • Ability to manage inventories of equipment and supplies, organize purchases, and contribute to basic administrative duties.
  • Experience or willingness to learn soil and plant material sampling methods, GPS navigation, sample processing, and development of new or modified lab protocols.
  • Experience or willingness to learn field, lab, and/or greenhouse experiment setup and maintenance.
  • Willingness to learn new technical skills, technologies, lab and field methods – possibly through self directed learning.
  • Ability to solve problems and find necessary resources for completing a task.
  • Willingness to occasionally work long days and/or weekends, and to travel to distant field sites on overnight trips.
  • Willingness to contribute to research farm labor, facilities maintenance, events, and activities.
  • Experience developing or contributing to technical and outreach media (displays, written publications, videos, etc.) to communicate science to diverse audiences.
  • Valid driver’s license.
  • Ability to navigate field terrain, operate soil sampling tools, harvest plant materials, and lift 50 lbs.
Typical Experience:
High school diploma or equivalent; 3-4 life sciences classes including chemistry, biology, environmental science, or an equivalent class; ability to use computers for basic research needs; read and write at a college level.
Required Education or Training:

Two years college coursework in environmental sciences, and two years experience in a field relevant to the research (plant or soil science, life science, or chemistry) or an equivalent combination of training and experience. Valid driver’s license.

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.

The review process for applications will be begin on October 6, 2022To ensure your application is considered, apply by 11:55 pm Alaska Standard Time, 10/5/2022.


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:

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:

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