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Paleontology & Geology collections Manager
University of Washington | Seattle, Washington
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Job Description

As a UW employee, you will enjoy generous benefits and work/life programs.

For detailed information on Benefits for this position, click here. 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. All of which has allowed the UW to be nationally recognized as a "Great College to Work For" for five consecutive years.

The Burke Museum has an outstanding opportunity for a Paleontology & Geology Collections Manager (Program Operations Specialist).

Fossil collections at the Burke Museum are actively growing and include over three million specimens distributed in several subdisciplines: vertebrate paleontology, paleobotany (including pollen and phytoliths), invertebrate paleontology, and micropaleontology. A smaller collection of minerals and meteorites is also part of the divisional holdings. Currently, the fossil collections are managed by four half-time faculty curators, one full-time fossil lab manager, and one collections manager. The volume of the collection exceeds proportionally the number of individuals tasked with managing both the specimens and the accompanying digital resources.

This position must support diverse paleontogy collections, to include vertebrate paleontology, invertebrate paleontology, paleobotany, micropaleontology, and geology, on and off-site. Each collection must be managed appropriately, and each set of data is housed in a different database file. There is much work to be done to bring all of the collections under the appropriate level of care and organization, as the use of the collections for research is determined by their accessibility both digitally and tangibly.

Review of applications will begin on March 4, 2019.

The successful candidate will assist the curators in day-to-day collections operations. Specific responsibilities include:

Management and Maintenance of Collections:

Oversee Daily Operations of the Collections

Assist in management of collection organization and storage, both on and off-site

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

Data Management

Maintain division records and compile statistics for each 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

Supervise Collections Employees

Interview, hire and train division collections staff (paid and volunteer)

Oversee expenditure of division and grant budget funds

Order supplies and equipment for the entire division

Manage budget activity and develop quarterly budget reports

Growth of the Collections:

Process loans, exchanges, accessions and de-accessions

Assist in planning and preparing staff, volunteers, and curators for field work; ensure travel is arranged and trip details are organized prior to departure

Public Outreach:

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 collections staff, share responsibility for keeping visible work spaces active while the museum is open to the public


Masters Degree in Paleobiology or related field

Four to five years related work experience

Proficient experience with computer databases and online access of natural history collections


PhD in Paleobiology or related field

Experience with GPS mapping and GIS technology

Experience with MySQL or related relational database systems

Experience writing funded grant proposals


Work in a lab that is 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.

About University of Washington

Founded in 1861, the University of Washington is one of the oldest state-supported institutions of higher education on the Pacific coast. The Seattle-based university has earned an international reputation for research, and its graduate programs are some of the most highly rated in the nation. It is a leader in such fields as drama, dentistry, medicine, nursing, health services, astronomy, computer science, molecular biotechnology, oceanography, biostatistics, physics, physiology, pharmacology, geography, sociology, and social work. The university currently enrolls 35,000 students.

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