LA NHM seeks a Preparator of Vertebrate Paleontology


  • Position: Preparator, Vertebrate Paleontology
  • Employer: Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM)
  • Qualifications: A relevant Bachelor’s degree or equivalent with a minimum of two years of demonstrated professional experience in a fossil preparation lab and with fieldwork
  • Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
  • Application Deadline: the position is available until 15th May 2017
  • Queries: thayden@nhm.org
Link: Click here to access the full text of the offer

Offer full description:

“The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) seeks a Preparator to oversee the fossil preparation program for its vertebrate fossil collections.

The successful candidate will manage the daily operations of the Preparation Lab in the Department of Vertebrate Paleontology. Preparation will be based on priorities set by the curatorial staff including new projects and existing collections. Work will involve preparation and conservation of both micro- and macro-fossil specimens. In addition to mechanical preparation, experience with acid preparation is desirable. The candidate will supervise and train volunteers and students in fossil preparation. He/she will be responsible for documenting and archiving all preparation activities in conjunction with collections staff and order supplies accordingly. He/she will manage the lab’s safety including chemical storage and personnel equipment. The successful candidate will be experienced in using and caring for all necessary lab tools including specialized ones, such as air scribes and air abraders. He/she will be knowledgeable about and capable of overseeing the use of consolidants, the handling of large specimens, building support cradles, and making molds and casts. Preference will be given to candidates who have experience with digitization techniques that help inform preparation and conservation of specimens, but those willing to experiment with novel techniques and tools will also be considered.

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The successful candidate will have a relevant Bachelor’s degree or equivalent with a minimum of two years of demonstrated professional experience in a fossil preparation lab and with fieldwork.  He/she will demonstrate a high level of professional skill, innovation, and cooperativeness. Exceptional manual dexterity, hand-eye coordination, attention to detail and interpersonal relations, as well as outstanding organizational skills and the ability to work independently with strong problem solving skills are required. The position requires a California (or other valid) driver’s license, the ability to lift heavy objects, and to operate in non-office conditions. Experience with collection databases, particularly Emu software, is highly desirable. This is not a research position.

The NHM’s mission is to inspire wonder, discovery, and responsibility for our natural and cultural worlds. Our strategic intent – “To be the best at communicating how our planet and life on it changes overtime and why this matters”- guides our priorities for the next decade. The ability to communicate effectively and engage with a wide variety of audiences, including the public and the NHM’s various stakeholders is paramount. The Preparator will actively participate in a broad range of museum activities, such as training educators, public communications, media interactions, fundraising, and citizen science initiatives. The candidate must possess a positive attitude and be proactive with regards to public engagement.

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This is a full-time hourly position with a salary and title commensurate with experience, plus benefits. Work may include occasional weekends. Application deadline is May 15th 2017. Applicants should send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, salary history, and the full contact information of at least three professional references to thayden@nhm.org. Natural History Museum Preparator Search, Research & Collections, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90007, USA.


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Lurdes Fonseca

Assistant Professor and Researcher at University of Lisbon
Sociologist (PhD), Paleontologist (Researcher in Micropaleontology), Majors in Sociology and Biology, Minor in Geology. Main interests in Paleontology: Microfossils, Molecular fossils, Paleobiology and Paleoecology. (read more about me)

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