GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF CLASS
The BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES RESEARCH TECHNICIAN 3 independently conducts agriculture, forestry, or food science
research consistent with research project plans. Work performed includes establishing test procedures, conducting
experiments, collecting data, analyzing and reporting results, and/or coordinating facility services for a large
number of researchers.
This is the third level of a three-level series. This class is distinguished from the lower level by requiring
increased technical knowledge of the research projects or facility services and an ability to adapt equipment,
facilities, and procedures to meet specific research project needs. The employee independently conducts and reports
research trials and has responsibility for instructing students in technical research procedures.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Research Experiments. Typical tasks: conducts appropriate technical operations consistent with research
project plans and objectives or facility services; assists research project leaders in planning technical functions
of research projects; lays out and establishes test procedures; carries out experiments; obtains samples; collects
and summarizes data; conducts initial statistical analysis of results; reports results (written and verbally) to
the research project leader; programs the computer, inputs data, and adapts programs as needed; may (under the
guidance of and in cooperation with a project leader) prepare and present research materials and/or findings at
professional meetings or to professional journals.
- Research Project Operations. Typical tasks: manages project operations or facility services as the research
is being conducted; provides technical expertise in the proper physical care and maintenance of research plants,
animals or poultry, materials, or the support service organizations (e.g., greenhouses); observes and makes suggestions
for improvement in facilities, equipment, or procedures to support the technical aspect of research; oversees the
feeding, health care, and breeding of animals; operates a feed mill producing and distributing various types of
experimental feed to animal research units; obtains, treats, stores, and processes a variety of wood samples used
for pulping research; collects data on trees, streams, soil, vegetation, insect, and meteorological conditions
for food ecology research; determines plot size, layout, and location on the farm (keeping in mind soil conditions
and necessary crop rotation) and prepares a map identifying all project locations; oversees, coordinates, and schedules
the cultivating, soil preparation, planting, fertilizing, pesticide spraying, irrigating, harvesting, threshing,
and cleaning of various experimental crops or other crops grown to be used in livestock research; assists researchers
in designing the experimental plot or animal treatments to be used during the research trials; propagates, grows,
and maintains plants, small fruits, and tree seedlings in greenhouses, growth chambers, and fields; makes crosses
and self-pollinations in vegetable breeding program; collects insect specimens; initiates insect cultures and maintains
cultures in greenhouses and growth chambers; makes taxonomic identification of insects; performs laboratory tests
on insects; coordinates services of a major greenhouse, including the care and maintenance of plants, pesticide
application, and the control and maintenance of heating-venting-cooling systems; sells by-products after experiments
- Equipment and Facility Management. Typical tasks: operates and maintains research equipment and facilities;
prepares equipment specifications and obtains vendor bids for purchases; adapts, improves, designs, and/or fabricates
specialized equipment to meet research needs; maintains buildings, grounds, fences, roads, and other research facilities;
repairs greenhouse heating-venting-cooling controls and equipment; manages land and animals not currently involved
in research projects; repairs specialized laboratory and remote sensing equipment.
- Laboratory Work. Typical tasks: assists in planning details of experimental outlines and procedures;
prepares scientific experiments by preparing samples and applying chemicals; performs tests; operates various laboratory
equipment (i.e. gas chromatography, high pressure liquid chromatograph, spectrophotometer, and titralizers); performs
analysis of data (i.e., technical summarization, statistical calculations); provides a written report of results.
- Student Assistance. Typical tasks: assists instructors in teaching students technical research management
techniques; provides directions to students on field and laboratory procedures as students perform research or
demonstrates procedures during laboratory classes.
- Miscellaneous. Typical tasks: directs lower-level technicians who assist in project support; leads and
assigns work of five to ten seasonal or student workers, who harvest corps and collect data; instructs and trains
subordinates in research techniques and data collection procedures; prepares orders for procurement of raw materials,
supplies, and minor equipment; receives orders; keeps records; stores various supplies inventory; prepares orders
for procurement; manages storage; attends conferences and prepares presentations; answers correspondence; acts
as a public advisor in identifying causes of various plant, animal, or product problems and offering advice; assists
research project leader in preparation of grant proposals.
RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS
Employees in this class have regular weekly in-person or telephone contact with research project leaders to
receive new project objectives and discuss progress and results of the project. There is weekly in-person or telephone
contact with the public to answer questions regarding specific research results; inspect seed, field, or equipment;
and provide tours of the facility. Employees have occasional in-person or telephone contact with professional associations
and industry representatives to provide information on new and continuing research; with vendors to evaluate research
equipment capabilities, to purchase supplies, and to arrange sale of research by-products; with students to assist
in teaching; and with service and equipment repair persons to secure equipment repair.
Employees in this class receive general supervision from a research project leader or facility manager for direction
as to research goals and objectives or facility services to be provided. The research project leader(s) review
work on a weekly basis to ensure that the operation of the experiment is in accordance with project guidelines
or facility services provided according to regulations. Work is also evaluated for overall effectiveness and economical
use of resources at the end of the project. State and Federal laws and regulations governing pesticide use, and
animal research and welfare are used as guidelines by employees in this class. Also, technical brochures and handbooks
are used to ensure conformance to industry standards.
A Bachelor's degree in (specific area of biological science) and two years of experience related to the
area of assignment at a Biological Science Research Technician 2 level.
Three additional years of experience related to the area of assignment at the Biological Science Research Technician
2 level may be substituted for the Bachelor's degree.