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Laboratory Technician, Environmental and Ocean Sciences

Apply now Posting #: 3810
Position Status: Full-time regular
Location: San Diego
Position Type: Staff, College of Arts and Sciences

Position Title & Department:

 Laboratory Technician, Environmental and Ocean Sciences; College of Arts and Sciences
Posting #


Department Description:

Environmental and Ocean Sciences at USD is a research-oriented department, offering undergraduate and graduate programs, with numerous opportunities in the field alongside passionate and engaged faculty in San Diego — and across the globe. Committed to advanced research, our undergraduate and graduate students gain the benefit of a well-rounded, comprehensive education that is bolstered by applicable field work and lab experience.

University Description:

The University of San Diego, a contemporary and engaged Roman Catholic institution, was founded by the Diocese of San Diego and the Society of the Sacred Heart in 1949. Governed by an independent board of trustees since 1972, USD remains committed to a liberal arts education grounded in the Catholic intellectual tradition and the pursuit of truth, goodness and beauty. Inspired by this centuries old tradition of Catholic higher education, the University welcomes people of all faith traditions and any, or no, religious background. The future success of USD relies on the contributions of those who seek to foster the development of engaged global citizens and an earnest confrontation of humanity’s urgent challenges.

Detailed Description:

The Environmental and Ocean Sciences department at the University of San Diego is hiring a Lab Technician I.

  • This position is full-time, benefits-based, hourly position with expectations for both laboratory and field support.
  • As an interdisciplinary and field intensive department, Environmental and Ocean Sciences has access to a diverse array of instruments used in labs for many courses, student and faculty research and in the field.
  • Our department is very field oriented with daily local field trips, occasional weekend field trips and courses and research that require small boat support.
  • This position will primarily provide support for field and laboratory instruments for teaching and research.

Duties & Responsibilities:

  • General laboratory/departmental support
    • The lab tech will provide general support of teaching labs and student/faculty research including:
      • sample organization/sorting
      • assisting the lab manager to supervise student workers
      • course laboratory set-up/tear down
      • laboratory supply inventory
      • purchasing & ordering equipment and supplies
      • logistical support of instructional field trips
  • Field equipment and field sampling support
    • The EOSC department has a wide variety of field equipment and instruments including two small boats.
    • The lab tech will evaluate and oversee inventory and maintenance of field equipment and will evaluate, send out, or perform basic repairs. Instruments include:
      • boat sampling gear
      • water quality meters
      • field sampling gear
      • GPS & survey instruments
      • small boats and departmental vehicles
    • The lab tech will assist with class field trips and field-based research (including occasional weekends [typically 4-6 weekends per year]). This assistance may include:
      • driving departmental or rental vehicles
      • captaining boats
      • deploying boat sampling gear
      • training students in field equipment operations
      • assisting with field trip logistics
    • The lab tech will train students and faculty to use and deploy field equipment including
      • boat sampling gear
      • water quality meters
      • field sampling gear
      • GPS & survey instruments
      • boats
  • Laboratory equipment operation, maintenance and training
    • The lab tech will oversee laboratory instrument inventory, operation, maintenance and troubleshooting for some EOSC instruments such as
      • GPS Survey instruments
      • microscopes
      • sample processing equipment
      • geochemical analytical equipment
      • other laboratory equipment.
    • The lab tech will evaluate whether repairs can be made in house or sent out and may perform basic repairs
    • The lab tech will also train students and faculty to use department laboratory instruments.
  • Maintain six storage facilities
    • The lab tech will assure that field equipment and chemicals storage areas are clean and organized and maintain inventory of equipment, chemicals, and supplies.
Job Requirements:


  • Bachelor degree in natural sciences plus 1-year related experience.
  • Prior experience leading or coordinating field education or field research.
  • Prior experience with boat handling (preferred).
  • Prior mechanical or construction experience (preferred).
  • Prior experience with laboratory analytical equipment; (experience with EOSC equipment [listed above] is preferred).

Performance Expectations - Knowledge Skills and Abilities: 

  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision.
  • Knowledge of laboratory safety procedures and ability to maintain a safe, clean, organized working environment.
  • Ability to delegate tasks while maintaining leadership and effective communication skills.
  • Ability and willingness to represent the University in the most positive manner.
  • Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing. 
  • Ability to swim and be comfortable in marine field environments.
  • Ability to establish and maintain strong working relationships and perform as a team member with colleagues, staff, administrators, students and the general public. 
  • Must possess flexibility and versatility in order to contribute to evolving work situations which include a wide variety of field environments.
  • Use independent judgment to accommodate the needs of the University by determining proper corrective action or by referring the problem to other appropriate personnel. 
  • Ability to access, input and retrieve information from a computer system for word processing, design and other uses. 
  • Read, understand and express oneself clearly and effectively in written and oral form and request clarification when needed. 
  • Possess good organizational skills. 
  • Ability to drive different types of vehicles safely (truck, passenger vans, SUV’s)

Certificates, Licenses, Registrations: 

  • CA Driver’s License

Tools & Equipment Used:

  • Department laboratory and field instruments (see above).
  • Laptop computers (MS Office).
  • Basic construction tools used to assemble and build instruments.    

Background check:  Successful completion of a pre-employment background check.

Degree Verification Requirement: Persons offered employment in this position will be required to provide official education transcripts for degree verification purposes. 

Posting Salary:

$18.45-23.97/hour; Excellent Benefits 

The University of San Diego offers a very competitive benefits package, to include medical, dental, vision, a retirement contribution given to you by the University (with three year vesting period), and access to on-campus Fitness Centers.  Please visit the benefits section of our website to view all of the perks and benefits that USD has to offer.  USD: Human Resources: Benefits

Special Application Instructions:
Click 'Apply Now' to complete our online application and, for full consideration, please upload a resume to your application profile for the hiring managers’ review.  You are also strongly recommended to upload a cover letter to your application profile for the hiring managers’ review.   If you have any questions or difficulties please contact the Employment Services Team at 619-260-6806, or email us at jobs@sandiego.edu 
Additional Details:

Hours: 37.5 hours per week

Closing date: Open until filled

Note: External job postings will be up for at least five days. After that time, applications will be reviewed by the hiring manager/committee throughout the posting period. A candidate may be selected at any time which could then close this posting on a date earlier than listed.

The University of San Diego is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusion and is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the campus community.

The University of San Diego is a smoking and tobacco-free campus. For more information, visit www.sandiego.edu/smokefree.

Advertised: Pacific Daylight Time
Applications close:

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