Data Coordinator for Collections Digitization & Biodiversity Informatics
A part-time position as Data Coordinator at the Natural History Museum of Denmark (NHMD) is available from 1 April 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter. The position is 32 hours per week.
About the job
Collections are the cornerstone of any proper natural history museum, and the public exhibits often only contain a fraction of the sheer number of objects in possession. The information contained herein is indispensable for scientific research and progress. The preservation and dissemination of this common heritage, through digitization of the collection objects, requires a great deal of expertise. Together with a network of Danish Natural History Museums (DNHM), the NHMD is working to strengthen its digital profile.
The successful applicant will be working in NHMD’s Data Office, currently part of Collections Management. The Data Office is responsible for the maintenance of digital archives for the DNHM network, and for coordinating and operating digitization in close collaboration with the different locations and sections. Data entry is typically done by curators, scientists, students, interns and other staff that work with the collections on a daily basis. The collections contains more than 14 million objects and are still growing. As it stands, only a fraction of these have been digitized. Therefore it is important to build and maintain a system with processes that run smoothly, and which are continuously adapted to meet our needs.
As a common national collections management software, the network of DNHM opted for an open source database system called Specify (https://www.specifysoftware.org/). The system is used to manage information on physical collection objects like metadata, media (images, 3D models from CT scans) and interactions (accessions, loans etc.). It runs on IT-infrastructure provided by the University of Copenhagen. One of the Data Office’s functions is to provide support for all users in Denmark, in cooperation with the university’s IT-department (UCPH-IT) and the Specify support team in Kansas, USA. Furthermore, the NHMD is a founding partner of the Specify Collections Consortium (SCC) and actively participates in further development of the system to fit users’ needs.
Apart from Specify, a lot of data on collections objects still resides in other (obsolete) files & systems, and the Data Office has an ongoing focus on consolidation of these different data sources into a single system. Furthermore, the NHMD will depend on the Data Office for several related projects aiming for public access of digital assets as well as data collection through Citizen Science.
The NHMD also hosts DanBIF (https://danbif.dk/ and https://samlinger.snm.ku.dk/en/digital_collections/danbif-and-gbif/) and GBIF (https://www.gbif.org/), as well as the Danish National portal for public species registrations (https://www.arter.dk/). DanBIF is part of the Data Office, and assists in dealing with the standards for digitizing the collections, assuring the further sharing of data online, through the global GBIF-portal and the national species portal Arter.
- Operations & Maintenance of the Specify Collections Management System
- End-user support for the Specify Collections Management System including among others:
- Managing user accounts and system access
- Customizing user interfaces
- Creation of templates for labels and reports
- Establishing best practices & guidelines for digitization & data curation
- Troubleshooting (Single Point of Contact (SPoC) for end users)
- Liaison to SCC’s support office in Kansas as well as UCPH-IT SCIENCE and other third parties, including tasks related to system/server-administration
- Securing and making digital data available for the research community and the broad public
- Consultation on data policies (e.g. GDPR) & international conventions (e.g. Nagoya, CITES)
- Representation of NHMD’s and DNHM’s interests in both national and international committees
- Coordinate and participate in applications for digitalization
- Consultation on and development of internal and external digital technology projects
- Participate in the development and implementation of NHMD’s strategy for digitalization
Qualifications and experience
- A degree within the domain of natural history (biology or geology) and/or information technology
- Solid understanding of biological taxonomy & geological stratigraphy or the ability to acquire it
- Solid understanding of Biodiversity Informatics and its data standards (e.g. DarwinCore)
- Intermediate to advanced IT skills & experiences in the following areas are very important:
- SQL & database management
- Software development & programming
- Web development, especially python & REST APIs
- Linux server management (RHEL & Apache)
- Semantic web (web ontologies, RDF & SPARQL)
- Familiarity with museum collections is desirable
- Experience with research data management will be an advantage
- Experience with project management is desirable
- The applicant should be able to search for solutions to technical problems independently, but also be strong at working in teams
- It is expected that the applicant is highly service-minded and have good interpersonal skills and communication skills, both generally but in particular on technical issues
- Language skills: Professional English Proficiency is a must and Danish proficiency an advantage
- Initiative, flexible and responsible
Natural history museums have never been more important. The impact of climate change and anthropogenic forces on plant and animal life has reached a critical point. We need action to build a more sustainable relationship with nature. The Natural History Museum of Denmark is the national museum for nature. We work to empower citizens to connect with nature with the aim to create positive change for life on Earth. We want to inspire, engage and enable people to enjoy, understand, and care for the diversity of the natural world.
We are currently building a new Danish national museum for nature. One big museum site in the Botanical Garden at the centre of Copenhagen will host state-of-the-art laboratories, outstanding research collections, new public galleries, and combined facilities for programming, education, and citizen science. Over the next few years, the museum aims to change the way people think about and use natural history museums.
The museum holds more than 14 mio preserved specimens, covering zoology, botany and geology, and also include living collections. Founded in 1600, the Botanical Garden is one of Europe’s oldest and covers 10 hectares. It houses approximately 10,000 different plant species both outdoors and in greenhouses, including a number of endangered species.
The Natural History Museum of Denmark supports the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in all aspects of museum activities.
Terms of salary and employment
The employment is made in accordance with the Collective Agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance, The Confederation of Teachers Unionsand CO10 – The Danish confederation of public employees of 2010 (LC/CO10 Collective Agreement) and by the Professional Agreement for IT Staff (PROSA) in government service.
You will be employed as an it officer at salary grade 3 with expectations of a salary supplement in addition. Negotiation for salary supplement is possible. The working time is 32 hours per week on average.
How to apply
The application including all attachments must be in English and submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below. Please include:
- Full Curriculum Vitae
- Documentation for education
- A brief vision for management of digital natural history data
- Letters of reference (not mandatory)
Deadline for application is Monday 1 March 2021, 23:59 GMT +1
You can read about the recruitment process at https://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/.
The Natural History Museum of Denmark is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, or disabled status. We are actively promoting a strategy to improve the gender balance among scientific staff.
Copenhagen is a highly diverse and international Scandinavian capital with a green profile. Education is free and child care is subsidized. Public transport is well developed and most Copenhageners take their bikes to work. There are lots of green areas in and around Copenhagen, the water in the harbour is clean enough for swimming, and the city has multiple museums and other cultural venues. The University of Copenhagen was founded in 1479 and is the largest in Denmark. The collections at the Natural History Museum of Denmark date back more than 400 years.
The successful candidate is expected to take Danish lessons if there is no prior knowledge of Danish language. The International Office at the University of Copenhagen can help.
Information and further questions
Read more about The Natural History Museum of Denmark at www.snm.ku.dk/english/ and about the digital collections https://samlinger.snm.ku.dk/en/digital_collections/.
Any questions about the position may be directed to Section Head of Collections Management Majken Them Tøttrup (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Faculty of Science at the University of Copenhagen – or SCIENCE – is Denmark's largest science research and education institution with 4,000 employees and 9,700 Bachelor and Master's students in 11 departments. The Faculty has an annual budget of DKK 3 billion.
Københavns Universitet giver sine knap 10.000 medarbejdere muligheder for at udnytte deres talent fuldt ud i et ambitiøst, uformelt miljø. Vi sikrer traditionsrige og moderne rammer om uddannelser og fri forskning på højt internationalt niveau. Vi søger svar og løsninger på fælles problemer og gør ny viden tilgængelig og nyttig for andre.