Aquatic Instrument Engineer
NEON, Inc. - Boulder, CO

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The Aquatic Instrument Engineer will be part of the Aquatic Team that is responsible for developing a national program to assess physical, chemical, and biological changes in streams and lakes over 30 years. The Instrument Engineer (Term) will primarily be responsible for sensor maintenance and field calibration plans and SOPs; data QA/QC; data product documentation. The Instrument Engineer 2 will assist the Groundwater Hydrologist to install monitoring wells at NEON sites. This will entail managing contractors and personnel at the field sites and ensure the wells are constructed with a minimum impact to the local environment, under the direction of the Groundwater Hydrologist. The Instrument Engineer will also assist in the design the physical infrastructure to install in-situ water quality sensors in shallow streams; assist with construction of sensors infrastructure at NEON sites; collaborate with mechanical, electrical and calibration engineers to define, plan, and implement sensor operations.

NEON aquatic sites include small wadeable streams, large navigable rivers, and small lakes throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico – sites span a gradient of environmental conditions: extreme low-flows to tropical-flood cycles.

This is a 2 year term position.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
Co-develop and implement data QA/QC, gap-filling, and correction plans.
• Co-document sensor related data products.
• Document he maintenance and field calibration plans, and standard operating procedures for water quality sensors in NEON aquatic sites (the aquatic sensor suite includes water quality multisondes, nutrient analyzer, pressure transducers, water temperature, PAR, cDOM, and atmospheric chemistry and micromet sensors..
• Collaborate with the NEON Calibration Team to define aquatic sensor field and lab calibration procedures.
• Oversee construction of groundwater wells at NEON sites, under the guidance of the Groundwater Hydrologist.
• Work with the Groundwater Hydrologist and the other AQU Instrument Engineer to install groundwater wells and sensor mechanic installations for NEON Aquatic sites.
• Assist with design of physical sensor installations for water quality in-situ sensors in small, wadeable streams, navigable rivers, and small lakes.
• Coordinate and collaborate with the interdisciplinary team of hydrologists, ecologists, mechanical and electrical engineers, computing engineers, and other scientists to design, develop, test, and implement statistically valid protocols to produce data products that will enable researchers to investigate the impact of climate change, land-use change, invasive species, and unsustainable water use on freshwater ecosystems of North America.
• Create and publish reports and publications of NEON designs, procedures, and protocols and is encouraged to collaborate with the research community to investigate continental scale ecology.
• Install sensors to the approved designs, under the guidance of the team’s hydrologist
• Travel to NEON sites as part of the construction effort.
• Assist with the development of training programs for field crews that maintain the sites once built.
• Participate in the larger NEON science and engineering communities, including participating in independent research and collaborations and attending meetings/conferences.
• Follow NEON safety requirements, policy and procedures.
Required Education, Experience, Knowledge, Skills:
MSc in hydrology or related engineering field AND 2+ years of experience drilling wells and maintaining sensors.
• BSc in hydrology or related engineering field AND 5+ years of experience drilling wells and maintaining sensors.
• Specialization in a freshwater science or engineering field with emphasis in sensor maintenance and sensor-related data analysis.
• Significant hands-on experience with maintenance and calibration of sensors used in freshwater ecosystems.
• Demonstrated experience with groundwater well installation and well file documentation; overseeing contractors and field personnel.
• Demonstrated experience quality checking, correcting, and verifying data from in-situ sensors, including defining and correcting sensor drift.
• Demonstrated experience working in a collaborative scientific and engineering enterprise.
• Demonstrated experience collaborating with mechanical and electrical engineers.
• Demonstrated ability to write technical and scientific documents.
• Experience communicating in verbal and written formats in a professional environment.
• Strong knowledge of sensor data assessment procedures and best practices.
• Ability to construct groundwater wells.
• Ability to read/review blueprint documents.
• Ability to write and review science documents.
• Strong knowledge of statistical design and analyses.
• Ability to manage field personnel and contractors.
• Ability to communicate and work effectively both independently and as part of science and engineering teams
• Strong communication and interpersonal skills.
• Undertake responsibilities beyond those associated with individual projects.
• Travel to domains at least 6x/year.
• The candidate may be exposed to conditions in the field, and therefore must be able to traverse uneven ground such as dirt banks, stream beds, and shallow ponds carrying equipment and materials up to 40 lbs.
Preferred Education, Experience, Knowledge, Skills:
Experience with sensor installations in large, navigable rivers and in small lakes is preferred but not required.
• Working knowledge of stream ecological function preferred.
• Knowledge of freshwater chemistry dynamics of streams and lakes preferred.
NEON Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, Minorities, Veterans and Disabled Persons are encouraged to apply.