Research Associate in Ecology

Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado, United States
20 Aug 2017
End of advertisement period
17 Sep 2017
Contract Type
Full Time

Description of Work Unit

The NREL is a research and teaching unit at Colorado State University with a mission “to ensure the sustainability of the Earth’s ecosystems through the generation and application of new knowledge.” The department’s interdisciplinary, ecosystem research promotes collaborations among disciplines and across fields of expertise at CSU and throughout the world. As a soft-money research unit, this role is critical to ensure adequate funding to sustain its vital role in the research community both locally and across the globe.

Position Summary

We seek an ambitious, curious, and organized research associate to assist with soil ecology laboratory and field work. The selected candidate will be responsible for performing a broad range of molecular and soil ecology lab analyses. This may include, but not be limited to, soil sieving, soil DNA extraction, PCR, qPCR, preparing samples for Sanger and high-throughput sequencing, enzyme assays, soil fractionation procedures, stable isotopes, preparing chemical reagents and solutions, and preparing and analyzing samples for a suite of chemical analyses.

The candidate will also perform greenhouse work and fieldwork, which will include maintaining greenhouse experiments and field trials, planting, plant care, soil sampling, and sample preservation.

The individual will be responsible for maintaining well-organized and meticulous research records. They must be skilled in aseptic technique, lab safety and lab hygiene. The selected candidate will actively participate in research group meetings and present weekly results and progress on projects.

Required Job Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree in soil science, microbiology, ecology or related field.

Preferred Job Qualifications

Experience with field soil collection.
Experience with laboratory analysis.
Experience with data management.
Ability to work independently and problem solve.
Strong writing ability.
Experience with statistical analysis.

Diversity Statement

Reflecting departmental and institutional values, candidates are expected to have the ability to advance the Department’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Essential Duties

Job Duty Category Research Duty/Responsibility

Collect field soil and plant samples. Process soil and plant samples using established protocols to prepare them for chemical analyses. Conduct laboratory analyses including, enzyme assays, soil fractionation procedures, soil moisture, soil and plant nitrogen and carbon, soil respiration, and soil carbon isotopes.

Percentage Of Time 30 Job Duty Category Sample preperation Duty/Responsibility

Prepare soil DNA samples for sequencing analyses using established protocols.

Percentage Of Time 20 Job Duty Category Research data recording Duty/Responsibility

Record laboratory activities in notebooks and enter data into spreadsheets to ensure data tracking and ability to link data to sample identifications

Percentage Of Time 20 Job Duty Category Professional development Duty/Responsibility

Read literature, attend seminars and lab meetings to improve comprehension of research being conducted, contribute new ideas and evolve professionally.

Percentage Of Time 20 Job Duty Category Project Management Duty/Responsibility

Supervise student hourlies to assist with completion of research tasks.

Percentage Of Time 10

Application Details

Special Instructions to Applicants

Application materials consist of cover letter, resume and 3 professional references.
References will not be contacted without prior notification of candidates.

Conditions of Employment

Pre-employment Criminal Background Check (required for new hires)

Search Contact

EEO Statement

Colorado State University is committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment based on race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy and will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. Colorado State University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce and complies with all Federal and Colorado State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. The Office of Equal Opportunity is located in 101 Student Services.