Research Technologist 3 (Laser Ablation Tomography)

Penn State University

University Park Campus
Campus City:
University Park, PA
Date Announced:
Date Closing:
Job Number:
Level/Salary Band:
03 – H – Exempt
Work Unit:
College of Agricultural Sciences
Plant Science
Full/Part Time:


The Root Biology Lab in the Department of Plant Science is seeking a highly motivated and innovative Research Technologist to work in the Laser Ablation Tomography unit. The main objective of the lab is centered on building better plants by evaluating physiological and anatomical traits that optimize yield in nutrient and water stress environments. Laser Ablation Tomography (LAT) is currently being used to quantify some of those root anatomical traits with increased accuracy and runtime efficiency when compared to previously used technologies. Experience in basic field crop management and LAT technologies, an understanding of plant physiology and nutrient stress, utilizing LAT and other analytical equipment in lab and field settings and using farm machinery will be necessary for the successful candidate. The LAT Technologist will perform a variety of innovative tasks associated with developing protocols and methodologies that maximize the utility of the lab’s LAT unit; plan and design field experiments; analyze data from field experiments using LAT and other analytical equipment; advise faculty/researchers on any developments in the labs LAT technology; and work directly with Post Doctoral Scholars on the development of three dimensional anatomical trait mapping technologies derived from LAT results. The LAT Technologist will oversee the daily operation of two separate LAT units by ensuring operation supplies are in stock, performing equipment repairs, certifying users for laser usage, enforcing safety protocols, mentoring new and existing LAT users, assisting in writing grant proposals related to furthering the lab’s objectives, and collaborating with research personnel interested in LAT technology. In addition to LAT related responsibilities, the LAT Technologist will work with other research staff to develop protocols for in-field foliar evaluation using X-ray Fluorescence, help oversee five rainout shelters and assist with field management and supervise an ICP spectrometer and hourly workers. Review of applicants will begin immediately and continue until a suitable candidate is identified. Typically requires a Bachelor's degree or higher (Master's degree preferred) or higher plus seven years of related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Must be able to work independently. This position requires that you operate a motor vehicle as a part of your job duties. A valid driver’s license and successful completion of a motor vehicle records check will be required in addition to standard background checks. This is a fixed-term appointment funded for one year from the date of hire with excellent possibility of re-funding.

These salary bands have been established to provide salary guidelines for staff positions.

Salary Band Minimum Midpoint Maximum
A $16,584 $24,456 $32,328
B $18,240 $26,904 $35,556
C $19,728 $29,592 $39,456
D $21,708 $32,568 $43,416
E $24,312 $36,468 $48,612
F $27,228 $40,848 $54,456
G $30,012 $45,744 $61,500
H $34,188 $52,140 $70,080
I $38,988 $59,424 $79,908
J $43,716 $67,740 $91,812
K $50,712 $78,600 $106,488
L $58,836 $91,176 $123,528
M $68,232 $105,756 $143,292
N $80,508 $124,788 $169,068
O $93,492 $147,252 $201,024
P $110,340 $173,760 $237,192
Q $126,396 $199,056 $271,728
R $151,668 $238,872 $326,088