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Research Technician

Apply now Job no: 494369
Categories: Staff
Department: Academic Affairs

Position Summary: The Biology Department at Davidson College invites applications for a research technician. The technician will work on a new NSF-funded research project ( under the direction of Dr. Susana Wadgymar and in collaboration with Drs. Jill Anderson (University of Georgia), Seema Sheth (North Carolina State University), Megan DeMarche (University of Georgia), and Emily Josephs (Michigan State University). The project combines approaches from evolutionary biology, field ecology, and population genomics in a broadly distributed native plant species (Chamaecrista fasciculata, Fabaceae) to forecast population dynamics range-wide under climate change. The technician will be part of a research group of dynamic, dedicated, and engaged Davidson students as well as a member of a multidisciplinary and multi-institution collaborative group that includes Botanic Garden and conservation professionals.

Appointment term: The exact start date is flexible. The work will ideally begin by March 31, 2023 and will continue for 1 year and 9 months. Initial work could be conducted remotely, although the successful candidate will need to relocate to Davidson to conduct greenhouse and field studies.

Application deadline: This advertisement will remain open until the position is filled. For full consideration, we encourage applicants to submit their materials prior to March 1, 2023.

Salary: $35,000 a year (equivalent to over $15/hr for a 40-hour work week)

Primary duties: The technician will play a crucial role in identifying and collecting seeds from throughout Chamaecrista’s eastern range and conducting pedigreed crosses to enable quantitative genetic estimates for fitness in response to climate. In specific, the technician will:

·  Search species lists for protected areas, iNaturalist observations, and herbarium collections for potential candidate populations for data and seed collection.

·  Apply for permits to collect data and seeds, when applicable.

·  Travel to field sites for data and seed collection in departmental or rental vehicles for two ~2 week collection trips (see field section statement below).

·  Coordinate travel logistics for data and seed collection trips.

·  Keeping meticulous notes on experimental protocols and managing large datasets. 

·  Conduct crosses among plants to generate a pedigreed set of seeds to be used for quantitative genetic analyses as well as other side projects of interest.

·  Purchasing and reconciling receipts (all funds provided up front: you will not be asked to provide funds yourself and apply for reimbursement).

·  Collaboration with PIs of the grant and undergraduate researchers in the Wadgymar lab.

·  Participating in meetings and discussions with the larger collaborative team.

·  Occasionally working on a weekend or into the evening for time-sensitive projects (ex. Field collecting trips). Otherwise working hours are M-F 9-5 with the possibility for  schedule flexibility as needed (ex. accommodate vacations, life events, etc.).

Minimum requirements: This position requires the following:

·  Ability to collect data from populations occupying unanticipated terrains (e.g., roadside, various fields, etc.), walk up to one mile to focal populations if necessary, and lift up to 30 pounds on occasion.

·  A driver’s license and comfort driving long distances on both highways and along backroads.

·  Familiarity with basics of experimental design and using excel, word, and google drive.

Preferred qualifications: A combination of any of the following is likely to enhance a candidate’s prospects:

·  A bachelor’s or master’s degree in a biological discipline with upper division coursework in plant biology, ecology, and/or evolution.

·  Experience growing plants.

·  Experience with field work and/or traveling among field sites.

Professional Development Opportunities: We will work to provide professional development opportunities relevant to the technician’s career interests and goals.  These could include:

·  Involvement in the development of a manuscript for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

·  Experience mentoring undergraduate students on independent research projects.

·  Attending faculty meetings within the Biology Department.

·  Guest lecturing under the guidance of Dr. Wadgymar and/or attending workshops to develop inclusive pedagogical practices.

To apply: Please submit the following application materials through

1) A cover letter detailing your interest in the position, confirmation of meeting the minimum requirements, discussion of any of the preferred qualifications you have experience with, and any considerations you would like us to be aware of (these could refer to start date, relocation date, accommodations, and accessibility, etc.).

2) A CV that includes a list of relevant skill sets and experience.

3) The names and contact information of three references.

About Davidson College:  Davidson College is a residential, four-year liberal arts college, located 20 miles from Charlotte, NC.  We uphold a collegial, respectful atmosphere that honors academic achievement and integrity, upholds educational excellence, encourages student-faculty collaborative research, and prioritizes inclusive pedagogies.  Davidson College is an ideal workplace for those interested in interdisciplinary collaboration, building community, and developing innovative pedagogical practices.

About the Charlotte Area:  Davidson is a lakeside college town just 20 miles north of the thriving city of Charlotte.  As North Carolina's largest city, Charlotte is a financial center featuring professional sports teams, theaters, museums and galleries, and a busy hub airport with frequent nonstop flights to many domestic and international destinations.  Thus, Davidson students, staff members, and faculty members enjoy the diverse advantages and opportunities provided by remarkable proximity to a lively major city, suburbs, and charming small towns, and lakefront communities on Lake Norman (North Carolina's largest lake).  Moreover, with the mountains of Western N.C. and the beaches of the Atlantic only a few hours drive in either direction, rural and recreational areas are also readily accessible and available.

Commitments to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity:  Davidson is actively pursuing inclusive excellence and is a current recipient of an HHMI inclusive excellence grant supporting Inclusive Excellence undergraduate science education.  Davidson also participates in QuestBridge, Posse, and other initiatives including The Davidson Trust, a no-loan financial aid program for students with demonstrated financial need.  Students are further supported through The Center for Diversity and Inclusion, the Lula Bell’s resource center, and the Center for Teaching and Learning.  Davidson has a non-discrimination policy and strong, ongoing commitments to social justice, quality, and access. As an example, in 2017 Davidson appointed a Commission on Race and Slavery to build a comprehensive understanding of the college’s history involving slavery and the lives of enslaved people.  This work inspired beginning steps towards acknowledging the college’s past and the work ahead to achieve equity and justice. The Wadgymar lab is committed to providing a welcoming and inclusive working environment for all its members and has a zero-tolerance policy for harassment of any kind. In addition, Dr. Wadgymar and the technician will develop a mentoring and professional development plan to identify priorities, needs, and accommodations that would help the technician achieve their professional goals and desired work-life balance.

Commitment to field safety: We are committed to providing a safe field work experience for all members of the collaborative team. In the context of this position, safety measures we have in place include always having a second person along during all field work, pre-planned schedules and routes with collection sites in protected areas whenever possible, Davidson College signage for vehicles and work vests, a clear plan for daily check-ins and a mode of continuous communication while in the field, a checklist to ensure that appropriate personal protective equipment are included on each trip, and an agreed upon emergency plan. We are happy to discuss and address any other safety-related concerns you have.

At Davidson College, we believe the college grows stronger by recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty and staff committed to building an inclusive community.  In order to achieve and sustain educational excellence, we seek to hire talented faculty and staff across the intersections of diverse races, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities, ages, socio-economic backgrounds, political perspectives, abilities, cultures, and national origins.

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