Aquatic Invasive Species Field and Lab Technician

SCUBA Certification – open water required, advanced preferred

Employer: Mike Spear (, Jake Vander Zanden (


The Vander Zanden lab is looking for two independently motivated and enthusiastic undergraduate researchers to assist in aquatic invasive species field and laboratory projects in Madison, WI for the 2019 summer season.  We are looking to study the growth and effects of Madison’s new invasive zebra mussel population in Lake Mendota.  The position will be based at the UW Center for Limnology (CFL) in Madison, WI, with the bulk of the work on lakes Mendota and Monona.  Technicians will gain experience in various limnological techniques while studying one of the Madison lakes’ newest residents, the zebra mussel. 30-40 hours/wk.

Zebra mussel work will include intensive SCUBA sampling of Lake Mendota to monitor the recent invasion by this species, as well as several other physical, chemical, and biological variables to determine ecological effects of the invasion in real time.  SCUBA diving will feature heavily in the sampling, and is required for these positions.  Other techniques to be taught and performed include larval mussel identification, periphyton processing and identification, and macroinvertebrate sampling (via underwater vacuum) and preservation.



  • Perform field work on Madison lakes, with potential for state-wide day trips
  • Lab processing of obtained field samples
  • Careful data collection from sample processing
  • Independent and team work in the lab and field while maintaining communication with lab supervisors
  • Diligent work and professional attitude through all safe weather conditions
  • Driving boats and trucks


  • SCUBA certification (Open Water required, Advanced preferred)
  • Sincere interest in lakes and gaining experience in research
  • Ability to work reliably and with minimal supervision
  • Resourceful at problem solving
  • Comfortable working in small boats
  • Comfortable in and on the water
  • Ability to lift 50 pounds
  • Willing to work in all safe weather conditions, get muddy, and work occasional long hours in the field.
  • Valid driver’s license which meets UW Risk Management standards is required
  • Boating/trailering experience preferred, not required
  • Ability to meet CFL SCUBA dive program qualifications (healthy to dive, certified by doctor; First Aid/CPR trained–can be arranged through CFL)


  • Number of positions: 2
  • Start date: Mid to late May 2019 (or as soon as possible)
  • End date: Late August 2019
  • Pay:  $11.00-no experience; $11.25-some experience; $11.50-very experienced

 Location and Housing:

These positions are based at the CFL in Madison, WI.  Housing will not be provided.

 How to apply:

  • Positions filled

The CFL is an equal opportunity employer and is dedicated to an inclusive and positive working environment for all.