As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.
UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty.
The Burke Museum cares for and shares natural and cultural collections so all people can learn, be inspired, generate knowledge, feel joy, and heal. The Burke was founded in 1885 by the Young Naturalists, a group of curious teenagers inspired by seeing Seattle transform before their eyes. For 135 years, the museum has built upon this legacy, collecting objects that help us understand how the Northwest has grown and changed.
Totaling over 16 million objects, the Burke’s collections help sustain cultural traditions, enable groundbreaking scientific research, and advance timely conversations that matter to us all. The collections are records of our past and investments in our future. The Museum’s curators—faculty members at the University of Washington—grow collections in the anticipation of change: continued disruption to ecosystems, shifting cultural landscapes and advances in technology we have yet to imagine. Our work is collaborative; we partner with institutions, students, communities and people around the world to understand our past and create positive change in the future.
As both a University and State museum, the Burke Museum is a public resource committed to building an inclusive environment that welcomes and values all people. We recognize that our history, from the founding to the present day, is built upon a colonial model of museums that consistently privileged collections, preservation, and research over cultural autonomy and community survival.
The Burke is committed to decolonization as a key institutional priority, and across the museum, we now work as facilitators and stewards, not as gatekeepers and sole authorities, in order to honor our mandate to truly be a museum for all.
In October 2019, the Burke opened a new building turning the work of a museum “inside-out” with visible labs, workrooms, collections storage, and an artist studio. Removing these barriers enables us to make the collections and work that happens here daily accessible to everyone. Every visit to the New Burke is different because every day brings new work. And because we’re doing this work right out in the open, everyone can experience it and join in. The University of Washington Burke Museum invites applications for the full-time position of collections manager of paleobotany (permanent 0.5 FTE) and manager of the paleobotanical laboratory (0.5 FTE for four years, with the possibility of renewal).
The Burke Museum, located on the UW campus in Seattle, is a repository for research collections and has substantial exhibit and K-16 outreach programs. Fossil collections at the Burke Museum are actively growing and include over three million specimens distributed in several subdisciplines: vertebrate paleontology, paleobotany, invertebrate paleontology, and micropaleontology. A smaller collection of minerals and meteorites is also part of the department’s holdings. Currently, the fossil collections are managed by three half-time faculty curators, one full-time fossil lab manager, and two full-time collections managers. Our collections managers are experts in vertebrate and invertebrate paleontology but currently share responsibility for the paleobotanical collections. We are seeking to add an expert in paleobotany to our team of collections staff who can focus on these collections, as well as manage the labs associated with paleobotanical research in our collections. In addition, some of the actively used paleobotanical collections are prepared, studied, and housed in the Biology Department, located in the Life Sciences Building on the UW campus; curation of these collections needs to be better integrated into the mission of Burke Paleobotany overall.
At UW, there is an active research program in Paleobiology that spans several departments across campus (e.g., Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, Anthropology) and involves faculty, staff, postdocs, graduate students, undergraduate students, volunteers, and research associates. An overview of this active and productive group can be found on our UW Paleobiology website.
Review of applications will begin on July 15, 2021.
The successful candidate will assist the curator of paleobotany in setting curatorial and collections goals and in day-to-day collections operations. Specific responsibilities include:
Management and Maintenance of Collections: Oversee Daily Operations of the Collections
Assist in management of (macrofossils, fossil wood, pollen and phytoliths, modern and fossil) collections organization and storage, in the Burke Museum and Biology Department, and on and off-site, according to best practices
Work with other members of the division collections staff team to design and implement protocols for curation and equipment use
Work collaboratively with collections staff across the museum on Burke-wide policies
Schedule use by researchers, visiting scholars and students; monitor visitors to the collection
Track use of the collections
Maintain lab and field equipment
Prepare collections-related grants, permits, and subsequent reports
Assist in preparation of grant and other funding proposals
Maintain division records and compile statistics for the paleobotany collection as needed
Coordinate digitization of collections data and its dissemination on the internet
Complete data entry as needed
Train collections staff and students on entry and use of digital resources
Oversee expenditure of division and grant budget funds
Order supplies and equipment for paleobotany collections and wet labs and, on occasion, for the entire division
Manage budget activity and develop quarterly budget reports
Engage with the rest of the museum through committees
Promoting Growth and Use of the Collections: Wet lab management, fossil preparation, and training
Manage the paleobotany wet laboratories (for phytolith, palynology, and cuticle work, including working with HF) in the Burke Museum and Biology Department, the former jointly managed with the Burke’s fossil lab manager
Supervise activities in the wet laboratory, and ensure the safety of the personnel (e.g., students, visitors) engaged in these activities
Prepare fossils (e.g., macrofossils, phytoliths, cuticle) as needed
Train students and volunteers in fossil preparation (e.g., macrofossils, phytoliths, cuticle) and curation
Growth of the Collections
Process loans, exchanges, accessions and de-accessions
Assist in the organization and execution of field work pertaining to the collection of fossil specimens; ensure travel is arranged and trip details are organized prior to departure and preparing staff, volunteers, and curators for field work
Respond to public inquiries
Attend meetings as necessary and allow access to collections as appropriate
Facilitate use of the collections by UW Faculty, as well as in undergraduate and graduate courses
Coordinate with curators and museum exhibits/public programs staff for selection and management of all outreach and exhibit materials from the collections
Conduct divisional tours for school groups, university classes, and others
Along with other division collections staff, share responsibility for activating the visible work spaces while the museum is open to the public
MS in Paleobotany or related field
Two to five years related work experience.
Proficient experience with computer databases and online access of natural history collections
PhD in Paleobotany or related field
Experience with GPS mapping and GIS technology
Experience with MySQL or related relational database systems
Experience with laboratory work/preparation of plant fossils
Experience writing funded grant proposals
Experience with public outreach
CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT:
In part: work in collections spaces and labs that are visible to the public; work weekends as scheduled
Application Process: The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process. These assessments may include Work Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others. Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.
Founded in 1861, the University of Washington is one of the oldest public institutions in the west coast and one of the preeminent research universities in the world. The University of Washington is a multi-campus university comprised of three different campuses: Seattle, Tacoma, and Bothell. The Seattle campus is made up of sixteen schools and colleges that serve students ranging from an undergraduate level to a doctoral level. The university is home to world-class libraries, arts, music, drama, and sports, as well as the highest quality medical care in Washington State and a world-class academic medical center. The teaching and research of the University’s many professional schools provide undergraduate and graduate students the education necessary toward achieving an excellence that will serve the state, the region, and the nation. As part of a large and diverse community, the University of Washington serves more students than any other institution in the Northwest.