Staff or Assistant Research Scientist, Field Monitor/Quality Assurance Officer

Las Vegas, Nevada
Jun 08, 2018
Jul 03, 2018
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost

The Desert Research Institute (DRI) is seeking a full-time Field Monitor/Quality Assurance Officer for the Community Environmental Monitoring Program (CEMP) program based in Las Vegas.

CEMP is a nearly four-decades long citizen-scientist program funded by the Department of Energy to facilitate a public role in monitoring for radioactivity within the air and groundwater environments of local communities that could have originated from activities conducted at the nearby Nevada National Security Site. The CEMP is a joint effort between the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Field Office and DRI. The program is administered through a collaborative effort of DRI’s three Divisions of Hydrologic Sciences, Atmospheric Sciences, and Earth and Ecosystem Sciences.  This position would reside within the Division of Hydrologic Sciences.

The primary functions of the CEMP Field Monitor/Quality Assurance Officer are to maintain functionality and calibration of field instrumentation, coordinate collection and processing of air filter and thermoluminescent dosimeter (TLD) samples, ensure quality assurance protocols are maintained, conduct and report on relevant data analyses, and train and interface with community participants (the citizen scientists known as Community Environmental Monitors or CEMs). The CEMs participate in the collection of samples, maintenance of stations, and act as liaisons to fellow community residents and other interested stakeholders.

Responsibilities as Field Monitor

  • Perform quarterly maintenance and calibration of field equipment for approximately one-third of the 28 monitoring stations, and serve as a back-up for these tasks at the other stations as needed.  Equipment includes standard meteorological instrumentation, low-volume air samplers, pressurized ion chambers, and communications equipment.  Station maintenance and repair is performed on a quarterly basis.  Field work sometimes requires overnight travel.  Non-routine maintenance is sometimes required. Field work and public outreach activities periodically involve working with radiological sources.
  • Accept and process biweekly low-volume air filter samples and TLDs from 23 stations, ship composite samples to laboratory, compile results, and archive laboratory and field documentation 
  • Interface with the public at stations as the opportunities occur, and in other outreach venues (e.g., open houses, presentations to school and civic groups)
  • Act as primary contact for station managers regarding technical issues, training issues, and sample management
  • Train new station managers as needed
  • Participate in annual workshops held to educate and train current station managers
  • Interact with other DRI personnel working on the project to facilitate maintenance of equipment and transfer of data
  • Summarize and interpret laboratory results and contribute documentation of results in written quarterly and annual reports
  • Conduct similar, although generally more limited, duties for other air monitoring projects conducted by DHS personnel

    Responsibilities as Quality Assurance Officer

  • Maintain records associated with filter samples and other CEMP documentation
  • Serve as custodian of radiological sources used for sensor calibration and public outreach
  • Perform routine quality assurance review of filter sample documentation and associated laboratory analysis
  • Perform external audits of analytical laboratory
  • Perform internal audit of station managers
  • Produce and maintain standard operating procedures and revision to general quality assurance documentation

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in environmental sciences, chemistry, physics, atmospheric sciences, health physics, or equivalent
  • Two or more years of experience working with environmental monitoring equipment
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently
  • Willingness to work with radiological sources (Cs-137) to perform regular calibration checks of monitoring equipment and for purposes of public outreach demonstrations (e.g., lantern mantles, Fiesta ware).
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Willingness to participate in formal and ad hoc opportunities to work with the public and inform them of the science behind the monitoring stations

Conditions of Employment

  • US Citizenship is required
  • Ability to travel frequently and extensively to remote sites over long distances, including overnight stays
  • Ability to conduct physically strenuous field activities, including lifting and carrying heavy equipment and samples (up to 50 lb)
  • Must possess a valid driver’s license by date of hire

Compensation and Benefits

Starting salary is commensurate with experience and education. DRI offers a benefits package that includes health, dental, vision, life and long-term disability insurance; including 14.5% retirement match, 24 annual leave days, beginning balance of 30 sick leave days, 11 paid holidays, educational benefits, and the choice of two health insurance plans that can be supplemented with flexible spending accounts or health savings accounts. Additionally, there is no state income tax and no social security deduction.   This position is eligible for relocation assistance.

Qualified individuals interested in this position must apply online at

This posting is open until filled. Qualified individuals are encouraged to apply immediately. Lists of eligible candidates will be established and hiring may occur early in the recruiting process. Recruitment will close without notice when a sufficient number of applications are received or a hiring decision has been made.

For questions regarding this position, please call the recruiting office at 702-862-5548.


The Desert Research Institute (DRI) is an equal opportunity/ affirmative action employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, disability status, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law. DRI employs only U.S. citizens and persons lawfully authorized to work in the United States.