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Staff Associate I

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University
Palisades, New York
Closing date
Aug 31, 2022

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Career Level
Early Career (up to 10 years past degree)
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost
No Relocation
Sector Type
Non-Government Organization/Non-Profit
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The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University is seeking a Staff Associate I to work within existing guidelines and workflows to curate sample-based data submitted to and compiled in the Astromaterials Data System operated by the Geoinformatics Research Group, including validation of data and metadata (quality assurance and quality control), maintenance of controlled vocabularies, and user support. Utilizes analytical skills to identify improvements to existing guidelines for metadata and workflows; gathers requirements and write up specifications for usability improvements to software tools for data entry 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 include:

  • Curation: Review and process data and metadata submitted to the Astromaterials Data System repository, including review, quality control, and approval of submitted datasets and metadata, registration of datasets with Digital Object Identifier (DOI); provide user support via Request Tracking (RT) System and user training; maintain and improve Help materials; assist with usability tests and user surveys; document user requirements for technical team.
  • Ingest data and metadata submitted to the Astromaterials Data System repository into the AstroDB synthesis database. Contribute to streamlining the workflow of data ingestion.
  • Contribute to design and implementation of software tools that are part of the Astromaterials Data System such as the new Method Directory. Work with EarthChem data curators to gather and define user requirements; create  and refine specification documents; and test new software releases.
  • Reports to Doherty Senior Research Scientist and interacts directly with data curators.  Will receive specific 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.



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


We accept online applications only.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

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