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Join Our Team

Join Our Team

At the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, we are consistently seeking qualified, talented, and dedicated individuals for a variety of paid, volunteer, and internship positions. Find the position you seek within the categories below.

Full-Time/Part-Time Positions

If you are interested in becoming a part of our team, complete an application form below. Applicants may drop off their application at either box office location or email completed application to apply@rivermuseum.com.

employment application  
Link to Iowa Child Labor Permit for those under age 16

When specific employment opportunities are available, they will be listed to the right.

Events & Banquet Specialist (Full-Time)

Department:  Sales & Guest Services  
Full-time/Part-time: Full-time          
Exempt/Non-Exempt: 
Exempt
Reports to:  
Sales & Banquet Manager
Staff reporting to this position: n
/a

The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium is an outgrowth of the Dubuque County Historical Society, which also operates the Mathias Ham Historic Site, is home to the National Rivers Hall of Fame, and supports a national outreach program called RiverWorks Discovery.

The Events & Banquet Specialist position is primarily responsible for coordinating events at both the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (NMRMA) and Mathias Ham Historic Site (MHHS) including, but not limited to: Mad Scientist Party, Ice Fest, Audrey Hammer 4th of July Ice Cream Social, Champagne & Chocolates, Taste of Summer, and other after hour events.  This position will work directly with the organization’s Sales & Banquet Manager, events committee, and marketing team, and will oversee events and support banquets through coordinating logistics, reserving, and working with vendors, managing inventories and ordering, and setting up and tearing down events to ensure a quality experience for all.

This position is an integral part of the Guest Services team that supports the events and banquets program, which provides significant funding for the organization’s mission to create educational experiences where history and rivers come alive. Ideal candidates will be self-motivated team players with strong attention to detail and accuracy. Weekend and evening hours will be required during events and banquets.  An ideal candidate will have the opportunity to manage a work schedule that allows for work/life balance while achieving the goals set for the work required.  Some work from home opportunity exists for an ideal candidate.

This is a full time, permanent position. Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. Benefits include vacation time, sick time, paid holidays, medical, dental, flex plan, and 403b retirement plan.

The Dubuque County Historical Society and its properties, the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium and Mathias Ham Historic Site, are committed to embracing diversity, practicing equity, and ensuring accessibility and inclusion. We continually strive to achieve a welcoming environment in all our spaces, where our staff and community feel reflected and valued for their unique perspectives and backgrounds. DEAI values guide and impact all the decisions the museum makes, both internal and external.

Primary duties

Event Planning

  • Collaborate with departments across the organization to prepare for event needs and coordinate assigned events
  • Ensure staffing and scheduling of assigned events
  • Provide a high level of customer service to all clients
    • This includes proactively supporting all vendors, associates, and customers, responding promptly and appropriately to all inquiries
  • Work directly with vendors, associates, and partners to prepare for events
  • Communicate as liaison between vendors, associates, and partners, ensuring event needs have been accounted for

Banquets

  • Responsible for accurate creation of event forms, banquets proposals, banquets contracts and supply/beverage inventory
  • Helps to lead, supervise, and assist banquet staff
  • Helps to manage the inventory, organization, and cleanliness of the catering kitchen
  • Present the museum as clean and aesthetically appealing by helping to maintain event spaces
  • Possess the knowledge of facility management to allow for after-hours use
    • Includes management of lighting panels, turning exhibits on or off, closing and opening the campus, etc.

Other Responsibilities

  • Act as a back-up for Sales & Banquets Manager as needed
  • Other duties as assigned

Qualifications

  • Associate’s degree or relevant work experience preferred
  • Ideal candidates will have experience in event planning and preparation
  • Must have an extremely flexible schedule with the ability to work nights and weekends
  • Strong attention to detail and accuracy
  • Strong communication and organizational abilities
  • Knowledgeable with technology and database management
  • Ability to prioritize, focus, and manage time effectively
  • Must be able to read, write, and speak the English language
  • Must be able to perform the physical demands of set up, tear down, decoration, and other related tasks for events, either with or without reasonable accommodation
  • Final candidates will be subject to a reference and background check

How to apply

To learn more, visit www.rivermuseum.com/apply.  Apply by emailing your resume, cover letter, salary requirements and references to apply@rivermuseum.com or by delivering them in person to 350 E. 3rd St., Dubuque, IA 52001 by October 7, 2022.

