COMPANY: Thorsight Solutions
LOCATION: Toronto, ON
SALARY: $64,080 - $73,234
DESCRIPTION: Invertebrate Palaeontology Preparation and Database Technician
The ROM is home to the second largest invertebrate fossil collections in Canada, with about half a million specimens, including more than 370,000 catalogued specimens. Some of the major highlights and strengths of the collections include:
- Representative fossils from a variety of exceptional fossil deposits, most notably from the Burgess Shale. With an estimated 150,000 specimens, the Burgess Shale collection, which is held in trust for Parks Canada, is the largest and most comprehensive collections of this kind in the world. This collection is central to an active ROM research program supported by NSERC and continues to grow thanks to regular new fieldwork operations led by the ROM.
- Important collections of Palaeozoic fossils from Ontario, including Lagerstätten biotas (Kirkfield, Eramosa and Bertie formations).
- type specimens, including significant holdings of primary type and figured material for the preceding two categories.
The ROM Willner Madge Gallery of the Dawn of Life, which opens to the public in December 2021, will showcase many of the ROM’s collections in a new flagship permanent gallery.
POSITION SUMMARY: The Preparation and Database Technician is a highly motivated individual with a passion for palaeontology and a strong interest in invertebrate fossils. He/She works closely with the Collections Technician under the supervision of the Curator of Invertebrate Palaeontology in charge. Primarily responsible for maintaining the preparation lab and equipment, cleaning, stabilizing, or preparing a wide range of delicate invertebrate fossil specimens for research, conservation, or display and molding and casting of fossil specimens. Primarily responsible for entry and maintenance of records in a database management system (TMS). The Preparation and Database Technician is also expected to assist the Collection Technician in the labelling, sorting and physical reorganization of collections as required and to participate in fieldwork activities, including being actively involved in the preparation and shipping/receiving of field equipment and specimens from/to the ROM. The Preparation and Database Technician is also involved in public programming as required, and develops a consistent approach for liaising with departmental staff and interested parties, including docents, volunteers, students, and the general public.
- University degree (minimally Bachelor’s), with a strong preference for candidates with a background in geology and/or biology.
- Minimum one (2 – 5 years) year experience in fossil preparation (micro and macro preparation), using a stereomicroscope and vibratory and air-abrasive techniques including the use of glues and consolidants. Strong preference given to candidates having experience in the mechanical preparation of invertebrate fossils, in particular of soft-bodied organisms or plant fossil material. Submission of a portfolio of fossil preparation is required.
- Excellent data entry skills as well as experience using a database management system. Working knowledge with TMS collections an asset.
- Familiarity with animal anatomy, geological/paleontological concepts and the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN). Experience using relevant geological and palaeontological resources.
- High manual dexterity with some experience in sculpting, molding and casting techniques.
- Ability to manage many concurrent projects, work independently with minimal supervision (self-motivated) and ability to meet deadlines and demonstrate grace under pressure.
- Excellent organizational and communication skills including written skills as well as strong interpersonal skills and the ability to establish and maintain effective relationships with all levels of Museum staff.
- Ability to carry weights at times above 23 kg. Familiarity with the use of a variety of hand tools, drills and other power tools and must be familiar with fossil collection techniques and operation of field equipment (gas/electric powered jack hammers, generators, etc.). Use of forklift an asset.
- Driver’s license required (Ontario - G-class or equivalent).
- Under the supervision of the Curator in charge, manages the Invertebrate Palaeontology fossil preparation lab, maintains equipment and orders supplies, prepares (cleans, conserves, stabilizes, consolidates) specimens using appropriate techniques and procedures as needed using mechanical tools (e.g. air abrasives/airscribes), manual tools (e.g. carbide needle), chemical preparation. Provides input on lab budgeting, maintains SDS, maintains the functionality of lab spaces. Knowledgeable in the molding of fossil invertebrates/vertebrates using RTV silicone and casting in epoxy and polyurethane resins, manages sales (sales reports, invoicing, filling request, shipping) of casts and models. (30% of time)
- Under the supervision of the Curator in charge and in consultation with the Collections Technician, manages the Invertebrate Palaeontology database and assumes responsibility for its standards, integrity and maintenance. Enters and verifies records in the database. Consults with other disciplines with regard to organizing, editing and maintaining databases, participates in the implementation of the ROM’s collection database systems and procedures. (30% of time)
- Assists the Collections Technician in the reorganization, photography and labelling of specimens and records specimen location information in the database as collections are moved. (30% of time)
- Actively participates in field work operations. Maintains and ships equipment to fieldwork locations, arranges for transportation including field vehicles and lodging. and is primarily responsible for the cleaning and organization of field equipment and specimens upon return to the Museum. (5% of time)
- Recruits and trains volunteers and performs other duties as required. (5% of time)
HOW TO APPLY:
The online application will give you the option to apply to this role as a complete person – not just a resume. The application will assess your qualifications, personality traits and workplace preferences, and should take 10 to 15 minutes to complete. After submitting, you'll receive an email inviting you to log in and view your assessment results. This application will be open for two weeks. As part of our hiring process we will be asking candidates to provide 3 references.