Job Summary

The Natural Resources Lab Coordinator and Collections Curator will coordinate and participate in activities related to field and laboratory instruction of undergraduate natural resources courses that involve identification of plants and wildlife (FNR 242 and 252 – Vertebrate Systematics and Ecology; FNR 225 – Dendrology). You will develop and maintain the departmental collections of vertebrate and herbarium/arboretum specimens upon which these courses rely as well as organize equipment, vehicles and schedules, hire Teaching Assistants, provide orientations, and coordinate daily operations on behalf of faculty and staff as Director of the department’s summer field course (FNR 370 – Natural Resources Practicum).


  • Coordinate instruction of sophomore-level laboratories in vertebrate systematics and ecology (FNR 24200 in fall and 25200 in spring); Coordinate instruction of sophomore-level laboratories for instruction in dendrology (FNR 22500) including use of tree and plant specimens for identification purposes
  • Determine course content and learning objectives/outcomes in conjunction with faculty
  • Prepare and organize laboratories for learning exercises including use of specimens for identification, identification keys, natural history information, and syllabi
  • Determine and implement assessment strategies, supervise and evaluate teaching assistants, and offer instruction as appropriate
  • Order and maintain inventory of supplies and materials needed for labs
  • Curate the vertebrate and herbarium teaching collections
  • Organize collections in accessible, easily used form
  • Maintain searchable databases to act as an inventory of specimens; procure specimens as needed via collection, gifts, or exchanges to ensure adequate representation, especially of regional species; prepare specimens for inclusion in collections; hire and train undergraduate assistants in curatorial methods; maintain collections in good condition
  • Coordinate accessions, care, signage, and maintenance of off-campus Van Camp and Weeks teaching arboreta with department’s property management staff, and on-campus plant resources with personnel in Grounds Department
  • Attend conferences and seek training to enhance curatorial skills and promote exchanges and donations
  • Serve as Director of Natural Resources Practicum, a series of courses (FNR 37000-373000) offered in the upper peninsula of Michigan during a 5-week period immediately after the conclusion of each spring semester
  • Serve as liaison with staff in Michigan from whom lodging and facilities are contracted
  • Coordinate scheduling and content needs during spring semester with faculty/staff instructors, and offer on-site assistance with equipment, supplies and other needs related to instruction during practicum
  • Provide orientation sessions to prospective practicum students during fall and spring semesters, hire student teaching assistants and drivers, and ensure that IT and safety needs are addressed
  • Maintain inventory of equipment used for practicum and provide faculty/staff with suggestions on equipment needs


  • Bachelor’s degree in forestry, botany, wildlife, ecology, natural resources, or related discipline
  • 3 years of field experience (tree and herbaceous plant identification; experience in identification of vertebrate wildlife and fishes; teaching experience)
  • Knowledge of plant and vertebrate systematics
  • Ability in vertebrate specimen procurement and preparation and herbarium maintenance
  • Demonstrated natural history skills
  • Ability to organize, train and supervise students as assistants in teaching and curation
  • Skills in organization and logistics to facilitate extended off-campus learning by students
  • Training in first aid and CPR
  • Familiarity with state, tribal and federal natural resource agency structure and willingness to establish appropriate agency contacts


  • Master’s degree
  • Experience teaching and coordinating teaching assistants in field identification of trees and herbaceous plants and lab identification of vertebrate wildlife, and in specimen curation

Additional Information:

  • For full consideration, please submit your application by February 28, 2022.
  • All new hires will be expected to follow Protect Purdue guidelines. To learn more, visit https://bit.ly/3DH3z6f
  • Purdue will not sponsor an employment related visa for this position.
  • A background check will be required for employment.
  • FLSA: Exempt (Not Eligible for Overtime)
  • Retirement Eligibility: Defined Contribution Waiting Period.
  • Purdue University is an EOE/AA employer.  All individuals, including minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.