NRRI Researcher 3: Environmental Chemistry

Mar 1, 2022

NRRI Researcher 3: Environmental Chemistry

Job Opening: 346384

Supervisor: Bridget Ulrich

Open until filled

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:

1. Applied Ecology and Resource Management

2. Minerals and Metallurgy

3. Minerals and Bioeconomy

4. Data Collection and Delivery

5. Commercialization Services


About the Job:
The Researcher will work in the Water Research Group at NRRI and contribute to projects related to water treatment, water quality assessment, and limnology. They will assist in developing SOPs for routine laboratory experiments and for aqueous sample preparation. They will conduct quantitative chemical analyses of trace organic contaminants in environmental water and sediment samples or in samples from laboratory experiments. They will operate and maintain complex laboratory equipment (including GC-QQQMS and LCMS) and ensure quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC). They will independently schedule, plan and perform complex, multi-step analyses and keep detailed records of analytical procedures and results. The Researcher will be responsible for analysis and interpretation of data as well as plotting and reporting of results. They will also train and manage student and seasonal staff and assist students in setting up and maintaining experiments. They will also contribute to field work and collection of environmental samples.

Job Duties/Responsibilities

Quantitative Analysis – 50%
Develop and modify SOPs. Operation and maintenance of analytical equipment for analysis of trace organic contaminants, including LCMS and GC-QQQMS. Extraction and preparation of environmental water and sediment samples. Analytical method development. Analysis, interpretation, and presentation of analytical data. Following and documenting compliance with QA/QC criteria.

Laboratory Management - 30%
Training seasonal staff and students in standard laboratory procedures, assisting students in performing laboratory analyses. General laboratory maintenance, organization and cleaning, coordination of storage and removal of hazardous and chemical waste. Keeping organized and detailed records of experiments and procedures. Ensuring laboratory space and procedures are in compliance with safety policies. Purchasing and maintaining inventory of laboratory supplies and chemicals.

Field work – 10%
Assist with collection of environmental samples, as needed for specific projects.

Other Responsibilities – 10%
Assist with proposal preparation, publications, and presentations. Reading and summarizing literature related to research projects.


- BS/BA and in Chemistry or related field and two years of related work experience or a combination of education and work experience to equal six (6) years.
- Experience with quantitative analysis of trace organic contaminants in environmental samples.
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
- Demonstrated effective written communication skills in the English language.
- Physical ability to safely transport compressed gas cylinders and manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination to carry out routine laboratory work.
- Valid U.S. driver’s license and clean driving record.


- MS degree in Water Resources Science or similar field.
- Experience with gas chromatography triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (GC- QQQMS), and/or liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LCMS).
- Experience collecting environmental samples according to standard operating procedures (SOPs).
- Experience analyzing large data sets in R or similar software.
- Experience with developing and/or refining laboratory standard operating procedures (SOPs) and following quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) procedures.
- Experience with training and/or managing students or interns in a laboratory setting.
- Experience keeping organized and detailed records during collection of large sets of environmental data.
- Ability to work independently with minimal guidance from supervisor/principal investigator.

How to Apply:

Applications must be submitted online. To apply for this position, go to and search for job opening: 346384. 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. 

Complete applications must include:

● A cover letter expressing interest, availability, experience, and strengths as they relate to the position.

● A current resume/curriculum vitae.

● Contact information for three professional references.

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

Please Note: If you have started receiving retirement annuity payments from the Minnesota State Retirement System (MSRS) or Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) your eligibility for this position may be impacted. Please contact U of M Benefits at 1-800-756- 2363 for any eligibility limitations.

Smoking and chewing tobacco and the use of electronic cigarettes is prohibited on all UMD property, including indoor facilities, campus grounds and University vehicles.

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 report complete vaccination against COVID-19 or submit documentation requesting a medical or religious exemption on their first day of employment. To learn more, please visit the University's COVID-19 Response webpage.

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: