• Full Time
  • Brookings
  • Applications have closed

Website South Dakota State University

South Dakota State University Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering is offering an exciting career opportunity as a South Dakota Mesonet Technician. We are looking for a creative and innovative professional to join the Mesonet team. This is a 12 month, full-time, benefit-eligible position. This position is supervised by the Mesonet Engineer/ Director. 

Must be authorized to work in the U.S.  Sponsorship is not available for this position.

SDSU is especially interested in candidates that can contribute to and/or coordinate course offerings that address the experiences of underrepresented minorities in organizations. Women, minorities, veterans, and people with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.


This position is primarily responsible for the South Dakota Mesonet’s weather stations fielded across the state (see mesonet.sdstate.edu), including:

Installation (including assisting with land use agreements, coordination with contractors, and coordinating with partnering scientists);
Maintenance (keeping stations reporting at a high level of uptime with emergency repairs as needed, keeping sensors and other equipment in functional/calibrated condition with visits dictated by preventative maintenance schedules, and reviewing data quality and state of health metrics);
Bench work (calibration of sensors; configuration of dataloggers, modems and sensors; performing sub-assembly; etc.);
Interaction with station landowners, contractors, and equipment manufacturers, etc.;
Continual skill development (obtaining knowledge independently through documentation, web research, and colleagues, etc.).


Bachelor’s Degree in a physical science or a closely related field and 5 years of work experience completed by first day of employment;
Ability to communicate effectively with diverse audiences;
Excellent oral and written communication skills;
Demonstrated organizational and time management skills;
Strong interpersonal skills;
Ability to work as a contributing team member;
Ability to be at work during regular work hours (8-5, M-F) with some extended hours during travel and on-call periods with the need to respond to limited automated notifications off hours;
Ability to perform sometimes remote field work statewide, including driving, lifting, hiking, digging, hauling, etc. in all types of weather;
Ability to plan and carry out efficient and safe field work alone or in groups statewide;
Able to develop presentations, safety policy forms and manuals, and operations manuals for SD Mesonet equipment;
Must be able to use advanced reasoning skills to solve complex instrumentation and date collection challenges with little or no availability of information;
Must have advanced math skills to solve complex engineering problems;
Valid driver’s license, or ability to obtain one within 30 days of hire, and willingness to travel.


Master’s Degree in a physical science or a closely related field;
Previous datalogger experience (especially Campbell Scientific);
Experience with analog and digital sensors, DC power systems, basic circuits, etc.;
Demonstrated experience with wireless communications, basic IP networking, RS-485, SDI-12 and other communications are a plus.


Salary commensurate with qualifications.


South Dakota State University offers a wide range of benefits including medical, dental, and flexible benefits, retirement plans, compensation packages, paid holidays, and vacation leave.  Employees also have access to internal and state-sponsored training as well as reduced tuition for state-supported courses at all State of South Dakota academic institutions.


Ranked as the No. 2 best place to work in South Dakota by Forbes, South Dakota State University is the state’s largest, most comprehensive university with more than 200 programs and an enrollment of approximately 12,000 students.

SDSU offers a rich academic experience in an environment of inclusion and access through inspired, student-centered education, creative activities and research, innovation and engagement that improve the quality of life in South Dakota, the region, the nation, and the world. Its employees embrace the university’s core values of being people-centered, expanding knowledge through creativity, embracing organizational and personal integrity, commitment to diversity, and excellence through continuous improvement.

The South Dakota Mesonet staff includes an Engineer/Director, Research Climatologist, Data Specialist and 2 Technicians perform climate research, create and maintain web content, and install and maintain stations. The Mesonet is the state’s network of 44 weather stations and is growing rapidly. Atmospheric, solar and soil data are collected every 5 minutes and made available live at mesonet.sdstate.edu. Data is used by the public, agriculture, water resources, emergency management and research. The South Dakota Mesonet comprises part of the SDSU Agricultural Experiment Station research infrastructure.

As the state’s 1862 Morrill Act land-grant institution, the work of the university is carried out on its main resident campus in Brookings, at sites in Sioux Falls, Pierre, Rapid City, and Aberdeen, and through Extension offices and Agricultural Experiment Station research sites across South Dakota.

SDSU was recognized as one of 54 institutions in the United States as an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities in 2014. The university’s total research expenditures are greater than $60 million. SDSU is the state’s first High Research Activity institution as classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Jackrabbits Athletics competes as an NCAA Division I member with membership in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, the Summit League and the Big XII for wrestling.

Brookings is home to approximately 24,000 residents and is located 60 miles north of Sioux Falls and 200 miles west of Minneapolis. Livability.com rates Brookings as an ideal community for families, students, young professionals, and retirees. It considers Brookings among the safest and most vibrant cities in South Dakota.

The Brookings Public School District educates approximately 3,300 K-12 students and ranks among the state’s highest academic achieving school districts. The district includes three elementary schools, an intermediate school for fourth and fifth grade, one middle school and a high school.

The city also boasts an abundance of attractions and activities, including the Children’s Museum of South Dakota, Dakota Nature Park, South Dakota Art Museum, McCrory Gardens, South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum, Outdoor Adventure Center, and the Brookings Summer Arts Festival.


Position is open until filled with full consideration given to applications received by September 14, 2020.


SDSU accepts applications through an on-line employment site.  To apply, visit:  https://yourfuture.sdbor.edu, search by the position title, view the job announcement, and click on “apply for this job.”  This system will guide you through the electronic application form. This employment site will also require the attachment of a cover letter, which should specifically address how the candidate meets the qualifications as outlined in the advertisement, resume, and a reference page with the contact information for three professional references.  Email applications will not be accepted.  Please contact SDSU Human Resources at (605) 688-4128 if you require assistance with this process. 

Any offer of employment is contingent on the university’s verification of credentials and other information required by law and/or university policies, including but not limited to, successful completion of a criminal background check.  

South Dakota State University is a tobacco free environment.  

It is the policy of the University to maintain a drug-free environment and to thereby establish, promote, and maintain a safe and healthy working and learning environment for employees and students.  This position is subject to South Dakota State University’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy 4:14. 

For questions on the position, contact Brenda Pratt at 605-688-5487 or Brenda.Pratt@sdstate.edu.

South Dakota State University is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity and the diversity of its faculty, staff, and students.  Women, minorities, veterans, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.  Arrangements for accommodations required by disabilities can be made by emailing HR@sdstate.edu. SDSU prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, gender, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran’s status or any other protected class in the offering of all educational programs and employment opportunities.  Individuals with concerns regarding discrimination should contact:  Equal Opportunity Officer/Title IX Coordinator, Human Resources, Morrill Hall 100, SDSU, Brookings, SD  57007.  Phone:  (605) 688-4128.