The Ecosystem Conservation lab at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC), led by Dr. Kim La Pierre, is recruiting a full-time research technician. Our lab explores community and ecosystem responses to global change drivers, and the role that symbioses, competition, and trophic interactions play in shaping those responses (https://serc.si.edu/labs/ecosystem-conservation). Our research projects occur in field, lab, and greenhouse settings and include ecological genetics, microbial culturing, and field-based species identification, often in an experimental framework. The technician will be based at SERC and will participate in several collaborative projects investigating the impacts of global change drivers such as increased nutrient availability, elevated CO2, altered consumer pressure, and climate change on plant, microbial, and invertebrate communities. SERC is a vibrant community of scientists set within a 1,027 field-site, and located near the Annapolis, MD and Washington, DC metro areas.
Field and greenhouse duties will include plant species identification and collection, measurement of environmental parameters, seed preparation, experimental set-up and monitoring, and data entry. Lab duties will include sample processing, microbial culturing, routine molecular tasks (e.g., DNA extraction, PCR, DNA visualization, sequencing, genotyping), and next generation sequencing library prep. In addition, the technician will be responsible for day-to-day lab organization and safety under the direction of the PI, including supply inventory and ordering, maintaining lab records (hardcopy and digital), and working collaboratively with other lab members.
Minimum qualifications include a bachelor=92s degree in ecology (or related field) with at least two years of prior research experience, basic ecological genetic skills (PCR, sequencing, genotyping), strong communication and organizational skills, and the ability to work both independently and as part of a team. Additional experience with field surveys, next generation sequencing, and data analysis is preferred.
The preferred start date is late June, and the appointment will be for one year, with a second year contingent on satisfactory performance in year one. While not a federal position, salary and benefits are commensurate with experience, up to a salary equivalent of Grade 7, Step 1 within the federal pay scale.
Interested candidates should send (1) a cover letter highlighting relevant research experience, (2) a resume or CV, (3) contact information for 2-3 references, and (4) an unofficial copy of transcripts to Kim La Pierre (firstname.lastname@example.org). Review of applications will begin on May 1st, and continue until the position is filled.