Summer jobs Oct-Feb or Aug-Feb?


Antarctica Forums Forums Antarctic Memories Message Board Discussion topics Summer jobs Oct-Feb or Aug-Feb?

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 32 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #11670
    skua77
    Keymaster

    For anyone really interested in what a science tech does (at least at Pole), here are 2 excellent web sites/blogs by friends I’ve wintered with. Ethan Good was the w/o science tech in 2008, 2010, and 2012, wander back and study his blog posts from those periods. http://ethansvivifyingadventures.blogspot.com/ And Dana Hrubes has been more recently wintering for the South Pole Telescope (including now/2013) but his first 3 winters were as a science tech, check out his web site sections for 2000-01, 2003-04, and 2005: http://www.polarwinter.com/ (Oh, his North Pole stuff is interesting as well! I’ve never worked north of Thule 😎 )

    #11671
    TheORKINMan
    Participant

    Ahh actually I don’t have this:

    “Two years experience in laboratory or observatory technical work is required.”

    #11672
    Sciencetech
    Keymaster

    Yeah, the computer and electronics skills are necessary but the essence of the job is science. Right now I’m taking care of the station’s weather systems, tide gauge, fluorometer, sea water temp and salinity probes, seismic system, UV monitors, VLF receivers, two semi-automated weather stations, a real-time satellite ice and weather imagery collection system, three air sampling experiments, GPS reference station, gamma ray counter, and an interferometer for measuring airglow and mesospheric winds — plus being on the fire team, glacier search and rescue team, dive tender, and having a half dozen other station hats.

    Days are… um… busy.

    Nobody knows all these things. At least, not initially. There is some training for new RAs, however you really have to be a jack-of-all-trades. If you’re a science geek like me, it’s a hoot.

    #11675
    Iceman
    Member

    I have a small hiring update. I heard from people in the Centennial office that they are still trying to finalize the number of people they need for the upcoming summer season 13-14 and for what projects. I guess with continuing budget cuts/reductions (which seems to be a perpetual thing with the NSF Polar Office) they still are not sure how many seasonal positions will be axed or added from the previous summer season. As some know, they reduced a bunch of departments last summer, maybe they will possibly increase some numbers this year?

    Once this is done, then the hiring will start in earnest, and they (LM, PAE, etc.) will start contacting people for interviews. Will that be mid-April, late April, early May, they didn’t know? The best thing is to apply, if you haven’t already and then do the annual “waiting game” which most on this board know all too well. Good Luck!

    #11673
    skua77
    Keymaster

    A further update…although this really relates more to winter jobs. I learned today from a reliable source that ASC has set a new goal for the upcoming season to hire the winterovers by July/August.

    #11674
    Iceman
    Member

    @skua77 wrote:

    A further update…although this really relates more to winter jobs. I learned today from a reliable source that ASC has set a new goal for the upcoming season to hire the winterovers by July/August.

    That’s interesting since people who are currently wintering, could then have the possibility of signing new contracts or getting rehired for the next winter for their same position, when they would still have one to three months left on their current contract. I understand what LM, PAE, etc. are trying to do and it’s nice to have things lined up, but I’m not sure how well this will work.

    #11676
    skua77
    Keymaster

    @Iceman wrote:

    That’s interesting since people who are currently wintering, could then have the possibility of signing new contracts or getting rehired for the next winter for their same position, when they would still have one to three months left on their current contract. I understand what LM, PAE, etc. are trying to do and it’s nice to have things lined up, but I’m not sure how well this will work.

    True…it’s too early to know how this would be implemented. I suspect that the offers could be made contingent to completing the season successfully. After all, the person in that position knows what the job is and is qualified, and the powers that be know his capabilities. It would certainly allow folks to make plans, get PQ’d early etc… Something needs to be done to get people on station in a timely manner, not on the last few flights…something that always seems to happen…even for my first winter in 1977 at Pole. At the beginning of February we were starting to think we all might have to learn how to cook.

    #11677
    dzamd
    Member

    Hi-
    Thanks for sharing your hiring updates. Having some information on what is going on makes the waiting game a bit easier.

    Best,
    dz

    #11680
    MATKATAMIBA
    Member

    @Sciencetech wrote:

    Aug-Feb deployments are WINFLY, short for WInter Fly-in, positions at McMurdo. The arrival date at MCM will be around 20 Aug, give or take a few days. To get there, you’d start work about a week before with orientation either in the states or NZ, flying to Christchurch, and picking up ECW.

    Heard from a LM contact that Winfly will be delayed two weeks this year and greatly reduced in population. Sequestration.

    #11678
    yosemitebob
    Member

    Great News, I have a phone interview coming up with Gana A’Yoo. Ms. Massey contacted me to inform me that someone will e-mail with the details. She mentioned that it might be a while as I applied earlier then most folks do but that that’s good. Now they need to catch up. I applied for five positions, both at McMurdo and the Pole and they have only considered me for one so far. A couple of positions are not available as folks are returning. But, I’ll take what I can get. I’ve done my interview homework and feel somewhat prepared but if those of you who have gone through this process (phone interview) have any advice I would sure appreciate it. What else can I do to be at the top of my game.

    Thank,

    Robert Smith

    #11679
    Iceman
    Member

    @MATKATAMIBA wrote:

    Heard from a LM contact that Winfly will be delayed two weeks this year and greatly reduced in population. Sequestration.

    Update on Winfly, latest I heard is first flight Sept. 1st, four flights total, three pax and one cargo, with 110 total pax going in.

