Job Type: Permanent
Salary Details: $26.44
Deadline: Aug 13, 2023

Group Definition: Microbiology Technicians are concerned with the laboratory techniques used in studying tissues or microscopic and submicroscopic organisms. They use knowledge of procedural requirements and processes to support research into the causes and prevention of fish diseases.

Position/Project Specifics:

Rockfish are some of the most commercially important species in Alaska and are also captured as bycatch and in recreational fisheries. A major challenge when managing rockfish is identifying species, as there are over 30 species of rockfish in Alaska waters. Genetics has proven to be an effective tool for rockfish species identification, and the Auke Bay Genetics Laboratory has begun to develop new tools for more efficient analysis. The goal of this project is to further the development of two tools for rockfish genetic analysis: (1) a nuclear DNA panel for accurate identification of tissue samples to species or subspecies level and (2) a mitochondrial DNA primer for species identification of rockfish in environmental DNA samples. PSFMC is seeking assistance with the development of these tools.

We seek someone with the skills to use available sequence databases to design primers, test these primers in the laboratory, analyze the resulting data to create genetic databases, and screen unknown rockfish samples at these newly developed panels. The work will entail designing a number of nuclear and mitochondrial primers, testing those primers on tissue samples and optimizing PCR, screening known individuals and adding those data to a database, and using statistical analyses to conduct species identification on unknown individuals. Ultimately, the objective of the work will be to produce highly curated panels that can be used for species identification. Deliverables will include a list of primers for each panel, genotypes and/or haplotype data for individual specimens, species identification calls for individuals, and high-level summaries of the data to assess the utility of the panels.

Essential Functions: (The functions listed below are characteristic of the type and level of work associated with this group and pay band. They are not all-inclusive. Individual positions may perform some or all, as well as other similar work.)

  • Query online sequence databases and design primers for qPCR
  • Conduct genetics laboratory work including PCR
  • Following established protocols, carry out molecular cloning projects and molecular techniques such as DNA sequencing and polymerase chain reaction.
  • Perform field collection activities including collecting samples from fish (e.g. blood, spleen, or kidney), water, and sediment.
  • Identify and recommend minor modifications to laboratory techniques.

Knowledge Required by the Position:

The employee must have knowledge of:

  • Laboratory methods in molecular biology/genetics laboratories
  • PCR: primer development, PCR optimization, analyzing results
  • natural sciences
  • Knowledge of molecular biology.
  • Knowledge of aquatic sciences.
  • Knowledge of Windows-based computer applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, presentation software, database software, molecular biology software.

Supervisory Controls:

Work is assigned on a daily or weekly basis in terms of project objectives, individual objective, and basic priorities. The employee plans and carries out the assignment with independence, following established protocol. He/she seeks assistance only as needed. When common technical and procedural problems arise, the employee exercises initiative in developing solutions. Accuracy of the data produced, quality of the observations made, and sufficiency of planning and execution are normally accepted without detailed review.

Reviews are utilized to ensure that the employee works effectively and produces high quality end products.


Guides may be culturing protocols, analytical protocols, sampling methodologies, standing operating procedures, oral instructions, equipment or instrument manuals, and/or hardware/software manuals.

The guides often require careful study or cross-referencing to locate the applicable rule or answer and can involve some interpretation or judgment to resolve the issue.


The employee is expected to select and execute the proper approach to completing the work. The assigned duties often have steps or processes which vary, depending on factors such as the reason the work is being performed or the conditions under which it is being performed. The employee is expected to exercise independence in recognizing such differences, in choosing the right course of action, and then in selecting and executing the proper approach to completing the work.

Scope and Effect:

Work products directly affect the design and execution of experiments and the adequacy of long range investigations, tests, or research conclusions.

Personal Contacts:

Contacts are with employees in PSMFC; federal, state, or tribal agencies; university researchers, private/non-profit organizations, and the general public.

Purpose of Contacts:

The purpose of contacts is to exchange information and insure that project goals are being met through coordination and planning. Communication between contacts affords resolution of problematic issues and serves as an information network.

Physical Demands:

The work is largely sedentary. There is some walking and bending and lifting of materials and supplies.

Work Environment:

The work is performed in a laboratory environment with adequate heating, lighting, and ventilation.

Minimum Qualification Requirements:

A range of experiences and education may be presented. At the lower end of the range, candidates must present one year of Specialized Experience** OR a semester of graduate education that is directly related to the work of the position. An equivalent combination of experience and education is also qualifying.

At the upper end of the range, candidates must present one year of Specialized Experience** OR a year of graduate education that is directly related to the work of the position. An equivalent combination of experience and education is also qualifying.

**Specialized Experience is experience that equips the applicant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position and is typically in or related to the work of the position being filled. To be creditable, Specialized Experience must have been equivalent to at least the next lower level in the normal line of progression for the position being filled.

PSMFC is an EEO/AAP employer. We maintain a drug free workplace.


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