UNCE Now Hiring:Part-Time Summer Project Assistant

Position Title: Project assistant, Bioplastic Nursery Container Initiative, part-time

Department: University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, Western Area

Reports to: Dr. Heidi Kratsch, Western Area Horticulture Specialist, Phone: 775-784-4848, Email: kratschh@unce.unr.edu

Term of Employment: June 1, 2013 through September 30, 2013

Hours and Salary: 16 – 19 hours per week; salary $14.10

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: Assist with installation and maintenance of two research plots at the University of Nevada Main Station Field Lab. One plot will be devoted to further testing of bioplastic container prototype degradation; in the second plot, we will be testing the health and productivity of two crops installed in the ground with and without bioplastic containers.

Work with Research Technician to:

  • Prepare 2 plots (20 ft. x 170 ft. and 15 ft. x 219 ft.)
  • Grow plants (288) from seed in a greenhouse on Valley Road.
  • Assemble prototype container fragments (672 units) into mesh bags with identifying flags.
  • Transplant seedlings into prototype containers and randomize for experimental purposes.
  • Install assembled units (plants and container fragments) into the plots, using a randomized, complete experimental design.
  • Ensure plots are irrigated regularly and that experimental plants do not experience water stress.
  • Collect data on experimental units:
    • This will involve excavating pot samples every 4 weeks for 24 weeks, and harvesting plants (with pot fragments) once after 8 weeks.
    • Pot samples will be washed, oven-dried and weighed.
    • Data collection on plant samples includes plant health rating at time of transplant (TOT) and at time of harvest (TOH), shoot height and 3-dimensional width (TOT and TOH) and shoot dry weight at TOH.

Qualifications: The successful candidate will:

  • Have some experience in Agriculture, Horticulture, Natural Resources or related field.
  • Be able to lift a minimum of 25 lbs. and handle small equipment, such as a rototiller.
  • 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 and experience with statistical analysis software is helpful, but not required.