The scientific aide will assist the principle investigator and research support scientist with the development of new, improved cultivars of winter and spring wheat and with associated fundamental and applied research in wheat. Principal responsibilities include day-to-day operations of field, greenhouse, and seed house aspects of the breeding program; data management, and presenting research results at local, regional, and national meetings. Regional travel will be required to maintain and evaluate trials. The scientific aide will contribute to the daily functioning of the research project by supervising hourly workers, maintaining stocks of supplies, and performing miscellaneous clerical duties.
RESPONSIBILITIES: (% of Time; Essential/Marginal)
Contribute to the research program by: (70%; Essential)
Conducting field plot evaluations of cultivars and breeding program progeny by working with other technician to plant, maintain, evaluate (e.g., by recording plant traits like seedling establishment, days to flowering, visual preference, etc.) and harvest field trials of wheat; organizing seed stocks in preparation for planting; treating seed with pesticides; packaging seed for planting; visually assessing plant performance; monitoring insect pests; doing pre-harvest organization (e.g., organizing harvest labels, bags, etc.); and processing harvested seed, which may include lifting items weighting up to 50 pounds; assisting with greenhouse activities including transplanting, watering, visual assessment of performance, plant hybridization, transgenic assays, and hand harvest of seed. These activities will include operating and working near small farm machinery, driving light trucks, and towing trailers.
Contribute to the daily functioning of the project by: (15%; Essential)
Supervising hourly student employees, training student employees in standard protocols (see above) and safety procedures, insuring safe practices are followed in both field, lab and greenhouse settings, entering data summarizing data using Windows software and a DOS-based database management package, assisting graduate students with field research activities (see above), attending on-campus safety seminars when appropriate, and attending weekly project planning meetings.
Contribute to team effort by: (15%; Marginal)
Packing and shipping seed samples for quality analysis and for planting by collaborators; contacting grower-cooperators to arrange and coordinate field trial sites; proofreading manuscripts; maintaining supply stocks, handling other miscellaneous clerical duties; taking photos to document research projects; and preparing and presenting oral and poster presentations at local, regional, and national meetings or research conventions.
Education/Experience: Bachelor’s degree in field related to research area; OR equivalent combination of education and/or experience totaling approximately 4 years.
Good knowledge of: scientific principles; computer hardware and software programs.
Demonstrated ability to: perform a variety of specialized tasks and laboratory techniques specific to the needs of the position; operate, maintain, calibrate, troubleshoot and resolve basic problems with instruments and equipment; keep records and compile written information for reports; follow good safety practices; possess good interpersonal and communication skills; MAY train and supervise other workers.
Physical ability to: perform assigned duties; may be required to work with toxic, volatile and corrosive chemicals and/or carcinogenic substances; may be required to work in adverse environmental conditions and/or carry or lift heavy materials.
Must: Applicants who are selected as final possible candidates must be able to pass a criminal background check.
ADDITIONAL DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS:
Education: Bachelor of Science in plant science, agronomy, horticulture, or related field with collegiate level courses in agronomy (crop production and soil science), genetics, botany, and basic biology.
Knowledge of: wheat breeding and production practices, agronomy, plant science field research techniques, and first aid.
Demonstrated Skills in: operation and maintenance of small plot farm equipment, driving motor vehicles including the ability to tow and back trailers loaded with equipment, calibration of pesticide application equipment, and greenhouse plant husbandry.
Ability to: legally drive motor vehicles, obtain a pesticide applicator license, work on own initiative, alone, and cooperatively in small groups; follow project plans to achieve goals of the overall program; work effectively and efficiently with minimal supervision; identify and solve problems; prioritize tasks and manage own and employees’ time; effectively supervise hourly employees; establish and maintain effective working relationships with coworkers and grower-cooperators; work cooperatively with faculty and staff from other programs; work extra hours; and work in dusty, hot, or cold conditions when required.