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Staff Associate I

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University
Palisades, New York
Closing date
Nov 20, 2021

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Earth and Space Science Informatics
Career Level
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost
No Relocation
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Job Details

The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University located in Palisades, New York, is seeking a Staff Associate I to work within existing guidelines and workflows to curate user contributed content of the geochemical data repositories and the System for Earth Sample Registration operated by the Geoinformatics Research Group. Confirms and validates data and metadata (quality assurance and quality control), DOI/IGSN assignment, maintenance of data templates; support users with data submission and data access. Utilizes analytical skills to identify improvements to existing guidelines for metadata, workflows, and software to meet community needs. Shares information via established project management software, and ensures necessary updates to documentation of data curation workflows. Participates in conducting usability tests. Contributes to training and outreach activities.

Duties and Responsibilities will include:

  • Review & process sample metadata submitted to the System for Earth Sample Registration SESAR, including quality assessment and control, user support via RT system and user training; compile and edit documentation for internal and external users; develop tutorials, presentations, and content for the SESAR web site; Help materials for SESAR users; assist with usability tests and user surveys; document user requirements for technical team.
  • Review & process data and metadata submitted to the EarthChem Library, including review, quality control, and approval of submitted datasets and metadata, registration of datasets with DOI; provide user support via RT and user training; maintain and improve Help materials; assist with usability tests and user surveys; document user requirements for technical team.
  • Communicate internally with EarthChem and SESAR staff and externally with users, partners, and other stakeholders as needed to contribute to effective and efficient operation and development of systems, to improve user experience, and to grow user audiences. 
  • Contribute to testing of new software releases.
  • Reports to the Doherty Senior Research Scientist and interacts directly with data curators. 
  • Will receive general supervision. 
  • Exercises independent judgment and initiative within specific guidelines. 


  • BS or MS in Earth & Environmental Sciences or a closely related field and 4 years of related experience in laboratory work in analytical geochemistry and/or working with geological samples required.
  • Knowledge of geochemical analytical methods and geological samples documentation required.
  • Ability to use software programs and tools such as MS Excel in support of the project required.
  • Attention to detail is critical.
  • Excellent organizational and strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Experience in data management including cleaning, recording, and organizing data and/or metadata, knowledge of SQL or other querying language, familiarity with Python and Jupyter Notebooks, and experience with or desire to learn about controlled vocabularies is strongly preferred.

Appointments are made on a fiscal year basis and are eligible for renewal each July 1st, contingent upon performance and funding.

The search will remain open for at least 30 days after the ad appears and will continue until the position is filled.  

Columbia University benefits are offered with this Officer of Research appointment.

For further information about this position and to submit your application and other required documents, please visit our application site at:

Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer – Race / Gender / Veteran / Disability

The Lamont campus values diversity and inclusion, and encourages applications from members of underrepresented minority groups.

We accept online applications only.


Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory seeks fundamental knowledge about the origin, evolution and future of the natural world. Its scientists study the planet from its deepest interior to the outer reaches of its atmosphere, on every continent and in every ocean, providing a rational basis for the difficult choices facing humanity.

Lamont is a core component of the Earth Institute, Columbia University. Nearly 200 Ph.D. level researchers work and teach there, and 80-90 graduate students are involved in research. Lamont also operates a federally funded research ship, the Marcus G. Langseth, which uses seismic data to map the sub-seafloor, highlighting hidden faults and other earthquake hazards.

Since its founding in 1949, Lamont-Doherty has been a leader in the earth sciences. Its scientists were the first to map the seafloor and develop a computer model that could predict an El Nino weather event, the first to provide concrete proof for the theory of plate tectonics and to reveal the oceans’ role in triggering abrupt climate change. With each year, our understanding of earth improves. Yet, new discoveries await us!

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