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Plant Science R&D Technician - Brooklyn (New York) USA
Upward Farms designs and operates complete ecosystems of plants and fish in vertical farms, supplying these organic products to local grocers. We are expanding to a new cutting-edge, fully automated facility in Brooklyn. More and larger farms are in the works. Our mission is to heal the broken food system and reconnect eaters with flavorful and nutritious local food.
As the Plant Science R&D Technician, you will work with the Agriculture and Manufacturing R&D team to conduct applied plant science research to enhance crop health, quality, yield, and production efficiency. You will work closely with our rapidly growing team to provide hands-on support for our Plant Science R&D experiments and assist in managing day-to-day R&D tasks. Tasks include data collection, documentation, data analysis, and assistance in maintaining R&D equipment and supplies. The R&D team is seeking a well-organized Technician who communicates effectively and is motivated to seek insights from plant science research to further Upward Farms’ mission.
Success in this role means accurately and precisely measuring plants, and conducting and documenting experiments to maintain the highest quality standards in data collection and research. You will use a keen observational eye to critically assess experiments and procedures, and you will collaborate with the Upward Farms Scientists and Engineers to implement improvements. Your firsthand observations may lead to new lines of inquiry, and you are encouraged and empowered to bring new research questions to the R&D team. The ultimate responsibilities and contributions of this role will be shaped around the individual we hire and their background. There is tremendous room for growth at our company.
- Grow plants for research, troubleshooting, and generating insights to improve plant production at Upward Farms.
- Execute, monitor, and document experiments.
- Collect plant phenotype and physiology data.
- Assist in experiment ideation, planning, and setup.
- Contribute to experimental data analyses.
- Comply with on-farm SOPs and HACCP plans as well as all City, State, and Federal regulations (e.g. OSHA, EPA, FDA).
- Assist in a broad range of scientific activities, collaborate across various teams, and occasionally assist in aquaculture and microbiology experiments.
Management and communication
- Present experiment results with critical thinking and insights for next steps.
- Maintain inventory of chemicals and supplies for R&D experiments.
- Operate and maintain research equipment and assist in maintaining research facilities.
- Work closely with the Agriculture and Manufacturing R&D team to support the success of the team through inventiveness, attention to detail, and meticulousness.
- Work occasional partial days on weekends.
- Bachelor’s degree with 2+ years of experience in a plant science or related lab.
- Experience growing plants for research or commercially.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills.
- Demonstrated technical problem solving and the ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects simultaneously.
- Motivated by and curious about plants and plant science research.
- Able to anticipate problems before they arise.
- Demonstrated flexibility and empathy.
- Ability to lift up to 30 lbs.
- Currently in the New York City area or willing to relocate before April 15.
Preferred Skills + Experience
- Bachelor of Science degree in Plant Science, Horticulture, Agronomy, Plant Pathology, Crop Science, Biology, or a related field.
- Experience analyzing biological data using analysis software (e.g.: R, MATLAB, Excel, or others).
- Experience collaborating on scientific manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals.
- Familiarity in organic crop production and/or aquaponic production.
- Annual salary of $45,000 - $65,000, dependent upon experience, plus equity in the company.
We offer a dynamic work environment and benefits that include:
- Aetna Medical, Aetna and MetLife Dental, and Aetna Vision insurance; FSA/HSA plans; and HIPAA-compliant health advocates. Upward Farms contributes 78-100% of the premium for Medical benefits for employees and their families.
- Unlimited paid sick time. For extended illness, we offer short-term disability.
- Up to 20 days paid time off per year, depending on experience, in addition to paid holidays.
- For new parents, an extension of New York State’s paid family leave for up to 12 weeks of fully paid parental leave. This leave is in addition to Disability leave available to pregnant and postpartum mothers.
- Commuter benefits, discounted gym memberships, and other perks.
- Fresh salad, and lots of it!
We are an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our needs are unique and varied so we value colleagues with diverse backgrounds. Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, citizenship, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, and/or protected veteran status.
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