Saturday, October 10, 2015

Supreme Court Rejects Appeal To Move Jim Thorpe's Remains To Oklahoma

KGOU, October 5, 2015
Brian Hardzinski & Jacob McCleland

On the first day of its fall term, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal from the Sac and Fox Nation and Jim Thorpe’s sons to move the athlete’s remains back to Oklahoma.

On Monday, the high court left a ruling in place that ordered Thorpe’s body to remain in the Pennsylvania town named after the Olympic gold medalist. His two surviving sons and the tribe had wanted to move Thorpe back to Native American land in Oklahoma.

More here.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Position Announcement: Instructional Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Texas A&M University

The Department of Anthropology at Texas A&M University invites applications for a renewable, non-tenure track position as an Instructional Assistant Professor beginning August 2016. Salary commensurate with qualifications. We seek an energetic scholar who can bridge anthropology and collections management to collaborate with our faculty and advise undergraduate and graduate students.

The successful candidate will be expected to manage the department’s Anthropological Research Collections (including lithic, ceramic, glass, metal, faunal, and floral material; project documents and photographs; and human skeletal remains), teach four courses each year in anthropology and/or museum studies including the introductory “Museums and Their Functions” course and a for-credit museum internship course coordinated with area museums; coordinate the consultation process required by the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA); provide research and collections management experiences for graduate and undergraduate students; prepare grant proposals to enhance the condition and usability of the collections; and advise undergraduate students on graduate programs in museum studies.

Qualifications: Applicants are required to have a PhD in Anthropology or related discipline at the time of application, demonstrated experience in collections management and anthropology and be qualified to teach a range of undergraduate courses in anthropology and museum studies. Previous experience in managing collections in a museum or archaeological collections facility, experience in the NAGPRA consultation process, and teaching experience will be considered as strengths in the search process. The department is especially interested in qualified candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community at Texas A&M.

Review of applications will begin Oct 12, 2015 and continue until the position is filled. Applicants should submit a cover letter, CV, teaching evaluations, and contact information for three references preferably as a single pdf file by email or mail to Dr. David Carlson (, Chair, Search Committee, Department of Anthropology, Mailstop 4352, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843-4352.

Texas A&M University is a leading public research university with over 55,000 students. Texas A&M is located in the city of College Station which is within 90 minutes from both Houston and Austin metropolitan areas. Texas A&M University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution and prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Position Announcement: Professional Research Assistant, Assistant Collections Manager, University of Colorado - Boulder, Colorado

The Anthropology Section of the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History announces a one-year collections position, combining an inventory contract project for a federal collection and a grant-funded cataloging and digitization project.

Federal Collection Inventory: 16 hrs/week, 1 year term.

-Manages inventory project of approximately 700 archaeological items, including identification, cataloging and data entry, research, rehousing, and digitization.
-Supervises one graduate student.
-Administers contract in coordination with the University’s Office of Contracts and Grants.
-Maintains project budget.
-Creates and sends regular progress reports to federal agency.

Cataloging and Digitization Project: 22 hrs/week, 1 year term.

-Responsible for inventory and cataloging of 400 ethnographic items, including reconciling data from digital and archival documents, data entry, object photography, digitization, and database web-interface development.
-Administers grant in coordination with the University’s Office of Contracts and Grants.
-Maintains project budget.
-Writes and submits reports to funding agency.

Minimum Qualifications 
-Minimum 2 years collections management experience, including inventory.
-Master’s degree in anthropology, museum studies, or related field, or Bachelor’s degree accepted with three years additional experience in museum collections management.

Required Competencies/Knowledge, Skills and abilities

Desired Qualifications
-Extensive experience with museum collections databases (Re: discovery preferred)
-Experience with project management and supervision.
-Experience with grant administration and budgeting.
-Experience working with materials that fall under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA).

