Class Specifications - I.25
Principal Museum Scientist - 9721
Senior Museum Scientist - 9722
Museum Scientist - 9723
Assistant Museum Scientist - 9724

November, 1976

Series Concept

Museum Scientists perform, supervise or manage the curatorial, preparatory and clerical work in general museums, research collection repositories, botanical gardens, art galleries, fine arts related collections, aquariums or similar areas with collections of natural, historical and anthropological material which is educational, scientific or aesthetic in purpose; and perform other related duties as required.

In the specific references to a complex museum or similar area within the class concepts which follow, these definitions will serve as guidelines: A complex museum or similar area is one which is multi-operational covering research performed by faculty, scholars and qualified students in many disciplines; formalized teaching programs; publications; and public education programs. A general museum is one dealing with several or all fields. A research collection repository is one where materials or specimens, which have been the subject of past or current research, are stored.

The examples cited in the Class Concepts are illustrative and do not preclude allocation to the series of positions in museums not described within the disciplines given as examples.

Class Concepts

Principal Museum Scientist

Under general direction, incumbents are assigned responsibility for the administration of complex general museums, research collection repositories, botanical gardens, art galleries, aquariums, fine arts related collections, or similar areas; participate with the curators, faculty or scientific community in formulating policy; and generally supervise at least one Senior Museum Scientist.

In a complex general museum or similar area, Principal Museum Scientists coordinate the activities of the curatorial and technical staff in accessioning and cataloguing, collections organization, inventory and conservation/preservation programs, and administrative support activities; establish priority of work assignments for curatorial and technical staff, and supervise the preservation and restoration projects; direct library research relating to collections material; and supervise the training and instruction of museum employees.

Additionally, Principal Museum Scientists represent the Museum Director and the University in negotiating with donors, and independently examine and accept donations on behalf of the museum; consult with the Director as necessary on matters involving the formulation of museum policy; assist in the planning and compilation of budgetary data, and make recommendations to the Director for purchasing or collecting to meet the museum's needs; conduct studies and prepare reports on all aspects of the museum's operations; and serve as consultants to other professional museum personnel on problems and projects requiring an extensive background in museology and a detailed knowledge of museum administration and organization.

Incumbents also work directly with curators, faculty, scholars and qualified students in planning and designing research and study projects to be carried out using museum facilities; work directly with field collectors in establishing types of specimens available for the museum's collections; and prepare research outlines and maintain research bibliographies.

In a research collection repository, incumbents coordinate the administrative aspects of instructional, research and public service activities of a scientifically significant research collection of materials or artifacts; make independent decisions in implementing administrative policy; are assigned considerable fiscal responsibility; and establish professional contacts with other institutions and scientists, correspond and exchange data, attend meetings, and otherwise seek the exchange of scientific information.

In addition, incumbents may organize and conduct field parties or oceanographic expeditions, supervise the research as well as other scientific aspects of the work, gather scientific papers, select personnel, secure support, and make necessary contacts with officials of other Jurisdictions; and supervise the assembly and dissemination of data resulting from research done upon the collection for which responsible.

Principal Museum Scientist positions are distinguished from Senior Museum Scientist positions In that in addition to performing the duties of a Senior Museum Scientist, incumbents are assigned responsibility for the administration of complex general museums, research collection repositories, or similar areas; typically supervise at least one Senior Museum Scientist; and participate with the curators, faculty or scientific community in formulating policy.

Senior Museum Scientist

Under direction, incumbents supervise the curatorial, preparatory and clerical work in complex general museums, research collection repositories, botanical gardens, art galleries, aquariums, fine arts related collections, or similar areas; or perform difficult curatorial work in a museum or similar area and may take charge of field parties; or organize and develop a departmental museum; and may supervise at least one Museum Scientist.

In a general museum or similar area, Senior Museum Scientists insure the quality and accuracy of overall collections documentation through the design and implementation of specific ongoing library and archival research projects (or in an aquarium, are assigned responsibility for the maintenance and accuracy of acquisition, mortality and longevity records and other specimen maintenance records such as disease treatment, water quality and feeding); assist Principal Museum Scientists or, in the absence of a Principal level position, work with curators, faculty, scholars and students in planning and designing research and study projects to be carried out within museum facilities; train and orient museum employees; and advise faculty of the potentialities of various collections or specimens for study and research projects.

Incumbents may also select appropriate specimens for thematic or topical display or loan; contribute to exhibition programs by writing texts, and carrying out research in fields of specialized knowledge; suggest exhibit themes, and in fields of specialized knowledge prepare exhibit outlines for personnel involved in exhibition programs; interpret and analyze materials sent to the museum for that purpose by scholars and academicians; assist Principal Museum Scientists or, in the absence of a Principal level position, determine the need for new acquisitions of both collections and individual specimens to be obtained in the field or by purchase, and outline the substance and form of documentation desired; represent the museum to the general public in matters concerning the museum and its collections, operations and facilities; or may direct field parties, taking complete charge of all material aspects of field work other than research.

