EPA Water Analysis Research Support

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Reference Code

The EPA Environmental Research and Business Support Program has an immediate opening for an EPA Water Analysis Research Support with the Office of Research and Development at the EPA facility in Ada, OK.

The Office of Research and Development at the EPA supports high-quality research to improve the scientific basis for decisions on national environmental issues and help EPA achieve its environmental goals. Research is conducted in a broad range of environmental areas by scientists in EPA laboratories and at universities across the country.

The Ground Water and Ecosystems Restoration Division (GWERD) located in Ada, Oklahoma conducts basic and applied research to understand processes affecting the quality and availability of ground water and to evaluate and develop strategies and technologies to protect ground water resources.  Scientists conduct research to evaluate ground water flow and factors influencing the fate and transport of anthropogenic and naturally occurring contaminants in the subsurface.  Scientists also conduct research focused on ecosystem processes and manipulations that can be used to achieve restoration goals.  Researchers provide technical support to federal and state environmental regulators on issues regarding subsurface contamination, contaminant fluxes to other media (such as surface water and air), and ecosystem restoration.

To support these activities, GWERD laboratories are equipped with state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation for chemical characterization of ground water and surface water.  The analytical function of the Division is critical to supporting the research and technical assistance mission of the laboratory.  This project involves analytical support for the analysis of water to support research to protect surface water resources, field support for collection of samples from selected streams and reservoirs included in the study, spreadsheet and database support for file organization, and additional project support as needed.

The selected candidate shall provide field sample collection, laboratory sample analysis, data management, data curation and data analysis support to the SHC 2.61 project. His/her time shall be split between the laboratory, field and administrative desk duties. Primary duties shall be assisting the PI with data collection and input of that data into electronic formats, performing quality assurance checks on data, analytical support, and any associated administrative duties such as HASP/QAPP development or revisions.  He/she shall assist with data collection activities, data checking/verification activities, and data analysis for water quality analyses conducted at GWERD.  He/she may be required to assist with preparation for field trips and log in/receipt of samples for processing after field trips and glassware washing processes at GWERD.  Limited travel to field sites and assistance with sample collection may also be required.  He/she shall be trained to collect data, verify data, input data, and generate reports.

The selected candidate shall maintain careful and accurate records in a laboratory notebook, following the requirements of an approved quality assurance project plan (QAPP), document electronic file contents and locations, and will make entries as necessary into permanent laboratory instrument logbooks.  These notebooks and all other data produced under this order shall be the property of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  He/she shall receive training on basic safety requirements at GWERD before he/she begins work in the laboratory. 

Depending upon experience, the selected candidate may be trained and pass a proficiency test on analytical equipment, sample preparation, and standard operating procedures for the specific equipment.  Analytical and research equipment may include, but not be limited to Spectroscopy, fluorometry, Hach Kits, and hydrolabs.  

The selected candiate will receive hands-on administrative/scientific database experience.

Responsibilities may include, but not limited to:

  • Receiving, monitoring, and coordinating incoming administrative support requests; determining from instructions and guidelines those that should be personally addressed,
  • Developing, managing, and maintaining systems and databases to track administrative and scientific research,
  • Developing  procedures for maintaining the data current and accurate; and utilizing automated systems to enter, search, edit and extract data and information,
  • Developing briefing and presentation materials, preparing spreadsheets, charts, and narrative information for management as well as scientists, and
  • Performing miscellaneous activities when requested.

The selected candidate may be expected to participate in conferences or seminars.

Salary: Selected applicants will become temporary employees of ORAU and will receive an hourly wage of $20.04 for hours worked.

Travel: Limited travel may be required. 

Expected Start Date: The position is full time and expected to begin October 2016.  The selected applicant will be a temporary employee of ORAU working as a contractor to EPA. The initial contract period is through May 14, 2017, and EPA may elect to renew the contract for an additional three (3) 12-month optional periods.

Working Conditions: 

The selected candidate will be supervised by a mentor who will provide day-to-day direction, as well as coach, advise, and counsel, and review his/her work.  The mentor for this position will be a federal EPA employee. 

This position will primarily involve work in a laboratory setting and may involve exposure to hazardous elements.  Limited travel to field sites and assistance with sample collection may also be required.  Work will be performed in an office or laboratory setting at the GWERD and at select field sites.  During work in the laboratory the selected candidate will wear safety glasses, a laboratory coat (provided by GWERD), and closed-toed shoes.  Work performed at field sites will require HAZWOPER training, steel toed boots, hard hats, and other specialized safety equipment (provided by GWERD) as dictated by the Health and Safety Plan for the field site.  The work day will be eight hours Monday through Friday unless otherwise agreed to by the selected candidate and EPA mentor.

For more information, contact EPAjobs@orau.org. Do not contact EPA directly.


Eligible applicants must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age and
  • Have earned at a minimum a Bachelor’s Degree in ecology, biology, limnology, environmental science, chemistry, environmental engineering, or another scientific discipline from an accredited university or college within the last 24 months and
  • Be a citizen of the United States of America or a Legal Permanent Resident.

EPA ORD employees, their spouses, and children are not eligible to participate in this program.

Required Knowledge, Skills, Work Experience, and Education

The applicant shall have:

  • Experience with general laboratory techniques, such as using pipets, balances, preparation of solutions, etc.,
  • Documented course work with laboratory credit in chemistry,
  • Physical ability to lift up to 50 pounds and tolerate hot/cold/wet field conditions during field trips for sample collection,
  • Demonstrated experience with Microsoft Products Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook,
  • Proficiency in oral, written and electronic communication in English, and
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently.

Desired Knowledge, Skills, Work Experience, and Education

It is desirable for the candidate to have:

  • Demonstrated experience with Access and EndNote X7.

How to apply:

  • Submit application and supporting documents by clicking on Apply Now button.
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: LPR or U.S. Citizen
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree, or Doctoral Degree received within the last 24 month(s).
  • Overall GPA: 2.00
  • Discipline(s):
    • Chemistry and Materials Sciences (12 )
    • Earth and Geosciences (21 )
    • Engineering (27 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (14 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (45 )

I certify that I am at least 18 years of age; a recent graduate with at a minimum a Bachelor’s Degree in ecology, biology, limnology, environmental science, chemistry, environmental engineering, or another scientific discipline from an accredited university or college within the last 24 months; a citizen or a Legal Permanent Resident of the United States of America; and not a current employee of EPA ORD or the spouse or child of an EPA ORD employee.

ORAU is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE AA M/F/Vet/Disability); visit the ORAU website for required employment notices.

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