NRRI Environmental Scientist - Researcher 3

Job Title: Researcher 3 - Environmental Scientist
Job ID: 361479
Location: Duluth
Job Family: Research-Researchers
Job Code: 8352R3
Employee Class: Civil Service

About the Job

The salary range for this position depends on qualifications and starts at $50,000.00/yr

***Please note this position is NOT eligible for sponsorship***

The Environmental Biotechnology Laboratory at the Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) is seeking a Environmental Scientist with expertise in Water Resources and Environmental Remediation/Restoration to join our team and support research project focused on in-situ remediation (e.g., biofiltration, phytoremediation) and biogeochemical processes to address legacy and emerging contaminants. One of our projects is a collaborative research program that provides expertise to address environmental challenges associated with mercury and sulfur. NRRI researchers collaborate with federal, state, and municipal agencies along with academia to develop integrated remediation options using a multipronged approach. The scientist will perform research-related work assignments requiring knowledge and experience with complex biogeochemical cycling while building on knowledge and skills through multi-disciplinary collaborative research, field demonstration of in-situ remediation, coordination of large data sets and performing sampling, identification, and analysis. We are an interdisciplinary group of research staff, postdocs, and graduate students with backgrounds in microbiology, chemistry, and engineering. 


  • Design and implement field and laboratory experiments to evaluate the effectiveness of various restoration and remediation technologies (25%).
  • Conduct environmental field survey and sample processing using a range of analytical techniques and instrumentation (30%).
  • Perform geochemical and microbial analyses to examine biogeochemical processes in freshwater sediment and phytoremediation soil (20%).
  • Perform data entry and maintain accurate databases. Keep meticulously detailed records of all experiments and procedures. Manage large data sets including describing and archiving data sets for future use (15%).
  • Support PI in writing narratives, reports, and potentially grant proposal and contribute to publications, present scientific findings at seminars and conferences (10%)..



  • BA/BS in Civil Engineering, Biology, Environmental Science, Environmental Engineering, or related field and at least 2 years of research experience in Environmental Engineering / Science
  • OR a combination of related education and work experience to equal six years.
  • Experience with environmental field survey and sample processing
  • Demonstration of excellent oral and written communication skills 
  •  Evidence of scientific expression (e.g., narratives, reports, and presentations) Demonstrated ability to work effectively with diverse groups and roles (e.g., work productivity in a team-oriented environment and have a proven track record of teamwork)
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently on a wide variety of tasks
  • Proven ability to maintain excellent records (QA/QC), provide high attention to detail, meet deadlines and prioritize competing demands using organizational skills.   
  • Physical ability to work long hours outdoors collecting samples, sometimes in inclement weather.
  • Valid US driver’s license with clean driving record 


  • MS in Civil Engineering, Water Resources Science, Biology or related field (degree completion upon hiring)
  • Research or industry experience with water resources management, environmental remediation, treatment design, or ecosystem restoration
  • Familiarity with environmental regulations and guidelines. 
  • Experience with water chemistry analysis and analytical instrument including Ion/Liquid/Gas Chromatography, nutrient analysis, or dynamic light scattering.Demonstrated skills in programming and/or numerical computer software (e.g., R Studio, Matlab, Python, etc).
  • Experience with microbial ecology and biogeochemical processes.
  • Experience with GIS

About the Department

The Natural Resources Research Institute was established by the Minnesota legislature in 1983 as an applied science and engineering research organization to inform state citizens and decision-makers while leveraging the power of the University of Minnesota. NRRI is guided by the forward-looking charter provided by the Legislature to foster the economic development of Minnesota’s natural resources in an environmentally sound manner to promote private sector employment. 

NRRI’s mission is to deliver integrated research solutions that value our resources, environment, and economy for a sustainable and resilient future. We are a mission-driven, project-focused team working to create opportunities for natural resource stewardship. With industrial-scale facilities in Duluth and Coleraine, MN, NRRI works across five strategic research platforms. These platforms address Minnesota’s soil, forest, water, and mineral resources:

  • Applied Ecology and Resource Management
  • Minerals and Metallurgy
  • Materials and Bioeconomy
  • Data Collection and Delivery
  • Commercialization Services


Working at the University

At the University of Minnesota, you’ll find a flexible work environment and supportive colleagues who are interested in lifelong learning.  We prioritize work-life balance, allowing you to invest in the future of your career and in your life outside of work.

The University also offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes:

  • Competitive wages, paid holidays, and generous time off
  • Continuous learning opportunities through professional training and degree-seeking programs supported by the Regents Tuition Benefit Program
  • Low-cost medical, dental, and pharmacy plans
  • Healthcare and dependent care flexible spending accounts
  • University HSA contributions
  • Disability and employer-paid life insurance
  • Employee wellbeing program
  • Excellent retirement plans with employer contribution
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) opportunity
  • Financial counseling services 
  • Employee Assistance Program with eight sessions of counseling at no cost

Please visit the Office of Human Resources website for more information regarding benefits.

How To Apply

Applications must be submitted online.  To be considered for this position, visit the UMN Careers website and search for the Job ID number on this post. You will be given the opportunity to complete an online application for the position. Applicants should send a cover letter detailing their interests and qualifications (as per required/preferred qualification list), and Full CV.

To ensure full consideration, please apply before 6/5/2024. Position will remain open until filled

Additional documents may be attached after application by accessing your "My Job Applications" page and uploading documents in the "My Cover Letters and Attachments" section.

To request an accommodation during the application process, please e-mail or call (612) 624-8647.


The University recognizes and values the importance of diversity and inclusion in enriching the employment experience of its employees and in supporting the academic mission.  The University is committed to attracting and retaining employees with varying identities and backgrounds.

The University of Minnesota provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.  To learn more about diversity at the U:

Employment Requirements

Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check. Our presumption is that prospective employees are eligible to work here. Criminal convictions do not automatically disqualify finalists from employment.

About the U of M

University of Minnesota, Duluth (UMD)

The University of Minnesota, Duluth (UMD) consistently ranks among the top Midwestern, regional universities in U.S. News and World Report's "America's Best Colleges" issue.

Overlooking Lake Superior, UMD provides an alternative to both large research and small liberal arts environments and attracts students looking for a personalized learning experience on a medium-sized campus of a major university.  A firm liberal arts foundation anchors a variety of traditional degree programs, as well as professional and graduate students that draw on UMD's many research institutes and labs.

At the University of Minnesota, we are proud to be recognized by the Star Tribune as a Top Workplace for 2021, as well as by Forbes as Best Employers for Women and one of America’s Best Employers (2015, 2018, 2019, 2023), Best Employer for Diversity (2019, 2020), Best Employer for New Grads (2018, 2019), and Best Employer by State (2019, 2022).

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