About the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG)
The New York Botanical Garden is committed to studying, documenting, and conserving the rich diversity of plant, algal, and fungal life on Earth. NYBG pursues its mission through the dynamic biodiversity, systematics, conservation, ethnobotany, and genomics programs of the Science Division. A National Historic Landmark located in the Bronx, NYBG advances its mission through its role as a steward of living plant collections arranged in gardens and landscapes across its 250 acres and through its comprehensive educational programs in horticulture and plant science. NYBG pursues its mission in partnership with both local and global communities.
NYBG actively works to foster an inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible work environment, and further recognizes that diversity in its workforce fosters excellence in its mission of advocating for the plants of the world.
NYBG seeks applicants for the position of Director of the William and Lynda Steere Herbarium.
For comprehensive information on NYBG, please visit www.nybg.org.
William and Lynda Steere Herbarium
The William and Lynda Steere Herbarium is the foundation of NYBG’s scientific research programs. Holding 7.8 million specimens, the Herbarium is the third largest collection of its kind in the world. The collection is global in scope, with particular strengths in the Americas and Caribbean. It represents every major plant, algal, and fungal group, and has been well-curated throughout our 130-year history. The Herbarium serves as a leader in the global natural history collections community—providing data, sharing essential stewardship protocols with other institutions, and continually developing and streamlining digitization techniques. The Herbarium is staffed with 17+ members devoted to managing and maintaining the physical and digital collections. This is an extremely active herbarium, every year adding 40,000 specimens, providing 28,000 specimens on loan to researchers physically and digitally, and hosting 2,000 days of visiting scientists. Specimen digitization began in 1995. To date, 4.2 million specimens have been digitized, ±500,000 within the last two years. All digital collections and resources are freely available through the C.V. Starr Virtual Herbarium. The Herbarium is also competitive in grant funding, receiving 17 grants from NSF over the last ten years, in addition to grants from private funders such as Google and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
NYBG is a world leader in the research and conservation of plants, algae, and fungi, using both traditional and cutting-edge tools to discover, understand, and conserve Earth’s vast botanical diversity. NYBG’s Science Division comprises the Steere Herbarium, the Mertz Library, and the Pfizer Laboratory, along with an active group of botanical scientists. Currently, 17 curators, 3 postdocs, and 22 graduate students conduct research in NYBG’s Science Division. Curators mentor Ph.D. and M.S. students from various institutions as well as undergraduate students and high school interns. Staff and affiliated scholars comprise a robust community of scientists who drive a diverse array of research programs. Active research topics include floristics, taxonomy, molecular systematics, genomics, bioinformatics, conservation, ethnobotany, and the effects of climate change. Our field research is based in many parts of the globe, e.g., the Neotropics, Southeast Asia, the Pacific, and throughout North America.
Strategic Importance of the Herbarium and its Director
In this era of global change, biodiversity collections such as the Steere Herbarium play essential and exciting roles of growing importance in addressing societal needs. The Herbarium Director will have the opportunity to vigorously advance both the programs and the profile of NYBG by serving the Science, Horticulture, and Education divisions of the Garden. The strategic importance of the Herbarium in the international biodiversity research and conservation communities will enable the Director to play a key role globally in demonstrating new uses for collections, innovating collections-based methodologies, driving applications of collections in data science, and promoting collections-based research agendas. In addition, through global science communications, the Director will be a key advocate for the continuing and critical importance of natural history collections in contemporary and future societies.
Reporting directly to the Dean of Science, the Herbarium Director will oversee the activities of the William and Lynda Steere Herbarium. The Director will be a champion of herbaria and must be able to lead the Herbarium on a global stage as well as within NYBG.
Priorities and Responsibilities
The Director will be expected to:
- Build on the strong foundation of NYBG’s global profile by leading the Herbarium in strategic new directions, including novel applications for biodiversity data and innovative uses of the collections.
- Lead the continued growth and development of the Herbarium and its programs.
- Develop robust funding, drawing on the Director’s international perspective and collaborations.
- Create a culture of inclusive excellence that advocates for Herbarium staff.
- Employ best practices for the curation and management of the collections, including sustaining and advancing Herbarium staff skills to ensure that NYBG remains a leader in the botanical collections community.
- Manage budgets and coordinate production of annual reports.
- Envision and implement activities for a wide range of audiences internally and externally, collaborating within NYBG as well as engaging the general public.
- Lead NYBG in collaborative projects with other institutions to advance biodiversity knowledge and leverage natural history collections to address issues of global importance, such as climate resilience.
- Participate in the development of policy standards in the natural history community relating to access and use of collections and their associated data.
- Hire, supervise, motivate, and evaluate staff in accordance with the NYBG’s policies and best practices in human resources, including the Garden’s IDEA goals.
The ideal candidate will possess the following strengths and experience:
- Advanced degree in Botany, Biology, Museum Studies, or a comparable field and/or at least five years of experience managing natural history collections.
- Recognized leader in the natural history collections community, with a worldwide network of collaborators.
- Demonstrated experience with and commitment to collections-based research, including a broad understanding of the use of biodiversity data for research.
- Demonstrated team-building abilities, as well as ability to innovate and drive programs, both within NYBG and externally.
- Demonstrated experience in administration, including personnel management, budgeting, and program development.
- Evidence of ability to secure financial support from public and private sources; track record of fundraising, including grant writing.
- Commitment to a collegial and supportive work environment, with strong interpersonal skills and an adaptable temperament.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills for engaging with scientific and lay audiences.
- Demonstrated advocacy for inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA).
- Familiarity with collections management systems and metadata standards.
- History of participation in natural history collections organizations desired.
To apply, please go to http://www.nybg.org/employment and submit the following materials:
- Cover letter indicating interest in this position
- Statement on experience with natural history collections and vision for the future of the Steere Herbarium (limit of 2 pages)
- Statement on inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility, including overview of past accomplishments and vision for advancing IDEA in the Steere Herbarium (limit of 2 pages)
- Contact information for three references.
The New York Botanical Garden is an Equal Opportunity Employer. It is the policy and practice of NYBG to provide equal employment opportunity to all employees and applicants. NYBG does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, national origin, citizenship status, sexual orientation, sex (including pregnancy), disability, gender (including gender identity), veteran status, marital status, age, military status, genetic predisposition or carrier status, alienage and partnership status, prior record of arrest or conviction, or victim of domestic violence, stalking or sex offenses. The Garden will make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities, for disabled veteran employees, and for bona fide religious beliefs and practices of employees.
Applicants from underrepresented communities are encouraged to apply.
Please be advised, as a term and condition of accepting a job offer the candidate for employment must submit proof of full vaccination. Candidates for employment unable to submit proof of full vaccination at the time of the offer will not be considered for employment.
This policy is subject to the reasonable accommodation provisions of Title VII and the American for Disabilities Act (ADA) and other EEO consideration. If you believe that because of a disability or a sincerely held religious belief that you may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation or exemption to this policy please contact HR@nybg.org.
If you require an accommodation for any part of the application process, please notify the Human Resources department at HR@nybg.org.
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