Careers at Virginia Tech

Vertebrate fossil preparator

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Work type: Staff
Senior management: College of Science
Department: Geosciences
Location: Blacksburg, Virginia
Categories: Research / Scientific

Job Description

The Virginia Tech Department of Geosciences invites applications for a Lab Technician position managing its paleontology facilities, with employment commencing in late spring or summer of 2023. The candidate will be responsible for preparation and care of fossil specimens and supporting the research of students and faculty.

Specific duties will include:
• Primary responsibility is to prepare fossil vertebrates remains using a variety of techniques (e.g., microjacks, air-abrasive, acid, thin section, 3D digital preparation, proper storage, recovery of microvertebrates), particularly small vertebrates.
• Training of students, volunteers, and faculty in fossil preparation techniques.
• Maintaining the fossil preparation equipment.
• Helping to lead and participate in paleontology education and outreach events
• Organization (physical and digital) of the fossil specimens.
• Replication of specimens.
• Support of students and faculty during fieldwork.

The fossil preparator will be employed in a term-limited position (up to three years), subject to satisfactorily meeting annual performance goals, the need for services and availability of funding.

Required Qualifications

• Extensive preparation experience or a BA/BSc or higher degree in any field.
• Experience in fine-scale preparation of vertebrate specimens.
• Ability to work as a positive team member with people with diverse educational, technological, language and cultural backgrounds.

Preferred Qualifications

• Experience of maintenance of Paleotools and [German airscribes] pneumatic tools and of instrumentation such as dissection microscopes and slow-speed histology saws.
• Working knowledge and experience in laboratory and field-based paleontology.
• Working knowledge of fossil collection techniques (excavation, documentation using GPS, associated metadata).
• Patience, hand-eye coordination, and fine-motor skills

Pay Band


Appointment Type


Salary Information


Review Date

January 10, 2023

Additional Information

Resume/CV (can include a preparation portfolio)
Personal diversity Statement (1 page max)
List of 3 professional references

The successful candidate will be required to have a criminal conviction check.

About Virginia Tech

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to be leaders and problem-solvers. A comprehensive land-grant institution that enhances the quality of life in Virginia and throughout the world, Virginia Tech is an inclusive community dedicated to knowledge, discovery, and creativity. The university offers more than 280 majors to a diverse enrollment of more than 36,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in eight undergraduate colleges, a school of medicine, a veterinary medicine college, Graduate School, and Honors College. The university has a significant presence across Virginia, including the Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia; the Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke; sites in Newport News and Richmond; and numerous Extension offices and research centers. A leading global research institution, Virginia Tech conducts more than $500 million in research annually.

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or military status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Sterling Nesbitt at during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

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