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Principal Air Quality Chemist

Diamond Bar CA

Closing Date/Time: Tue. 03/26/19 5:01 PM Pacific Time


South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is one of the largest and most technologically sophisticated environmental regulatory agencies in the Nation. We serve a four-county region that includes all of Orange County, and parts of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, home to more than 17 million people. SCAQMD's headquarters is located in Diamond Bar, 30 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, at the junction of the 57 and 60 freeways. With a highly diverse "Clean Air Team" of over 750 employees, an annual budget of $162.6 million, and a state-of-the-art air quality laboratory, our mission is to ensure clean air and a healthy environment. SCAQMD is an organization you can be proud to work for -- we make a difference in the quality of life in Southern California!



Principal Chemists are expected to have expertise in many analytical techniques of data analysis, and supervise the work of staff in their respective group. Therefore, the most competitive candidates for this position will bring a strong combination of education, analytical chemistry training and experience, broad knowledge of QA/QC, and supervisory skill and readiness. This position will be initially responsible for oversight of SCAQMD's microscopy analysis along with establishing a mobile monitoring program largely using advanced analytical techniques. This supervisory position's primary role is to help with community monitoring needs under several SCAQMD programs, including SCAQMD Rule 1180 (Refinery monitoring) and AB 617 (Community Air Toxics Monitoring).

Principal Air Quality Chemist is a supervisory position reporting to the Laboratory Services Manager. This vacant position is one of four Principal positions making up the laboratory supervisory team; each team currently consists of eight to sixteen chemists, technicians, and support staff. Teams are aligned by function, including compliance analysis, ambient VOC/toxics analysis, aerosol analysis, and advanced spectrometry/microscopy.



Plans, organizes, and supervises the work of staff assigned to a laboratory section involved in qualitative and quantitative analyses to isolate, identify, and quantify air contaminants; reviews requests for analyses, determines the level of difficulty, and assigns work; and provides technical and administrative guidance to professional and technical staff and evaluates performance.

Develops, supervises, prioritizes, and evaluates programs and projects; maintains workload statistics on unit activities; prepares program and activity-related reports and analyses; reviews and edits technical reports prepared by laboratory staff to ensure accuracy of data, appropriateness of methodologies, and soundness of findings and conclusions; and identifies and maintains data quality objectives on a program basis.

Serves as a technical expert and resource for SCAQMD staff regarding chemistry-related air quality matters and on a variety of technical advisory committees; maintains a broad understanding of current research into causes, sources, and chemical reactions contributing to air quality problems; and consults with outside experts regarding air quality issues relevant to laboratory programs and projects.

Applies professional training and experience and keeps abreast of updated and new chemical laboratory methods, instrumentation, protocols, and practices through review of professional literature and other research resources and evaluates staff recommendations to ensure the laboratory uses the most effective and up-to-date techniques in analyzing air contaminants, accomplishing the work of the unit, and meeting new or changing SCAQMD rules.

Reviews and approves test methods used by private laboratories for compliance with SCAQMD rules.

Represents the SCAQMD at scientific conferences and prepares for publication and presents research reports and papers on methods, procedures, results, and conclusions relating to laboratory analyses.

Testifies in court and before public bodies and hearing boards.

Prepares annual budget request for the section and submits written justification for budget items requested; and is responsible for the preparation of grant proposals for federal government or other funding.

Acts for the laboratory services manager, as needed.




In addition to the Minimum Qualifications which follow, the most competitive candidates will also possess:

Knowledge and/or experience with mobile measurements and field studies using mass spectrometry techniques such as Proton Transfer Mass Spectrometry (PTR-MS) and Aerosol Mass Spectrometry (AMS); along with other analytical techniques for measurement of ambient gases and particles.

Knowledge of QA/QC procedures and guidelines to ensure data is accurate and representative of the samples being collected following proper documentation procedures.

Knowledge and/or experience with microscopy analysis for asbestos and other ambient particulate matter using polarized light microscopy, electron microscopy with EDS, XRD, FTIR, and other techniques.

Detailed knowledge of matters directly related to ambient air analysis, laboratory instrumentation and data management.

Ability to identify and resolve complex program and administrative challenges in a fair, impartial, and professional manner.

Ability to implement and track the progress of programs and innovative solutions to improve efficiency and productivity.

Ability to conceptualize mobile monitoring data using GIS based visualizations.

Ability to manage workloads to ensure timely turnaround of sample analysis and data collected during field measurements.

Ability to oversee the design, build, implementation, and operation of a mobile monitoring platform that will be extensively used for monitoring pollutants nearby communities and facilities.

Ability to oversee contracts for monitoring studies along with collaborating with researchers at universities and other agencies.

Experience supervising laboratory professionals and support staff.

Experience and ability to successfully manage projects with multiple, competing priorities and tight deadlines.

Strong computer and data review skills for large complex datasets that utilizes data from several instruments often with different time resolutions.

A keen eye for detail and accuracy.

Flexibility, dependability, and a positive, can-do attitude.

Exceptional leadership, oral presentation, and written communication skills.




Graduation from an accredited college or university with a bachelor's degree in chemistry, preferably with an emphasis in qualitative and quantitative analysis.



One year as a Senior Air Quality Chemist (One year working as a Manager, Supervisor, Senior Chemist, or similar leadership position that oversees a group of chemists focused on air quality measurements and/or research)


Three years as an Air Quality Chemist or equivalent (Three years working as a Chemist conducting air quality analysis).



Current methods, procedures, protocols, and instrumentation relating to organic, inorganic, and physical qualitative and quantitative analysis; operational principles of relevant chemical laboratory instrumentation and techniques; principles and practices of project management, supervision, training, and budgeting; relevant professional research literature and resources; principles and methods of statistical analysis; working knowledge of database design, information management, and computer programming, as they relate to laboratory analysis of air contaminants; safety procedures and practices relating to laboratory work; PC software applications common to the field and to the general business environment of the SCAQMD; professional report writing; SCAQMD rules and federal and State laws related to chemical analysis of air contaminants; and protocols and standards for laboratory analysis of air quality samples.



Supervise, evaluate, train, and assign work to professional and technical staff involved in routine and complex qualitative and quantitative organic, inorganic and physical analysis of air quality samples; effectively use available resources in planning and organizing programs and projects; evaluate the effectiveness of programs and projects in meeting laboratory and overall SCAQMD objectives; oversee the development and implementation of new laboratory methods, procedures, and protocols, the adaptation of existing instrumentation and methods for new purposes, and the evaluation of new instrumentation; understand and interpret applicable laws, rules, and regulations; edit and write detailed, accurate reports on laboratory projects, analyses, methodologies, findings, and conclusions; prepare funding proposals; read, understand, and follow verbal and written directions; proficiently use PC software applications common to the field and to the general business environment of the SCAQMD; communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing; and establish and maintain effective relationships with all those contacted in the course of work.


LICENSE: Possession of a valid California Class "C" Driver's License and a good driving record may be required.


For more information and to apply: http://www.aqmd.gov/careers

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Posted March 14, 2019

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