Assistant Curator of Botany - California Academy of Sciences

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Assistant Curator (Deadline to apply: October 31, 2013)


Position Summary:

The California Academy of Sciences invites applications for the John T. Howell Curatorial Chair of Western North American Botany. Applications are solicited from outstanding individuals with a commitment to innovative field- and collection-oriented research in the systematics and evolution of vascular plants in western North America, ideally with an interest in California plant diversity. We are particularly interested in individuals addressing key questions in plant evolution and conservation using morphological, genomic, and/or bioinformatic approaches. Frequent publication of highly regarded papers in competitive, peer-reviewed journals, curation of collections in specialty areas, service to the scientific community in leadership capacities, acquisition of external funding, engagement in outreach activities, and mentorship of students are expected.


Essential Duties & Responsibilities

A.            RESEARCH:

  • Conducts research integrating diverse forms of data, including from scientific collections, to answer questions related to the diversity of Life, including its origins, evolutionary mechanisms, patterns and processes, and its future.
  • Plans and executes original research resulting in peer-reviewed scientific publications.
  • Plans, directs, and participates in scientific expeditions designed to advance knowledge, facilitate specimen collection, and conserve biodiversity.
  • Successfully seeks extramural funding and grants to support research activity.

B.            COLLECTIONS:

  • Is responsible for the strategic growth and improvement of scientific collections.
  • Is dedicated to maintaining and developing biodiversity data associated with scientific collections.
  • Encourages use of the collections by scholars engaged in research program; requests new material from external sources through donations, exchanges, and purchases; determines desirable additions to fill existing gaps and/or build existing strengths.
  • Is responsible for professional judgments involving de-accession and disposal of collection material.

C.            TRAINING:

  • Actively trains and mentors the next generation of scientists through supervision of postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and undergraduates.
  • Dedicated to training scientists originating from developing nations and increasing participation of historically underrepresented groups in systematics and evolutionary biology.
  • Engages in education activities for Academy staff, including docents.

D.            PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT:

  • Participates in a spectrum of activities that engage diverse audiences in the excitement and process of scientific discovery, and conveys the importance of this work to the larger world.
  • Activities may include: participation in the development of exhibitions; presentation of popular lectures and presentations; citizen science programs; mentoring youth, adult, and family audiences; participation in education and outreach programs of the Academy; and other forms of popularization and dissemination of science.
  • Is responsible for review and scientific accuracy of exhibit scripts and technical       documentation.

E.            FUNDRAISING AND MARKETING:

  • Participates in fundraising and communication with donors through the Academy’s Development team and their donor cultivation programs.
  • Works closely with Academy marketing staff to leverage scientific discoveries into popular media and to elevate the visibility and impact of the Academy’s Research activities.

F.            ADMINISTRATION:

  • May serve as a member of Academy-wide or Research Division committees.
  • May serve as a Department Chair (currently the Chair of the Department of Botany rotates every three years) with primary responsibility for coordinating research and collection activities.
  • As Chair, oversees setting departmental goals, budget development, monitoring of budgetary activity.
  • As Chair, is responsible for communicating goals and other matters to department staff, and for communicating departmental matters to Dean of Research.
  • As Chair, is a member of the Research Executive Committee and the Academy Leadership Team.

G.           MISCELLANEOUS SERVICE:

  • Establishes professional contacts with other institutions and scientists, and builds appropriate partnerships and collaborations.
  • Participates in the activities of and/or provides advice to local, national, and international scientific societies and academic institutions.
  • Serves as reviewer of scientific manuscripts and grant proposals and may serve on review panels for grant proposals or for review of the activities of other institutions.
  • May serve on search committees within and beyond the Academy.       
  • May provide specimen identifications in discipline of inquiry or in areas of personal expertise.
  • May provide professional advice to governmental and public service organizations such as U. S. Customs, Drug Enforcement Agencies, Poison Centers, State Department of Fish & Game, City Planning Departments, etc.

QUALIFICATIONS

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Superlative performance in other areas cannot compensate for lack of excellence in matters related to duties and responsibilities in Research (i.e., A above), such as scientific productivity and ability to attract external funding. The requirements listed above are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.  Criteria for appointment include experience and training, publication record, demonstrable record of external funding, effective communication skills to professional and lay audiences, a demonstrable and sustained record of academic and professional achievement and a proven ability to perform in all of the requisite areas of involvement listed above.   


EDUCATION and/or EXPERIENCE:

  • Ph.D. in scientific area represented in Research and Collections Division.
  • Postdoctoral Research experience strongly desired.
  • Proven track record of publication of original research
  • Demonstrable record of competitive external funding
  • Demonstrable record of articulating the relevance and importance of the individual’s scientific work to various audiences

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS & ABILITIES:

Demonstrated high level of performance in research and public engagement. 


LANGUAGE SKILLS:

  • Proven verbal and written communication skills that can be delivered to audiences of differing levels of knowledge and experience.
  • Ability to write scientific papers, popular articles, and produce routine reports.
  • Ability to speak effectively before groups or individuals with different backgrounds and levels of knowledge.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS & WORK ENVIRONMENT:

The physical demands and work environment described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand, sit, walk, and reach with hands and arms, and talk or hear. 


APPOINTMENT:  

Full-time, regular position, 10-month annual basis.

The California Academy of Sciences is an Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes applications from individuals who will contribute to its diversity.


HOW TO APPLY:

Please submit the documents listed below online at http://calacademy.snaphire.com

1.       Please attach a cover letter which briefly summarizes your interest in this position.

2.       Please attach a CV, which includes a list of your publications.

3.       Please include a statement of your research interests and philosophy (no more than 1 page).

4.       Please include a statement of your collection and curatorial interests and philosophy (no more than 1 page).

5.       Please include a document listing at least three of your references along with their contact information, mailing address, e-mail and phone number.
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