Lab Assistant/Environmental Health Coordinator

Drake University

Biotech, Chemical, Education-Teaching/Admin, Enviornmental | Full Time | Onsite | Des Moines

Posted: 5/6/24

Job Description

Title: Lab Assistant/Environmental Health Coordinator - 997248

Position Number: 997248

Unit/Department: Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S)

FTE: Full-time (12-month)

Department Summary:

Drake University is very excited to launch this search for a combined role divided between the Chemistry Department and the Environmental Health & Safety Department.

The mission of Drake University's Chemistry Department is to provide students with a scientific knowledge and experimental skills necessary for a career in chemistry or other related fields. In preparing students for a career, we encourage and promote personal interactions between students, faculty, and experienced professionals through a variety of interactive courses, undergrad-research, and seminar presentations.

To learn more the Chemistry Department, visit:

Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) supports Drake's commitment to maintaining a model EHS program for its students, faculty, staff, visitors, and surrounding community. Drake strives to foster a strong safety culture and promote environmental responsibility among stakeholders across all University departments.

To learn more about the EHS department, visit:

Job Summary:

Drake is happy to launch this search for a newly envisioned role. The Lab Assistant/Environmental Health Coordinator will divide their time between EHS and the Chemistry Department, making this an amazing opportunity for someone who enjoys variety. Every day will be different and there will be room to grow.

For the lab assistant duties, we seek candidates who are knowledgeable and committed to providing a rigorous and engaging laboratory experience for students enrolled in biochemistry and organic chemistry courses. Responsibilities include teaching assigned laboratory sections, preparing teaching materials, and assessing student learning.

When supporting EHS efforts, the EHS Coordinator will work with the EHD Director and strategic partners across the University on safely handling chemicals, hazardous waste management, workplace safety matters, OSHA compliance, and a number of other EHS tasks. In certain circumstances, emergency management planning and response responsibilities could also arise.

Drake is searching for someone who will enjoy the variety of work, share our dedication to safety, and be eager to learn and grow in both areas of this combined role.

Minimum Qualifications:

• Baccalaureate degree in organic chemistry or biochemistry or related fields - Knowledge of specialized principles or techniques normally obtained through a four-year college/university academic program, and strong laboratory skills in chemistry.
• Comfortable with public speaking
• Successful candidate must also have a valid driver’s license, and meet the insurability requirements to drive on behalf of the University

Preferred Qualifications:

• Knowledge of regulations governing EHS programs, experience in higher education, research laboratories, environmental/safety consultation, or comparable institutional environment
• Completion of training in one or more of the following areas: OSHA 10, OSHA 30, HAZWOPER, RCRA, or DOT.

Job Duties:

Teaching (25%): Teach two organic chemistry laboratory courses each semester and pre-labs in accordance with course syllabi, furnished procedures and instructions provided during weekly faculty/staff meetings.

• Prepare laboratory materials, and complete experiments before each class.

• Promote student understanding of laboratory experiments and stimulate students’ intellectual growth by assisting them during laboratory periods in proper procedures and practices and providing guidance rather than giving answers.

• Follow, communicate, and consistently enforce laboratory safety policies during all laboratory periods. - (Essential)

Chemical Handling/Hazardous Waste Management (15%): Follow established safety and technical guidelines, collect and transport hazardous materials and/or waste from individual generation sites (e.g., laboratories; workshops; mechanical rooms; etc.).

• Ensure accuracy and safety in proper packaging, marking and chemical compatibility of hazardous waste or other special wastes. Complete associated paperwork and data entry for recordkeeping of all generated waste as required.

• Manage required supplies and equipment for the collection and storage of hazardous waste and other special wastes as required. Process hazardous materials or waste from generation sites; verify contents, sort, weigh, label, and store according to compatibility and hazard class.

• Package and prepare materials for shipping per Department of Transportation requirements.

• Work to gather data in preparation for regulatory inspections, permit applications, environmental surveys, and recordkeeping requirements.

