Temporary Field Technician- Land O' Lakes Wisconsin

National Ecological Observatory Network

Battelle and its affiliate, Battelle Ecology, Inc. manages and operates the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEONTM) project, which is solely funded by the National Science Foundation. A 30+ year project dedicated to understanding how changes in climate, land use and invasive species impact ecology, the observatory’s scientists and engineers are collecting a comprehensive range of ecological data on a continental scale across 20 eco-climatic domains representing US ecosystems. Our teams use cutting-edge technology, including an airborne observation platform that captures images of regional landscapes and vegetation; mobile, relocatable, and fixed data collection sites with automated ground sensors to monitor soil and atmosphere; and trained field crews who observe and sample populations of diverse organisms and collect soil and water data. Once structures are completed, a leading-edge cyberinfrastructure will calibrate, store and publish this information. The Observatory includes more than 500+ personnel and is the first of its kind designed to detect and enable forecasting of ecological change at continental scales.

We are currently seeking Temporary Field Technicians. This position located in Land O' Lakes, WI.

This position reports to the Manager Field Operations of the assigned domain. Temporary Field Technicians assist with field observation; sample collection and handling; sample processing and sample shipment of a variety of taxa.
The Temporary Field Technician will perform a variety of scientific and technical tasks. The Temporary Field Technician is a biological sampling technician performing seasonal and periodic sampling activities. Temporary field sampling is conducted with direction from and assistance of Field Technician I, II and III. The Temporary Field Technician will also perform field and laboratory activities. The Lead Temporary Field Technician may provide guidance to temporary field technician crews.
Daily and weekly work schedules will fluctuate. Work days may be up to twelve hours long. Work days may be split with morning and evening work. At times, work may begin at dawn and go through dusk. The work week may also include weekends, holidays and occasionally may be scheduled up to 12 consecutive days and could include weekends and holidays.
• Follow established, standardized field procedures for sample collection; record data from sample collection; process samples in the domain lab; and prepare samples for shipment to external analytical labs.
• Field sampling activities include the following observation and specimen collection activities:
o Rodent live trapping
o Invertebrate collections
o Sediment, soil and water sample collection
o Plant diversity observations
o Plant biomass and primary productivity measurements
o Lake/stream bathymetry and morphology
o Riparian mapping
• Operate laboratory equipment including Wiley Mill, drying oven, analytical balance, and muffle furnace.
• Utilize GPS navigation system for locating, measuring and marking plots; and placing and setting traps.
• Perform inspection and maintenance of laboratory and field equipment.
• Assist with materials planning and ordering.
• Record activities and completed work according to Field Operations protocol.
• Perform field assignments in a variety of conditions (e.g., weather, terrain, diverse assigned biomes).
• Carry, move and lift field supplies (pack weighing up to 40 lbs.) to assigned field site (diverse and uneven terrain).
• Follow NEON safety and Field Operations policy and procedures.
• Individuals are responsible for their own housing and transportation.
• Overnight stays will be required depending on domain location.
• Must be 18 years of age or older.
• High School diploma or equivalent.
• Ability and willingness to work varied schedules (up to 12+ hours per day), including split-shift, part-time, pre-dawn early mornings, evening and weekends.
• Ability to work safely in variable field conditions including:
o Cold and wet weather and extreme heat
o Hiking on difficult or hazardous terrain
o Exposure to stinging insects and other animal and plant hazards
• Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
• Proficiency with MS Office Suite (e.g., Excel, Word).
• Ability to follow written and verbal instructions.
• Strong work ethic and enthusiasm.
• Ability to withstand exposure to fumes, dust and noise.
• Must possess a current and valid State issued driver’s license with insurable Department of Motor vehicle record (parking violations, minor driving offenses excluded) as determined by Battelle Ecology Inc.’s insurance provider.
• Must have permanent authorization for US employment. Battelle Ecology, Inc. will not provide any kind of visa sponsorship.
• Bachelor’s degree in an associated scientific discipline (ecology, forestry or related field).
• Experience conducting ecology related lab or field work.
• Experience conducting field studies on rodents and collecting blood samples (small mammal techs).
• Experience identifying plants through visual inspection and use of dichotomous key (botany techs).
• Experience backcountry hiking and navigating (maps, compass, and GPS).
• Backcountry safety training course or other safety training.
• Experience leading field sampling activities, hikes, or assisting nature societies with seasonal nature observations.
Overnight stays will be required depending on domain location. All costs associated with business related travel are covered by the project.

Battelle Ecology, Inc. provides employment and opportunities for advancement, compensation, training, and growth according to individual merit, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, age, genetic information, or disability. Our goal is for each staff member to have the opportunity to grow to the limits of their abilities and to achieve personal and organizational objectives. We will support positive programs for equal treatment of all staff and full utilization of all qualified employees at all levels within Battelle Ecology, Inc.


NEON’s Domain 05, the Great Lakes Domain, is located in Wisconsin’s Northwoods and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (the UP). The Domain Support Facility is located at our core research site, the University of Notre Dame Environmental Research Center (UNDERC-East), a property that straddles the Wisconsin—UP border. The location is remote, surrounded by mature forests, wetlands, and pristine lakes, and several hours away any cities.

Employees working in the Great Lakes Domain must be willing to be flexible, both in terms of their work schedule and activities. We work on approximately 30 different research protocols, addressing the ecology of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and each employee will work on several protocols. Most of our field protocols have an element of indoor work, such as laboratory processing of samples or data entry. Field technicians can expect to spend up to 30% of their time working indoors, although this varies considerably by protocol. Full-time staff should anticipate more indoor work, especially during the winter months. Because some of our field protocols require early morning or evening work, or several hours of driving time, technicians must be willing to work a flexible schedule. Common workweek schedules include five 8-hour days and four 10-hour days, not necessarily in a row, and with occasional variance around these schedules. Some of our field protocols require weekend work and each employee is expected to work several weekends during the field season to share the burden. Work at some of our field sites frequently will require overnight stays at a nearby field station, sometimes for several days in a row. Ticks, mosquitos, and blackflies are constant pests to fieldworkers.

The location’s remoteness makes it a vacation destination for those looking to escape the city, but it comes with challenges for those working here. Finding housing and amenities close to the work site can be difficult, and employees can anticipate commutes of anywhere from 20-60 minutes to get to work, to buy groceries, etc. There is no public transportation in the area and reliable personal transportation is a necessity. For those who love exploring the outdoors, there is a wealth of recreation to be had, such as hiking through forested wilderness, bicycling many wooded trails, paddling, and fishing pristine lakes.

Website: http://www.neonscience.org/about/careers