Fall-Winter Research Assistant: Sustainable Agriculture and Grassland
Job Description: 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 to assist with
processing of insect samples from research projects focused on developing
ecologically-based, sustainable and environmentally friendly approaches to
pest management and insect conservation in the dominant crop and grassland
systems of the Northern Plains. Projects include studies of the influence
of landscape structure and drought on pest insects and their natural enemies
(e.g. ladybeetles, parasitoid wasps), and the impacts of oil development and
other management practices on grasshopper communities. The duties of this
position will primarily entail laboratory work, to sort, count and identify
insects from samples collected from wheat, alfalfa and rangeland. Rearing
insects and/or growing plants in growth chambers or greenhouse may
additionally be involved. The position will also involve helping with
routine maintenance of the workspace (i.e. organizing samples and supplies,
washing laboratory equipment, etc.). The successful candidate will gain
hands on experience with insect sample processing and identification, as
well as the chance to work with the diverse insect fauna across three major
systems in a team oriented research environment.
Salary: $11.17 (GS-2) or $12.19 (GS-3) per hour depending on experience and
education. The candidate will receive overtime pay when working above 40
hours a week. Housing is not covered, but dorm-style shared housing is
available on location for $131 per month, including utilities.
Dates: We are looking for an individual who can work at least 3 months and
up to 7 months during the period from October through April. Please specify
your available start and end dates in your application.
Qualifications: The candidate must be a US citizen. Must be able to rapidly
learn new skills, remain focused in a shared work environment and be
comfortable working long hours at repetitive tasks in the lab. 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) to Dr. Tatyana Rand
Evaluation of applications will begin immediately, and continue until the
position is filled. Please note that due to long processing times for
federal hiring, there will be a minimum of 5-weeks delay between selection
of the successful candidate and receipt of all their final application
materials, and the actual start date of work at the lab. For more
information on the application process or our research program visit our
website at www.ars.usda.gov/npa/nparl or contact us directly.