NRRI Senior Laboratory Technician Aquatic Sciences

Title: NRRI Senior Laboratory Technician Aquatic Sciences
Job ID: 361865
Location: Duluth
Job Family: LR-Technical
Job Code: 4945
Employee Class: AFSCME Unit 7 - Technical

About the Job

Title: Senior Laboratory Technician in the Aquatic Sciences

Priority consideration for this position begins on 6/11/2024 and ends on 6/18/2024.

The pay rate range for this position is $22.51/hr and depends on qualifications. 

Typical work schedule: 8:00am - 4:30pm

Lab technician needed to work under various aquatic environmental projects, maintaining strict quality protocols that meet United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) standards. Duties include aquatic field work, sample processing in the laboratory, and computer work. The position conducts specialized laboratory preparations of aquatic specimens, mainly algae (water) and lake sediment samples. Field work includes testing and sample collection on-board Great Lakes ships without supervision or direct instruction. The position will include working with others on planning field excursions and instructing on the operation of laboratory equipment and procedures, ensuring safe operations. Work will be under the direction of Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) employees, though independence in completing tasks will be highly valued.

Job duties:

  • Conduct specialized laboratory preparations employing standardized procedures, using a variety of laboratory equipment, (50%).
  • Collect and process water and sediment samples.  Collection involves working a minimum of 2 months/year on an EPA research vessel collecting and preserving water and/or sediment samples. (20%).
  • Use standard computer programs for data recording and compiling summary reports of materials and processes performed in the laboratory.  (10%)
  • Provide technical assistance to professional staff personnel, graduate students and others in performing laboratory duties.  Supervise and coordinate through planning and instruction temporary workers, graduate students and others in executing laboratory duties.  (10%)
  • Order equipment and supplies to support laboratory and field work.  Set up and/or prepare equipment (lab and field) for research needs.  Provide clean up, equipment repair and maintenance as needed.  (10%)


Required Qualifications:

  • High school graduation or the equivalent with coursework in sciences. Two years of related coursework or relevant experience.
  • Organizational skills and an eye for detail (e.g., measuring sample weights, entering data in spreadsheets); demonstrated ability to organize work and information from multiple activities.
  • Ability to communicate and work closely with diverse team members of many disciplines in both a laboratory and outdoor setting.
  • Laboratory experience in an academic or scientific setting.
  • Microsoft Office (especially Excel & Word).
  • Physical ability to work long hours in the laboratory or outdoors in all weather conditions.
  • Physically and mentally capable of extended (month long) excursions on a research vessel.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in environmental field of study.
  • Experience in freshwater aquatic studies.
  • Writing skills to prepare reports and procedures that describe work methods; experience with graphics packages (e.g., CorelDraw, Photo Paint, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc).

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 have the opportunity to complete an online application for the position and attach a resume. A cover letter and resume are required.

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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