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Job ID: 162087

Museum Scientist (9723C) - 20081
University of California, Berkeley

Date Posted Jul. 9, 2021
Title Museum Scientist (9723C) - 20081
University University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA, United States
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Classified Staff
  • Arts/Museum/Theater

Museum Scientist (9723C) - 20081

About Berkeley

At the University of California, Berkeley, we are committed to creating a community that fosters equity of experience and opportunity, and ensures that students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds feel safe, welcome and included. Our culture of openness, freedom and belonging make it a special place for students, faculty and staff.

The University of California, Berkeley, is one of the world's leading institutions of higher education, distinguished by its combination of internationally recognized academic and research excellence; the transformative opportunity it provides to a large and diverse student body; its public mission and commitment to equity and social justice; and its roots in the California experience, animated by such values as innovation, questioning the status quo, and respect for the environment and nature. Since its founding in 1868, Berkeley has fueled a perpetual renaissance, generating unparalleled intellectual, economic and social value in California, the United States and the world.

We are looking for equity-minded applicants who represent the full diversity of California and who demonstrate a sensitivity to and understanding of the diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ethnic backgrounds present in our community. When you join the team at Berkeley, you can expect to be part of an inclusive, innovative and equity-focused community that approaches higher education as a matter of social justice that requires broad collaboration among faculty, staff, students and community partners. In deciding whether to apply for a position at Berkeley, you are strongly encouraged to consider whether your values align with our Guiding Values and Principles, our Principles of Community, and our Strategic Plan.

Application Review Date

The First Review Date for this job is: July 7, 2021. Job will remain open until filled.

Departmental Overview

The mission of the University Herbarium is to understand the systematics, ecology, and evolution of all groups traditionally considered plants on a worldwide basis. Established in 1895 around a core of preserved plant specimens that were collected by William Brewer on the California Geological Survey of 1860 to 1864, the University Herbarium includes 2,100,000 specimens from land plants, algae, lichens, and fungi.

With an extensive cryptogamic library and newly endowed Center for Phycological Documentation, maintenance, and care of the books and exsiccatae represent an additional aspect of the mission of the Herbarium.

The collections are a tool for basic research in systematics, ecology, phytogeography, and evolution. They are actively used in teaching, and are a resource for anatomical and biochemical investigations, and for identification of paleobotanical specimens. They provide population localities for studies ranging from biological control to rare plants.


Curation and Transactions:
  • Oversees basic curation of different collection types including vascular plants, bryophytes. lichens, algae and fungi. This includes mounting, label creation, and filing specimens.
  • Keeps up to date with changing nomenclature and taxonomies of major groups. Implements changes where possible to be reflected in filing system.
  • Keeps abreast of current museum methodologies by reading publications, attending conferences and monitoring internet list servers.
  • Assist and evaluates loan requests, including processing exchanges and gifts. Interacts with herbaria worldwide for request of specimens used for scientific research.
  • Assists visiting scientists, consultants, graduate students and affiliated researchers with access to collections and research materials.
  • Provides herbaria orientation for scientists and students using the herbaria with identification, particularly in areas of specialization (Californian flora, bryophytes, plant conservation).
  • Responds to plant identification requests from general public, consultants and researchers.
  • Recruits, trains and supervises volunteers in herbarium techniques and practice.
  • Maintain cooperative relations with other Berkeley Natural History Museums and institutions worldwide.
  • Assists with public displays including design and implementation of themed botanical exhibits.
  • Assists with report preparation including collection statistics and grant proposals.

Project Management:
  • Assists the Director with the management of major projects/grants.
  • Assists with hiring and training staff, undergraduates, and graduate and work study students.
  • Assists with visitor orientation and use of facilities.
  • Works closely with researchers to implement changes in taxonomy and nomenclature of the physical collections and database.

  • Personally enters, and trains staff and students to enter, complex collection information and images into relational database that includes detailed information on collectors, annotation history, localities, loans and nomenclature.
  • Assures accuracy of records particularly with regards to correcting errors arising from incomplete data entry, amendments to annotation history, locality discrepancies, nomenclatural changes.
  • Works closely with Biodiversity Informatics Manager to maintain updated and accurate on-line specimen data.

Enabling Research:
  • Establish professional contacts, attends meetings and assists with workshops.
  • Conducts limited fieldwork for specimen acquisition, and provides fresh material for molecular research.
  • Advises consultants working on native flora projects.
  • Conducts original research to support institutional projects and direction.

Required Qualifications
  • Work experience at an institution of higher education.
  • Knowledge of or ability to learn the institutional history of the University and Jepson Herbaria.
  • Background knowledge in botany.
  • Knowledge of curatorial protocols and techniques, herbarium networks, and plant systematic principles and procedures.
  • Ability to analyze needs accurately and express ideas clearly, in everyday operations and in contributing to grant proposals and outreach presentations.
  • Excellent organizational aptitude, memory, and ability to multi-task.
  • Demonstrated personal strengths of patience, perseverance, friendliness, and respectfulness in relations with a wide range of herbarium users and staff, including supervision of work-study student assistants, and volunteers.
  • Excellent communication skills, verbal and written.
  • Basic computer skills, with extensive use of herbarium databases, preferred.

  • Graduation from college with specialization in the discipline involved and one year of experience in curatorial work; or an equivalent combination of education and experience; and knowledge and abilities essential to the successful performance of the duties assigned to the position.

Preferred Qualifications
  • Familiarity with the UC University/Jepson Herbaria obtained, for example, by attendance at Jepson Herbarium workshops.
  • Training in herbarium collections management techniques, including specimen preparation and collecting strategies, pest control procedures, loan protocols and proper packaging of fragile specimens for shipping.
  • Skill in identifying plant specimens on sight and by use of taxonomic keys.
  • Skilled in resolving difficulties that occur in the curation of the primary data of the physical specimen and attached label data while capturing label data, developing the database, and making the information available to a wide range of users.
  • Strong sense of initiative and commitment to the core missions of the herbarium.

Salary & Benefits

This position is a non-exempt, bi-weekly paid position. Hourly pay for this role is commensurate with experience within the range of $25.41 - $26.42, Steps 1.0 - 3.0.

For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University visit:

How to Apply

Please submit your cover letter and resume as a single attachment when applying.

Other Information

This is a full-time, career position which is governed by the terms and conditions in the agreement for the Research Support Professionals Unit (RX) between the University of California and the University Professional and Technical Employees (UPTE). The current bargaining agreement manual can be found at:

Conviction History Background

This is a designated position requiring fingerprinting and a background check due to the nature of the job responsibilities. Berkeley does hire people with conviction histories and reviews information received in the context of the job responsibilities. The University reserves the right to make employment contingent upon successful completion of the background check.

Mandated Reporter

This position has been identified as a Mandated Reporter required to report the observed or suspected abuse or neglect of children, dependent adults, or elders to designated law enforcement or social service agencies. We reserve the right to make employment contingent upon completion of signed statements acknowledging the responsibilities of a Mandated Reporter.

Equal Employment Opportunity

The University of California 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, or protected veteran status. For more information about your rights as an applicant see:
For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

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