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Benthic Ecology Research Technician - University of Michigan, CIGLR

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Job Summary

The Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research (CIGLR) is seeking a candidate to join a team of scientists working on research and monitoring designed to address new questions on the interactive effects of harmful algal blooms (HABs), hypoxia, and invasive mussels in the Great Lakes. The proposed work will enhance the development of forecasts and decision-support tools for the public by improving our understanding of the ecology of HABs. The successful candidate will be directly engaged, under scientific supervision, to assist with: 1) field and laboratory studies of distribution and growth of dreissenid mussels and other benthic organisms in the Great Lakes; 2) field-oriented studies of harmful algal blooms and hypoxia; and 3) data organization and analysis of field and laboratory collected data. The ideal candidates will have experience with benthic invertebrate community analysis in a research laboratory setting. 

The successful applicant’s appointment will be with CIGLR, which is part of the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. CIGLR is a collaboration between the University of Michigan and NOAA that brings together experts from academia and government research labs to work on pressing problems facing the Great Lakes region. The candidate will spend the majority of their time at NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab (GLERL) in Ann Arbor.

The University of Michigan is consistently ranked among the top American public research universities, and Ann Arbor is routinely ranked as one of the best places to live in the U.S. due to its affordability, natural beauty, preservation of wooded areas, vibrant arts program, and lively downtown.

This grant-funded position offers a highly competitive salary plus benefits. The initial appointment is for one year, with opportunity for extension based on performance, need, and availability of funds.


• Execute day-to-day laboratory operations including sorting, enumeration, and measurement of benthic invertebrates from sediment samples using both manual and -software-assisted methods.

• Determine mussel body condition, reproductive status, and length-weight relationships.  

• Participate as a team member on multi-day cruises to conduct benthic surveys in the Great Lakes.   

• Assist with field and laboratory studies of feeding, nutrient excretion, bioenergetics, and growth of Dreissenid mussels and other invasive species using a variety of instruments, tools, and analytical methods.

• Help organize and analyze data from field collections and laboratory experiments.

Required Qualifications

• A Bachelor’s Degree in ecology, limnology, oceanography, or aquatic environmental science from an accredited university.

• Experience processing and analyzing invertebrate samples in a laboratory setting.

• Experience conducting field-intensive research.  

• High attention to detail and the ability to focus on exacting tasks.  

• A demonstrated ability to work both in a team environment and independently.   

Desired Qualifications

• One or more years of experience working in an environmental research laboratory. 

• Experience conducting benthic surveys and benthic community analysis in the Great Lakes or other large lakes.

• Experience working on research vessels in large bodies of water under various weather conditions.

• Experience with identification of benthic invertebrates.

• Experience in data analysis using Excel, R, or other statistical packages. 

• Strong communication skills.

To apply

Visit A cover letter, résumé, and the names and contact information for three references are required. The deadline for applications is 4/22/19.