Professional Research Assistant - University of Colorado, Boulder

As the University's oldest institute, INSTAAR (Institute of Arctic & Alpine Research) has a long history of responding to pressing environmental issues. Our traditional focus has been on polar and alpine regions, where the effects of global change are especially pronounced. In recent decades, our research has broadened to include environmental challenges that span local, regional, and global scales. Research topics vary widely and include Quaternary and modern environments, human and ecosystem ecology, biogeochemistry, landscape evolution, hydrology, oceanography, and climate. 

INSTAAR's research activities integrate field studies, state-of-the-art laboratory experiments, sample analysis, and numerical and laboratory modeling. Our field sites are located across all seven continents and the world's oceans. Our expertise across subject areas helps us to generate influential science that can inform public and policy decisions and move us toward a more sustainable society. INSTAAR's national and international research leadership is augmented by outstanding strength in graduate education and bringing undergraduates into the research process. 

Key Responsibilities: 

Primary responsibilities will include: 

  • construction, installation, programming, and maintenance of environmental monitoring systems and related instrumentation. 
  • operation and maintenance of laboratory analytical instrumentation. 
  • training of students. 
  • sample preparation and analysis, and method development. 

What You Should Know: 

  • The applicant will work in residence at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR). 
  • Ability and willingness to travel field sites in Colorado and California for up to two weeks at a time. Local travel may occasionally require personal vehicle use. 
  • Visa sponsorship is unavailable for this position. 

What We Can Offer

The salary will start at $42,000.00 annually. 


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder

Be Statements

Be Adaptable. Be Innovative. Be Boulder. 

What We Require: 

  • A Bachelor's degree in the natural sciences, engineering, or related fields. 
  • Proven experiences with the operation and maintenance of Campbell Scientific dataloggers. 
  • Experience maintaining and troubleshooting environmental instruments in the field and laboratory, and ability to train and supervise students in methods. 

What You Will Need: 

  • Ability to respond constructively to others' ideas and suggestions and a willingness to develop creative solutions to challenges that arise. 
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, both verbally and written, including listening and responding to questions optimally. 
  • Knowledge and skill in programming, troubleshooting, and maintaining Campbell Scientific or similar data-logger systems. 
  • Understanding and dexterity installing and maintaining wireless data communication systems such as radio telemetry and/or cellular systems. 
  • The capability of carrying up to 50 lbs on rough or steep terrain for 2 miles. 
  • Proficiency with basic computer software including the Microsoft Office suite, as well as, online collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams or Google Drive. 

What We Would Like You To Have: 

  • A Master's degree in the natural sciences, engineering, or related fields. 
  • Experience with the construction, operation, maintenance, and data analysis of environmental instruments such as sapflow sensors, soil moisture sensors, pressure transducers, and temperature probes. 
  • Expertise in data analysis and statistical software such as R, SPSS, or Matlab. 
  • Experience with Picarro Laser Isotope analyzers; ion chromatographs, and understanding of basic lab methods and quality control protocols for water quality research. 

Special Instructions: 

To apply, please submit the following materials:

  1. Resume/CV
  2. Cover Letter

During the application process, you will need to enter contact information for one reference, and we will request a letter of recommendation from them immediately upon application. 

Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. 

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs