Summary of position and responsibilities: The Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration (CCBER) at UC Santa Barbara is seeking applicants for an Herbarium Digitization Technician at the UCSB Herbarium. The UCSB Natural History Collections—including the UCSB Herbarium—comprise nearly a half million specimens that are housed at CCBER. The Technician will focus on digitizing the Herbarium’s newly organized collection: “Seaweeds of the Pacific Coast of North America.” Most of our specimens are from the central California coast and Channel Islands region, making them an excellent resource to understand macroalgal diversity in the Point Conception area, a major biogeographic break on the Pacific Coast. Digital data freely provided by the Cheadle Center is heavily utilized by researchers around the world, and this position supports our mission of education, research, and ecological restoration (https://ccber.ucsb.edu/).
Under supervision of the Collection Manager, the Technician will be responsible for the digitization of ca. 10,000 seaweed specimens, which includes a variety of activities such as barcoding, imaging, transcribing specimen labels, and georeferencing the specimens in our online Macroalgal Portal database. Other duties include recruiting, training, and supervising UCSB student interns and community volunteers to assist with the digitization effort, both on-site and remotely; assessing quality of digitized records; managing the images and digital records of the collection; assisting with teaching an undergraduate course “Introduction to Curation of Natural History Collections” twice a year; assisting with herbarium pest management; seeking expert taxonomic identification of specimens; and assisting with the planning and implementation of two workshops on California seaweed identification.
The Technician will advance the digitization of an important herbarium collection, which includes some of the earliest seaweed specimens collected in California. This position is well suited for a detail- and goal-oriented person who enjoys outreach with interns and the general public and providing open-access biodiversity data to enable research and education. We also seek a candidate who is eager to meet the challenges of the pandemic and who will persevere in the face of a rapidly changing work environment.
In response to the public health crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic, the position will require the Technician to adapt, develop, and maintain safe working conditions in the Herbarium as a top priority. Work will be carried out by the Technician in isolated workspaces to maximize safety, and the Technician will train interns and volunteers across secure glass barriers that separate the Herbarium and offices from workspaces in the building. The incumbent will work closely with CCBER staff, representatives of the UCSB campus, and others to ensure proper implementation of safety measures, as well as assist with developing new work procedures that meet or exceed State and Campus safety requirements.
The incumbent will have the opportunity for career development in natural history collections, taxonomy, and biodiversity informatics through mentorship by CCBER scientists, curators, and visiting researchers and by attending training workshops. The Technician will be encouraged to engage in scholarly activities such as participating and organizing public workshops and digitization events, co-teaching courses on natural history collections, writing grant proposals to support UCSB student interns and volunteers, disseminating findings at seminars and conferences, and interacting with UCSB faculty and students.
This full-time position is funded for two years as part of an Institute of Museum and Library Services project at the Cheadle Center. It is anticipated that up to 100% of the work will be performed at the Herbarium on the UCSB Campus, but this may change to a mix of remote and on-site work, given the uncertainties surrounding the health crisis.
Minimum requirements: Graduation from high school or a General Education Diploma or two years of college including courses in the natural, physical or social sciences and at least two years’ experience curating specimens in an herbarium or natural history museum setting, including experience with, filing, imaging, digitizing, and georeferencing specimens; working with biodiversity databases, including label transcription and georeferencing; basic familiarity with biological classification, nomenclature, and taxonomy; excellent organizational skills; demonstrated ability for productivity and accuracy; and a willingness to innovate and to seek solutions to the many logistical problems presented by the pandemic health crisis.
Desirable qualifications: A bachelor’s or master’s degree in natural, physical or social sciences or museum studies and a basic familiarity with California seaweeds.
Please apply and come join our team!
Contact Greg Wahlert for more information.