Position Classification Description

Position Class Code / Title: L0009 / Field Research Assoc/Biol Sci
Recruitment Tier: Tier 1
FLSA: Non-Exempt
Grade: 08

This is a description of a Staff Position Classification. It is not an announcement of a position opening. To view descriptions of current openings, please go to UNMJobs and Search Postings to view positions that are currently accepting applications.

The following statements are intended to describe, in broad terms, the general functions and responsibility levels characteristic of positions assigned to this classification. They should not be viewed as an exhaustive list of the specific duties and prerequisites applicable to individual positions that have been so classified.


Under indirect supervision, undertakes extended travel to geographically remote/exotic locations to perform biological data collection, processing, and analysis activities in support of a specified field research study, and to identify and recommend new potential areas and directions for associated research.

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Independently identifies, collects, processes, analyzes, and catalogs biological data, specimens, and/or samples according to established protocol, procedures, and standards, as appropriate to the specific objectives of the research study.
  2. Enters data into appropriate databases and performs routine, basic manipulation, reduction, analysis and interpretation of data, using specified statistical and/or scientific computer programs.
  3. Plans and organizes day-to-day on-site research activities, and resolves procedural and logistical problems as appropriate to the timely completion of research objectives.
  4. Sets up, calibrates, operates, and maintains a variety of laboratory and/or field research equipment as specified by the requirements of the research study.
  5. Monitors and maintains inventories of equipment and supplies for day-to-day study purposes as required, within budget parameters.
  6. Ensures that appropriate procedures and standards for the collection and preservation of biological specimens and samples are adhered to.
  7. Remains alert to potential new areas of research within prescribed study parameters, and makes recommendations to investigators on opportunities for new research directions, as appropriate.
  8. May participate in and/or contribute to the publication and/or presentation of results, and the development of grant proposals.
  9. Maintains a broad knowledge of state-of-the-art research techniques, technology, equipment, and/or systems.
  10. Performs miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned.

Minimum Job Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree; at least 6 months of experience directly related to the duties and responsibilities specified.
  • Completed degree(s) from an accredited institution that are above the minimum education requirement may be substituted for experience on a year for year basis.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Required

  • Knowledge of safety procedures and standards for the handling and processing of hazardous biological specimens and/or materials.
  • Knowledge of supplies, equipment, and/or services ordering and inventory control.
  • Ability to utilize computerized statistical and/or scientific database and analysis applications to manage research data.
  • Skill in organizing resources and establishing priorities.
  • Ability to set up, calibrate, operate, and maintain specified laboratory and/or field equipment and facilities.
  • Ability to identify and assess new research opportunities within a specified field of study.
  • Skill in collecting, analyzing, verifying, and manipulating research data.
  • Knowledge of field research and data collection principles, methods, and techniques.

Distinguishing Characteristics

    Position requires: a) field identification, collection, analysis, and cataloging of biological samples and specimens in accordance with prescribed protocol; b) understanding and following established field research protocol, procedures, and techniques; c) processing and analysis of research data using standardized procedures, basic data compilation, and data entry protocols; d) independent planning and organization of research activities and associated logistics; e) utilizing, monitoring, and maintenance of field research equipment and supplies; f) working independently on a project basis at geographically remote locations.

Conditions of Employment

  • Successful candidate must submit to post-offer, pre-employment physical examination and medical history check.

Working Conditions and Physical Effort

  • Work involves considerable exposure to unusual elements, such as extreme temperatures, dirt, dust, fumes, smoke, unpleasant odors, and/or loud noises.
  • Moderate physical activity. Requires handling of average-weight objects up to 25 pounds or standing and/or walking for more than four (4) hours per day.
  • Work environment involves exposure to potentially dangerous materials and situations that require following extensive safety precautions and may include the use of protective equipment.

The University of New Mexico provides all training required by OSHA to ensure employee safety.

Revised Date: 10/21/2019