Temporary Freshwater Ecology Field Technician/Intern

Posted on January 9, 2023
Expires: February 14, 2023


The University of Houston-Clear Lake places its highest priority on serving a diverse body of students in every aspect of their university experience. UHCL fosters critical thinking and lifelong learning through a strong legacy of vibrant community partnerships complementing its historical focus on teaching, research, creative activity, and service. As part of the UHCL campus, the Environmental Institute of Houston aims to advance understanding of the environment through interdisciplinary research, education, and outreach.

In 2023, EIH will be conducting the 2023-2024 National Rivers and Streams Assessment in Texas. This project is in partnership with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and its contractors. The goal of this assessment is to evaluate the condition of flowing waters by collecting field data related to physical habitat, fish assemblages, macrobenthic invertebrate communities, and water quality. The EIH is currently recruiting up to six temporary, non-benefits eligible Freshwater Ecology Field Technicians with the position(s) occurring between mid-March and late October 2023. Each appointment will be approximately 4.5 months in duration, though starting dates for individual incumbents may differ. All work will be based out of Houston; thus, the incumbent will be required to have local lodging accommodations, but extensive travel is required to conduct field work across Texas.

This is an excellent opportunity for aspiring field biologists interested in gaining experience with freshwater ecology field data collection and sampling techniques. This opportunity provides valuable experience in physical habitat assessment techniques, stream flow monitoring, water sample collection, various methods used to sample aquatic invertebrates and freshwater fish assemblages, and collection of fish tissue samples. Additionally, technicians will gain experience in operation and maintenance of field and laboratory equipment and assist with operation of university vehicles, vessels, and trailers. Technician(s) will work with an interdisciplinary team of scientists, collaborators, private landowners, and graduate students to conduct field work in sometimes remote locations between April and September. Applicants must be able to conduct physically demanding work during high-heat and humidity and be able to lift and carry up to 50 lbs.

LOCATION: Based in Houston; includes state-wide travel throughout Texas

SALARY: Starting at $1,400/month (commensurate with experience; temporary, full-time, non-benefits eligible); travel expenses during field work covered by grant funds (relocation expenses not provided)


Applicants should possess or be perusing a Bachelor’s degree in freshwater ecology, biology, environmental science or a closely related field. Applicants must be willing to travel; but are required to have lodging in the Houston area for office-based activities between sampling trips. Additionally, a successful candidate will:


  • Possess a valid driver’s license, be physically able to drive university vehicles, and
  • Travel up to 14 days at a time and work long hours (10+) in the field during summer months.
  • Be in good physical condition, able to lift 50 lbs., traverse steep/rough terrain, and be comfortable working from a boat, canoe, or kayak.
  • Possess a positive attitude, and willing to work independently and as a member of a team.
  • Be able to accurately and efficiently collect environmental and biological field data.
  • Be organized and assist with equipment cleaning, decontamination, and preparation.


  • Have previous experience in scientific data collection in ecology, fisheries, or a closely related topic.
  • Have previous experience assisting with or conducting biological monitoring assessments.
  • Have a working knowledge of aquatic invertebrate and/or fish collection and preservation
  • Have experience in maintenance, calibration, and operation of field and lab environmental data collection equipment.
  • Have experience in freshwater fish sampling techniques including electrofishing, seining, and Texas freshwater fish identification skills.
  • Have experience with vessel and/or UTV operation and traveling with trailers up to 25’ ft. in length.

In spring 2023, a USEPA directed regional training will be held at the UHCL campus during the week of April 17th, 2023. Though it is not a requirement of the position to attend this training for those incumbents whom start after April 17th, it is preferred for all incumbent(s) to be available to attend the training on these dates (in person). Travel costs to and from the regional training will be covered by EIH, but incumbents will be required to complete vendor paperwork before travel can occur.

Additional Notes: Applicants must pass a criminal background and motor vehicle background check prior to hiring. This is a full time, temporary, grant-funded position.

PRIMARY CONTACT: Mandi Gordon, (281) 283-3947, gordon@uhcl.edu *e-mail preferred

EMPLOYMENT PERIOD: mid-March 2023 – late October 2023 (each appointment will be approximately 4.5 months in duration, though starting dates for individual incumbents may differ; start date on 1st or 16th of first month dependent on prompt and proper completion of hiring paperwork)

ANTICIPATED START DATE:    March 16th, 2023

ANTICIPATED END DATE:         October 27th, 2023

APPLICATION DEADLINE:         February 3rd, 2023

HOW TO APPLY: Interested candidates should submit a single PDF file of their cover letter, current resume, and contact info for three references to Mandi Gordon (gordon@uhcl.edu).

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