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Paleontology Collections Assistant

Science Museum of Minnesota
Job Field:
Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management
Job Type:
Seasonal, Temporary, Internship
Location Detail:
Saint Paul
Job Description:

Imagine yourself here. Be a part of something great at Science Museum of Minnesota.

The Science Museum of Minnesota knows that diversity generates better ideas, inspires creativity and is essential to building a positive workplace. As an employer of choice we hire and retain the best employees by valuing differences, creating a collaborative work environment, and providing promotional and career development opportunities. Read our Statement on Equity and Inclusion.

Join our Paleontology Department team as a Collections Assistant. This role will be focused on the digitization, reorganization and rehousing of the Wannagan Creek fossil collection. Should assistance of volunteers become possible, the Paleontology Collections Assistant (PCA) would also serve as their supervisor for the project. The PCA will also actively participate in outreach stemming from the Wannagan Collection virtually, and if possible in-person as well.

This is a temporary, grant-funded position through the fall of 2023.

Work Environment: Collections setting working with the paleontology curator, lab manager and museum volunteers. Periodic outreach at SMM, but also within the community including local travel (assuming travel restrictions are lifted).

Job Duties & Responsibilities: 

Organize the Wannagan Creek fossil collection, moving specimens within the collections vault as needed.

Transcribe data from specimen labels and documents.

Manage paleontology specimen database, including creating new data fields as needed.

Specimen photography.

Creating cavity mounts.

Rehousing objects using archival-grade materials.

Evaluate specimens’ need for further preparation and triage the work in coordination with the Paleontology Lab Manager and Fitzpatrick Chair of Paleontology.

Should volunteers be allowed to assist, train and supervise them to help the project.

Participate in regular social media posts utilizing the fossils of the Wannagan collection. 

Participate in any outreach opportunities through SMM, focused on material from Wannagan.

Ordering relevant supplies as needed.

Make storage cradles for large fossils using fiberglass and other traditional methods, as well as training volunteers to assist with this.

Performs other related duties as assigned. 


Minimum Qualifications:

Must have a valid driver's license. 

Bachelor’s degree in earth science, museum studies, or other related field.

Proven and demonstrated experience working in a museum collection and/or with fossils.

Proven and demonstrated experience in communicating paleontology to the public.

Preferred Qualifications: 

Master’s degree valued but not required.

Professional experience working in museum paleontology collections is valued but not required.

Cultural competency and experience working with diverse communities.

Willingness to be open and respectful of all backgrounds.

Fluency in language(s) other than English valued (Hmong, Somali, Spanish).

Hiring Pay Range: $37,440 USD per year / Depending on Qualifications.