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Field Research Associate at The University of Chicago in Denver, Colorado

Posted in Other 30+ days ago.

Job Description:


Energy and Environment Lab (EE Lab)

About the Department

The University of Chicago Energy and Environment Lab (EE Lab) partners with agencies at the federal, state and local level to identify, rigorously evaluate, and help scale programs and policies that reduce pollution and improve environmental outcomes, while ensuring access to reliable and affordable energy. The EE Lab applies rigorous evaluation and modeling methods, including natural and field experiments, randomized controlled trials, behavioral economics, and machine learning, to help policymakers identify and generate evidence on innovative approaches and policy solutions to their most pressing environmental and energy challenges.

Job Summary

The EE Lab is seeking self-driven and enterprising Field Research Associates to conduct air quality data collection in Colorado. The Associate will work with staff at the EE Lab and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to strengthen the existing partnership between EE Lab and CDPHE and collect on the ground data for a research project on monitoring methane emissions from oil and gas operations in the state. The Associates will assist in developing an air quality monitoring data collection plan and executing methane emissions measurements throughout the year. The Associates will work in teams to drive to data collection sites in the vicinity of oil and gas facilities, where they will conduct air quality measurements using gas analyzer technology. The Associates will be responsible for the logistics of ensuring the data collection plan is on track, will monitor the quality of the collected data, and will troubleshoot technical issues as they arise. This position offers a unique opportunity to apply modern emissions monitoring technology and data analytics to measure methane emissions and contribute to policy innovation. Candidates must be willing to live in greater Denver, Colorado for the duration of employment.


  • Performs sampling and data collection in the field using remote sensing equipment. Leads troubleshooting of technological, logistical, and meteorological problems in real time.

  • Coordinates with EE Lab principal investigators and research staff to develop an efficient but flexible data collection plan.

  • Develops and executes a weekly data collection plan, and makes daily adjustments as necessary, accounting meteorological conditions on the ground.

  • Provides technical assistance and recommendations to EE Lab staff regarding emissions monitoring.

  • Works closely with the research team to solve complex problems relating to the administration of the project, including planning new procedures, adapting existing procedures to the needs of the project, and thoroughly documenting all decision points.

  • Develops and maintains effective working relations with Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and other stakeholders to cooperate on emissions monitoring efforts.

  • Collects and assists in analyzing data. Assists with preparation of reports, manuscripts and other documents.

  • Analyzes and maintains data and/or specimens. Conducts literature reviews. Assists with preparation of reports, manuscripts and other documents.

  • Installs, sets up and performs experiments; interacting with students and other laboratory staff under the direction of the principal investigator.

  • Maintains recruiting and scheduling research subjects; assisting with developing or amending study protocols; assisting with developing data collection tools; assisting with building databases; and providing general administrative support. Has general awareness in research techniques or methods, regulatory policies and procedures, and relevant scientific field.

  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications


Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through ---


Preferred Qualifications


  • Bachelor's degree in engineering, statistics, computer science, IT, chemistry, other sciences or a related field.

  • Coursework in physics, chemistry, environmental science, and statistics.


  • Prior experience obtained while in school or in a similar field.

  • Designing and carrying out data collection and sampling plans. Knowledge of data organization and management best practices is a plus.

  • Background working with large datasets.

  • Working knowledge on environmental monitoring research, field experiments and randomized controlled trials.


  • Valid U.S. driver's license; safe automotive driving record in the U.S. for past 2 years.

Technical Skills or Knowledge:

  • Skilled at troubleshooting and resolving technical challenges.

  • Knowledge of oil and gas operations.

  • Familiarity with Microsoft and Google suites.

  • Basic understanding of atmospheric science and air pollution concepts, and quickly learn how to operate new equipment and computer software.

  • Working knowledge using emissions monitoring equipment.

Preferred Competencies

  • Proven work ethic, flexibility and punctuality.

  • Proven ability to work both independently, in a self-directed manner, and as part of a team.

  • Resourcefulness, adaptability, and flexibility.

  • Excellent analytical, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.

  • Proven organizational skills and high attention to detail, with a strong focus on results.

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.

Working Conditions

  • Comfortable driving for extended time periods to visit data collection sites.

Pay Range

  • $28.00 - $28.85per hour.

Application Documents

  • Resume/CV (required)

  • Cover Letter (required)

  • Transcript (required)

  • Department of Motor Vehicles Report (required)

When applying, the document(s) MUSTbe uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family


Role Impact

Individual Contributor

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Requires Compliance with University Covid-19 Vaccination Requirement


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

Employees must comply with the University's COVID-19 vaccination requirements. More information about the requirements can be found on the University of Chicago Vaccination GoForward.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.
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