Visiting Assistant Scientist, Geochemist - Illinois State Geological Survey
Illinois State Geological Survey
May 16, 2018
Full Time - Experienced
Visiting Assistant Scientist, Geochemist
Illinois State Geological Survey
Prairie Research Institute
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) is a premier state geological survey, with over 200 scientists and technical support staff, serving the needs of the public, government, and industry with earth science information and research relevant to natural resources, environmental quality, economic vitality, and public safety. ISGS is part of the Prairie Research Institute (PRI) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign which is centrally located between Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis. PRI houses five large scientific surveys covering a wide range of expertise including biology, water resources, climate, geology, sustainable technology, and archaeology. PRI’s mission is to provide objective, integrated scientific research and service, in cooperation with other academic and research units of the University of Illinois and elsewhere, that allow citizens and decision-makers to make choices that ensure sustainable economic development, enduring environmental quality, and cultural resource preservation for the people, businesses, and governments of Illinois. To learn more about ISGS please visit http://isgs.illinois.edu/.
ISGS is seeking to hire a Visiting Assistant Scientist, Geochemist to direct and manage the isotope geochemistry laboratories and perform related responsibilities. Position is based in Champaign, Illinois.
Major Duties and Responsibilities:
Direct and manage operations of the isotope geochemistry laboratory including sample receiving, sample processing, quality control of analytical results, operation and maintenance of analytical equipment reporting analytical results, preparation of invoices, managing laboratory inventory, and purchasing supplies.
Define and implement laboratory best management practices.
Establish and implement scientific methods, protocols, and procedures through research and laboratory experiments for gas and isotopic analysis of gaseous and aqueous samples. Conduct experiments to develop new and improve existing methods and procedures when needed.
Establish laboratory quality assurance and quality control standards through laboratory experiments and testing, and where appropriate involve interlaboratory proficiency assessments.
Apply QA/QC protocols to sample processing procedure to ensure high-quality analytical results.
Supervise, mentor, and lead junior staff and hourly workers to achieve success and foster a culture of innovation and high-level performance at both individual and organizational levels. This includes task assignment, scheduling, on-going performance management with coaching and feedback.
Ensure the safety of staff and equipment.
Develop and maintain records (including electronic databases and paper files) with results of laboratory analyses and appropriate ancillary data for purposes including the storage, maintenance, tracking, reporting and archiving of sample related information.
Introduce new computer software and technology to laboratory operation to enhance efficiency and effectiveness of laboratory processes, enhance data quality, and reduce operational cost.
Prioritize equipment needs of the laboratories including maintenance and acquisition.
Acquire and assemble analytical equipment required to carry out functions of the isotope geochemistry laboratories.
Evaluate and set service fees with Survey financial staff and management in accordance Survey and University guidelines.
Manage financial and budgetary resources of the stable isotope service account (which is funded by stable isotope and gas chromatography analytical work) with assistance from finance staff and supervisor.
Ensure that the laboratory operates in a fiscally responsible and financially stable condition.
Communicate with laboratory customers regarding laboratory services, analytical needs, sample status, and analytical results.
Respond to inquiries about services.
Prioritize and manage laboratory workflow based on staff needs and laboratory efficiency.
Periodically evaluate staffing needs of the laboratory for efficient and effective operation.
Serve on standing and working committees related to safety and chemical hygiene.
Participate in committee meetings and meet with PRI and UIUC representatives.
Coordinate survey-wide safety and maintenance services (e.g., balance maintenance, pipette calibrations, periodic eye wash and safety shower assessments).
Proactively address laboratory safety issues. Facilitate annual lab inspections and respond fully to all Division of Research Safety audit findings.
Perform other duties as needed in order to further the mission and goals of PRI.
Required Qualifications: Master's degree in geology, chemistry, biology, soil science, or related discipline. Alternate degree fields will be considered/accepted depending on the nature and depth of the experience as it relates to this position. At least 3 years of related industry or research experience. Demonstrated experience in laboratory management skills including problem solving, QA/QC practices, data management, and supply management. Demonstrated experience with a range of techniques for the analysis of isotopes. Mechanical ability applicable to the upkeep of laboratory analytical equipment. Demonstrated ability to critically review existing methods and research and develop new laboratory methods, procedures, and standards. Ability to apply analytical/scientific thinking to define and solve problems. Effective communication, personal relations, collaboration, organizational, teamwork, and leadership skills. Demonstrated ability to perform effectively in a diverse and fast-paced work environment consisting of multiple and changing priorities with stringent deadlines, under minimal supervision. Attention to detail, sound judgment, and strong conflict resolution skills. Ability to work effectively both independently and in team settings. Proficiency in commonly employed software and databases as well as analytical equipment specific software. Preferred Qualifications: Database utilization and development, budget management, and invoicing experience. Experience and proficiency with equipment such as isotope ratio mass spectrometer, gas chromatograph, and other equipment used for isotopic analysis. Experience in maintenance of a range of analytical equipment used for isotopic analysis. Experience with database or laboratory information management system software.
This is a visiting full-time 12-month academic professional position, renewable annually based upon satisfactory progress in the position and continued funding. Position may become a regular, non-visiting position at a later date depending on funding and programmatic need. The starting date is negotiable after the closing date. Salary is commensurate with experience. Applications must be received by June 15, 2018. Applicants may be interviewed before the closing date; however, no hiring decision will be made until after this date. To apply, please visit https://jobs.illinois.edu/academic-job-board to complete an online profile and to upload 1) a cover letter that clearly articulates how your qualifications and experience make you a viable candidate for this position and should address the qualifications listed above, 2) a résumé/CV, and 3) the names and contact information (including e-mail addresses) of three professional references. All requested information/documentation must be submitted for applications to be considered. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
For further information please contact Lori Walston-Vonderharr, Human Resources, Prairie Research Institute, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 217-244-2401. The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.
The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit http://go.illinois.edu/EEO. To learn more about the University’s commitment to diversity, please visit http://www.inclusiveillinois.illinois.edu.
About Illinois State Geological Survey
The Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) is part of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The Survey is located in the Natural Resources Building on the University's 700-acre campus. This central Illinois location is just 130 miles south of Chicago. It is a cultural and educational center that is ranked as one of the top ten "high-tech" cities in the U.S. The area provides the attractive combination of small-city convenience and quality of life with ready access to world-class laboratory and academic facilities, Big Ten athletic events, and internationally acclaimed cultural opportunities. The ISGS is a premier state Geological Survey serving the needs of Illinois with earth science information relevant to the State's environmental quality, economic vitality, and public safety. Some 200 scientists and technical support staff conduct basic and applied research in geology, compile geologic maps, and gather and manage the state's geological data to provide information to industry, governmental agencies and the public about the geology and mineral resources of Illinois.