Earth Science Field and Laboratory Teaching Technician


The Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at UBC seeks a full-time technician to provide administrative, organizational and logistical support for teaching laboratories and field experiences in a range of Earth Science specializations. The technician will curate teaching specimens (e.g. rock samples, minerals and fossils), maintain databases of these materials, and manage and maintain teaching equipment, including light microscopes. They will also support teaching-related field activities, the organization and logistics of field trips and field courses, and the management of equipment and facilities at the UBC Teck Geological Field Station, near Oliver, BC. The successful candidate will liaise with teaching assistants in the safe and effective set-up of samples and/or equipment for laboratory and field exercises.

The successful candidate must be comfortable working in office, laboratory and outdoor environments, and be available to travel (including driving) to field locations. As the position requires interaction with faculty, staff and students, strong interpersonal and communication skills are essential. The technician must be able to work independently and in team settings, with attention to detail and safety. Good organizational skills are essential.

Organizational Status

The incumbent will be reporting to the Assistant Director, Facilities, will collaborate and liaise with faculty and teaching assistants in the safe and effective set-up of samples and/or equipment for laboratory and field exercises.

Duties and Responsibilities

Specific technical responsibilities may include

  • Utilizing own geology expertise to manage the set up, organization, removal and storage of teaching lab samples, collections, materials and equipment.
  • Organization, printing and maintenance of maps, field guides.
  • Communicating safe working procedures for teaching assistants and students in teaching laboratories and field.
  • Preparation, handling, packing and transporting of supplies, teaching samples and equipment for field trips and field courses (lift up to 30lb. required).
  • Organization of and participation in the seasonal opening and closing of the UBC Teck Geological Field Station (driving to and from field school site is required)
  • Coordinating the digitization of samples for use in distance education and web-oriented courses.

Specific administrative responsibilities may include

  • Development and maintenance of databases of teaching-related materials including samples, field and safety equipment.
  • Preparation and management of field safety forms, and documentation for field schools and educational field trips.
  • Liaising with curatorial staff in the Pacific Museum of the Earth and the Beaty Biodiversity Museum to access field samples for teaching labs.
  • Monitoring inventory, and managing purchases of laboratory and field teaching supplies and equipment, as needed.
  • Coordination and administration of field experiences, including (but not limited to) booking vehicles and accommodation, completion of safety forms and other items, obtain access permits for field courses as needed.
  • Participation in department committees related to space and safety, museums, and experiential learning.

Consequence of Error/Judgement Exercises a considerable amount of judgment, responsibility and initiative in determining work procedures and methods. Errors may compromise student learning experiences, or result in safety risk in the case of equipment misuse.

Supervision Received Works under the Assistant Director, Facilities' supervision, following standard procedures and techniques for maintenance and operational work. Follows general outlines and instructions, selects appropriate methods and develops own individual work plans. Receives guidance from faculty in the management of teaching experiences. Supervision Given The incumbent will communicate with teaching assistants in the safe and effective set-up of samples and/or equipment for laboratory and field exercises. Minimum Qualifications Graduation from a technical college or institute or completion of a recognized apprenticeship and a minimum three years of related experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Preferred Qualifications

  • BSc degree in geology or closely related fields, or a minimum five years of related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Ability to identify rocks and minerals in hand specimens and thin sections.
  • Ability and interest in working at field stations and in natural settings.
  • Ability to handle, or willingness to learn, rock preparation equipment
  • Strong organizational and administrative skills, with the ability to manage multiple tasks under tight timelines.
  • Ability to build and maintain productive working relationships with a diverse and inclusive team to improve the active learning experiences of undergraduate students from a range of backgrounds and life experiences.
  • Demonstrated leadership, independence and problem-solving skills.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • First aid training (or willingness to undertake training as soon as possible) including wilderness training.
  • A valid Class 5 or 7 unrestricted driver's licence, a good driving record (no more than 3 demerit points) and ability to drive to field sites.

How To Apply

Please submit your cover letter and resume to the UBC Careers website at:

posted: 12 April 2022     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.