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august, 2023

augEMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY IN THE LCD | Curator of Paleontology @ Museum of Texas Tech University

Event Details


Curator of Paleontology – 34542BR
Museum of Texas Tech University


Position Description

Performs professional duties in a specialized collection such as art, history, education, or natural sciences in an assigned area. Supervises all personnel assigned to a specialized area including professional, technical, clerical, graduate assistants, and volunteer staff.

About the Department and/or College

The Museum of Texas Tech University (MoTTU) seeks applications for the position Curator of Paleontology.  Candidates will require an interest in, and with research goals towards one of the following foci: (1) the Triassic or Permian geologic periods, (2) using the fossil record to elucidate mammalian evolution and systematics, or (3) terrestrial community paleoecology. Imagination, forward thinking, and collaboration for collection acquisition and care, research methodology and public programming is required.

The Paleontology Division at MoTTU houses nearly 25,000 paleontological and geological specimens. This collection is particularly strong in North American Triassic vertebrate material, Paleogene and Neogene mammals, and Antarctic Cretaceous vertebrates and rock samples. In addition, the Museum’s Natural Science Research Laboratory contains one of the largest mammalian collections in North America that can be used for comparative work and research.

The Curator leads the Museum’s Paleontology Division, reports to the Executive Director, and has close collaborations with the other Museum divisions and campus departments (e.g. Geosciences, Biological Sciences, etc.). The successful candidate will (1) grow and enhance the collection through fieldwork, grants, and building relationships with private landowners and government entities; (2) develop strong, extramurally-funded research, graduate research programs, and produce peer-reviewed publications that elevate both their field of study and the research mission of the Museum and University; (3) develop public programming initiatives in collaboration with the Museum’s Exhibition and Education Divisions towards broadening our impact in the community as an academic resource, cultural attraction, and stimulator of humanity’s ideals; and (4) assist the further flourishing of the Museum of Texas Tech by building advocacy within the community, cultivating relationships with potential donors, and assisting the Executive Director in projects that provide the division and institution sustainability and support.

The Museum of Texas Tech University was established in 1929 and includes nearly 200,000 square feet of enclosed space. We are a multi-disciplinary institution that includes active collecting and research in anthropology, art, clothing & textiles, history, the natural sciences, and paleontology.  The Museum includes the main museum building on 4th Street (Lubbock, Texas), the Lubbock Lake Landmark (LLL), and the Natural Science Research Laboratory (NSRL).  With a staff of more than 50, the Museum sees on average over 160,000 visitors and participants per year. MoTTU also houses the nationally recognized Heritage and Museum Sciences Master of Arts Program, which is educating the next generation of museum professionals.

For more information about the Museum of Texas Tech University please go to

Major/Essential Functions

  • Grow & enhance the collection through field and donations of topical, regional, & important scientific relevance. Build relationships with private landowners/government entities for research opportunities.
  • Conduct & facilitate collections-based & discipline-based research, produce peer-reviewed publications, develop/submit research & collection grant proposals, execute successfully funded projects.
  • Recommend the acquisition of collections & ensure authenticity, scientific relevance, & research use of the collection. Catalog information/collection value for newly accessioned materials. Maintain electronic databases.
  • Conduct conservation evaluations & stabilization efforts.Conduct provenance research. Foster donor relationships.
  • Provide & monitor evaluations of the collection for insurance purposes. Conduct environmental monitoring in the collections & maintain records.
  • Coordinate evaluations with Museum Registrar.
  • Build strong collaborative relationship with the Department of Geosciences (& others if appropriate). Opportunities (as an adjunct professor or academically-recognized status in the Department) include supplementary class instruction prospects (pay-compensated by Department of Geosciences), supervising and/or advising graduate students (graduate student teaching assistantship opportunities & lab expenses provided by Department of Geosciences), seminars, & field method mentoring for undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Provide oversight & leadership to division staff, graduate student apprentices, & volunteers through the utilization of a team-based approach. Provide systematic/strategic ideas to reflect the Museum’s mission, goals/curator’s research; update & communicate the Division’s collection plan with leadership;implement Museum collections management policies & procedures;provide basic collections management.
  • Assist in the advocacy of the Museum, working with the executive director, development personnel, education, & marketing/communication staff on projects, public events, & programming. Collaborate with campus personnel/entities & off-campus institutions to expand collections dissemination, potential partnerships, & research opportunities.
  • Maintain divisional collection reports. Coordinate with Museum Registration/Operations staff.
  • Carry out responsibility in exploring topics, story line development, collections research, assessment, and selection of specimens and images, and drafting text and labels for in-house exhibitions. Collaborate & coordinate with the Museum’s Exhibits Division. Coordinate with Exhibits on movement of objects between storage/exhibit galleries. Develop travel exhibitions for rental with the exhibits division,registrar, & marketing.
  • Coordinate and work in partnership with the Edu. Division to develop public programming (including special tours),for a large array of age groups. Provide paleontological & geological specimen identification services to the public.
  • Provide assistance/collaborate with Museum Association on events/programs that complement both the division & Association.
  • Maintain an active role in professional paleontology & museum organizations.
  • Deliberate loan requests & assess collections regarding availability & loan rigors. Coordinate loans with Museum Registrar. Complete condition reports/ loan inventories. Update and maintain division’s loan database. Coordinate with Museum Registrar regarding the distribution and receipt of collection loan agreements.
  • Deliberate image use requests/coordinate with the Museum Registrar.
  • Advocate to and liaison with University faculty members to collaborate with, & promote the use of, the Division and its collections/exhibits as part of undergraduate and graduate coursework and education programs.

Required Qualifications

  • Master’s degree and two years of experience in a closely related field.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Doctorate (PhD) in vertebrate paleontology or paleobotany. Two or more years’ experience in a museum or non-profit cultural institution, preferably with at least 1 year experience in a collections or director leadership role. Strong record of research and peer-reviewed publications and attaining external research grant support as a PI or CoPI.

Special Instructions to Applicants

  • Applicants should include:
    1. A Curriculum Vitae that focuses on the candidates qualifications (publications, grants, honors, graduated students, etc.)
    2. Three references (include contact information) who may be contacted for Letters of References
    3. A Statement of Curatorial and Collection Philosophy
    4. A Statement of Research and Museum Integration Philosophy


Month Long Event (august)