Job Details

Support Technician, Soil Health Lab

  2024-02-08     Cal Poly Corporation      1 Grand Ave, San Luis Obispo     $24.32-$28.84 hour  

Job Description Summary

Under the general supervision of Drs. Matthew Grieshop and Charlotte Decock, this position will work with Cal Poly Department of Natural Resources Management & Environmental Sciences and the Grimm Family Center for Organic Production and Research staff, faculty, and students, overseeing soil science research in the Grimm Family Soil Health and Sustainability Laboratory. The incumbent will be responsible for the execution of laboratory soil tests and trials, collection and analysis of data, and development of data into reports.  They will oversee and maintain the laboratory and supervise undergraduate research assistants. This is a one-year assignment starting February ##, 2023 with potential for annual reappointment dependent on performance and availability of funding. 

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in soil science, environmental sciences, or similar field  
  • Three (3) years of work experience in applied soil science, including use of laboratory equipment and interpretation of soil analyses results.
  • Experience working with spectrophotometers, infrared gas analyzers, centrifuges and shakers, incubators, multi-pipettors, etc.
  • Experience training others on laboratory procedures, including training on quality control and assurance. 
  • Possess a valid California driver’s license and satisfactory driving record (or acquire one within 2 months)
  • Demonstrated knowledge of soil physical and chemical analysis techniques
  • Demonstrated knowledge of office software applications, including word processing, spreadsheets, databases, publishing, electronic mail, and calendaring systems
  • Demonstrated aptitude in technical writing and statistical analysis.
  • A background check is required for all regular benefited positions.
  • The person holding this position is considered a ‘mandated reporter’ under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment.
  • Preferred: M.S. degree from an accredited college or university, preferably in the field of agriculture (horticulture, agronomy, entomology, plant pathology, soil science, or similar field)

Physical Demands

  • Hearing and speaking to exchange information in person or on the telephone.
  • Dexterity of hands, fingers, and wrist to operate a computer keyboard and calculator.
  • Seeing to read a variety of materials.
  • Sitting or standing for extended period
  • Physical agility to lift 50 pounds to shoulder height.
  • Physical agility to lift, carry, push, or pull objects.
  • Work under adverse conditions, including outdoor work in hot or wet weather with occasional long hours to meet project deadlines.
  • Ability to travel to field sites with occasional overnight travel.

Typical Essential Functions

  • Planning, execution, and management of laboratory trials evaluating organic fertilizers and soils.
  • Support soil analyses including permanganate oxidizable carbon, mineralizable carbon, total carbon and nitrogen, soil nutrient concentrations, aggregate fractionation, and other soil health indicators.
  • Train students in standard operating procedures for various soil analyses
  • Collect, organize, and summarize experimental data using the Microsoft Office Suite, especially Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Conduct statistical analyses using standard statistical software programs such as SAS, R, Minitab, ARM, Sigma Plot, or other appropriate software.
  • Assist in oversight, recording and maintenance of laboratory environmental health and safety compliance.
  • Maintain a variety of complex and confidential files and records.
  • Review literature, research results, testing procedures, and laboratory operations.
  • Prepare written and oral research reports for delivery online, and at field days, grower, and scientific meetings. 
  • Operate and maintain laboratory and field equipment including autoclaves, pH meters, microscopes, balances, incubators, drying ovens, spectrophotometers, carbon analyzers, soil grinders, centrifuges, and other common lab equipment. 
  • Obtain materials, supplies and equipment by ordering, making direct purchase, or writing specifications.
  • Maintain a clean and organized workspace including office, vehicles, storage areas, and fields.
  • Prioritize, plan, organize, and meet timelines while maintaining regular, punctual, and reliable attendance.
  • Establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationship with a diverse population including faculty, staff, students, and stakeholders.
  • Assist faculty and students in independent use of equipment.
  • Provide direction and supervision to student assistants.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Special Instructions to Applicants

Cal Poly Corporation provides excellent benefits including medical, dental, vision, life insurance, retirement, paid sick leave/vacation and 14 holidays.

Employees are eligible to participate in the CPC Medical Insurance Plan offered through the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS). Employees have different plans from which to choose including HMOs and PPOs. The coverage includes the employee, his/her dependents, or domestic partner. The CPC covers a large portion of the medical premium for the employee and eligible dependents.

All employees are members of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and will contribute to their retirement; these contributions can be refunded if the employee terminates prior to retirement.

Please visit our website for additional benefits information.

Employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a criminal background check, educational and employment verification, and reference check, as required.

The California State University system (CSU) requires that students, faculty, and any employees of organizations who access campus, or any CSU facilities, to be either fully vaccinated or qualify for a medical or religious exemption. Please note if you are chosen for a position with the Cal Poly Corporation you will be asked to fill out a Vaccine Attestation once you are hired. This attestation will ask if you are vaccinated or asking for a medical or religious exemption.

AA/EEO/Disability/Protected Veteran Employer

Do not contact this company in solicitation of any product or service.

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