In a research collection repository, incumbents supervise sample distribution, loans, public service and other activities, receiving supervision only in matters of policy and fiscal limitations; plan and assign tasks, advise on difficult scientific problems other than research, check scientific accuracy of results, serve as liaison between the technical workers and academic staff workers, and secure equipment and supplies; supervise data reduction and encoding so that data derived from research can be processed into the data bank; coordinate work of investigators and programmers to assure that the best data is available to the scientific community; and conduct investigations with other repositories regarding methods of curating, storage and data handling.

Incumbents may also assist senior scientists at sea or may serve as delegated substitute Chief Scientists for specified oceanographic collecting; supervise junior scientists or students and/or technicians in the collecting and curating aspects of oceanographic expeditions; or may serve as business managers and scientific directors of field trips.

Museum Scientist

Under general supervision and at the operational level, incumbents perform professional curatorial duties relating to incumbents' field of specialized knowledge in general museums, research collection repositories, botanical gardens, art galleries, aquariums, fine arts related collections or similar areas.

In a general museum or similar area, Museum Scientists perform independent research on collections material (in an aquarium this includes research on problems relating to the health and exhibition of living animals and plants); produce professional reports, and prepare drafts for exhibition programs; accession and catalogue any type of material, and assign and direct activities of Museum Preparators in these activities; maintain assigned collections; keep records current and in conformity with museum standards; direct Assistant Museum Scientists and/or Museum Preparators in conservation and restoration projects; make recommendations for new acquisitions (in an aquarium this includes the purchase or collection of living specimens); select specimens for loan at the request of museum officials; present lectures to various groups, and may serve as docents for special visitors and groups; and may plan the routine maintenance and activity of a small museum, art gallery, or similar area.

In a research collection repository, incumbents study collection material and organize reports of such study for use in research; prepare indicies of available literature relating to collections for use by students and other researchers; assist students in the use of research tools, collections and related literature; perform routine maintenance such as accessioning, filing, loans, exchange and data management; answer request for identification and information from other institutions, industrial organizations, and the scientific community; and may assist senior scientists and/or serve as working supervisors of junior scientists or technicians in the collecting and curating aspects of oceanographic expeditions.

In addition, incumbents may be assigned responsibility for performing or supervising all internal handling, preparation, storage, sampling and cross-content description of a division of a research collection of marine geological core samples.

Assistant Museum Scientist

Under supervision, incumbents perform curatorial work, or work relating to incumbents' field of speciality which requires a definite though limited degree of independent judgment. The duties are performed in general museums, research collection repositories, botanical gardens, art galleries, aquariums, fine arts related collections or similar areas.

In a general museum or similar area, Assistant Museum Scientists accession, identify, classify and catalog specimens, with review by and general assistance from the supervisor; answer requests from the public or other institutions for identification or other information concerning material or specimens; collect or assist in the collection of material or specimens, and assemble the collections for class use; send and receive loan collections; recondition specimens; perform simple illustrating and map making; and may assist students in the use of materials and specimens, and related literature.

In a research collection repository, incumbents perform curatorial work such as the preparation of storage areas, maintenance of material containers, preparation of specimens, monitoring of use rates of consumable supplies, and maintenance of equipment; assist visitors desiring to inspect or view the collection, or requesting information concerning sample distribution policies and procedures; and participate aboard research vessels in the capacity of Curatorial Representative.

Assistant Museum Scientist positions are distinguished from Museum Preparator Positions in that incumbents apply a specialized academic knowledge in the discipline involved, and perform curatorial work involving identification, classification and cataloging of materials. This is the entry level class for college graduates with specialization in the discipline involved. Assignments are structured to provide training experience under the supervision of higher level Museum Scientists.

Minimum Qualifications

Principal Museum Scientist

Graduation from college with specialization in the discipline involved and six years of experience in curatorial work, including two years in a supervisory capacity; or an equivalent combination of education and experience; and knowledges and abilities essential to the successful performance of the duties assigned to the position.

Senior Museum Scientist

Graduation from college with specialization in the discipline involved and four years of experience in curatorial work, including one year in a supervisory capacity; or an equivalent combination of education and experience; and knowledges and abilities essential to the successful performance of the duties assigned to the position.

Museum Scientist

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 knowledges and abilities essential to the successful performance of the duties assigned to the position.

Assistant Museum Scientist

Graduation from college with specialization in the discipline involved; or an equivalent combination of education and experience; and knowledges and abilities essential to the successful performance of the duties assigned to the position.