Spring-Summer Research Assistant: Conservation Biological Control and Sustainable Agriculture

Spring-Summer Research Assistant: Conservation Biological Control and Sustainable Agriculture
Title: Biological Science Aide
Series: 0404  Grade: GS2 or GS3
Vacancy Announcement Number: Seasonal L/A
Location: USDA-ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Lab, Sidney, Montana

Dates: March-August 2019 (24-26 week appointment).  Please specify your available start and end dates in your application.

Job Description/Duties: The USDA, Agriculture Research Service, Northern Plains Agriculture Research Laboratory in Sidney, MT is seeking an enthusiastic and hard-working individual to serve as a biological science aide on projects examining the influence of landscape structure and crop diversity on pest insects and their natural enemies (e.g. ladybeetles, parasitoid wasps).  The research is focused on developing ecologically-based, sustainable and environmentally friendly approaches to pest management in agricultural systems.  This position will involve a mixture of field and greenhouse work (~50%), and lab work to sort samples and identify insect pests and their natural enemies (~50%).  The successful candidate will gain hands on experience with insect field sampling methods, set up and maintenance of field and greenhouse experiments and insect rearing and identification techniques, as well as the chance to work with the diverse insect fauna associated with cropping systems in a team oriented research environment.

Salary: $11.68 (GS-2) or $12.74 (GS-3) per hour depending on experience and education. The candidate will receive overtime pay when working above the base work schedule of 40 hours a week.  Housing is not covered, but dorm-style shared housing is available on location for ~$140 per month, including utilities.

Qualifications: The candidate must be a US citizen, with a valid driver’s license.  Additionally, the candidate should be physically fit, and comfortable spending time outside in uncomfortable field conditions (hot, biting insects etc.). Willingness to work long days, and weekends when necessary is also a must. Undergraduate course work in ecology or entomology, and previous field and lab work experience is preferred but not required.
Application process: Please send cover letter, resume and names and contact information of two references (electronically) in a single file to Dr. Tatyana Rand (tatyana.rand@ars.usda.gov).
Open Period: Evaluation of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. For more information on our research program visit our website at https://www.ars.usda.gov/plains-area/sidney-mt/northern-plains-agricultural-research-laboratory/ or contact us directly.