Field Research Technician - 12916BR

Field Research Technician

Kansas Geological Survey
University of Kansas - Lawrence
Employee Class: 
U-Unclassified Professional Staff

Position Overview

This position provides technical field support in Exploration Services (ES) for the Kansas Geological Survey (KGS) scientists and collaborating outside parties. Responsibilities include borehole (well) drilling and sampling operations, well logging, well maintenance and plugging, installation of observation wells, water level measure­ment seismic/geophysical field support, equipment fabrication, earthquake station installation and maintenance, and other areas of geological-related support work as needed.

The person in this position will be required under the direction of the Senior Driller to become a proficient driller in the use of all the KGS drilling units. With the current level of drilling and sampling undertaken at the KGS, obtaining this training/experience might take several years. During this period and beyond, when not engaged in drilling or sampling activities, a great deal of independence and direction will be provided to become familiar and experienced with participating in geophysical surveys, water level measurement projects, instrument installation, and fabrication of specialized equipment and tools. Prior experience with drilling or geophysical equipment or surveys is not expected or required. Candidates who enjoy working outdoors and/or shop work (e.g. machining, woodworking, maintenance, or fabrication) and want a long-term career in this field are encouraged to apply.

EXPLORATION SERVICES SECTION: The KGS Exploration Services (ES) section develops and uses several methods to provide information about the subsurface, using both invasive and non-invasive approaches with a focus on higher resolution and accuracy while reducing cost. This includes innovative methods of shallow seismic characterization.

The ES section provides drilling in support of water, energy, and basic subsurface research. It also runs a program designed to monitor changes and identify regional trends in the High Plains, Dakota, and alluvial aquifers, measuring about 1,380 wells in 47 central and western Kansas counties. As well, the ES section is responsible for installation, maintenance, and collection of data from earthquake recording stations in Kansas—both permanent stations and several temporary networks—to detect and analyze seismic activity.

KANSAS GEOLOGICAL SURVEY: The Kansas Geological Survey (KGS) is a research and service division of the University of Kansas that investigates and provides information about the state's geologic and groundwater resources. The KGS has no regulatory authority and does not take positions on natural resource issues. More...

Job Description

20% Drilling and Sampling
  • Attain and enhance drilling, logging, and plugging skills; design and complete drilling and/or sampling operations as requested by KGS scientists.
  • Participate in and oversee mobilizing and demobilizing the drilling, plugging, and logging operations.
  • Assist with inventory of necessary supplies and tools related to drilling/sampling activities.
  • Maintain accurate and up-to-date records of workload and projects.
  • Maintain and expand operational capabilities of KGS drilling, plugging, and logging equipment and techniques.
  • On occasion, manage drill site and assume responsibility for deliverables when senior driller is not on-site or requested by senior driller. Responsibility for drill site operations, both safety and product quality/quantity.

20% Geophysical and Water Level Program Technical Support
  • Participate in annual water level measurement program acquisition, mobilization, and demobilization.
  • Participate in geophysical field work as part of the seismic crew (install recording equipment and operate a variety of seismic sources).
  • Assist with and maintain a high level of proficiency in setup and operation of DGPS (Digital GPS) survey equipment.
  • Assist with inventory and ordering of necessary supplies and tools for the geophysical and water level programs, as well as general day to day operations.

20% Earthquake Research Support
  • Assist with mobilization/demobilization, site preparation, locating, preparing, permitting, and installing and troubleshooting earthquake stations.
  • Perform periodic visits to installation sites for equipment welfare checks, troubleshooting, and routine maintenance, likely involving a significant number of self-driven miles to remote Kansas locations.

20% Fabrication and Equipment Maintenance
  • Become skilled with machine tools under the direction of the Senior Driller.
  • Manufacture components and parts using a wide range of welding methods (TIG, MIG, stick, gas, etc) with oversight from ES staff skilled in various shop tools.
  • Cooperate with ES field staff to ensure all equipment and tools are well maintained and manufacture service recommendations are followed.

20% General Field Support Services
  • Some responsibility for scheduling and executing services in support of scientists throughout the KGS.
  • Provide a range of field support to KGS scientists. Examples include: landowner search, borehole monitoring, borehole logging, utility clearance, Arbuckle measurement, and field contractor oversight.
  • Provide landowner identifications, contact landowners, and secure permissions as well as routine contact and interaction to maintain high level of awareness and buy-in. Coordinate with other staff to ensure inventory of necessary supplies and tools for site installation and maintenance are readily available.

Required Qualifications

  1. Associate’s degree and two years of relevant experience or high school diploma/GED and four years of relevant experience.
  2. Good organizational, communication, and record-keeping skills as evidenced by application materials.
  3. Demonstrable work experience in one or more of the following categories:
    • Scientific/technical fieldwork (data/sample acquisition or installation/maintenance of field instruments).
    • Mechanic work (vehicle/equipment maintenance and repair).
    • Machining, woodwork, or metal fabrication (welding, cutting, and/or grinding).
    • Farm or construction work.
Position Requirements:
  1. Valid, current, and unrestricted Class “C” driver’s license at onset of appointment. Ability to obtain Kansas Class A CDL within 6 months of hire using KGS vehicles.
  2. Ability to occasionally travel away from home-base for up to ten days at a time, typically with advance notice (generally 10 days for longer trips and two days or more for shorter trips). Over last several years field days have numbered around 30 to 40 days per year.
  3. Ability to work outdoors in possibly extreme conditions for extended periods while performing repetitive and labor-intensive tasks over periods of several days.
  4. Ability to lift and move up to 100 pounds short distances, with or without accommodation.
  5. Ability to work independently and make decisions with remote guidance.

Preferred Qualifications

  1. College degree in Geoscience, Environmental Science, geoscience-related Engineering, and/or Automotive, Hydraulic, or Welding technology.
  2. Demonstrable geoscience-related fieldwork experience.
  3. Demonstrable work experience in drilling (rotary, auger, core, direct-push) or hydraulic systems maintenance and repair.
  4. Borehole logging, and/or sample collection and preparation experience.
  5. Experience with electrical and/or assembly of electronic or scientific equipment.
  6. Design and fabrication skills with a basic knowledge of shop tools and shop safety as evidenced by academic or work experience.
  7. Kansas Class “A” commercial driver’s license with combination vehicle driving experience.
  8. Computer literacy in Windows-based programs.

Additional Candidate Instructions

Complete the online application during which the following are required:
  1. Cover letter addressing how you meet the required & preferred qualifications, and the position requirements.
  2. Resume.
  3. Contact information for three professional references.
Incomplete applications will not be considered. Review begins October 22, 2018, and will continue until a qualified pool of applicants is received. For best consideration apply by the review date above.

Contact Information to Applicants

Annette Delaney
Kansas Geological Survey
University of Kansas

Advertised Salary Range

$40,000 or commensurate with qualifications and experience

Application Review Begins


Anticipated Start Date


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Posting Information
Posting ID:
Kansas Geological Survey
University of Kansas - Lawrence
Employee Class:
U-Unclassified Professional Staff
Application Review Begins:
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