27 days old

Senior Lab Technician

Amherst College
Amherst, MA 01002
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Amherst College

Amherst Campus
Amherst Staff
Fixed Term (Fixed Term)
Full time

Amherst has taken a leadership role among highly selective liberal arts colleges and universities in successfully diversifying the racial, socio-economic, and geographic profile of its student body. The College is similarly committed to enriching its educational experience and its culture through the diversity of its faculty, administration and staff.

Job Description:

Amherst College invites applications for the Senior Lab Technician position. The Senior Lab Technician is a full-time, one-year term position (September 15, 2022 through September 15, 2023). Given Amherst's distinction as one of the most diverse liberal arts colleges in the country, the successful candidate will demonstrate the w ays in which they bring value to and will work towards supporting a broadly diverse community.

The Hewitt Lab in the Department of Environmental Studies at Amherst College is seeking a Senior Lab Technician in Soil Ecology and Biogeochemistry. The lab investigates the community and ecosystem ecology of plant-fungal interactions, particularly mycorrhizae, using field and molecular methods. In part, this position will involve biogeochemical and molecular analyses related to an NSF grant investigating treeline vegetation dynamics along a nutrient gradient in the Brooks Range of Alaska, (see award 2129120). For more information about the lab, please see https://www.amherst.edu/people/facstaff/rhewitt .

The senior technician will be involved in laboratory management, including purchasing and mentoring a diverse group of students, conduct molecular benchwork, and process field samples for biogeochemical and plant trait analysis. A core duty of the position will be DNA extraction from roots and soils for preparation of fungal amplicon libraries with NGS sequencing. Other duties will include processing root samples for mycorrhizal colonization and traits and soils for standard biogeochemical analyses of carbon and nutrients. There may be opportunities to participate in fieldwork in Alaska. Leadership and success in completing core duties will be rewarded with opportunities for authorship on scientific publications.

Applicants with a Bachelors, Masters, or PhD are welcome to apply because we are open to hiring at multiple levels of experience.

The specific tasks the technician will be responsible for include

1) keeping the lab tidy, organized, and clean,

2) purchasing equipment and supplies,

3) maintaining safety standards,

4) performing techniques associated with identifying mycorrhizal root colonization and quantifying root traits with WinRhizo,

5) performing DNA extractions from soils and roots,

6)training undergraduate students in molecular methods while employing best practices for inclusion, and

7) data management.

Preferred or Required Qualifications:

The ideal candidate will have experience with some of the responsibilities outlined above; however, is not necessary to have proficiency in all.
  • A bachelor's degree in biology, biochemistry, genomics, microbiology or related field is required, an MS is preferred.
  • Experience beyond the classroom with standard microbiological and molecular methods including sterile technique, pipetting, and troubleshooting DNA extraction and PCR is required.
  • Skills in biogeochemical methods to quantify plant and soil nutrients, especially preparation of samples for soil carbon and nutrients (extractable and bulk) are a plus.
  • Strong organizational skills and basic data management experience are required, while scripting/programming skills are a plus.
  • Experience setting up libraries of ITS amplicons and/or performing bioinformatics associated with amplicon sequencing is a plus.
  • Commitment to working with and contributing to a diverse and inclusive community
  • Interest in training undergraduate students is required.
  • Interest in plants, soil, and fungi is preferred.

How to apply:

The position will commence by Sept 15, 2022 and will initially be for one year
with the option to stay for multiple years if interest and funding allow. Screening will begin August 30, 2022 and will continue until the position is filled.

Amherst College requires all employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 (medical and religious exemptions may apply).

Please be sure to upload all requested documents prior to clicking Submit. Applications cannot be revised once submitted. (Current employees and students should apply by clicking on the Career icon from their Workday home screen) Please submit a Curriculum vitae (CV) and cover letter indicating your research experience, qualifications, and listing the contact information of three references who can comment on your technical expertise. The subject of the email should be "Senior Lab Technician".

To find information about job group and level (JGL) follow this link.


Posted: 2022-08-31 Expires: 2022-10-02

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Senior Lab Technician

Amherst College
Amherst, MA 01002

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