    #11683
    DedEye
    Member

    @Sciencetech wrote:

    Yeah, the computer and electronics skills are necessary but the essence of the job is science. Right now I’m taking care of the station’s weather systems, tide gauge, fluorometer, sea water temp and salinity probes, seismic system, UV monitors, VLF receivers, two semi-automated weather stations, a real-time satellite ice and weather imagery collection system, three air sampling experiments, GPS reference station, gamma ray counter, and an interferometer for measuring airglow and mesospheric winds — plus being on the fire team, glacier search and rescue team, dive tender, and having a half dozen other station hats.

    Days are… um… busy.

    Nobody knows all these things. At least, not initially. There is some training for new RAs, however you really have to be a jack-of-all-trades. If you’re a science geek like me, it’s a hoot.

    What if you have a laboratory background but no experience with the systems you mention? I’ve been a lab manager/research assistant in neuroscience the last couple years, so I’m familiar with standard laboratory practices and monitoring various lab equipment, but there isn’t a lot of crossover between the systems I use and what you’ve mentioned. From the job descriptions, it sounds like Lab Manager is a better fit, but I’m still curious about the RA positions as well.

    #11684
    Sciencetech
    Keymaster

    Lab manager would definitely be a better fit for you. At Palmer, and to some extent McMurdo, much of the lab work is biological. There’s a lot of organization, helping grantees, and coordinating lab spaces and equipment. From your brief description of yourself, you’d be a good fit.

    The RA position really requires a technogeek, someone who is comfortable with many different kinds of computers, operating systems, and well grounded in electronics (ha!) and physics. If you feel comfortable with electro-optical and electro-mechanical gizmos, then it’s a possibility.

    By the way….. I know that some or most of the positions posted on the Lockheed web site have already been hired for the coming season. I’m not sure why the positions are still listed unless they’re also hiring alternates. That said, people do sometimes bail out at the last minute.

    #11685
    DedEye
    Member

    @Sciencetech wrote:

    Lab manager would definitely be a better fit for you. At Palmer, and to some extent McMurdo, much of the lab work is biological. There’s a lot of organization, helping grantees, and coordinating lab spaces and equipment. From your brief description of yourself, you’d be a good fit.

    The RA position really requires a technogeek, someone who is comfortable with many different kinds of computers, operating systems, and well grounded in electronics (ha!) and physics. If you feel comfortable with electro-optical and electro-mechanical gizmos, then it’s a possibility.

    By the way….. I know that some or most of the positions posted on the Lockheed web site have already been hired for the coming season. I’m not sure why the positions are still listed unless they’re also hiring alternates. That said, people do sometimes bail out at the last minute.

    Thanks for the info Sciencetech. I’m not looking at this season or next since I still have to finish my time with Uncle Sam, but I’m still doing my best to position myself for 2015. Indeed, the Lab Manager position seems almost custom tailored to my resume :).

    I previously applied for a few of the computer technician/IT positions with RPSC and was reviewed but not selected. I’ve a relatively substantial background and familiarity with various operating systems and computers, but less of a foundation with electronics and physics. It’s certainly something I’d be open to learning more about to become more competitive for the position, but outside my current area of expertise.

    Also, I’m eligible for tuition assistance and can take college courses for next to nothing at the moment; what courses would be most beneficial to my chances working down there? Of course, it depends on the position, and I would imagine anything would help over nothing, but say the choice is between astronomy and electrical engineering, which would give me a greater edge (my guess is the EE)?

    #11686
    Iceman
    Member

    Dedeye, I’ve been a Lab Manager at Palmer for 2 winters and for a Winfly at McMurdo. If you have a general science degree, say a BS in Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, you name the science, you should be fine, especially with experience working in a lab. I had 5 years of lab experience doing cancer research, when I was hired, no real managerial experience. Having some work in customer science, might help with the job as well, since you are basically there to make the grantees lives as stress-free as possible with regards to things in the lab.

    So it is one part science admin, one part MacGyver, one part customer service (babysitter), and one part inventory specialist (at Plamer). Both stations, are similar but different when it comes to the Lab Manager position. At Palmer, you do a lot more, since it’s smaller and there is no science cargo department, you’re it, you receive the cargo, label it, stock it, and distribute it. At McMurdo, in the summer at least, there’s 3 Lab Assistant Managers, with 80 science groups or more going in and out of Crary and all of the science cargo and materials have their own people/departments to handle that.

    At both stations you make sure the science groups are practicing good lab safety and following the chemical hygiene plan. Also at both stations you make sure they are using their Rads (radioisotopes) properly and within their permit. It’s kind of like a babysitter, making sure they (the grantees) cleanup after themselves, and they don’t take over areas (other lab space) that were no allocated to them. Both stations have their own maintenance staff in case things break or go down in the labs, and you might help them out if needed, depending on the situation. When things go smoothly, it’s great, when things don’t go smoothly, that’s where the job gets interesting, the biggest thing is to not get stressed out, even if a PI is screaming in your face.

    How to get a Lab Manager job at either station, that’s where some luck is needed. Obviously with your science/lab manager background/experience, that is perfect for the position, next you need an opening, which can be tough, especially when people keep wanting to come back. Even if someone isn’t coming back, “they” (the hiring managers) might hire someone who did the job 3, 5 or even 10 years ago, who wants to come back into the program, before they hire a newbie, is that fair? It is, what it is. I lucked out and they wanted to go in a new direction and I was hired in early February and on the ice in late March, my first year at Palmer.

    My best advice is to apply in 2015 for summer and winter lab manager positions and hope for the best.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 32 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.