Summer Research Assistant: Conservation Biological Control and Sustainable Agriculture

Job Description:

The USDA, Agriculture Research Service, Northern Plains Agriculture Research Laboratory in Sidney, MT is seeking an enthusiastic and hard working individual to serve as a biological science aide on projects examining the influence of landscape structure and drought on pest insects and their natural enemies (e.g. ladybeetles, parasitoid wasps).  The
research is focused on developing ecologically-based, sustainable and environmentally friendly approaches to pest management in agricultural systems. This position will involve a mixture of field work (~50%), and lab work to sort samples and identify insect pests and their natural enemies (~50%). The successful candidate will gain hands on experience with insect field sampling methods, set up and maintenance of field experiments and insect rearing and identification techniques, as well as the chance to work with the diverse insect fauna associated with wheat and alfalfa cropping systems in a team oriented research environment.


$11.17 (GS-2) or $12.19 (GS-3) per hour depending on experience and education. The candidate will receive overtime pay when working above 40 hours a week.  Housing is not covered, but dorm-style shared housing is available on location for $131 per month, including utilities.


Early May through the end of August (16 weeks).  Please specify your available start and end dates in your application.


The candidate must be physically fit, and comfortable spending time outside in sometimes uncomfortable field conditions (hot, biting insects etc.). Willingness to work long days, and weekends when necessary is also a must. Undergraduate course work in ecology or entomology, and previous field and lab work experience is preferred. Application process: Please send cover letter, resume and names and contact information of two references (electronically) to Dr. Tatyana Rand
Evaluation of applications will begin March 1, and continue until the position is filled. For more information on our research program visit our website at or contact us directly.