The Biology Laboratory Specialist plays an integral role in the success of courses offered by the Biology Department. The position does not incluEach Lab Specialist is responsible for the “lab prep” for 2-3 biology courses each semester. “Lab prep” consists of preparing and setting up all materials, reagents, solutions, computers, and equipment for each lab session in a particular course. This includes ordering equipment and supplies as well as keeping a detailed procedures notebook for each course.
The Lab Specialist works in collaboration with the Lab Instructor(s) assigned to the course, but work is carried out independently with little ongoing supervision. Lab Specialists regularly use independent judgment to modify approaches to specific laboratory exercises either to solve problems or as required by the instructors.
The level of scientific knowledge and technical expertise required varies with the level of the course. For example, prepping a 300 level course usually requires specialized knowledge of the subject matter and lab techniques (e.g. immunology, microbiology, electrophysiology, horticulture). Often the Lab Specialist will be present during the lab session and assist the Instructor or the students as needed.
Lab Specialists also train, supervise, and informally mentor Biology Department work-study students.
Primary Position Responsibilities
Preparing and setting up all materials, reagents, solutions, computers, and equipment for each lab session in 2-3 courses each semester
Ordering equipment and supplies within established budgets for assigned courses each semester
Training and supervising biology work-study students
Maintaining the equipment and stock supplies in the Biology Laboratory Prep Room
Writing and maintaining up to date laboratory procedure manuals for assigned courses
Being available to assist the ISL during the course of each lab in the event of technical difficulties
Handling and preparation of live materials including animals, plants and microbes used in biology courses
Helping to monitor proper storage and disposal of chemicals and hazardous materials as directed by the Safety Officer
The lab specialist fulfills all of the primary position responsibilities in a 1) reliable, 2) timely and 3) accurate manner.
Supervises work study students who assist in lab preparation
BA/BS in Biology or related fields
3-5 years of laboratory experience in Biology or related fields
Skills and Abilities Required
Laboratory skills required for accurate, consistent preparation of all lab materials and equipment required for all assigned lab sections
Knowledge of biological methodologies, principles and procedures
Knowledge of the use and maintenance of specialized biology laboratory equipment and/or facilities
Ability to effectively supervise undergraduate work study student assistants
Writing skills required for maintaining lab procedural manuals
Strong computer skills including proficiency with Microsoft Office and the ability to master course-specific applications
Attentive to detail in all duties
Ability to handle multiple priorities, to respond effectively to change and to take initiative in solving problems
Knowledge of the use of live materials (e.g. animals, plants and microbes) in laboratory procedures
All employees hired after August 2, 2021 are required to upload proof of vaccination and booster against COVID?19, subject to approved medical or religious exemptions or disability accommodations.
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