McMurdo Seasonal Instrument Technician | Polar Jobs
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United States Antarctic Program   McMurdo Station, Antarctica

McMurdo Seasonal Instrument Technician

Governance, NGO, Public sector
West Antarctic region
2 weeks ago

This position is responsible for assisting in the safe operation and maintenance of laboratories in support of USAP scientists at McMurdo Station, Antarctica.

These laboratories support scientists from multiple disciplines conducting basic and applied research in Antarctica.  Laboratories include analytical chemistry, computer, microbiology, microscopy, molecular biology, radioisotope, seawater aquaria, and general use laboratories configured to support atmospheric physics, geology, and glaciology projects.  A full range of spare parts and accessories plus some vendor technician support are provided to maintain the operation of a diverse inventory of equipment and analytical instruments supplied by the laboratories or the scientists, in both the laboratory and field.  This deploying position will support the full-time Instrument Technician with duties/responsibilities performed while deployed to McMurdo Station.

**This position requires deployment to Antarctica and has a contract length of 4-5 months from approximately October to February (Austral Summer).  Eligibility for deployment will require physical and dental evaluations with parameters determined by the National Science Foundation (NSF).  Failure to meet these requirements may result in withdrawal of employment offer or other employment action.**

Primary Responsibilities:  
  • Assists in review of research requirements, planning, and scheduling of laboratory support for science projects.
  • Assists in researching, evaluating, justifying, and procuring laboratory and field instruments and equipment.
  • Installs new and stored lab instruments.
  • Checks functioning and calibration of all instruments before and after grantee use.
  • Troubleshoots all instruments and equipment as needed.
  • Performs calibrations; writes, updates, and performs preventative maintenance.
  • Provides emergency repairs for all laboratory instruments as needed.
  • Maintains instrument maintenance/repair history files and calibration certificates.
  • Packages and tracks capital equipment and instruments for recalibration, repair, replacement, winter storage, or transfer to research vessels as needed.
  • Assures all instrument-related entries in the inventory, equipment, and preventative maintenance databases are kept current.
  • Briefs grantees/scientists on safe laboratory practices, and care/maintenance of USAP owned instrumentation.
  • Insures that all equipment preventative maintenance procedures are performed and adhered to and spare parts are available.
  • Assists in maintaining appropriate and accurate inventories of spare parts.
  • Provides input to the S&TPS McMurdo Implementation Manager on suggested improvements to the laboratories and the associated systems that would enhance their use as research facilities.
  • Assists in scheduling and coordinating the fabrication of equipment and other support requests made by science projects.
  • Assists in providing cryogens, monitoring the safe use of cryogens, and monitoring a cryogenic supplies inventory.
  • Conducts briefings on research and tours of the laboratory facilities for distinguished visitors.
  • Handles confidential matters (personnel actions, management reports, etc.) in accordance with management policy.
  • Interacts with the National Science Foundation, military and other agency officials, both over the telephone and in person, in a professional and tactful manner.
  • Responsible for maintaining a safe workplace program and ensuring safety is the highest priority in the work place.
  • Performs other duties as required.
  • This summer position will be based at McMurdo Station.  The standard work schedule for this position is 54 hours per week.
Basic Qualifications:
  • Bachelor’s degree and at least 4 years’ relevant experience or a Master’s degree and at least 2 years’ relevant experience.
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or U.S. Permanent Resident.
Preferred Qualifications:
  • Four years of laboratory or observatory technical work experience. Laboratory or observatory technical work should include operational experience utilizing analytical equipment.
  • A background in an academic research environment providing direct support to science projects is highly desirable.
  • Previous experience working in Antarctica or another remote research station is desired.


United States Antarctic Program