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Curator, Biodiversity Data

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2345 Tower Grove Ave., St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America Req #589
Saturday, March 11, 2023
Summary: This position reports to the Director of the Herbarium and is responsible for the management and curation of the Garden’s botanical specimen data as well as ongoing and future digitization efforts in the herbarium. The Curator of Biodiversity Data serves as a key link between the research staff in the Science and Conservation Division and the programmers, developers, and system administrators in IT to facilitate new initiatives, address data quality issues, evaluate data access and use policies, and establish database development priorities. The ideal candidate would also maintain an active research program in bioinformatics and data mining as they apply to plant systematics and conservation. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
Collaborates with department heads to develop quality control, access, and usage policies for biodiversity data in the Science and Conservation Division. 
Conceives, initiates, and publishes peer-reviewed research in the fields of bioinformatics and/or data-driven systematics.
Collaborates with MBG researchers and external partners on datamining projects using the Garden’s specimen and other data. 
Manages data inquiries from Tropicos as well as a liaison between Science and Conservation staff and the Tropicos development team.
Oversees digitization of the herbarium, including applying for and managing grant-funded digitization projects. 
Performs advanced queries of the database on behalf of Garden staff and collaborators and prepares reports for funding agencies, Garden administration, and other stakeholders.
Develops new digitization workflows to increase efficiency and maximize data quality.
Hires, trains, and supervises herbarium digitization and data processing staff. 
In collaboration with the director of the herbarium to plan budgets for digitization projects in the department.
Ensures that all applicable safety standards are followed; informs employees/students/volunteers of safety guidelines, methods to reduce hazards.  Reports all accidents, injuries and near-miss accidents immediately.
Behaves and communicates in a manner that promotes and fosters a culture of teamwork and cooperation, within our division and throughout the Garden, with co-workers, supervisors/managers, volunteers, visitors and employees.
Performs other duties as assigned.

Supervisory Responsibilities:  
Supervises Imaging Lab Coordinator, Digitization Coordinator, and Data Processors in the Herbarium.

Communication: Combines listening skills, verbal and written communication skills and visitor relation skills.
Collaboration: Incorporates teamwork, mutual respect, active engagement, cooperation and visitor focus. 
Accountability: Initiative to take ownership of responsibilities, the ability to prioritize and the working knowledge and skills to take action.
Problem Solving: Blends problem solving skills, judgement and decision making skills along with creativity and resourcefulness.
Stewardship:  Merges the practical application of the Garden values and support for a positive organizational climate.   
Leadership:  Applies understanding of business and financials into managing staff, volunteers and the department budget; Demonstrates strategic thinking, adaptability, flexibility and continuity in problem solving and decision making; Develops and drives implementation plans for changes; monitors transition and evaluates results; Supports, engages and educates staff and volunteers; Coaches, motivates and develops direct reports to fulfill the Garden’s mission.

At least 5 years of experience working with natural history collection databases.
Experience managing multiple projects and workflows simultaneously, including supervisory responsibilities.
Excellent organizational and planning skills. 
Demonstrated success in securing competitive funding for digitization and bioinformatics projects.
Record of publication of research results in peer-reviewed journals. 
Ability to communicate with a range of diverse audiences, including researchers, programmers, Garden staff, and the public. 
Extensive knowledge of relational databases and associated current best practices as well as natural history specimen data standards.
Knowledge of SQL and ability to program in multiple languages a plus.
The Garden is committed to the safety and wellbeing of our employees, volunteers, and guests.  All staff are strongly encouraged to receive COVID-19 vaccinations by hire date, and the Garden reserves the right to require future proof of current vaccination status, based on community health department guidelines.  When international travel is necessary for Garden business, staff must be able to obtain visas, vaccinations, and immunizations as required for all countries where travel is necessary.
The requirements and duties listed are representative and not exhaustive of the knowledge, skill, and/or abilities required.

A Ph.D. in computer science, botany, biology, or a related discipline is required.
An equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered.

Computer Skills: 
Ability to design complex queries using SQL (for Microsoft SQL Server) required. Programming experience in other languages (especially R and Python) desired. 
Familiarity with the design principles of relational databases and their practical applications.
Proficient experience navigating through various PC applications including, but not restricted to, Microsoft Office suite (i.e., Outlook, Access, Excel, Word). Ability to learn and use project management, budget, and human resources software is essential. 

Certificates, Licenses, Registrations:
Must possess valid driver’s license prior to employment.
Must be able to obtain and maintain a passport for international travel.
Must be able to obtain visas, vaccinations and immunizations for all countries where travel is required.

Physical Demands:
Ability to lift up to 50 lbs.
Ability to utilize computer keyboard (typing) and sit for extended periods of the work day. 
Operates copier, printer, fax, and computer.
Ability to walk about facility frequently throughout work day, and sit for extended periods of the work day (may sit up to 50% of work day).
May require working long hours to meet deadlines.

Work Environment:
Office and laboratory environment in St. Louis.
Outdoor setting; ability to work outdoors in all weather conditions (i.e., in temperatures over 100°F as well as temperatures below 0°F, in rain, snow and other inclement weather conditions as needed).
Comfortable working in immediate proximity to general public, in a safe and friendly manner, answering questions.

Contacts with Individuals/Organizations inside/outside the Garden:
Garden employees and volunteers
Collaborators, Guests and International Scientists
Professional Organizations
Governmental Officials
Required Documents: Applicants should submit a current CV and cover letter. Letters of recommendation may be requested but are not required for the initial application.

Application Deadline: All application materials must be received by December 31st, 2022, to guarantee consideration. However, the position will remain open until filled.

Please email Dr. Jordan Teisher, Curator and Director of the Herbarium, at with any questions about this position

Other details

  • Pay Type Salary
This posting is inactive.
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  • Missouri Botanical Garden, 2345 Tower Grove Ave., St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America