The Bell Museum seeks a full time (in person) research associate to assist in a newly funded project to create a network across Minnesota that will help collect and prepare scientific research specimens from salvaged wildlife. This term position is funded until June 30, 2026, by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources. The aim is to take carcasses of Minnesota birds and mammals to collect and analyze data for research into ecology, evolution, and environmental health. Each carcass will eventually also become part of the archival record at the Bell Museum for future research.
This position will be responsible for managing the transfer of specimens and communication between partner institutions and the Bell Museum; dissecting and preparing various kinds of research-quality museum specimens from salvaged material; collating and entering data associated with these specimens; analyzing data from specimens using summary statistics; and participating in outreach events to educate the public on our work.
We are looking for individuals to join our team who are inspired by our mission to ignite curiosity and wonder, explore our connections to nature and the universe, and create a better future for our evolving world. We believe that difference is a strength and are looking for candidates that reflect and respect diversity. We encourage you to apply for the position even if you do not believe you meet every qualification.
For more information or to apply:
Job ID: 358598 Handshake ID: 8431469 Application Deadline: December 10, 2023 Salary: $21.49/hr Link: https://hr.myu.umn.edu/jobs/ext/358598
Questions about the position can be directed to Kate Sigurdson, email@example.com.
Research specimen management (70%)
Prepare salvaged carcasses for research and into museum specimens including decision-making of which type of dissections are appropriate, which measurements and samples to take, and how to preserve the specimens (stuffed skins, flat wings, and skeletons) Collect data from specimens including imaging, measurements, parasite collection, and descriptions of condition of various body parts Enter, maintain, and analyze specimen data using databases (Arctos, MN Biodiversity Atlas) and spreadsheets Analyze specimen information using basic statistics Manage dermestid beetle colony Oversee diverse undergraduate workers and volunteers as needed in coordination with the Zoology Collections Manager
Coordination and communication with partners (20%)
Manage carcass and sample inventory throughout the processing pipeline Organize transfers from partner institutions by email and phone communication Accept drop-off transfers and pick-up material from partner institutions across the state (some travel is required) Prepare communication materials for partners, including summary statistics
Participate in occasional outreach opportunities about collections research to a diverse public comprising historically excluded groups, including public science events at the museum and youth engagement (including summer camps)
Qualifications Essential Qualifications ● B.A. or B.S. in biology, wildlife, or a related field or a combination of related education and work experience to equal four years. ● English proficiency ● Experience and comfort with dissection of (dead) animals ● Ability to work independently and as part of a diverse team ● Attention to detail ● Basic computer skills for data entry and analysis ● Ability to write reports and conduct summary statistics
Desired Qualifications ● Previous experience preparing vertebrate museum specimens ● Previous experience managing small numbers of employees and volunteers ● Previous experience communicating with diverse public audiences ● Knowledge of database structure and function (especially natural history collections databases, in particular Arctos) ● Experience working with state agencies or non-profit organizations involved in wildlife conservation and management ● Driver's license (vehicle not required)