Senior Research Assistant, Watershed Quality

HARC (HOUSTON ADVANCED RESEARCH CENTER) The Woodlands, TX $58000.00 to $66000.00 per year

The Senior Research Assistant in Watershed Quality is responsible for performing technical assistance in support of projects pertaining to water resources management, ecological systems and functions, watershed-scale assessment, water quality, and environmental data development. The research work involves a high degree of expertise, creative insight, and technical skill. The role may involve development of new theories and methodologies as well as assisting with project management and proposal development.

 ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include but are not limited to the following. Other duties may be assigned.

 Major Duties

  • Carry out spatial and temporal analysis using varied data sets to assess status and trends related to ecosystems, water resources, and water quality based on ecological and hydrological principles.
  • Acquire, quality assure, and manage data, including identification of new sources, to complete investigative research tasks under Quality Assurance Project Plans.
  • Applies geospatial or statistical software to investigate research questions and analyze trends, relationships, or spatial patterns.
  • Develop visualizations including charts, tables, infographics, or digital materials that synthesize data for communication and outreach.
  • Develops research methodologies and informs the development of monitoring plans to support environmental data operations. 
  • Performs literature reviews to compile, read, and organize materials for the preparation of written project reports, summaries, and bibliographies for submission to funding entities or publication in peer review journals.
  • Maintains external project communications across digital and social media platforms in collaboration with the HARC Communications Specialist.

Proposal Development

  • Assists principal investigators in the development of research proposals for submission to funding programs.
  • May collaborate with other research staff to identify potential funding sources.

Project Management

  • Assists project teams with the timely completion of project deliverables.
  • Assists principal investigators with project management tasks such as the completion of project progress reports, time tracking, and budgeting.

Internal focus

  • Collaborate with other HARC researchers on multidisciplinary projects.
  • Initiate and promote teamwork, shared learning, and integrated approaches to sustainability.
  • Use professional knowledge and skills to contribute to the achievement of HARC’s mission.
  • Serve on HARC committees or working groups as assigned.

External focus

  • Make contributions to discipline through the creation of peer review publications, technical reports, public outreach documents, web content, external presentations, and project reports.
  • Initiate and promote external collaboration and integrated approaches to sustainability through networking.

Continuing Education

  • Maintain broad knowledge of state-of-the-art principles, theories, and practices in discipline.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


A Master of Science is preferred or a minimum of a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science, Water Resources, Ecosystem Management, or related discipline.


Master of Science with one to three years, or a Bachelor of Science with a minimum of three years of related professional experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

  • Proficiency with statistical and geospatial software, data analysis, analyzing temporal and spatial trends, and mapping. Experience using Esri ArcGIS software including ArcGIS Online preferred.
  • Proficiency with the Microsoft Office suite of products including Word and Excel. Experience with Microsoft 365 preferred.
  • Demonstrated skills in data analysis and visualization of data.
  • Exercises strict confidentiality of all communications, verbal and written.
  • Capability of performing routine work with limited oversight and general instruction on new assignments.
  • Ability to apply analytical/scientific thinking to define and solve research problems.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.

Language Ability

Ability to read, analyze, and interpret scientific and technical journals. Ability to develop presentations to communicate project findings and articles for publication that conform to prescribed style and format.

Reasoning Ability

Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions. Ability to interpret an extensive variety of technical instructions in mathematical or diagram form and deal with abstract and concrete variables.

Computer Skills

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be computer literate in word processing, spreadsheet, internet, and email software as well as project specific software such as statistical programs and Geographic Information Systems.

Work Environment

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally exposed to wet or humid conditions (non-weather), and outdoor weather conditions. The noise level in the work environment is usually quiet.

Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 10 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include Close vision. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit and talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; use hands to finger, handle, or feel and reach with hands and arms.


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