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University of Kansas
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University of Kansas
Lawrence, Kansas, United States (on-site)
28 days ago


Position Overview

The University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute (BI), on the Lawrence campus, is one of the premier research and education centers in the U.S. in biodiversity science, biodiversity informatics, paleobiology, biogeography, and evolutionary biology. The KU Natural History Museum is the iconic public face of the BI and serves public audiences through its four floors of exhibits (50,000 square feet), including the famous Panorama of North America, flora and fauna of the Great Plains, vertebrate and invertebrate fossils, and live plants and animals. The museum receives about 50,000 visitors each year, including K-12 schools, families and adults, and university groups.

The University of Kansas Natural History Museum's exhibits inspire and inform visitors about natural history and related science topics. The Exhibits Fabricator and Maintenance Lead position is a crucial part of the exhibit design and production team, and assists with creating and executing interactive displays and environments for museum visitors. The responsibilities include construction, installation, and maintenance of exhibits, as well as related administrative support. This position is a key staff member in a small department with responsibility for exhibit production and all exhibit-related elements used by visitors and in museum programming. The exhibits fabricator is expected to work independently, as well as part of a team, and to provide input on exhibit design, prototyping, sourcing, and estimates for materials and time for jobs. This person should be creative, self-motivated, and curious about natural history and science, with strong organizational skills and attention to detail.
 Job Description

Develop and maintain exhibits (70%)
  • Fabricate and install exhibits featuring natural history specimens and other elements, using a wide variety of materials and methods.
  • Lead maintenance/repair of museum exhibits, as well as keeping the fabrication area in order (e.g., tools and equipment maintenance/repair).
  • Produce prototypes and conduct materials research and testing.
  • Construct exhibit structure and furniture, specimen mounts, etc.
  • Create and assist with exhibit labels/graphics, including layout and design, production, and installation.
  • Contribute to exhibit design and projects by generating ideas and conducting subject research.
  • Liaise with faculty, staff, and others (e.g., university facilities and construction unit) to develop exhibits.
  • Monitor exhibit environmental conditions and care for exhibits collections, including pest control.
  • Oversee live exhibit care with other exhibits staff: develop and maintain protocols for plant and invertebrate animal areas, including student staff training and supervision; monitor and liaise with the university's Animal Care Unit for vertebrates.
  • Supervision, Management, and Administration (25%)
  • Recruit, supervise, and train student staff (e.g., coordinate hiring searches, create schedule of work, monitor performance, and provide feedback).
  • Work with other exhibits staff and associate director to produce a schedule of work for all exhibit projects and tasks to meet deadlines; prepare budgets and track expenses for projects; provide reports and perform other record keeping (e.g., collections).
  • Source and work with outside vendors and contractors, including providing a scope of work and associated paperwork (e.g., contract, payment).
  • Other related duties (5%)
  • Collaborate with colleagues on other informal science education initiatives, including generating items for other education and outreach projects (e.g., produce casts and models, props).
  • Participate in exhibit prototype trial-testing with visitors.
  • Other exhibit and museum-related duties as assigned.

  •  Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in relevant field, such as industrial or graphic design, fine arts, architecture, museum studies, science communication, science education, or other related field.
  • Three years professional experience working in an exhibit department or other interpretive development environment.
  • Demonstrated proficiency with exhibit construction tools (e.g., hand tools, power tools) and methods (e.g., carpentry skills, technologies, electronics).
  • Knowledge of material (wood, steel, and plastics) uses (applications) and processes for construction (fabrication, welding, creating molds and casts), and graphics production.
  • Demonstrated ability to organize time, prioritize and manage multiple projects and deadlines, and work independently.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in communicating ideas visually through prototyping, models, sketches, and detail drawings for exhibit fabrication (plan, elevation, section, perspective).
  • Demonstrated creative problem-solving abilities for interpreting and translating ideas and activities into three-dimensional interactive experiences.
  • Demonstrated experience troubleshooting designs with technical, mechanical, and electrical components.
  • Experience with Microsoft Office suite and design programs, such as Adobe Creative Suite.
  • Additional Candidate Instruction

    In addition to the online application, please submit the following documents:
  • Cover letter summarizing your interest in this position and how you meet the qualifications.
  • CV/resume with details of your experience.
  • Contact information for three professional references.
  • Only complete applications will be considered. Review of applications will begin October 3, 2022.

    Job Information

    • Job ID: 65406153
    • Workplace Type: On-Site
    • Location:
      Lawrence, Kansas, United States
    • Position Title: Exhibits Fabricator and Maintenance Lead
    • Company Name For Job: University of Kansas
    • Job Function: Academic Faculty,
      Mathematics and Statistics,
      Science and Technology
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