Research Technician for Ecology Fieldwork


26 April 2023 - 10 May 2023

The Watershed Function Scientific Focus Area (WSF SFA) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory seeks a full-time field research assistant to explore the effects of drought on the acquisition of water and nutrients (e.g., nitrogen and phosphorus) by above- and belowground communities across montane, sub-alpine, and alpine field sites within the Rocky Mountains.

Background: The WSF SFA studies the ecohydrological and biogeochemical dynamics of mountainous environments from the plot to catchment scales. Using tree physiological measurements, tree ring analyses, stable isotope methods, and remote sensing we characterize vegetation responses to climatic drivers by investigating past and current vegetation health as well as
water and nutrient use in the snow-dominated headwater catchments.

Working Conditions: Field work will require driving on rough roads and strenuous hiking to remote study sites. Although most field sites are near roads, several are a few miles away from the nearest road access and require hiking on steep trails while at elevations up to 12,000 feet above sea level.
The locations of our study sites mean that access to bathroom facilities and cell phone reception may be limited for long periods of the workday. We work under a wide range of weather conditions, provided that we can do so safely. Work conditions may include temperatures ranging from 40ºF to >90ºF, high winds, direct sun, and precipitation. We provide safety training, a first aid kit, task-specific personal protective equipment, and an emergency communicator/transponder as part of our field safety plan.

Work Schedule: 40 hours flexible work week to accommodate plant phenology or to work around inclement weather in the forecast.

Work location: Crested Butte, CO

Minimum Experience/Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree, degree in progress, or at least 6-months of work experience in biology, ecology, botany, environmental science, or a related field

Required Skills: 

  • Willingness to drive on mountain roads that may be unpaved, windy, or narrow to access field sites
  • Ability to work in small teams

Preferred Experience, Skills, Training, Education:

  • Ability to take tree ring cores and soil samples
  • Ability of plant physiology analysis
  • Ability to operate a survey GPS/GNSS to collect spatial data
  • Experience using GIS software to produce maps and visualize spatial data
  • Experience with data entry, organization, quality control, and management using spreadsheet software
  • Experience driving 4×4 vehicles (valid driver’s license required)
  • Wilderness First Responder or Wilderness First Aid certification

To apply for this position, please send a Cover Letter explaining your interest in and qualifications for the position, your CV, and Contact Information for References to by May 10, 2023.

If you have questions regarding the job opening or application, you may contact Matthias Sprenger at