Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Senior Environmental Research Technician (#20003638)


General Statement

Under supervision, performs a variety of technical duties associated with the collection and analysis of field and laboratory data. Provides general oversight of field and lab activities related to wastewater, surface water monitoring, biosolids processing and soil science.

Essential Job Functions

Essential job functions are fundamental, core functions common to positions in a classification.  They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all job duties for any one position in the class.  Since class specifications are designed to be descriptive and not restrictive, incumbents may complete one or all of the job duties listed or tasks of similar kind not specifically listed here.

  • Assigns, supervises and reviews work of environmental technicians; plans their work schedules for field and laboratory activities.
  • Leads designated work groups in carrying out the assignments.
  • Monitors assigned bench-scale, greenhouse- and field-scale research projects.
  • Reviews and updates standard operating procedures and quality assurance plans for laboratory and field studies.
  • Performs analysis of water, wastewater, and biological specimen in accordance with defined procedures; conducts analysis of special samples or samples that may require difficult and precise preparation using various instruments.
  • Collects water, wastewater, biological specimen, sediment and other samples from field using approved protocols.
  • Maintains, downloads, troubleshoots, and schedules manufacturer maintenance for water quality monitors.
  • Performs and oversees completion of Whole Effluent Toxicity tests on aquatic organisms, with duties including scheduling staff, maintaining and ordering biological cultures, keeping and verifying detailed records, and microscopic analyses.
  • Trains new Environmental Research Technicians on activities and equipment used in field and laboratory settings.
  • Supervises operation of field and laboratory sample collection and analysis that may require specialized equipment and instruments.
  • Inspects and tests laboratory and field equipment to determine the need for repair or adjustment; performs or recommends required maintenance or replacement.
  • Calculates and collates results of work performed and prepares reports as directed including preparation of analytical data and field observations in specialized formats.

Other Job Functions

  • Maintains repair log and inventory log of laboratory equipment and supplies.
  • Assembles and operates laboratory apparatus for analytical or research work.
  • Prepares calibration standards and reagents.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Environmental Conditions

Positions in this classification involve a combination of laboratory work and work in the field.  Laboratory work requires the use of standard laboratory and field equipment and may involve exposure to a variety of chemical and biological materials, some with noxious odors.  Field work is performed outside the office and may involve exposure to industrial equipment or operations, contact with hazardous or toxic material and exposure to a variety of weather conditions.  Field work will also require the operation of a District vehicle.

Desirable Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge of metric weights, measures, and scientific terminology.
  • Thorough knowledge of safe field and laboratory techniques and procedures.
  • Skill in the manipulation of field and laboratory equipment and instruments.
  • Ability to follow written and oral instructions.
  • Ability to perform basic arithmetic calculations.
  • Ability to maintain accurate logs and records.
  • Ability to collect various water, sediment, soil, and biological samples using standard operating procedures.
  • Ability to perform microscopic analyses.
  • Ability to keep plan and coordinate the work of others.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing.

Minimum Qualification Requirements

Graduation from a standard senior high school or the equivalent and two years of full-time study at an accredited college or university majoring in chemistry, biology, microbiology or a natural, environmental, or agricultural science or a science curriculum involving scientific laboratory and field work, and three years of full-time experience in a scientific position operating and maintaining field monitoring and research equipment or laboratory apparatus and performing sample collection and analysis.

Substitution

Additional full-time study at an accredited college or university majoring in chemistry, biology, microbiology, or a natural, environmental, or agricultural science or a science curriculum involving scientific laboratory and field work may be substituted for the required experience on a year-for-year basis.  Additional full time experience in a scientific position operating and maintaining field monitoring and research equipment or laboratory apparatus and performing sample collection and analysis may be substituted for the required education on a year-for-year basis.

Promotional Requirement

  • One year of service with the District as a Laboratory Technician II or Environmental Research Technician.
  • Civil service status in one of the foregoing classes.

CLASS: 20003638; EST: 1/1/2016; REV: ;