Location: This position is based at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) in Edgewater, Maryland. SERC is a research center of the Smithsonian Institution, located on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, approximately 10 miles south of Annapolis, Maryland, 40 miles west of Washington D.C., and 40 miles south of Baltimore, Maryland. The SERC campus contains nearly 2,700 acres of forest, agricultural areas, wetlands, and streams, and sits directly on the Rhode River estuary.

Description: SERC is searching for a research technician to participate in the Chesapeake Water Watch, a NASA-funded research project to study and improve the reliability of remote sensing algorithms in Chesapeake Bay tributaries and nearshore regions. The research technician will provide technical support related to collection and processing of samples, primarily water samples, including analyzing chlorophyll content, dissolved organic matter, and turbidity. These analyses will involve the use of a variety of instruments including fluorometers, spectrophotometers and turbidimeters. The technician will also assist with processing and management of samples and photographs submitted by project volunteers. Additionally, the technician will support statistical analyses, data management and data visualization for the project, as well as working with other members of the project team to directly engage with volunteers.

The research technician will join the Chesapeake Water Watch team, which includes research and public engagement staff with expertise in optical properties, remote sensing, aquatic chemistry, and citizen science. The research team includes members who are based at SERC, as well as members based at the City University of New York. Volunteers include individuals, as well as those associated with various Riverkeeper groups in the region. The technician will be based in SERC’s Photobiology and Solar Radiation Lab.

The Smithsonian Institution is an equal opportunity employer, committed to a policy of non-discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, marital/parental/caregiver status, and disability. The SERC community recognizes the value of diversity in promoting innovative science and creative solutions, and we strongly encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply. We recognize that each applicant for this role will bring unique skills, knowledge, experiences, and background to this position. Competitive candidates will have some, but not necessarily all, of the listed qualifications and experiences.

Desired Qualifications and Experience:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in natural sciences
  • Experience conducting environmental field work
  • Experience working aboard small boats
  • Experience conducting water quality analysis
  • Experience using optical instrumentation
  • Ability to manage data from multiple sources
  • Ability to conduct statistical analysis of data
  • Ability to engage effectively with volunteers and other stakeholders from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences
  • Ability to work as part of an interdisciplinary team
  • Strong written and oral communication skills