• Interface with supervisors and managers to resolve hazardous material issues and discrepancies. - (Essential)

Safety (15%): Work to ensure compliance with Drake University's EHS programs, especially those centered around lab safety. Conduct routine EHS safety assessments and safety audits to help identify and eliminate safety hazards and concerns. Help manage and source required safety supplies (i.e., PPE, chemicals, and tools). Assist in entering and maintaining accurate safety data in the computer systems used for reports and analysis. Work to gather data in preparation for regulatory safety inspections and audits as well as help with all safety recordkeeping requirements. - (Essential)

Training (10%): Coordinate and conduct required lab safety trainings and assist in the development and tracking of EHS lab safety training program. Present training to Drake University Departments as needed. Help track online training. - (Essential)

Compliance (10%): Development of corrective & preventive actions, integration of EHS standards applicable to new and existing equipment and processes, data gathering in preparation for regulatory inspections and permit applications, information gathering activities such as emission inventories and special information requests from regulators or management. Maintain the SDS Management System and inventory (work with departments to ensure accurate inventories), AED, and Safety Shower and Eyewash inspections. - (Essential)

Lab Supervision (10%): Maintain office hours, professional communication, and assist students with laboratory and other course related information. Conduct on-going evaluation and prepare grade reports of student progress and maintain records of student course/class performance. Participate in writing laboratory quizzes and laboratory exams. - (Essential)

Lab Maintenance (10%): Maintain the chemistry department laboratory inventory. Coordinate ordering of laboratory supplies and lab ware. Maintain instruments including regular NMR gas fills. - (Essential)

Emergency Management (5%): Emergency response to hazardous material releases, workplace injury incidents, and severe weather. - (Essential)

Salary & Benefits

The salary is competitive. The final offered salary will be dependent upon the qualifications and experiences of the selected candidate.

At Drake, we are proud to offer our employees, their spouses, and eligible dependents a comprehensive benefits package, which includes a wide range of core benefits, perks, and discounts. If you are exploring a job with Drake University, we invite you to spend a little time with our digital benefits guide: Drake Benefits Guide (Plan Year 2024).

One of our very popular policies provides a tuition waiver for Drake employees, their spouses, and eligible dependents. Drake also participates in not one, but two tuition exchange programs available to dependent children. You can learn about both the tuition waiver policy and tuition exchange programs here: Tuition Benefits.

Special Instructions to Applicants:

To apply, you must complete Drake's online application and attach: (1) a cover letter, (2) CV/Resume, and (3) contact information for 3 professional references.

Questions about the position, the application process, or working at Drake may be directed to Drake Human Resources at

All job offers are contingent upon satisfactory completion of a background check, satisfactory reference checks, and proof of work authorization.

Review of Applications Begins:

For full consideration, please complete your online application by Friday, May 3, 2024.

For faculty positions, selection will depend on the receipt of recommendation confirming the candidate's scholarly achievements and teaching abilities and/or on the candidate's satisfactory passing of a teaching demonstration if selected for an on-campus interview. For staff positions, selection will depend upon careful review of each applicant’s references, education, and, if applicable, experience.

About Drake:
Drake University is recognized as a top private university in the Midwest. Drake is a midsize university in Des Moines, Iowa, with an increasingly diverse student body. We are deeply committed to equity and inclusion and creating a sense of belonging for all members of the campus community—faculty, staff, and students alike. More than 900 faculty and staff are part of the Bulldog pack, a close-knit group of colleagues enthusiastic about preparing students to be global citizens and leaders, challenging assumptions. Drake University is not only an outstanding institution of higher learning, it is also a wonderful place to work. We are enthusiastically committed to welcoming new ideas and people into the fold, and to retaining and rewarding stellar employees.

All positions at Drake provide opportunities to contribute to Drake University’s core mission of creating an exceptional learning environment that prepares students of all backgrounds for meaningful lives and professional accomplishments.

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion at Drake:
At Drake University, we don’t just accept differences—we celebrate them, we support them, and we thrive on them for the benefit of our students, our employees, and our community. Drake University is proud to support an equal opportunity, diverse, inclusive, and welcoming workplace. In fact, the celebration of diversity and inclusion are embedded in our Core Values. Learn more about our DEI commitment and efforts here.

We welcome applicants of diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. If you are a member of a socially or historically underrepresented or marginalized group or you have actively demonstrated a commitment to diversity and inclusion, we strongly encourage you to apply. If you are a member of one of the equity groups identified by applicable law, we encourage you to self-identify, where requested in our online application system.

Drake University is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodations in its services, programs, activities, education, and employment for individuals with disabilities. If you would benefit from an accommodation at any point in the recruitment process (including using our online application process), please contact Drake Human Resources (ph: 515.271.3133; e: and let us know how we can assist you.

At Drake University, we highly value a diverse, inclusive workforce. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We stand firmly against discrimination including on the basis of race, color, national origin, creed, religion, age, disability, sex, pregnancy, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any characteristic protected by law.

Deadline to Apply 6/6/24


2507 University Avenue

Travel Required

Resume Required


Contact Person

Maureen De Armond

Deadline to Apply 6/6/24

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