Researcher Environmental Biology

May 17, 2022
Researcher 1: Environmental Biology
Job opening: 348117
Location: NRRI-Duluth
Full Time position/Open until filled

About the Job:

The Researcher will work in the Water group at NRRI and provide laboratory support to research projects related to environmental DNA, water quality, and aquatic ecology. They will follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) to perform routine environmental sample processing, DNA extraction, sterilization techniques, and water quality analysis. They will also assist with environmental sampling and fieldwork as necessary to support water-related research activities.

Employee will work primarily in a laboratory setting to clean and prepare reusable supplies, disinfect lab spaces between samples, perform water quality analysis such as total nitrogen and phosphorous, and DNA extractions. (80%)

The employee may also assist with summertime field collection of water samples if qualified to trailer and operate a boat with outboard motor. (5%)

Lab equipment and standard solution maintenance, lab safety practices, record keeping, supply ordering, and basic data analysis. (15%)

Job Duties:
• Sterilization and preparation of reusable supplies and lab spaces for sample collection and between sample processes.
• Environmental sample processing for eDNA analysis.
• Extraction of DNA from environmental samples.
• Perform water quality analysis including Ion Chromatography, TN and TP analysis.
• General laboratory assistance, including cleaning and organizing, ordering supplies, and record keeping.
• Review analytical data to ensure correspondence with quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) criteria.
• Assist with environmental sampling and field work.


Required Qualifications:
• BS/BA and in Biology, Environmental Science, (Bio)Chemistry or related field or a combination of related education and work experience to equal four years.
• Experience working in a laboratory setting such as undergrad lab assistant, laboratory class, use of micropipettes.
• Proficiency in Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
• Effective oral and written communication skills in English.
• Physical ability to lift 20 lbs. (Should indicate this in a cover letter or resume).
• Valid U.S. driver’s license and clean driving record (Should indicate this in cover letter or resume).

Preferred Qualifications:
• Experience performing DNA extraction and PCR on environmental samples.
• Completion of Molecular Biology or Analytical Chemistry coursework, including a practical laboratory component.
• Ability to work independently and with team members.
• Experience performing spectrophotometer and Ion Chromatography.
• Experience with R studio or similar mathematical software.
• Boat operation and trailering experience.
• Good hand-eye coordination and ability to pay close attention to detail.
• Ability to work wearing a respirator (medical clearance and fit tests will be required for applicant that accepts the position).

How to apply:

Applications must be submitted online.  You will be given the opportunity to complete an online application for the position and attach a cover letter and resume. Refer to Job opening 348117Access UMN Careers here.

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-UOHR (8647).


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 Scholarship
  • 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.


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.

Please note: All employees at the University of Minnesota are required to comply with the University’s Administrative Policy: COVID-19 Vaccination and Safety Protocol by either providing proof of being fully vaccinated on their first day of employment, or complete a request for an exemption for medical exemption or religious reasons. To learn more please visit: