EPA Environmental Chemistry Laboratory Assistant

Organization
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Reference Code
EPA-SSP-0027-3
Description

The EPA Environmental Research and Business Support Program has an immediate opening for an EPA Environmental Chemistry Laboratory Assistant with the Office of Research and Development at the EPA facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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 National Exposure Research Laboratory (NERL) is responsible for conducting studies of exposure of ecosystems and humans to environmental stressors.   Emerging contaminants (ECs) are among the stressors of concern and NERL is developing methodologies to assess occurrence data.  Occurrence data is necessary for developing risk assessments, whereby risk from a particular exposure is considered and estimated as to its impact on ecosystems and ultimately human health.  As a part of this effort, the Environmental Chemistry Branch (ECB) of the Exposure Methods and Measurement Division (EMMD) is developing specific approaches to develop standardized methods where analytical gaps are identified for specific ECs, in a variety of environmental matrices, and ground-truth those standardized methods.

The work will be predominately in the laboratory and will provide technical laboratory support for research projects characterizing emerging contaminants in a variety of environmental matrices (e.g., biosolids, wastewater, surface and ground water, soils, sediments and plants).

The selected candidate shall work within a multi-disciplinary research team and shall provide technical laboratory support for research projects characterizing emerging contaminants (i.e., metals, algal toxins, pharmaceuticals, HF compounds, etc.) in a variety of environmental matrices (e.g., tire crumbs, biosolids, wastewater, surface and ground water, soils, sediments, plants). 

Responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:

  • Preparing environmental samples, including hazardous environmental samples, for extraction,
  • Performing environmental sample extractions using solid-phase liquid extractors, centrifuges, and accelerated solvent extractors,
  • Operating and analyzing environmental extracts using a liquid chromatography/mass spectrometer (LC/MS), Gas chromatography/mass spectrometer (GC/MS), x-ray fluorescence spectrometer (XRF), and/or inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP/MS), and/or scanning electron microscope (SEM), and
  • Compiling and summarizing experimental data and literature references into organized computer files. General laboratory support duties may include maintaining research supplies and materials, routine maintenance of laboratory equipment, solution preparation, and other duties necessary to carry out the studies.  

General laboratory support responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:

  • Maintaining research supplies and materials,
  • Maintaining  laboratory equipment on a routine basis,
  • Preparing solutions, and
  • Maintaining careful and accurate records in designated laboratory notebooks.

Notebooks and all other data produced under this position will be the property of the Environmental Protection Agency.

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

Location: This job will be located at EPA’s facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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

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

The selected candidate shall be well-versed, and adhere to, proper quality assurance (QA) laboratory procedures. All necessary instructions and training will be provided by the EPA mentor.

This position will involve work in a laboratory setting and can involve exposure to hazardous elements.  The selected candidate will be working in a laboratory environment, with potential exposure to dangerous and toxic materials.  He/she will be required to wear safety apparel and to closely observe safety requirements.  Safety training, and proper personal protective equipment (PPE), will be provided before he/she will be allowed to work in the laboratory.

Travel: No travel is anticipated.

Expected Start Date: The position is full time and expected to begin July 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, followed by three additional 12 month option periods.

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

Qualifications

Eligible applicants must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age and
  • Have earned at least a Bachelor’s degree in biology, toxicology, chemistry, bioinformatics, physics or an environmental science related field of study 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

Successful candidate shall:

  • Demonstrate education and experience in advanced laboratory techniques including one or more of the following:  SEM, mass spectrometry (liquid and gas chromatography), ICP/MS and XRF,
  • Demonstrate education and experience in environmental extraction techniques, including one or more of the following: solid phase extraction (SPE), manual extractions, centrifugation, and accelerated solvent extraction. 
  • Possess a working knowledge of basic laboratory equipment, (i.e., pH meters, balances, pipetting, etc.),
  • Possess a working knowledge of standard preparation, using basic laboratory skills to prepare standards for calibration curves and spiking solutions, and
  • Possess strong written, oral and electronic communication skills, with demonstrated proficiency in the English language.

How to apply

  • Submit application and supporting documents by clicking on Apply Now button.
  • For more information, contact EPAjobs@orau.org. Do not contact EPA directly.
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):
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (13 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (47 )
    • Other Physical Sciences (12 )
    • Physics (16 )
Affirmation

I certify that I am at least 18 years of age; a recent graduate with at least a Bachelor’s degree in biology, toxicology, chemistry, bioinformatics, physics or an environmental science related field of study 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.