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INSTAAR Professional Scientist I/ Lab Technician

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Date Posted:


Job Summary

The INSTAAR Stable Isotope Lab is seeking a laboratory technician to join a team dedicated to carefully measuring stable isotopes of greenhouse gases. This work is in support of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network, a long-term program to measure the atmospheric distribution and trends of greenhouse gases. These measurements are is critical to understanding the dynamics of climate change, and ultimately will shape policy decisions.

The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Who We Are

As the University’s oldest institute, lNSTAAR (Institute of Arctic & Alpine Research) has over 200 scientists and a long history of responding to pressing environmental issues. INSTAAR’s national and international research leadership is augmented by exceptional strength in graduate education and bringing undergraduates into the research process. The INSTAAR Stable Isotope Lab (SIL) provides critical measurements of biogeochemical processes that control environmental change on human timescales. The lab is a focal point for several large projects, the largest of which is a collaboration with NOAA’s Global Monitoring Laboratory to measure stable isotopes of carbon dioxide and methane from a cooperative flask sampling network. These data help constrain models and improve the understanding of sources and sinks of modern greenhouse gases and the carbon cycle. The SIL lab also uses stable isotopes in water to reconstruct paleoclimate data from polar ice cores and collects air samples from drones to measure stable isotopes of water vapor. In general, we develop new techniques for measuring stable isotopes in the environment in order to better understand Earth systems. We are one of the larger labs on the CU campus and have been in operation since 1989. We currently have four technicians, two faculty members, and a lab PI/manager all working together for common goals. We support each other in our work, and we have fun making science happen.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • We are seeking a competent laboratory professional with technical experience. Initial primary responsibilities will involve working with team members to coordinate analysis of air samples, daily operation of mass spectrometers, and performing QA/QC on resulting data.
  • Eventually, the candidate will learn to troubleshoot and maintain the analyzers and their associated preparation systems.
  • There will be opportunities for growth in the development of new methods, the design of systems for improved data/quality management, and the interpretation of the data.

What You Should Know

  • This search has been initiated in late fall 2021 and will be ongoing until we can fill the position with a qualified candidate.
  • The position offers an outstanding opportunity to work with a positive scientific team that is integral to efforts to understand past and current climate dynamics. Depending upon the applicant’s specific skills and interests, there will be opportunities to engage in methods development and data interpretation and to gain knowledge and skills to further a technical career in Earth Science and/or Geochemistry.
  • The INSTAAR Stable Isotope Lab occupies about 8,000 square feet, located in the Sustainability, Energy and Environment Complex (SEEC) on the East campus of CU Boulder. The building is home to a host of environmental programs and departments, offering an interdisciplinary community in an academic setting. Lab culture emphasizes cooperation and results within a flexible work environment.
  • All University of Colorado Boulder employees are required to comply with the campus COVID-19 vaccine requirement. New employees must provide proof of vaccination or receive a medical or religious exemption within 30 days of employment.

What We Can Offer

Salary will range from $50,000-$58,000 annually.


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.

Be Statements

Be ambitious. Be flexible. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in one of the following areas: geology, chemistry, biology, environmental science, environmental engineering, hydrology, geochemistry, physics, or related fields.
  • Engineering oriented professionals will be expected to have some knowledge and appreciation for the science.
  • You must have some laboratory experience.

What You Will Need

  • Proficiency in Microsoft applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.).
  • Exposure to some programming language (Basic, IDL, Python, etc.).
  • Ability to work independently or collaboratively as needed.
  • Serious attention to detail, even when handling mundane tasks.
  • Outstanding organizational skills.

What We Would Like You To Have

  • Hands-on experience with scientific instrumentation (mass spectrometers and gas chromatographs a plus).
  • Experience with stable isotope data.
  • Proficiency in a programming language (Basic, IDL, Python, etc.).
  • An understanding of and experience with basic electronic circuits.
  • Experience with mechanical fabrication.
  • Better than average social/communication skills.

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:

  1. Resume or CV
  2. Cover letter addressed to the Search Committee briefly describing your qualifications, professional goals, and specific interest in this position.

If you are selected as the finalist, your degree will be verified by the CU Boulder Campus Human Resources department using an approved online vendor. If your degree was obtained outside of the United States, please submit a translated version as an optional attachment.

The position will be open until filled. Applications will be screened as they are received.

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs

Posting Contact Information

Posting Contact Name: Boulder Campus Human Resources

Posting Contact Email: