The Aquatic Instrument Engineer (Hydrologist) 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 will design the physical infrastructure to install in-situ water quality sensors in shallow streams; support buoy installation designs; lead construction of sensors infrastructure at NEON sites; revise sensor-related requirements; collaborate with mechanical ,electrical and calibration engineers to define, plan, and implement sensor operations; review/revise science measurements; document field procedures; document data product procedures; train personnel; and perform data QA/QC in order to produce high quality data products for the research, education, and decision making communities.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
Specifically, the Instrument Engineer is responsible for designing and documenting the physical infrastructure of water quality sensors for 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. 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.
In the first year, the Instrument Engineer will be responsible for developing and documenting a "playbook" of sensor installations, including to-scale blueprints, fabrication-ready designs, materials lists, and construction requirements. Installation designs and documentation will be prototyped at a Colorado stream site in 2012-2013. The position will lead the installation of sensor installation infrastructure and work will be coordinated with the Engineering team who supplies the data acquisition, power and communications at a site. This position will be responsible for modifying the designs from the playbook for site-specific installations and providing NEON-level documentation for each site. This position is not responsible for power or communication designs to the sensors, but will collaborate with the NEON Engineering Team to optimize these aspects of the work.
In addition, the Instrument Engineer will document sensor maintenance and field-calibration plans, in collaboration with NEON’s Engineering and Calibration Team. This position will develop, document and implement detailed designs and analytical protocols for in-situ sensor related data products (e.g. sensor drift statistics; data QA, gap-filling and correction; algorithms for high level data products). The Instrument Engineer will work with an interdisciplinary team of 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.
The Instrument Engineer is expected to produce reports and publications of NEON designs, procedures, and protocols and is encouraged to collaborate with the research community to investigate continental scale ecology.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
This position can be filled as either a scientist or engineer, depending on the candidates’ experience.
Skills and Abilities
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.
Required to be submitted in order to be considered for the position include: