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Ornithology Exchange
  • Assistant Curator of Birds

    Guest Terri Reed
    • Employer: Delaware Museum of Nature & Science
      Location: Wilmington, Delaware
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 08/15/2022
      Open Until Filled: No



    Assistant Curator of Birds

    Salary $52,000


    Reports to: Director of Collections

    FLSA Status: Exempt


    The Museum links Delaware to the perfectly imperfect world of nature and science.  We share research about our connection to species and ecosystems, and explore our dynamic, changing earth.  Bring your brain and creativity to join our team.

    The Museum completed an exciting metamorphosis in May 2022 from the Delaware Museum of Natural History to the now-named Delaware Museum of Nature & Science. We are focused on a service-centric culture toward our guests, including team members, and a friendly, cohesive, collegial environment.


    ·         Provide leadership in the Birds Department; conduct research and other scholarly activities and publish results; build and supervise the maintenance of the Bird physical and digital collection; support the research library and archives; assist with exhibits and public programming in the area of ornithology and vertebrate biology; general administration of the Bird Department.

    ·         Potential for career progression from Assistant Curator to Associate Curator to full Curator. This is not a tenure track position.

    Who May Apply:  U.S. Citizens

    Essential Functions:

    Research (50%)

    ·         Conduct collection-based research on birds and publish articles in recognized scientific journals

    ·         Establish an active involvement and membership in professional ornithological societies

    ·         Initiate or collaborate on grant proposals written to support research ornithology

    Museum and Professional Service (20%)

    ·         Uphold the highest quality of the guest experience through equitable, respectful interactions that meet the unique needs of each guest and team member

    ·         Be conversant in the Museum’s mission, exhibits, programs and events to enhance the guest experience

    ·         Respond to research and public inquiries

    ·         Establish professional activities such as university teaching, thesis advising, editorial responsibilities with scientific journals, and guest lectures

    ·         Establish liaisons with regional amateur ornithological club members and assist local amateurs studying birds

    ·         Establish liaisons with professional ornithologists in the area

    ·         Establish liaisons with environmental, natural resources, and other appropriate local, state and federal agencies

    ·         Assist or advise other Museum departments with projects involving birds and other natural history topics

    ·         Assist with special events for Museum guests

    Curation (15%)

    ·         Oversee maintenance of the vertebrate collection to ensure that it is in excellent condition and in proper taxonomic order

    ·         Supervise the preparation and addition of specimens to the bird and other vertebrate research collections

    ·         Maintain appropriate permits and filing of required reports

    ·         Formally accept all donations to the department and respond to inquiries about donations

    ·         Promote use of the collections

    ·         Identify or verify identification of specimens in the bird collection

    ·         Oversee vertebrate collection databases and supervise the cataloging of the collection

    ·         Approve and supervise the processing of all specimen loans in the department

    ·         Approve requests for access to the collection

    ·         Write or collaborate with grant writing in support of the collection

    Administration (15%)

    ·         In conjunction with Human Resources complete interviews, selection and orientation of paid and unpaid team members

    ·         Supervise, train, and coordinate activities and prepare and monitor the progress of department team members’ annual goals and performance evaluations

    ·         Assist the Collections Manager with the supervision, training, coordination of activities, and evaluation of volunteers and interns

    ·         Prepare and monitor the Bird Department budget in collaboration with the Director of Collections

    ·         Participate in the development of grant-funded work in collaboration with other pertinent team members

    ·         Advise on library acquisitions

    ·         Advise on departmental priorities related to space use, renovation projects, capital maintenance requests, and collections grant applications

    ·         Participate as an ex-officio member of the Collections & Research Advisory Committee

    ·         Develop departmental policies in coordination with the Director of Collections

    Minimum Qualifications:

    ·         Ph.D. degree with a specialty in ornithology

    ·         Experience in avian taxonomy and systematics

    ·         Knowledge of museum curatorial practices and 1 to 2 years of curatorial experience required

    ·         Demonstrated potential for research and peer-reviewed publications

    ·         Demonstrated potential for obtaining funding through grants and/or contracts

    ·         Excellent communication skills that are effective with both professional and general audiences

    ·         Familiarity with OSHA standards


    ·         This is a full-time position defined by DMNH as 37.5 work hours per week, exclusive of a 30-minute unpaid lunch period. The schedule is typically Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., but varies to accommodate evening, weekend and holiday special events and projects.

    Other Functions:

    ·         This job description is not designed to cover all functions, duties, activities or responsibilities that are required. Functions, duties, activities and responsibilities may change at any time with or without notice.


    ·         Competitive benefit package that currently includes 95% of base plan medical insurance premium paid by the Museum (team member only) and 100% Museum paid premium for Life/ADD, Short-term and Long-term disability

    ·         Generous paid time off that includes holidays, vacation and personal days


    Qualified candidates are invited to email a cover letter, CV, and statement of research interests to treed@delmns.org, fax to the attention of Terri Reed at 302-658-2610, or submit to Delaware Museum of Nature & Science, ATTN: Human Resources, P.O. Box 3937, Wilmington, Delaware 19807.  Deadline for submission is Monday August 15, 2022.  

    The Delaware Museum of Nature & Science is an equal opportunity employer.  We are committed to inclusivity and encourage all qualified candidates to apply.

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