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Scientific Specialist, Zooarchaeology - Illinois State Archaeological Survey

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, IL
Champaign, Illinois
Closing date
Jul 18, 2024

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Position Type
Full Time
Urban Studies
Organization Type
Scientific Specialist, Zooarchaeology

Illinois State Archaeological Survey

Prairie Research Institute

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Illinois State Archaeological Survey (ISAS) is part of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which is centrally located between Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis. For 80 years, the University of Illinois has studied the state's archaeological heritage. ISAS incorporates that knowledge in its programs to protect, preserve, and interpret these irreplaceable and non-renewable resources within the context of Illinois' need to encourage and promote sustainable development. Learn more at

ISAS is seeking to hire a Scientific Specialist, Zooarchaeology (up to 2 depending on applicant pool and programmatic need) to conduct in-house inventory, documentation, analysis, and management of faunal material leading to the production of archaeological reports. Position is based in Champaign, Illinois.

Duties & Responsibilities:

Identify and record faunal material from archaeological sites according to ISAS protocols.

Identify species, age, sex, taphonomic, and cultural modification.

Evaluate relevance of identified species to subsistence practices, environmental conditions, and seasonality.

Identify and document culturally modified bone and evaluate for cultural affiliation of features and/or sites.

Quantify results and prepare tables.

Analyze and interpret the archaeological significance of faunal material.

Prepare reports or report chapters covering faunal assemblages or other aspects of archaeological sites and projects as needed.

Track samples through the analytic process by inventorying the movement of samples through the laboratory, maintaining electronic logs of individual site samples and data records, and ensuring the analyzed samples are curated according to ISAS standards.

Assist in maintaining the Survey's comparative collections and relevant reference materials to facilitate specimen identification and interpretation within the larger context of precontact and historic cultural manifestations recognized in the Eastern Woodlands region.

Maintain equipment and supplies.

Ensure the safety of staff and equipment.

Respond to requests for information related to zooarchaeological remains and provide technical expertise.

Participate in public outreach and other educational events.

Attend scientific conferences and training courses and present papers and results.

Keep abreast of developments in this discipline.

Perform other related duties as needed to further the mission and goals of the Survey, PRI, and University.

Minimum Qualifications: Bachelor's degree in anthropology, archaeology, or closely related discipline. Alternate degree fields will be considered/accepted depending on the nature and depth of the experience as it relates to this position. Experience in conducting in-depth analysis of faunal assemblages and preparing or contributing to archaeological reports for precontact and historic era sites in the Eastern Woodlands cultural area. Documented ability to identify human osteological material in addition to faunal remains. Familiarity with the faunal resources of the Midwest. Valid driver's license. Preferred Qualifications: Master's degree in anthropology, archaeology, or closely related discipline. Alternate degree fields will be considered/accepted depending on the nature and depth of the experience as it relates to this position. Experience analyzing and reporting faunal assemblages from Illinois or a neighboring state. Experience identifying and documenting human osteological remains. Certification as a Skeletal Analysist in Illinois under the HRPA. Familiarity with archaeometric techniques.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: Knowledge of zoorachaeological resources and their use during precontact through historic eras in Illinois and the surrounding area. Demonstrated ability to identify skeletal elements to the species level, assess for age and sex, pathologies, and cultural or taphonomic modification. Detailed familiarity with osteological anatomy, taphonomy, paleoecology, and faunal utilization. Demonstrated ability to contribute to zooarchaeological projects and reports. Proficiency with word processing, spreadsheet/database, and graphic software. Effective communication and interpersonal, collaborative, organizational, and teamwork, skills. Demonstrated ability to perform effectively in a diverse and fast-paced work environment characterized by multiple and changing priorities, stringent deadlines, and minimal supervision. Attention to detail, sound judgment, and conflict resolution skills.

Work Environment: Work is conducted primarily in laboratory and office settings. Will require lifting and moving boxes weighing up to 25 pounds.

Appointment Information: This is a full-time academic professional appointment. The starting date is negotiable and the salary is commensurate with experience. The minimum starting salary is $45,000.

Benefits: The University of Illinois offers a wide variety of benefits, including paid leave and holidays

Application Procedure and Deadline Information: Applications must be received by 6:00 p.m. Central Time on July 12, 2024. Interviews and hiring may be conducted before the closing date due to this being a multi-hire search. To apply, please use the Apply Now button. Applications not submitted through will not be considered. Application materials must include a 1) a cover letter that clearly articulates how your qualifications and experience make you a viable candidate for this position and should address the qualifications listed above, 2) a CV or resume, and 3) the names and contact information including e-mail addresses of three academic or professional (not personal) references. All requested information and documentation must be submitted for applications to be considered. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

For further information please contact Lori Walston-Vonderharr, Human Resources, Prairie Research Institute, at or 217-244-2401. For questions regarding the application process, including technical system related issues, please contact 217-333-2137.

The University of Illinois System is an equal opportunity employer, including but not limited to disability and/or veteran status, and complies with all applicable state and federal employment mandates. Please visit Required Employment Notices and Posters to view our non-discrimination statement and find additional information about required background checks, sexual harassment/misconduct disclosures, and employment eligibility review through E-Verify.

Applicants with disabilities are encouraged to apply and may request a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (2008) to complete the application and/or interview process. Requests may be submitted through the reasonable accommodations portal, or by contacting the Accessibility & Accommodations Division of the Office for Access and Equity at 217-333-0885, or by emailing

Requisition ID: 1025089

Job Category: Research

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