Research suggests that women and individuals from underrepresented backgrounds often apply to jobs only if they meet 100% of the qualifications. We recognize that it is highly unlikely that any applicant is able to meet all of the qualifications for a given role. Therefore, if you are drawn to this position and feel your strengths would be an asset to the organization, we highly encourage you to apply.

Guest Associate (Part-Time)

The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium is an outgrowth of the Dubuque County Historical Society, which also operates the Mathias Ham Historic Site, is home to the National Rivers Hall of Fame, and supports a national outreach program called RiverWorks Discovery.

Make guests’ experience special by being a friendly face of the Museum & Aquarium team. Guest Associates are scheduled in the organization’s box offices, retail stores, and 3D/4D Theater. An ideal candidate is someone with exceptional service skills, feels comfortable interacting with guests, delivers accurate information to guests, works well on a team, and positively portrays the organization. This position offers a flexible work schedule and may require some weekend and holiday hours (no evenings after 5 p.m. required).

The Dubuque County Historical Society and its properties, the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium and Mathias Ham Historic Site, are committed to embracing diversity, practicing equity, and ensuring accessibility and inclusion. We continually strive to achieve a welcoming environment in all our spaces, where our staff and community feel reflected and valued for their unique perspectives and backgrounds. DEAI values guide and impact all the decisions the museum makes, both internal and external.

Primary duties

  • Work at a variety of points-of-sale locations (including the box offices, stores, and theater) to assist guests in making purchases and answering questions
  • Strive to create a positive guest experience for all visitors to the Museum & Aquarium
  • Be familiar with Museum & Aquarium exhibits, experiences, and operations

Qualifications

  • Highly qualified candidates will have previous experience in customer service and/or cash handling.
  • Must be able to read, write, and speak the English language.
  • Must be able to perform any physical demands of job duties, either with or without reasonable accommodation. These demands may include periods of standing, reaching, kneeling, pushing, pulling, carrying, lifting, or moving objects 25 lbs. or less.
  • Final candidates will be subject to a reference and background check.

How to apply

To learn more, visit www.rivermuseum.com/apply.  Apply by emailing your application or resume, cover letter, and references to apply@rivermuseum.com or by delivering them in person to 350 E. 3rd St., Dubuque, IA.

Research suggests that women and individuals from underrepresented backgrounds often apply to jobs only if they meet 100% of the qualifications. We recognize that it is highly unlikely that any applicant is able to meet all of the qualifications for a given role. Therefore, if you are drawn to this position and feel your strengths would be an asset to the organization, we highly encourage you to apply.

Housekeeper (Part-Time)

Position Title: Housekeeper  
Full-time/Part-time: Part-time (20-30 hours)
Department: Housekeeping and Facilities
Reports To: Lead Housekeeper & Facilities Director

The Dubuque County Historical Society (DCHS) and National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (NMRMA) are seeking a customer-oriented and friendly part-time housekeeper to create a clean and orderly environment for our guests and staff.

The Dubuque County Historical Society and its National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium and Mathias Ham Historic Site are committed to embracing diversity, practicing equity, and ensuring accessibility and inclusion. We will continually strive to achieve a welcoming environment in all our spaces, where our staff and community feel reflected and valued for their unique perspectives and backgrounds. DEAI values will guide and impact all the decisions the museum makes, both internal and external.

