Herbarium Assistant I

The Morton Arboretum

The Herbarium of The Morton Arboretum (MOR) is recruiting a full time Herbarium Assistant. We seek applicants with botanical and herbarium experience who are interested in supporting museum-based biodiversity research at the Arboretum and beyond. Applicants should be able to identify plants and have an active interest in herbarium management and curation, field collecting, education and outreach, and plant biodiversity. Comfort with databases is essential, and experience with museum databases is beneficial. The Herbarium and Plant Systematics Lab at the Arboretum conduct and support a broad range of plant biodiversity research, with opportunities for the successful applicant to grow in the areas of plant taxonomy and systematics, biodiversity informatics, mentorship of earlier-career biodiversity scientists, and collections-based research. The position has growth potential, and the Arboretum’s Center for Tree Science offers ample professional development opportunities. We encourage you to join our supportive and engaged team at the world-renowned Morton Arboretum.

Position Summary:

  • Coordinate and support organizational, curational, and collecting projects in the herbarium, including herbarium databasing and imaging.
  • Coordinate herbarium volunteers and assist with training of seasonal herbarium interns.
  • Depending on funding, may perform additional research or herbarium projects.

Essential Functions:

  • Process and file herbarium material and identify incoming material.
  • Collect plants on the grounds, and help coordinate collecting trips to other gardens and natural areas in support of collections and research.
  • Mount, digitize, and database plant collections.
  • Train volunteers to assist in collecting, mounting, digitizing, databasing and curation
  • Research and update plant nomenclature.
  • Prepare, package, and ship loans and duplicate material to other herbaria and botanical institutions. Facilitate requests for herbarium material and data.
  • Collect data on uses and growth of herbarium; compile and summarize results for reports, manuscripts and articles for publication.
  • Prepare and give talks and tours on the history and purpose of the herbarium, herbarium techniques, and local flora.
  • Assist in ongoing development and maintenance of the Arboretum’s integrated plants database, including interaction with external biodiversity informatics data portals.
  • Assist with the training and oversight of seasonal employees and volunteers and mentorship of herbarium interns.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree required in Botany, Biological Sciences, or related field; exceptions may be made for individuals with a comparable period and depth of relevant informal or work-related experience. 1+ years of related work experience required.
  • General knowledge of plant nomenclature and taxonomy and ability to use a plant key to identify unknown plants required.
  • Experience curating structured data strongly preferred, especially using collections or herbarium databases.
  • Must possess a valid driver’s license, which is subject to insurability and an annual Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) report.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office and Google applications beneficial.

Success Factors:

  • Ability and willingness to work in the field and herbarium.
  • Good written and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong organizational, collaborative, and volunteer-supervisory skills.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Clear thought, visual acuity, and manual dexterity.
  • Ability to embrace and align with the organization’s employee core values to be inclusive, take ownership, work together, keep learning and make the Arboretum exceptional.

Physical Demands and Work Environment: The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.

Physical Demands: Requires some physical activity: walking over varied terrain, bending, limited lifting and carrying (up to 50 lbs. assisted). Use of chemicals may be necessary. Some travel required.
Work Environment: Office environment, Arboretum grounds, and other gardens and natural areas for collecting. Work is performed indoors and outdoors, in a variety of weather conditions.
Equipment: General office equipment, field and laboratory equipment, including specialized equipment relating to particular field of research, hand tools, Arboretum pick-up truck and/or utility vehicle.

For full consideration, please include cover letter and resume with application. Application submission deadline is January 7, 2022.


All Arboretum employees will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof of that status in order to maintain their employment.

The Morton Arboretum is a champion of diversity, supporting a culture of inclusion that attracts, inspires, and engages people to achieve success. The Arboretum is committed to hire and develop employees based on job-related qualifications irrespective of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, or veteran status. To increase diversity in professions related to the public garden realm, we encourage applications from underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans.

The Morton Arboretum is dedicated to complying with our obligations as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All applicants are guaranteed equal consideration for employment.

To apply for this job please visit careers.hireology.com.

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