Submitted: 9 April 2024
Department: Maxwell Museum of Anthropology
Institution: University of New Mexico
Job type: Full time
Apply by: 20 May 2024
Application URL:

The Maxwell Museum of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico seeks a Senior Collection Manager of Osteology to oversee the Museum’s Laboratory of Osteology and associated collections. The Maxwell Museum is a dynamic center of anthropological research and public engagement on the University of New Mexico campus. Its collections of more than two million objects are organized into four divisions: archives, archaeology, ethnology, and osteology.

The Laboratory of Osteology: cares for extensive osteological collections derived from archaeological research; maintains an active body donor program maintains a collections of casts used in University teaching; cares for a research and teaching collection derived from the Laboratory’s; and serves as a repository for unsolved forensic cases for the New Mexico Office of Medical Investigations (OMI). The Museum is strongly committed to the letter and spirit of NAGPRA and seeks an individual who will play a critical role in ethical and timely reporting, inventory, consultation, and repatriation of Native American ancestors and belongings.

We seek an experienced, forward-thinking, collegial museum professional to work collaboratively to serve the Museum’s mission of “working towards greater understandings of the fullness of human experiences in the Southwest and the world,” and vision of “restoring voices, reconciling injustices and realizing community.” Reporting to the Director, the Senior Collection Manager for Osteology will be a member of the Maxwell’s collection staff and will join a dedicated team of museum professionals in collections, archives, education, exhibitions, public programs and administration. They will provide support to faculty, students, and visiting researchers; will oversee the Museum’s body donor program; and liaise with the New Mexico Office of the Medical Examiner (OMI). They will actively participate in policy development and implementation and strategic planning and contribute to the Museum’s ongoing commitment to achieve, evaluate, and improve its success in advancing its mission and vision.

Duties and Responsibilities

Manages all aspects of collections care by following and implementing accepted museum standards for processing and cataloging incoming material and associated archives, data entry, maintenance of systematic order, and routine care and conservation; evaluates the standards and develops strategies to upgrade the physical condition of the collection and increase efficiency.

Establishes work priorities and directs staffing to effectively accomplish the division's goals and objectives; recruits, employs, trains and supervises temporary staff, graduate and undergraduate curatorial assistants, and volunteers.

Manages the day to day operations of the Maxwell Museum's skeletal donor program, including maintaining donor paperwork, communicating with donors/potential donors, and processing fresh and dry human remains. Completes death certificates for registered donors in accordance with NM Vital Records requirements, and liaises with hospice nurses, physicians, funeral homes, and Medical Investigators to ensure accurate personal information and safe transport of the decedent to the Office of the Medical Investigator

Interacts with researchers and facilitates research access to donor collection; ensures that all research, teaching, and curatorial activities conform with best practices and highest ethical standards for care and study of human remains

Manages and coordinates loans and use of osteological teaching materials for UNM courses, OMI trainings, and other relevant educational demonstrations.

Assists Director with reporting, management of the annual budget, purchase of materials and supplies, development and submission of grant proposals, and management of contracts and grants.

Assists in activities associated with NAGPRA, including, but not limited to overseeing inventories, coordinating priorities and working with Director, NAGPRA Coordinator, curators and collection staff to prepare Federal notices and communications, participating in consultations with Native communities, and preparing ancestral remains for repatriation.

Updates and maintains collection information on Museum database; works with collection staff on database development and implementation.

Interacts with the Office of the Medical Examiner concerning unsolved forensic cases housed at the Museum.

Advances professional development through attendance at conferences and workshops, service on advisory panels, holding office or assuming committee assignments in professional organizations.

Participates in Museum outreach and educational events.

Performs miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned.

Comprehensive knowledge of collection management principles, procedures, and materials, including those pertaining to the legal and ethical treatment of human remains.

Knowledge and experience with NAGPRA regulations, consultations, and compliance.

Strong interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse community; community engagement experience highly desirable.

Skill in budget preparation and fiscal management.

Knowledge of laboratory and field procedures for research and collection purposes.

Ability to supervise and train employees

Strong organizational skills, ability to effectively establish priorities, schedule work assignments and perform multiple tasks involving osteological collections.

Demonstrated computer proficiency with museum collections databases, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Word.

Knowledge of CollectiveAccess software is desirable.

Ability to develop, develop, and administer grant-funded research projects.

Ability to assist researchers to gather data, compile information, and prepare reports.

Ability to use informed judgment and to manage and impart information to a wide range of clientele.

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