Job description


  • Entry level
  • No Education
  • Salary to negotiate
  • Chicago


Description:Scientific Specialist, Biological Collections Integration

Illinois Natural History Survey

Prairie Research Institute

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) investigates and documents the biological resources of Illinois and other areas, and acquires and provides natural history information that can be used to promote the common understanding, conservation, and management of these resources. INHS is part of the Prairie Research Institute (PRI) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which is centrally located between Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis. Learn more at

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit

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.

Major Duties and Responsibilities Include:

- 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 most efficient method of specimen unpacking and integration into existing Survey collections.
- Purchase all required equipment and supplies related to 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.

Environmental Demands:

Overnight travel may be necessary to fulfill the responsibilities of this position. Will require working in a laboratory setting and the ability to lift and move items weighing up to 40 pounds.

Proposed Start Date: March 16, 2020

Salary: $40,000 - $42,000, depending on qualifications and experience.

Appointment Status: This is a regular full-time academic professional appointment, renewable annually based upon satisfactory progress in the position and continued funding.

To Apply: Please complete your candidate profile at 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 or 217-300-4080. For technical questions regarding the position, please contact Dr. Christopher Taylor at

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

College Name or Administrative Unit:Office of Vice Chancellor for Research Category:6-Research Title:Scientific Specialist, Biological Collections Integration - Illinois Natural History Survey / PRI (124002) Open Date:11/08/2019 Close Date:12/31/2019 Organization Name:Illinois Natural History Survey

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