Job Posting

Contract Student Laboratory Technician Position

U. S. Geological Survey

Position Information


The student or recent graduate will assist U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) staff in the Ecology Branch at the Columbia Environmental Research Center with several projects related to understanding and modeling of ecosystem, community, population, and individual organism responses to physical (e.g., flow, water temperature, substrate), chemical (e.g., contaminants, pH, salinity), biological (e.g., competitors, predators, non-indigenous species), and environmental conditions (e.g., precipitation, air temperature). The student will be expected to assist in multiple field and laboratory activities including: computer modeling, field, and laboratory work associated with multiple studies, including a mixture of aquatic organism maintenance and field data collection associated with multiple animal species of interest. Activities performed for lab and field studies include experiment maintenance, equipment maintenance, data entry, running computer models, literature search, document editing, and assisting in preparation of data summaries and reports. Overnight travel to field sites may be required.

The majority of work is performed in a laboratory or office setting, though occasional field work may occur at offsite field study locations where the student will participate in aquatic and/or terrestrial sample and data collection. Work may continue 7 days a week and work days may exceed 8 hours. When not in the field, the student will work in an office or laboratory setting using computers and assist in conducting aquatic organism maintenance and laboratory studies. The majority of work is performed in office and laboratory settings where fish are exposed or tested in aquaria and various apparatus, and in experimental pond mesocosms located on site.

Required Skills

Students for this position must have completed at least two years of full-time academic coursework with an interest in fish biology, animal behavior, or environmental studies. Individuals who earned a degree in these disciplines within the last year are also considered students eligible for the position. Previous experience in handling and maintenance of fish and other aquatic organisms in basic and experimental settings is highly desirable. Knowledge of fisheries ecology applicable to understanding fish response to environmental conditions is desirable. Knowledge of basic computer operations for desktop and field computers is required. Exceptional inter-personal skills are required. Knowledge of computer software and programming applicable to modelling organismal response to environmental conditions is highly desirable. Must be a licensed driver, as operation of Government vehicles may be required.

The student is responsible for all costs of transportation to and from the principal duty station location. The Government does not provide housing, meals or other living expenses while working at the principal duty station. Transportation will be provided to and from the field investigation sites(s). Meals/cost of food/lodging while at field investigation sites will be provided by the USGS in the same manner as for Federal employees, in accordance with the Government Travel Regulations.

Preferred Qualifications

2+ years full-time college with interest in fish biology, behavior, or environmental science.

Faculty Mentor or Sponsor

Other Comments

Principal Duty Station:

U. S. Geological Survey, Columbia Environmental Science Center, Columbia, Missouri 65201
The anticipated start date for this position is on or about December 15, 2017 and the position will continue to or about December 14, 2018. Over the 52 week period, the total number of hours worked shall not exceed 1250 hours for undergraduate student hires.
In responding to this USGS Student Contract opportunity, interested students should submit a cover letter and resume that includes: full legal name of the student, mailing address, telephone number, email address, date of birth, place of birth, citizenship (if not a US citizen, provide immigration/VISA status), education (including descriptions of relevant classes), work or volunteer experience related to the scientific field, and contact information for references. In addition, a copy of the most recent transcript listing courses taken and the student’s overall GPA should be submitted. All materials must be submitted by mail or email by Tuesday, November 28, 2017 to:

Dr. Mark L. Wildhaber
U. S. Geological Survey
Columbia Environmental Research Center
4200 New Haven Road
Columbia, Missouri 65201

Additional information about the position can be made by email ( or by phone inquiry (573-876-1847).

We encourage students to include a resume or transcript when e-mailing a faculty mentor to apply for a posted position.