Research Study Assistant (Temporary)

University of Washington   Seattle, WA   Full-time     Manufacturing / Production / Operations
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Posted on July 16, 2020
Req #: 180670
Department: College of the Environment: EarthLab
Appointing Department Web Address:
Job Location: Other Location
Job Location Detail: National Forests in Washington (see job description) 
Posting Date: 07/15/2020 
Closing Info: Open Until Filled 
Salary: $16.72/hour 
Union Position: Yes
Shift: First Shift 

The University of Washington (UW) is proud to be one of the nation’s premier educational and research institutions. Our people are the most important asset in our pursuit of achieving excellence in education, research, and community service. Our staff not only enjoys outstanding benefits and professional growth opportunities, but also an environment noted for diversity, community involvement, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits, and natural beauty.

At the University of Washington, diversity is integral to excellence. We value and honor diverse experiences and perspectives, strive to create welcoming and respectful learning environments, and promote access, opportunity and justice for all.

The College of the Environment promotes diversity and inclusivity among our students, faculty, staff, and public. Thus, we are strongly seeking candidates whose experiences have prepared them to fulfill our commitment to inclusion and have given them the confidence to fully engage audiences from a wide spectrum of backgrounds. The University of Washington (UW) is located in the greater Seattle metropolitan area, with a dynamic, multicultural community of 3.7 million people and a range of ecosystems from mountains to ocean. The UW serves a diverse population of 80,000 students, faculty and staff, including 25% first-generation college students, over 25% Pell Grant students, and faculty from over 70 countries. The UW is a recipient of a National Science Foundation ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Award to increase the advancement of women faculty in science, engineering, and math

EarthLab is an initiative at the University of Washington seeking to link and apply the amazing environmental research happening at the UW with decision makers working on solutions to environmental challenges. Stewarded by the College of the Environment, EarthLab supports application-focused interdisciplinary collaboration across and beyond the University of Washington. EarthLab focuses on addressing our world’s most pressing environmental challenges – catalyzing collaborations with partners across the private, public, and non-profit sectors. By linking knowledge and action to accomplish meaningful change, EarthLab will help develop lasting solutions that are scientifically sound, technically feasible, and economically viable, while promoting equity and justice.

EarthLab is seeking Temporary Research Assistants to study recreational use in Washington National Forests. The position involves field work collecting data on visitor use in the Olympic, Mt Baker-Snoqualmie, and Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forests.  Field duties will include surveying and counting visitors at recreation sites and maintaining automated trail and traffic counters.  Research assistants will be responsible for learning and carrying out data collection protocols with high accuracy and expressing good judgment while in the field. Hours per week will vary depending on location and survey schedule but are expected to be more than 20 hours per week, and up to 40 hours per week. Salary is $16.72/hour. Staff will be supervised by Dr. Spencer Wood.

The candidate will join a larger team of researchers from the University of Washington and US Forest Service who are innovating approaches for studying outdoor recreation with data from social media, citizen scientist, and on-site surveys.  Information collected by the research assistants will provide on-the-ground measures of visitor use in National Forests, to be integrated with other existing data to predict future numbers of visitors to recreational sites.  This research informs National Forest management and planning efforts.

Candidates must live or be willing to relocate to towns that are adjacent to National Forests in Western Washington (such as Forks, Mt Vernon, Cle Elum, or Omak).


• Survey and count visitors
• Document trail conditions and deploy and maintain automated trail and traffic counters
• Conduct data collection using proper protocols and with high accuracy

Required Qualifications:
• Friendly and willing to approach visitors in the National Forest at survey sites.
• Excellent teamwork, communication, and organizational skills.
• Detail-oriented and accurate.
• Willing to work outdoors, on weekends, sometimes after regular business hours in all weather conditions.

Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except where there are legal requirements such as license/certification/registration.

Desirable Qualifications:

• Coursework in natural or social sciences, such as environmental science, ecology, or economics.
• Experience conducting surveys and following detailed protocols.
• Experience reading and navigating with maps and using a GPS.
• Experience driving in winter weather conditions, and on unpaved roads.
• Experience deploying and maintaining trail and/or traffic counters.

Application Process:

The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process.  These assessments may include Work Authorization, Cover Letter, and/or others.  Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.

Committed to attracting and retaining a diverse staff, the University of Washington will honor your experiences, perspectives and unique identity. Together, our community strives to create and maintain working and learning environments that are inclusive, equitable and welcoming.

The University of Washington is a leader in environmental stewardship & sustainability, and committed to becoming climate neutral.

The University of Washington is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact the Disability Services Office at 206-543-6450 / 206-543-6452 (tty) or