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Laboratory Coordinator, Hydrogeology Lab

Department: Earth Science Effective Date:
Grade: USG 7 Reports to: Manager CGWR

General Accountability

The position of Laboratory Coordinator for the Hydrogeology Laboratory is accountable to the Primary Research Professor for the achievement of the professor’s research objectives through the coordinating of research assets for experimental design and final analysis.

Nature and Scope

The Laboratory Coordinator is responsible for the overseeing of one senior lab technician and several students conducting graduate level research in the laboratory.  The senior lab technician is responsible to the Laboratory coordinator for their lab duties which include experiment setup, monitoring and data analysis.  Chemical analysis and cleanup are also part of their general responsibility.  The graduate students report generally to the Research Professor and senior level researchers, the students report to the Lab Coordinator for use of lab space, equipment and chemical analysis.

The Hydrogeology Laboratory is the research laboratory of the Primary Research Professor, and several secondary researchers.  Its primary purpose is to provide the space and analytical services for the research program.  The laboratory also conducts contract research and analysis for off campus companies, which generate most of the operating revenue for the laboratory.

The research objectives are met through the innovative use of several analytical chemical techniques.  The lab operates several gas chromatographs with different types of detectors as well as Ion and High Performance Liquid Chromatographs which allow for a broad range of chemical analysis.  The lab also has the ability to perform wet chemical and radioisotope analysis if this type of research is require for meeting experimental objectives. 

Research objectives are also met through the effective use of communications for the movement of information, analysis and processing of data.  For this reason a large computer network is maintained for researchers and graduate students.  The network is adapted to meet the requirements of the research group as it is needed.

Training and supervision ensures that objectives are met safely and effectively.

The research lab also maintains ties and works with other research laboratories of other research professors in the academic department.

Statistical Data

The Hydrogeology lab has on average seven to eight graduate students working on their research projects throughout the year.  There are also two to three senior researchers or post-doctorial fellows conducting research in the lab or using its facilities.

The lab analyses between 15000 and 20000 samples per year.    These samples mainly come from graduate research as well as outside contract work.

The lab has an average revenue stream of about $120000 per year.  This is generated mainly through outside contract research of which the lab will generally do between 10 and 15 research studies per year.  Salary and operating expenses generally match generated revenue.

Specific Accountabilities

The analytical ability of the lab is of prime importance for the hydrogeology lab.  Therefore routine maintenance, repair and modification of the equipment are essential for good analytical results.   Establishing and maintaining QA/QC procedures is also of prime importance for the generation of good analytical results.  Any equipment that breaks down is either repaired or replaced right away.

Ensuring the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) are followed and kept up to date ensures that experimental results are valid and that the lab is kept safe and clean for working in.

Maintaining of records ensures that an audit trail is maintained and that data is of good quality and valid.  It will assist in the experimental redesign if problems occur and allow for the interpretation of data.  It will also document any equipment failure and allow for equipment diagnosis and repair. 

The computer network is maintained to allow for effective communication and the movement of data.  It is upgraded as needed to meet the requirements of the research group.   Data is backed up to ensure that records are kept and maintained and to allow for the recovery in the event of catastrophic failure. 

Lab finances are reviewed periodically to ensure that the lab has the resources and can meet it objectives.  Any discrepancies are corrected right away. Contract research is invoiced immediately following completion. 

The lab uses large amounts of consumables for routine analysis as well as for experimental setup and maintenance.   These consumables must be purchased in a timely manner to ensure that lab routine is not interrupted.  Chemicals that are required for analysis as well as for research must be purchased, used and stored safely.

Ensure that anyone working in the lab is properly trained in their given tasks.  This is important for the safety of the individual as well as for everyone else in the lab.

Working Conditions