Florida softshell turtle, Apalone ferox, photo by J.D. Willson

Scientific Specialist, Biological Collections Integration (Curatorial Assistant)

Illinois Natural History Survey, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Champaign, Illinois
Closing Date
Decembefr 31, 2019

The Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) is seeking a Scientific Specialist who will oversee and participate in the integration of the Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIUC) fluid vertebrate collections into the Survey’s Fish, Amphibian, and Reptile collections.

This is a regular full-time academic professional appointment, renewable annually based upon satisfactory progress in the position and continued funding. Salary will be $40,000-42,000, depending on qualifications and experience. The proposed start date is March 16, 2020.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Plan and implement the full integration of SIUC fluid vertebrate collection.
  • Specimen identification and databasing.
  • Georeferencing of specimen records.
  • Analyze and test of fluid collections logistic scenarios.
  • Work with Curators, Database Manager, and Collection Manager to determine and implement the most efficient method of specimen unpacking and integration into existing Survey collections.
  • Purchase all required equipment and supplies related to the project.
  • Participate in the hiring process of student and hourly workers.
  • Supervise, mentor, and lead student and hourly workers to achieve success and foster a culture of innovation and high-level performance at both individual and organizational levels. This includes task assignment, scheduling, ongoing performance management with coaching and feedback.
  • Plan, coordinate, and supervise the movement of INHS fluid vertebrate collections.
  • Perform other duties in order to further the mission and goals of the Survey, PRI, and the University of Illinois.
  • Keep abreast of developments in curation and management techniques for natural history collections.


Required Qualifications

  • Bachelors in a biological or museum science field. Alternate degree fields will be considered depending on the nature and depth of the experience as it relates to this position.
  • Experience working with large databases and in a natural history collection.
  • Experience in the identification of North American fishes, reptiles, or amphibians.
  • Valid Driver’s License.
  • Knowledge of the maintenance and uses of natural history collections.
  • Attention to detail, sound judgment, and strong conflict resolution skills.
  • Effective communication, personal relations, collaboration, organizational, teamwork, and leadership skills.
  • Proficiency in commonly-employed software and databases.
  • Demonstrated ability to perform effectively in a diverse and fast-paced work environment consisting of multiple and changing priorities with stringent deadlines, under minimal supervision.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Masters in a biological or museum science field. Alternate degree fields will be considered depending on the nature and depth of the experience as it relates to this position.
  • A minimum of one year of experience working with large databases and one year of experience working in a fluid vertebrate natural history collection.
  • One year of experience in the identification of fishes, reptiles, or amphibians.
  • Experience with Georeferencing techniques and FileMaker Pro.

To Apply

Please complete your candidate profile at https://jobs.illinois.edu/academic-job-board/job-details?jobID=124002&j… and upload a cover letter, CV/resume, and the names and contact information (including e-mail addresses) for three professional references by December 31, 2019. Interviews may be conducted before the closing date; however, no hiring decision will be made until after the closing date. All requested information must be submitted for your application to be considered. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

For further information, please contact Amber Hall at amberh [at] illinois.edu or 217-300-4080. For technical questions regarding the position, please contact Dr. Christopher Taylor at cataylor [at] illinois.edu.

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