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Senior Research Technician



Laramie, WY, USA
Posted on Saturday, November 18, 2023

About Plenty

We are on a mission to grow plenty of fresh food for everyone, everywhere. We are building the world’s largest, most technologically advanced, indoor vertical farms. Using a fraction of the land and water outdoor farms need, our farms are designed to secure our food future.

Our people and teams are how we make our mission possible. We are passionate about our contributions to Plenty, the communities around us and our planet, but never take ourselves too seriously. We’re down to earth, we grow together, and we always find a way. Join us as we rewrite the rules of agriculture, and we’ll bet our berries you’ll be rewarded with innovative and collaborative teammates, a supportive environment, diverse career opportunities and meaningful work.

About the role

Plenty is looking for a Senior Research Technician to join our Propagation team within the greater Plant Science team. The Propagation team ensures a consistent and healthy supply of plants to drive research objectives for plant propagation of both seed and vegetatively propagated crops. This team also focuses on identifying levers to increase growth, yield, and quality of plant material as well as developing propagation processes for commercial translation. These research trials support our work to develop new ways of growing plants in our unique indoor vertical systems and to optimize yield for a better food future. In this role, you will support all phases of plant production and applied plant science research in a modern, high-technology hydroponic farm to help attain the goal of making delicious, healthy produce accessible to all. You will be engaged with the company’s efforts to enhance the production and research of crops in various hydroponic growing environments. You will assist with plant handling, harvesting, seeding, monitoring, sanitation, as well as collection of environmental and production data.

What you'll do

  • This will be a hands-on role where you will be planting, harvesting, transplanting and caring for crops, collecting large amounts of data, and mitigating a variety of complex problems to assist Research Scientists with controlling/optimizing the production environment to maximize product quality and economic yields. The goal is to optimize lab procedures and succeed in producing reliable and actionable results that can be used to improve crop production
  • Laboratory duties may include and are not limited to: conducting experiments under defined conditions to verify/reject various types of hypotheses using refined scientific methods, chemical mixing, calculating chemical ratios for plant nutrient solutions, plant propagation and transplant, pest and nutrient management, pesticide application, plant and environmental data collection, maintaining a sanitary laboratory environment, sanitizing plant materials and equipment, seed sowing and transplant, operating sophisticated measuring equipment, all while prioritizing plant health and care
  • Other duties may include: applied literature review, investigation of current literature pertaining to hydroponic and field agriculture, preparation and proper utilization of data sheets, working knowledge of Google Suite (Docs, Sheets, Slides), cross-functional collaboration with other departments (i.e. Engineering, Facilities, Software & Data Science), prepare plant tissue/irrigation water samples, maintenance and calibration of sensitive measuring instruments, practice safe chemical and hazardous material handling and storage
  • Work closely with the Plant Science and Research & Development teams in Laramie to execute all aspects of plant growth and experimental duties for optimization and product development
  • Other duties as assigned. Schedules will be reviewed periodically and are subject to change based on business needs

What you'll bring to the table

  • Previous horticultural experience or education in Botany, Agronomy, Horticulture
  • Attention to detail and record keeping skills
  • Ability to assist in a wide array of activities in operating a large-scale hydroponic research farm
  • Interest in hydroponic fruit and vegetable production
  • Basic comprehension of hydroponic systems/plumbing/fabrication
  • Ability to operate sensitive measuring equipment
  • Ability to quickly assess and mitigate problems that may arise
  • Capability to quickly adapt to changing situations and prioritize workload
  • Capacity to accurately collect data for extended periods
  • Previous employment or educational experience related to nursery production or plant research in a laboratory setting
  • Previous experience handling, weighing, and mixing laboratory chemicals
  • Ability to safely operate a variety of power tools
  • Ability to lift 30 pounds, climb ladders, and work in confined spaces in varied conditions around bees
  • Availability to work occasional weekend shifts
  • Capacity to work under pressure, both autonomously and in a team
  • Ability to effectively follow directions for assigned tasks and report progress
  • Highly responsible, teachable, attentive, team-player who is enthusiastic and hard-working

Type of role

Full-Time; Onsite

What we can offer

  • Compensation; we’ll pay you a competitive wage, give you a stake in the company via equity and contribute toward your 401K
  • Health & well-being; we’ll invest in your physical and mental well-being with comprehensive medical, dental, & vision benefits from day one, in-office gyms, and an Employee Assistance Program to help with mental health, financial & legal matters
  • Food; in-office lunches, snacks and access to our leafy greens & new produce in development -- are you up for a side gig as a taste tester?
  • Grow together; learning & development opportunities including unlimited access to our Upstart University platform, LinkedIn Learning, lunch & learns, training certifications, and more
  • Equipment; we’ll provide you with the equipment you need to be successful, including $75/month toward your phone bill and $250 every 2 years to upgrade your phone
  • Paid time off; we know you’ll do your best if you’re taking time to recharge, so we offer 2 weeks of paid time off + 6 days of paid sick leave per year in addition to the paid holidays we observe
  • Parental leave; 12 weeks off for all new parents - fully paid so you can focus your energy on your newest addition

Food & Safety Requirements

  • Comply with all Plant, State and Federal OSHA, EPA, FDA, HACCP, and SQF regulations
  • All applicants must be 18 years or older to apply