Lab Assistant (9603C) - 11780

San Francisco
Oct 08, 2020
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Lab Assistant (9603C) - 11780 About Berkeley

At the University of California, Berkeley, we are committed to creating a community that fosters equity of experience and opportunity, and ensures that students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds feel safe, welcome and included. Our culture of openness, freedom and belonging make it a special place for students, faculty and staff.

The University of California, Berkeley, is one of the world's leading institutions of higher education, distinguished by its combination of internationally recognized academic and research excellence; the transformative opportunity it provides to a large and diverse student body; its public mission and commitment to equity and social justice; and its roots in the California experience, animated by such values as innovation, questioning the status quo, and respect for the environment and nature. Since its founding in 1868, Berkeley has fueled a perpetual renaissance, generating unparalleled intellectual, economic and social value in California, the United States and the world.

We are looking for equity-minded applicants who represent the full diversity of California and who demonstrate a sensitivity to and understanding of the diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ethnic backgrounds present in our community. When you join the team at Berkeley, you can expect to be part of an inclusive, innovative and equity-focused community that approaches higher education as a matter of social justice that requires broad collaboration among faculty, staff, students and community partners. In deciding whether to apply for a position at Berkeley, you are strongly encouraged to consider whether your values align with our Guiding Values and Principles, our Principles of Community, and our Strategic Plan.

Departmental Overview

The Division of Ecosystem Sciences (ES) is an intellectual collaboration among biological and physical scientists who endeavor to understand and sustain the ecosystems of the world. Our ambition is to develop an integrated understanding of ecosystem function and to provide society with the scientific means to face growing environmental challenges. We share an inclusive definition of an ecosystem that acknowledges the range of spatial and temporal scales involved in understanding dynamic biophysical systems.

Given our origins (faculty from forestry, soil science, and plant pathology departments), we focus on the ecology of terrestrial communities - forests, savannas, and grasslands - and their interface with aquatic ecosystems (e.g., estuaries, riparian zones, and other wetlands).

Although our specific disciplines are diverse, a common interest is discovering the interactions among the hydrosphere, atmosphere, and geosphere. The spatial scales of study extend from molecules to the globe, and the temporal scales span from a few micro-seconds to millions of years. Humans are key components, both as external controls on ecosystem processes, and as organisms dependent on ecosystem services.

The Silver lab research interests are in the field of ecosystem ecology, and include biogeochemical cycling in the plant-soil-atmosphere interfaces, the effects of disturbance on nutrient cycling, and the relationships among nutrient cycling, land-use, and biodiversity. The lab works on themes linking climate, plant community characteristics, and biogeochemical cycling in tropical forests, as well as the effects of changing cover types at local and regional scales.

The Lab Assistant II uses technical scientific knowledge to perform routine laboratory work under supervision to support lab projects and ensure that grant deadlines are met. The incumbent will assist with field work, lab work, data management, and laboratory supply maintenance.

  • Assist in the purchase of field supplies; review and maintain pre-set stock levels, assuring availability of materials.
  • Collect and label soil, plant material, and trace gases in field.
  • Prepare (e.g. grind, sort, weigh, evacuate, label) supplies and samples for analysis.
  • Analyze samples on the GC, carbon- nitrogen analyzer, discrete analyzer or mass spec with instruction and supervision.
  • Collect and store data as directed.
  • May run reports or collate data as needed.

Required Qualifications
  • Able to operate basic lab equipment.
  • Able to perform routine, repetitive functions while maintaining attention to detail.
  • Able to follow direction and complete tasks with limited supervision.
  • Able to communicate information in writing and verbally and to keep accurate records of work.
  • Experience collecting and processing samples.
  • Graduation from high school or a General Education Diploma and two years of laboratory experience or two years of college including courses in the natural, physical or social sciences and one year of laboratory experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Preferred Qualifications
  • Undergraduate experience in ecology, geology, soil science, environmental science, or related field.
  • Basic lab chemistry skills.
  • Prior fieldwork experience with soil, plan and gas collection.

Salary & Benefits

This position is a non-exempt, bi-weekly paid position. Hourly pay for this role starts at $19.38 (Step 1.0).

For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University visit:

How to Apply

Please submit your cover letter and resume as a single attachment when applying.

Other Information

This is a full-time, 40-hours per week, Limited (temporary) appointment with an end date of December 31, 2020.

There are two openings for this position, and the posting will remain open until filled.

This position is governed by the terms and conditions in the agreement for the Technical Unit (TX) between the University of California and the University Professional and Technical Employees (UPTE). The current bargaining agreement manual can be found at:

Equal Employment Opportunity

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status. For more information about your rights as an applicant see:
For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

To apply, visit

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