Para La Tierra has a large natural history collection, which comprises entomological, mammalogical, herpetological, ichthyological, ornithological and botanical specimens. The Museum Curator is tasked with the management of the collection and ensuring that it remains a valuable reference for the fauna and flora of Paraguay, nationally and internationally.
The role of the Museum Curator is to ensure the long-term preservation and good maintenance of the Colección Científica Para La Tierra, housed in Pilar. In addition, they are responsible for overseeing the collection efforts and addition of new material; corresponding with other researchers/institutions especially for specimen requests and ID help; managing the laboratory and all scientific equipment; and carrying out independent museum-based research projects that contribute to the strategic aims of Para La Tierra. There is significant potential to enhance existing projects, as well as develop new ones, and to succeed you’ll need to be flexible, creative and entrepreneurial in this dynamic environment.
You’ll make a life changing step to the charismatic city of Pilar in southern Paraguay and join our team living at Centro IDEAL (Investigación, Desarrollo, Educación Ambiental y Liderazgo).
We’re looking for a skilled and meticulous organizer who pays great attention to detail, with experience of working with museum collections. You will have experience of preparing specimens for taxonomic study or for natural history collections, as well as a university level degree in a relevant subject.
Required skills and experience:
Ability to work both independently and as part of a team, in a tidy, logical and systematic order.
Be capable of handling live specimens compassionately, adhering to the highest standards of animal welfare.
Previous experience in working within a natural history museum environment.
Experience working in or managing a lab.
Experience with scientific writing.
Knowledge of taxonomic order and species found in Paraguay.
Experience of working on field sites and collecting specimens
Photography and microscopy skills.
Fluency in English is required, proficiency in Spanish is required or willingness to learn.
Educated to post-graduate degree level.
Driving license with 4×4/off-road experience.
Competent in use of Microsoft Office, Lightroom/Photoshop, and ideally museum database software.
Management of the collection:
Regular inspections and treatment for signs of infestation. b) Maintaining spirit in wet collections.
Management of cold storage tissue samples.
Follow protocols for museum maintenance and specimen preparation that ensures that the standard and quality of the collection is of an international level (including maintaining a controlled environment and dealing with infestations, fungus outbreaks), and supervise others in these tasks.
Curate the collection of physical specimens in taxonomic order.
Deal with specimen (or data) requests and correspond with other researchers/research institutions.
Carry out an independent research project that makes use of the collection.
Accurate record keeping of collection:
Maintaining electronic databases including regularly backing up all PLT data.
Photographing all specimens housed in the collection and organizing photographic databases.
Organization of museum library and e-library.
Collection and preparation of new specimens, and supervision of others in these tasks:
Collect physical material via approved techniques such as pitfall trapping, insect lights/traps etc.
Dispatch live specimens.
Prepare specimens appropriately i.e. skins, skulls, tissue, pinning, etc.
Cataloguing new specimens and adding all information to the relevant databases.
Management of any live animals being housed at Para La Tierra.
Supervising interns and volunteers:
Training and supervising interns that are working within the collection and with specimens.
Training and supervising interns that are working within the Laboratory
Contribute to the engagement of PLT volunteers and interns in an academic and challenging culture.
Running lab and museum inductions for all new site visitors, volunteers and interns.
Contribute to furthering PLTs mission wherever possible, including using non-science skills to assist in project development.
Collaborating with the PLT team to provide educational materials, including presentations, for university groups, online courses, or other requirements.
Providing museum tours to visiting scientists, tourists, and other groups.
Assisting with other PLT projects where requested by the directive team.
Produce one blog post per month about what is happening in the museum and provide regular updates to the marketing officer for social media.
When necessary, to fulfil domestic responsibilities including but not limited to cooking meals, cleaning dishes, shopping, coordinating recreational activities, and managing PLT home projects.
Full time, permanent live-in, paid position with no expenses (full bed and board provided), and six weeks paid holiday, plus National vacation days. Contract length is t18 months fixed term following a six month probation period. You must be prepared to apply for legal residence and a biologists licence in Paraguay, the cost of which will be reimbursed by PLT upon completion of your contract.
The post is compensated at a rate of $400/month for the first six months and $450/month for the following 18 months. With almost no living costs, our staff are able to save much of what they earn.
You’ll be contributing to ground-breaking research in Paraguay. To apply, please send your CV, a cover letter, two professional or academic references and one character reference to firstname.lastname@example.org. The recruitment process will also include a zoom interview, and a written project proposal.
No closing date – rolling applications until the right candidate is found.
About Para La Tierra
We’re dedicated to conserving fragile habitats in Paraguay through scientific research, community engagement, and environmental education. Our field sites stretch from the wetlands of Ñeembucú to the deep Atlantic Forest of Alto Parana, including all the river systems, marshes, and Chaco regions in between.