Collection Manager - 12247BR

Collection Manager

Biodiversity Institute
University of Kansas - Lawrence
Employee Class: 
U-Unclassified Professional Staff

Position Overview

The collection manager for the Division of Vertebrate Paleontology of The University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute administers a world-class collection. The collections consist of extensive fossil vertebrate specimens, along with archives and library holdings. Notable strengths of the collection include its Paleozoic and Mesozoic fishes and Paleozoic tetrapods; one of the finest assemblages of fishes, plesiosaurs, mosasaurs, ichthyosaurs, pterosaurs and toothed birds from the Kansas Cretaceous Niobrara Chalk; an array of hadrosaurs, tyrannosaurs and ceratopsians from the Fruitland Formation, New Mexico; Morrison Formation sauropods; Hell Creek and Lance Creek dinosaurs; a comprehensive Cenozoic mammal record from the central and western US; and the remarkable late Pleistocene fauna from Natural Trap Cave, Wyoming. University faculty, staff and students, and national and international scholars use the collections extensively for research and education. The collection manager is responsible for day-to-day activities in the collection and reports to the curator-in-charge.

Job Description

Collection management and conservation (20%)
  • Ensure-long term integrity and preservation of collections and collection-storage environment.
  • Maintain and improve collection-care protocols.
  • Develop and maintain collection database.
  • Maintain and organize records of collection activity, use, and status for annual reports, grant submissions, and other documentation.

Acquisition and collection development (30%)
  • Oversee the preparation and staging of newly acquired specimens for their integration into the collection.
  • Organize and prepare documentation necessary for specimen accession, including state, national and international permits and associated documentation.
  • Digitize museum specimen information for global discoverability.
  • Participate in acquisition of specimens for the Division by facilitating donations and by occasional fieldwork and expeditions at the direction of the curatorial staff.

Museum operational service (30%)
  • Process all specimens loans, exchanges, and gifts; incorporated received specimens into the collection; maintain appropriate records of such activities.
  • Collaborate with curators to plan and implement divisional goals, priorities, and programs.
  • Collaborate with other museum collection managers to achieve high quality collection care and economy of scale in all collection-related activities.
  • Work proactively to place specimens from Division of Vertebrate Paelontology's collection into the hands of qualified researchers for study.
  • Assist and supervise users of the collection.
  • Respond to inquiries from scientists, governmental and consulting agencies, the public, and other users.
  • Participate in the museum’s public programming by providing information and specimens and assisting in exhibit design; assist in museum public functions.
  • Conduct tours for visiting scholars, students, and the public.

Supervision (10%)
  • Train and supervise graduate student curatorial assistant(s).
  • Hire, train, and supervise undergraduate assistants.
  • Train and supervise volunteers working in the collection.

Professional development (5%)
  • Work closely with the entire collection management staff to ensure consistency of practice.
  • Participate in collection management training and development through professional societies.
  • Undertake research in area of expertise when not in conflict with collection management duties.
  • Participate in professional paleontological societies.

Other duties as appropriate. (5%)

Required Qualifications

  1. Master's degree or Ph.D. in museum studies, geology, evolutionary biology, or paleontology from an accredited university plus experience working with museum collections in a position with similar responsibilities.
  2. Working knowledge of the taxonomy and identification of fossil vertebrates as evidenced by previous experience and/or education.
  3. Demonstrable knowledge of care and management of natural history collections, with a special emphasis on preventative conservation, collection-storage environments, and techniques pertaining uniquely to fossil vertebrate collections as evidenced by previous experience.
  4. Familiarity with biodiversity informatics, including relational databases (e.g., Specify), web-based applications, and distributed networks as evidenced by previous experience and/or education.

Preferred Qualifications

  1. Previous collection-management experience in a natural history collection, with a special emphasis on vertebrate paleontology collections.
  2. Expertise in one or more taxa that constitute divisional strengths and programmatic priorities.
  3. Field experience collecting fossil vertebrate specimens.
  4. Experience preparing fossil vertebrate specimens.
  5. Experience with public educational outreach activities in a natural history museum setting.

Additional Candidate Instructions

A complete application will include:
  1. A letter of application addressing qualifications
  2. CV/Resume
  3. Statement of collection management philosophy
  4. Names and e-mail addresses of three individuals who can write a letter of recommendation
  5. Representative publications (the latter is optional)
Application review begins 7 September 2018.

For more information please contact:
K. Christopher Beard, Biodiversity Institute, Division of Vertebrate Paleontology, Senior Curator,
Jaime Keeler, Biodiversity Institute Business Coordinator,

The workplace is located in Dyche Hall and PSB on the university campus. The Biodiversity Institute is a healthy, dynamic, nourishing intellectual environment that values creativity, professional growth and collaborative interaction. The University of Kansas offers a fine benefits package for this permanent full-time position.

Contact Information to Applicants

Dr. K. Christopher Beard, Biodiversity Institute Division of Vertebrate Paleontology, Senior Curator

Jaime Keeler, Biodiversity Institute Business Coordinator

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Posting Information
Posting ID:
Biodiversity Institute
University of Kansas - Lawrence
Employee Class:
U-Unclassified Professional Staff
Application Review Begins:
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
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Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
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