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21 May 2019

Full-Time Environment and Energy Research Assistant

HARC Houston Advanced Research Center – Posted by Spring, Texas, United States

Job Description

Environment and Energy Research Assistant

Department:                 Research Operations

Office/Group:               Environment

Reports to:                    Senior Research Scientist – Hydrology and Watersheds

General Purpose of Job:

The Research Assistant is responsible for assisting principal investigators with technical duties of research conducted in support of projects pertaining to water resources management, clean energy systems and air quality management. Work involves a high degree of expertise, creative insight, and technical skill.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the following. Other duties may be assigned.

Major Duties:

  • Reviews and fact-checks manuscripts; compiles, reads, summarizes, and organizes written materials into bibliographic form; writes reports, summaries or protocols.
  • Acquires, quality assures, analyzes and manages data and information to prepare education and outreach products and written reports for submission to funding entities, publication in technical journals, presentations, and for use in further research activities.
  • Conducts research utilizing sources of information to collect, record, analyze, and evaluate facts; identifies potential sources of data.
  • Manages, visualizes and analyzes large time-series datasets with spatial and statistical analysis software; prepares charts or tables that synthesize the large sets of data into useful succinct representations.
  • Works with team to conduct technical and economic feasibility studies for distributed energy resources and energy conservation measures in commercial and residential buildings.
  • Provides outreach, networking and education support to increase deployment of energy technologies (such as Combined Heat and Power).
  • Conducts research on areas related to climate adaptation and sustainability; assists in publishing research reports and white papers in these topic areas
  • Provides operational and maintenance support for air quality field work activities. This may include assistance with air quality, meteoritical, and geospatial measurements and information utilizing various instruments and sensors.
  • Maintains project websites using content management systems, collaborates with HARC webmaster to ensure timely submission of information for HARC website and social media applications.

Proposal Development

  • May assist principal investigators in the development of research proposals.

Project Management

  • Assists project teams with the timely completion of project deliverables. 

Internal Responsibilities

  • Collaborates with other HARC researchers on multidisciplinary projects.
  • Communicates project findings in oral and written form for HARC outreach products.
  • Initiates and promotes teamwork, shared learning and integrated approaches to sustainability.
  • Uses professional knowledge and skills to contribute to the achievement of HARC’s mission.
  • Participates in HARC internal meetings as assigned; may serve on HARC committees or working groups as assigned.

External Responsibilities

  • Makes contributions to discipline through the creation of peer review publications, technical reports, public outreach documents, web content, and external presentations.
  • Initiates and promotes external collaboration and integrated approaches to sustainability.

Continuing Education

  • Maintains broad knowledge of state-of-the-art principles, theories and practices in discipline.


Bachelor’s degree in environmental science, mathematics, engineering, or related discipline. Master’s degree preferred.

Desired skills include:

  • Demonstrated skills in Microsoft Excel
  • Proficiency with statistical software, data analysis, and analyzing temporal and spatial trends
  • Exercises strict confidentiality of all communications, verbal and written.
  • Capability of performing work with no instructions on routine work, general instructions on new assignments.
  • Background or interest in environmental issues
  • Strong research skills (computer and library)
  • Acute attention to detail
  • Strong written and oral communication skills

Computer Skills:
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be computer literate in word processing, spreadsheet, internet and email software as well as project specific software.

Work Environment:

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally exposed to wet or humid conditions (non-weather); outdoor weather conditions and risk of electrical shock. The noise level in the work environment is usually quiet. Employee will be required to work in indoor, outdoor and mobile environments. Air quality/transportation field work is required. 

Physical Demands:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit and talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; use hands to finger, handle, or feel and reach with hands and arms.

How to Apply

All applicants should apply at the HARC career page to be considered for this position.

Job Categories: Environmental. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: Clean Energy, environment, and research.

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