Special instructions to applicants
-Applicants must complete the Faculty/Exempt Professional and EEO Data (application) form, and upload the following required documents:
1, Cover Letter
2, Resume
3, Proof of Highest Degree Earned
4, List of three Professional References from whom a confidential letter of reference will be requested by the hiring unit at the appropriate time of the search.

This position is eligible for medical, dental and life insurance, retirement benefits programs, and is eligible for monthly vacation and sick leave accruals.

The University of Colorado Boulder conducts background checks on all final applicants being considered for employment, prior to the issuance of an offer letter.

Complete applications must be submitted by October 16, 2015 in order to receive full consideration for this position.

Job posting contact: Susan Reinke
Job posting contact telephone: 303-492-3685
Job posting contact email:
Job Posting Number: RF03081

Learn more

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Museum Anthropology - New Issue Online!

Museum Anthropology, 38(2) Fall 2015

Table of Contents: 

Special Issue and Continuing Conversations in Museum Anthropology
Antonio R. Chavarria and Maxine E. McBrinn

Museum Anthropology: Continued Conversations in the Field, Part 3
Lillia McEnaney, Maxine E. McBrinn and Antonio R. Chavarria

Introduction: Special Issue
Back to the Future?: Emergent Visions for Object-Based Teaching in and beyond the Classroom
Kathleen M. Adams

Articles: Special Issue
University Museums as Laboratories for Experiential Learning and Engaged Practice
Christina Kreps

Teaching Collections Management Anthropologically

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Position Announcement: Museum Registrar Intermediate/NAGPRA Collections Manager, Museum of Anthropological Archaeology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Museum of Anthropological Archaeology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI/USA

Job Summary:
The University of Michigan Museum of Anthropological Archaeology seeks a NAGPRA Collections Manager for collections and database management of the Museum’s NAGPRA collections of Native American human remains and NAGPRA related objects.

Information about NAGPRA is available here

The target salary for the position is $40,000-$45,000.  A higher salary may be possible based on the qualifications and experience of the selected candidate.

The new hire will administratively report to the Museum Director and work closely with other NAGPRA staff.  S/he will report to and be supervised by the NAGPRA Project Manager of the University of Michigan Office of Research (UMOR) on day-to-day NAGPRA matters.  The incumbent will oversee the physical care of the collections and preparation for the disposition/repatriation of collections that fall under NAGPRA.  Tasks will include re-inventory and re-housing of human osteology collections, associated artifacts, unassociated funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony. 

The incumbent will update NAGPRA collections records including electronic databases, associated records, forms, overview summary documents, and legal documents; conduct collections research to identify additional NAGPRA-eligible objects; manage deaccessioning of permanent collections; and oversee collections and inventory tasks associated with repatriation and disposition claims.

The NAGPRA collections manager will assist in preparing for and conducting consultations, dispositions, and repatriations between Tribal communities and the University of Michigan. In conjunction with UMOR NAGPRA Project Manager, the collections manager will co-lead all consultations, transfers, and tribal visits.

Additional tasks may include ordering supplies and supervision of student temporaries, as well as training and supervising temporaries on the proper policies and procedures for cataloging, handling of objects, and the best procedures for maintaining the collections. 

Other duties, as assigned by Museum Director.

Required qualifications:
The ideal candidate will possess a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology/Archaeology, a background in North American archaeology, human osteology, Native American artifacts and NAGPRA compliance experience.  We seek someone with at least 3-5 years of museum registration and NAGPRA collections-management experience.  Knowledge of basic museum practices, procedures, and standards required.  Ability to work with software programs such as Access and Microsoft Office Suite.  Excellent organizational and communication skills and the ability to meet deadlines and execute/delegate tasks.  Ability to be flexible and collaborate in a team environment.  Some moving and transporting of materials and objects that could weigh up to 50 lbs, including the storage of such items at heights that require the use of a step stool or ladder.

