Edna W. Lawrence Nature Lab at the Rhode Island School of Design is looking for two Nature Lab Coordinators. The lab is a dynamic space committed to advancing the understanding of the connections between biology, art, design, and nature, and fostering sustainable and regenerative solutions to local and global challenges.
With a commitment to centering inclusivity, diversity, and equity in executing key responsibilities, the Nature Lab Coordinator is responsible for the oversight and care of the living animals and plants at the Nature Lab, including maintenance of salt water and aquaponics systems. This individual facilitates equitable access to the natural history collections of the Nature Lab by performing a variety of functions including support of class and individual visits, inquiries, and requests for access, student employment, room reservations, financial transactions, data tracking, and annual reporting. The Nature Lab Coordinator makes recommendations to the Director, the Biologist, and the Collections Manager regarding improvements and/or enhancements to the Lab operations. This position assumes responsibility for the front-line daily operations of the Lab, including ensuring proper cleanliness, maintenance, and presentability of all lab spaces.
Aquatics, Animal and Plant Care
Assume responsibility for the care of the Lab's living organisms and systems, including terrestrial and aquatic animals and plants, fresh and saltwater aquaria, aquaponics systems, and other living habitats and displays.
Develop protocols and standard operating procedures for maintaining organismal and system health.
Nurture students' skills in caring for aquatic systems, and living plants and animals; prepare maintenance schedules and assign tasks.
Coordinate and lead collection events for local marine species; research, procure and establish new organisms and displays as needed and approved; ethically and responsibly deaccession unproductive and/or deceased organisms and systems.
Regularly inventory, monitor, and re-stock food, tools, and all other animal care supplies; research and conduct improvements to established animal care protocols.
Main Access Point Operations
Provide for front-line operations of Nature Lab facility and equitable and inclusive collection access and oversee student workers responsible for the circulation activities including checking out and checking in collection.
Create materials for and provide facility orientations, tours, demonstrations, and responses to faculty requests for access to spaces and equipment resources.
Mentor and train students through one-on-one instruction, and assist both students and faculty in implementation of projects that rely on Nature Lab resources.
Investigate and recommend new activities that respond to and enhance student and faculty exploration of the Nature Lab collection and ways to expand its biological resources.
Support fundraising and public relations efforts of the Nature Lab by hosting guests and visitors and participating in institution-wide and departmental projects, workshops, and events.
Full Lab Operations:
Schedule classroom spaces.
Provide guidance and recommendations on the use of Nature Lab resources through orientations, demonstrations, and/or one-on-one instruction.
Monitor inventories of instructional, display, maintenance and curatorial materials and supplies and make purchases as needed.
Track expenses, submit receipts, and assist in the preparation and management of the supplies budget.
Ensure the proper cleanliness, maintenance and presentability of main room, wet lab, imaging lab, and back room equipment, furnishings and spaces.
Proactively engage with the Biologist and Collections Manager, Director, Public Safety, and Environmental Health and Safety to support a safe and secure working environment.
Student Hiring, Training, and Supervision:
Hire, supervise, evaluate and mentor undergraduate work-study students and graduate research assistants assigned to the animal, aquatics, and plant care.
Proactively engage and partner with the Operations and Engagement Coordinator to develop and provide training in Standard Operating Procedures including but not limited to specimen borrowing, repairs, and routine maintenance.
Process time cards, arrange, and supervise logistical aspects of special student projects. Provide inclusive support, direction, and recognition for volunteers and interns. Guide and mentor student workers on quality service, attention to detail and other important aspects of customer engagement to build and foster an environment of respect and inclusion.
Assist the Director with other projects, programs, and functions of the Nature Lab, in support of its mission, as directed. Complete other related duties as assigned.
Bachelor's degree in art, design or biological science, or equivalent combination of education and experience in natural history, science and/or art/design.
Minimum of two years' experience in the care of living organisms and aquatics systems in a laboratory, zoo, aquarium, botanical center or nature center setting.
Demonstrated ability and professional experience to comprehend the connections between, and to advocate for, the study of both art and science in a natural science setting.
An in-depth understanding of animal, aquatics and plant care, technical expertise and independence.
Two years' experience supervising or leading employees, students, volunteers, or other personnel and logistical operations in a professional setting.
Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work collaboratively and flexibly in a service-oriented environment.
Computer experience with the Microsoft Office Suite, Google Suite, and other software used for maintaining records, schedules and data entry.
Must enjoy giving attention to detail as well as fostering an inspirational learning environment.
Ability to work independently and as a member of a team.
Experience with Workday and checkout/cataloging systems such as Web Checkout.
35 hours/week; 12 months/year
Documents Needed to Apply
Cover Letter (required)
Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please upload all required documents.
The successful candidate will be required to meet our pre-employment background screening requirements.
RISD recognizes diversity and inclusivity as fundamental to its learning community and integral to an art and design education. We welcome candidates whose experience has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and excellence. RISD is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetics, or any other protected characteristic as established by law.
Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), founded in 1877, is a fine arts and design college located in Providence, Rhode Island. Enrolling about 2000 undergraduates and 400 graduate students from across the United States and 55 other countries, RISD offers 16 undergraduate majors and 16 graduate majors, and is ranked annually by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top art and design schools in the United States. RISD’s rigorous education encourages creative experimentation and intellectual risk-taking, challenging students to question their approach to art making through critical thinking. There are over 90,000 works of art in the RISD Museum, which houses a collection of fine and decorative art objects. The first public galleries opened in 1893. The RISD Library is one of the oldest independent art college libraries in the country with more than 150,000 volumes and 380 periodical subscriptions which offer unusual depth and richness in the areas of architecture, art, design, and photography. The RISD campus is contiguous with the campus of Brown University and the two institutions share social, academic, and community resources.RISD recognizes diversity and inclusivity as fundament...al to its learning community and integral to an art and design education. We welcome candidates whose experience has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and excellence. RISD is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetics, or any other protected characteristic as established by law.