Vancouver Aquarium 605 – Research Technician, Ocean Pollution Research Contract in Vancouver, BC

Vancouver Aquarium

Branch Vancouver BC CA

605 – Research Technician, Ocean Pollution Research
Vancouver, BC

Experience processing environmental samples; Responsible for isolating and characterizing microplastics in environmental samples by:….

We are currently working on several microplastics projects with the goal of gaining an understanding of microplastics pollution. Projects underway are characterizing microplastics in the NE Pacific, the Arctic, wastewater treatment facilities, invertebrates
and fish. Reporting to the Director of the VA Ocean Pollution Research Program (OPRP), the Research Technician will play a central and dedicated analytical role for our microplastics research and contribute to the overall success of our research program by
working on a variety of projects aimed at characterizing microplastic pollution in the ocean. The Research Technician will participate in sampling in the environment, and perform laboratory-based isolation of microplastics from samples using existing and newly-developed
protocols. This will include filtration, digestion, density-gradient, and sorting techniques. The candidate will then measure and characterize microplastics using light microscopy, image analysis software and FT-IR spectrometry. This fixed term contract will
run through December 2017.


Responsible for isolating and characterizing microplastics in environmental samples by:

Digesting and filtering various environmental samples (sediment, water, wastewater, biota) to recover microplastics using established protocols;

Counting microplastics using light microscopy and image analysis software;
Characterizing microplastics in terms of size, shape and colour using light microscopy and image analysis software;

Preparing samples adequately for further analysis using Fourier-Transform Infra-Red (FT-IR) spectrometry;

Analyzing samples using FT-IR spectrometry;
Preparing laboratory reports summarizing findings.

Consciously desires to improve the Vancouver Aquarium and its processes by:

Continually improving our impact on the environment and the greening of our operations through support of EMS protocols;

Maintaining organizational safety standards;
Promptly aiding in Emergency protocol, and,
Performing additional duties as required of a similar nature or level.

Education and Experience

Undergraduate and/or graduate degree in Chemistry, Biochemistry and/or Environmental Sciences;

Experience processing environmental samples;
Experience in field sampling;
Extensive experience working in a laboratory setting;
Experience with chemistry, organic chemistry and/or biochemistry;
Experience with light microscopy;
Experience with FT-IR spectrometry or related instrumentation; and
WHMIS certificate (on the job training provided).

Technical Competencies

Competency in working safely in a laboratory environment;
Competency in working safely and competently with chemicals in the laboratory;

Attention to detail and accuracy;
Competency in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel;
Competency in summarizing data from laboratory experiments and preparing laboratory reports;

Practical understanding of WHMIS and SDS; and,
Active demonstration of the company’s values and mission.

Working Conditions

Works in laboratory off site (Vancouver Aquarium Discovery Laboratories);
The incumbent will work in a shared office environment as well as laboratory environment with the usual ergonomic risks;

The incumbent will be exposed to a variety of controlled products as well as waste water samples which requires the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including a respirator;

Flexibility and availability in schedule are required during the week, including working the occasional weekends, and evenings.

or proceed with Standard Application Form.

Employment Type: Freelance
Location: Vancouver, BC, CA
Posted on: 2016-09-08
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