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Position: Curator-Herbarium

Grade Department Position type: Position Number
37 2KB – Department not found Full-time A98067

Position Summary:

Processes, mounts and accessions plant specimens. Enters plant specimen collection data into computer database and identifies plant specimen as needed. Develops and maintains a plant collection for classroom use. Maintains the Virtual Herbarium database and web page.  Photographs new specimen accessions for the Virtual Herbarium. Collects plant specimens to be added to the herbarium. Secures appropriate plant collection permits from Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service and National Parks & Monuments Offices. Act as a liaison between the UVU Herbarium and the state/national/international botanical community; request plant specimen loans, receive/process loans, prepare/ship loan requests; maintain exchange program w/other herbaria. Supervises hourly employees; manages inventory of equipment and supplies; prepares and maintains appropriate records and reports.                       

Essential Functions, Major Duties, and/or Accountabilities:
  • Prepares plant specimens for herbarium use, including freezing, fumigation, mounting, and labeling.
  • Dissects plant structures, observe details, and identify plant specimens.
  • Verifies plant identifications by: comparing specimens, visiting other herbaria, and consulting with botanical experts.
  • Updates herbarium data base.
  • Develops and maintains all files on the Virtual Herbarium web page to ensure uniform presentation and accuracy of information, including responding to comments from web page.
  • Operates scanning equipment to ensue clear photographs, accurate accession number, and correct files are being uploaded.  
  • Collects plant specimens by traveling to target areas, ensuring morphological structures are preserved, labeling specimens and drying specimens.
  • Identifies plant specimens for classroom use, mounts classroom specimens on heavy paper, and separate classroom specimens from main herbarium.
  • Establishes and maintains professional contacts with other herbarium curators and appropriate professional organizations.
  • Manage loan request of plant specimens and receives loan materials, ensuring proper shipping, record keeping and handling of all specimens.
  • Identifies duplicate or unneeded plant specimens and arranges specimen exchanges with other herbaria.
  • Identifies federally listed threatened and endangered plant species and ensures that specific collection data for these species is blocked from the Virtual Herbarium.
  • Converts plant distribution data into latitude and longitude data for plotting plant species on maps.
  • Reads current literature pertaining to taxonomy.
  • Manages the equipment for the herbarium.
  • Maintains department records relating to herbarium supplies, materials, equipment, etc.
  • Applies for plant collection permits from appropriate state and federal agencies.
  • Completes and submits required plant collection reports to permitting agencies.
  • Provides appropriate collection permits to faculty and staff as needed.

Supervisory Responsibilities:
  •  Supervises work study students

Special Requirements of the Position:
  • Lifting heavy objects will required on occasion.
  • Place and retrieve objects from shelving varying from floor level to 8 feet high.
  • Hike in uneven and sometimes rugged terrain at varying altitudes while carrying collection and photography equipment sometimes in inclement weather.
  • Drive on unpaved and undeveloped roads. 
  • Dexterity to handle small and delicate specimens.


Graduation from an accredited institution with a bachelor’s degree in Botany or Biology with an emphasis on Botany and 2 years field and curator experience. Masters degree preferred.

  • Ability to monitor and/or maintain quality control standards. 
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse community. 
  • Ability to develop and deliver presentations. 
  • Kowledge of herbarium procedures and techniques. 
  • Ability to use independent judgment and to manage and impart information to a range of clientele and/or media sources.
  • Skill in examining and developing operations and procedures.

This position description has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by employees within this classification. It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive list of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required of employees assigned to the position.
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