Desired qualifications:
An advanced degree in Anthropology/Archaeology and 4-7 years experience.  Experience with implementation of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), especially making an inventory of human remains and artifacts, cataloguing, and database documentation. 

Additional information:
The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by the individuals assigned to this position.  They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, and skills required.
Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days.  This job may be removed from posting boards and filled any time after the minimum posting period has ended.

How to Apply:
A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume.  The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and present an outline of the skills and experience you have that directly relate to this position.  In addition, please include two letters of recommendation.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Scholarship Oppurtunity: Denver Museum of Nature & Science's Department of Anthropology and Native American Resource Group (NARG)

The Denver Museum of Nature & Science's Department of Anthropology and the Museum's Native American Resource Group (NARG) invite you to consider three extraordinary programs in support of science excellence and the Native American community. Download the brochure here.
  • Native American Annual Scholarship Program
  • Annual scholarships are awarded to students who have demonstrated leadership, academic achievement, and an interest in a science career. Preference is given to Native American students who are college-bound high school seniors attending a Colorado high school or undergraduates who attend a Colorado college or university. Awards are presented to recipients at an annual reception in the fall. Download the application, due annually on October 1.
  • Native American Science Career Day
    Native American scientists and health career professionals come together with Native American middle school students to discuss science careers. This day-long symposium offers an opportunity for youngsters to hear the inspirational stories of these professionals, expand their understanding of what it means to have a science career, and to explore the possibilities for achieving their own educational and career goals in science.
  • Indigenous Fellowship Program
  • Artists, elders, curators, scholars, and other individuals from Indigenous communities are hosted so that they can study the Museum's 60,000-piece anthropology collection. As visiting fellows, they work together with Department of Anthropology curators and staff members to conduct original research and gain a deeper understanding of the anthropology collections' cultural and historical significance. Download the application, applications accepted all year round.

To learn more about these programs please contact, 303.370.6367, or Attn: Native American Science Initiative, Department of Anthropology, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO 80205

Friday, September 18, 2015

Position Announcement: Collections Management Specalist, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

This position serves as a Collections Management Specialist reporting to the Director of the National Collections Program (NCP). The incumbent collaborates with NCP staff to carry out the office’s mission, which is dedicated to improving the overall stewardship and management of Smithsonian collections by providing central leadership and policy oversight of Institution-wide collections initiatives. This position serves as a principal advisor on Smithsonian collections emergency management and collections management professional development training.

The incumbent is responsible for planning, developing, and coordinating implementation of the Smithsonian’s collections emergency management and collections management professional development programs. 

Duties include:
-Planning, developing, and implementing policies and procedures for Smithsonian-wide collections emergency management.
-Developing and coordinating implementation of the Smithsonian’s collections emergency management plan, including preparedness, response, and recovery policies, procedures, training, and logistical support, working closely with Smithsonian collecting units, the Office of Emergency Management, and other central offices to ensure collections-related issues are integrated and addressed by the Smithsonian’s general emergency management program.
-Developing and providing leadership of the Preparedness and Response in Collections Emergencies (PRICE) committee.
-Planning, developing, and coordinating implementation of the Smithsonian’s collections management professional development program to ensure the successful application of Smithsonian collections management policy standards and professional best practices.
-Developing, conducting, and facilitating a series of professional development training and continuing education opportunities on Smithsonian collections and collections management for Smithsonian staff with direct and indirect responsibilities for collections care.

For more information, or to apply, click here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Upcoming Website Launch:

SAPIENS is an editorially independent online publication of the Wenner-Gren Foundation dedicated to popularizing anthropological research to a worldwide audience. Through news coverage, features, commentaries, reviews, photo essays, and more, SAPIENS will share the field’s most exciting, relevant, thought-provoking, and unconventional ideas.

SAPIENS is currently looking for writers. To find out how to get involved, click here.

If you have questions, ideas, or partnership proposals, please reach out to: 

Chip Colwell, Editor-in-Chief

Amanda Mascarelli, Managing Editor