Bioplastic Nursery Container Initiative Position Available at UNCE

Job Description:

  • Position Title: Project Technician, Bioplastic Nursery Container Initiative, part-time
  • Department: University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, Western Area
  • Reports to: Dr. Heidi Kratsch, Western Area Horticulture Specialist, 775-336-0251 or kratschh@unce.unr.edu.
  • Term of Employment: June 1, 2012 through November 30, 2012
  • Hours and Salary: 8 hours per week; $18.75/hr.
  • Project Description: The Bioplastic Nursery Container Initiative is a USDA-SCRI funded project administered as a subaward to University of Nevada Cooperative Extension through Iowa State University. This project seeks to develop and evaluate alternatives to petroleum-based nursery containers to decrease U.S. reliance on petroleum-based products, reduce petroleum-based plastic waste in landfills and to help the Green Industry become “greener.”
  • Job Duties:
    • Install and maintain a research plot at University of Nevada Main Station Farm for the biodegradation trial of bioplastic container prototypes. This will involve:
      • Preparing a 30-ft x 200-ft plot for planting.
      • Assembling prototype containers (684 units) into mesh bags with identifying flags.
      • Installing assembled units into the plot, using a randomized experimental design.
      • Working with the Farm Manager to ensure irrigation (wheel-line) is on schedule, and irrigate the plot by hand if needed.
      • Applying herbicides (glyphosate and/or 2,4-D) as needed to control weeds in the plot.
    • Collect data on experimental units during the course of the experiment. This will involve:
      • Excavating the units from 3 replicate blocks once every 4 weeks.
      • Recording the surface area and dry weight of each sample on a data recording form.
  • Qualifications: The successful candidate will:
    • Have an earned Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture, Horticulture, Natural Resources or related field.
    • Be able to lift a minimum of 25 lbs. and handle small equipment.
    • Have experience in safe application of herbicides for weed control.
    • Be detail-oriented.
    • Be proficient with Word and Excel.
    • Have a valid driver’s license.
    • Knowledge of experimental design and statistical methods is helpful but not required.