University of Wisconsin - Madison

Position Vacancy ID: 89509

Working Title:ENVIRON TXL
Schedule - Range:15-04
Regular work hours for this position are 7:45 a.m. -4:30 p.m. ,Monday through Friday. The nature of the work requires a flexible schedule with some early mornings and late evenings; including working weekends and holidays on a rotating schedule. Sampling will require extensive driving and at times an overnight stay.

Job Summary:This position works under close progressing to limited supervision of the Environmental Toxicology laboratory supervisor. This position is responsible for whole effluent toxicity (WET) testing, collection of water samples for WET testing, culturing and testing of water fleas, fish and algae used for toxicity testing, and microscopic identification of algae.

All Environmental Toxicology laboratory duties are shared by all employees and require excellent communication and team skills. The employee will be responsible for collecting effluent samples from permitees such as sewage treatment plants, paper mills, oil refineries and the like. Sampling will require extensive driving and at times an overnight stay. The person in this position will use laboratory Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to maintain cultures of live organisms including, but not limited to, Pimephales promelas (fish), Ceriodaphnia dubia (water fleas), and algae to be used for WET testing. Sediment testing requires the culturing of additional species including but not limited to Chironomus tentans and Hyalella azteca. The employee will also perform and report toxicity testing using lab SOPs, and assist with ongoing research projects.

The Environmental Toxicology Laboratory is a self-directed work group comprised of representatives of the WSLH and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The employee in this position is expected to use the tools and principles of quality management in performing their daily work including the following: Demonstrate exceptional customer service by establishing and maintaining effective professional relationships with managers, supervisor, coworkers, and all customers. Provide constructive feedback for the purpose of continuous improvement in a manner that is supportive of the State Laboratory of Hygiene and its mission. Use data collection tools as appropriate. Use effective team skills to contribute to the efficient operation of the work unit. Present ideas, carry out assignments, and provide information as required. Participate in continuous learning through professional development activities.


Goals and Worker Activities

A.25%Collection of Effluent Samples
1.Install and operate automated sampling equipment to collect 24-hour composite samples.
2.Collect receiving water control samples from rivers and lakes.
3.Use a University vehicle to travel to facilities within the State to transport large cubitainers of effluent and receiving water within holding times specified in SOP.
4.Maintain stock of sampling supplies and keep all equipment in good working order.
B.25%Perform Laboratory Culturing Duties
1.Prepare and feed appropriate diets for all lab cultures.
2.Monitor and record observations of lab performance and physical environment.
3.Maintain culture equipment and design new culture habitats.
4.Design and carry out experiments to solve problems with cultures.
C.25%Perform Laboratory Testing Duties
1.Set and renew routine acute and chronic toxicity tests as per SOP.
2.Prepare final reports on toxicity testing.
3.Assist with alternative testing such as microtox, algae tests, other toxicity assays and fish tissue preparation.
4.Generate quality assurance data demonstrating the precision, accuracy, and reliability of all tests performed.
D.25%Identify algal species
1.Use microscopic techniques to identify algae and cyanobacteria in surface water samples.
2.Perform algal toxin analysis using ELISA techniques.

Knowledge and Skills

  1. Effective time management and communication skills necessary to collect samples.
  2. Knowledge of statistical analysis and interpretation of biological data.
  3. Knowledge of materials and skills for performing toxicological assays.
  4. Knowledge of the biology of water fleas and fathead minnows.
  5. Knowledge of Federal and State environmental regulations that impact biomonitoring work.
  6. Knowledge of standard operating procedures for performing toxicity testing.
  7. Knowledge of algae identification and microscopy.
  8. Knowledge of Federal and State laboratory certification regulations.
  9. Knowledge of current literature on aquatic toxicity testing.
  10. Knowledge of the safe handling of chemicals, reagents, glassware and instruments.
  11. Knowledge of the operation of laboratory systems and MS Office products, e.g., Word, Excel, Outlook, etc.
  12. Effective use of quality principles and tools.
  13. Effective team skills.
  14. Exceptional customer service skills.
  15. Effective interpersonal skills.
  16. Ability to lift up to 50 pounds maximum with occasional (up to 33% of the time) lifting and/or carrying objects weighing up to 25 pounds on a daily basis.
  17. Possess a valid Wisconsin driver's license and a driving record that meets the guidelines of University of Wisconsin Risk Management.
  18. As defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, the employee must be able to perform the essential job functions as outlined in the position description with or without a reasonable accommodation.