Job ID: 184513

Specialist (Staff Curator of Ornithology) - Museum of Vertebrate Zoology

University of California Berkeley

  • Apr. 26, 2022
  • Specialist (Staff Curator of Ornithology) - Museum of Vertebrate Zoology
  • University of California Berkeley
    Berkeley, CA
  • 04/25/2022
  • Available immediately
  • Professional Staff
  • Curatorial/Archival

Specialist (Staff Curator of Ornithology) - Museum of Vertebrate Zoology

Position overview Position title: Staff Curator of Ornithology Salary range: Salary commensurate with experience Percent time: 100% Position duration: 3 years with the possibility of extension based on performance and availability of funds. Application Window
Open date: March 22nd, 2022

Most recent review date: Thursday, Apr 21, 2022 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.

Final date: Monday, Apr 25, 2022 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description
The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (MVZ) at the University of California Berkeley seeks a Staff Curator of Ornithology. MVZ's Ornithology collection consists of approximately 200,000 bird specimens, including study skins, skeletons, fluid-preserved specimens, taxidermy mounts, eggs and nests, and frozen tissues.

The MVZ is a center for research and education in the biology of vertebrates. Founded in 1908, the museum's mission is to document and to increase understanding of the diversity of vertebrates. It retains its historic emphasis on western North America, although the collections and current research programs are global in scope. The heart of the museum is its superb collections, encompassing over 700,000 total specimens.
Research within the museum combines extensive field studies with modern laboratory techniques and analytical methods to generate a comprehensive, synthetic understanding of vertebrate zoology. Our goals are to remain at the forefront of international research on evolutionary biology from the perspectives of systematics, ecology, behavior, functional and developmental morphology, population biology, and genomics, and to lead the way in using natural history collections for research, education, and solving problems in biodiversity conservation.

The position comprises curation and research components. The Staff Curator will oversee day-to-day operations of the ornithology collection, including preparing and integrating (accessioning, cataloging, installing) new specimens, maintaining and improving specimen records in the Arctos database, keeping the collection updated taxonomically, processing incoming and outgoing loans, receiving visitors and responding to inquiries, assisting with class and public tours and other events, participating in museum digitization projects, helping with permits, writing grants in support of the collections, and facilitating use of the collection for research and education. The Staff Curator also will train and supervise volunteers, undergraduate and graduate students, and represented staff personnel, and will collaborate with other curators to manage shared space and facilities and oversee pest management. The applicant is expected to have an independent, specimen-based research program that includes a field component, contributes to growth of the MVZ bird collection, and generates publishable results based on field and museum data sets.

Qualifications Basic qualifications (required at time of application)
  • Bachelor's degree (or equivalent international degree)

Additional qualifications (required at time of start)
  • PhD (or equivalent international degree)
  • At least one year of museum experience

Preferred qualifications
  • PhD in Ornithology or Evolutionary Biology (or equivalent international degree)
  • Experience with undergraduate and/or graduate student training and mentorship
  • Familiarity and experience with relational databases and collection management tools
  • Involvement in one or more professional societies (e.g., AOS, Systematic Biology, Evolution, SPNHC, etc.)
  • Knowledge of avian taxonomy
  • At least one year of museum experience managing collections, preparing and/or cataloging specimens, processing loans, working with tissues, or permitting
  • Experience with specimen- and field-based ornithological research, specifically using voucher specimens

Application Requirements Document requirements

Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

Cover Letter

Museum Statement - 2 Pages Maximum

Prior experience working in collections, vision, role of collections in outreach and education

Research Statement - 2 Pages Maximum

Interests and accomplishments, summary of past field work and specimen collection, goals for the future.

Statement on Contributions to Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - Statement on your contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion, including information about your understanding of these topics, your record of activities to date, and your specific plans and goals for advancing equity and inclusion if hired at Berkeley (for additional information go to

Scan of Page from most recent Field Catalog (Optional)

Reference requirements
  • 3 required (contact information only)

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Campus Information
Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are core values at UC Berkeley. Our excellence can only be fully realized by faculty, students, and academic and non-academic staff who share our commitment to these values. Successful candidates for our academic positions will demonstrate evidence of a commitment to advancing equity, inclusion, and belonging.

The University of California, Berkeley is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

In searches when letters of reference are required all letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. Please refer potential referees, including when letters are provided via a third party (i.e., dossier service or career center), to the UC Berkeley statement of confidentiality ( prior to submitting their letter.

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Policy. All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of Full Vaccination or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, and/or Religious Objection) or Deferral (based on pregnancy) no later than the applicable deadline. Please refer to Appendix F, Section II.C. of the policy for the deadlines applicable to new University of California employees. (Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.) Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.
Job location Berkeley, CA

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