Primary Duties

  • Perform a variety of cleaning activities such as sweeping, mopping, dusting, and polishing
  • Assist in all aspects of buildings and grounds cleaning and sanitizing
  • Ensure that all properties are clean, safe, and well-maintained
  • Present the museum positively by maintaining a clean and presentable appearance

Additional Requirements

  • Position requires the ability to stand for prolonged periods of time, to stoop, kneel, bend, climb, lift, and carry.
  • Position requires working occasionally on weekends
  • Must be able to occasionally lift weights of up to 25 lbs.
  • Must be able to use and climb a step stool and occasionally work at heights
  • Ability to work with little supervision and maintain a high level of performance

The Dubuque County Historical Society is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Applicants from populations underrepresented in the museum field are strongly encouraged to apply. All qualified applications will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, familial status, sexual orientation, national origin, ability, age, or veteran status.

If you are interested in joining our team, please complete an application or pick up one at our box office. Applications can be emailed to apply@rivermuseum.com, mailed, or dropped off in person to National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, Attn: Human Resources, 350 East Third St, Dubuque, IA 52001.

Museum Café Associate (Part-time)

Department:   Sales & Guest Services                  

Full-time/Part-time:  Part-time            

Exempt/Non-Exempt:  Non-exempt

Reports to:  Café Supervisor

Staff reporting to this position: N/A

Location:   National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium

The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium is an outgrowth of the Dubuque County Historical Society, which also operates the Mathias Ham Historic Site, is home to the National Rivers Hall of Fame, and supports a national outreach program called RiverWorks Discovery.

Join us in a fun, fast-paced environment by enhancing the museum guest experience through providing a meal or a snack. An ideal candidate is someone with exceptional customer service skills, enjoys working on a team, and positively portrays the organization. This position offers a flexible work schedule with weekday and weekend hours available (no evenings after 4 p.m. required).

The Dubuque County Historical Society and its properties, the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium and Mathias Ham Historic Site, are committed to embracing diversity, practicing equity, and ensuring accessibility and inclusion. We continually strive to achieve a welcoming environment in all our spaces, where our staff and community feel reflected and valued for their unique perspectives and backgrounds. DEAI values guide and impact all the decisions the museum makes, both internal and external.

Primary duties

  • Take food orders using an electronic point-of-sale system and be comfortable with cash handling
  • Ensure the cleanliness of the dining area and kitchen
  • Follow all food preparation safety laws and rules
  • Interact with guests in a positive, friendly manner

Qualifications

  • Highly qualified candidates will have previous experience in food service and/or cash handling.
  • Must be able to read, write, and speak the English language.
  • Must be able to perform any physical demands of job duties, either with or without reasonable accommodation. These demands may include periods of standing, reaching, kneeling, pushing, pulling, carrying, lifting, or moving objects 25 lbs. or less.
  • Final candidates will be subject to a reference and background check.

How to apply

To learn more, visit www.rivermuseum.com/apply.  Apply by emailing your application or resume, cover letter, and references to apply@rivermuseum.com or by delivering them in person to 350 E. 3rd St., Dubuque, IA.

Research suggests that women and individuals from underrepresented backgrounds often apply to jobs only if they meet 100% of the qualifications. We recognize that it is highly unlikely that any applicant is able to meet all of the qualifications for a given role. Therefore, if you are drawn to this position and feel your strengths would be an asset to the organization, we highly encourage you to apply.

Volunteer Positions

The very nature of volunteering means choosing to work without being paid for it. As a result, people choose to spend their time on issues they feel strongly about. If you have a passion for animals, history, education, or conservation, the National Mississippi River Musuem & Aquarium, Dubuque Historical Society, and Mathias Ham Historic Site are for you!

Volunteers receive a number of benefits including free individual admission. Flexible schedules are available. To apply, complete the volunteer application below. Some positions may require you to upload a cover letter and resume. For more information, contact Kristen Leffler at 563-557-9545 x221 or kleffler@rivermuseum.com.

volunteer APPLICATIOn - fillable PDF

Blacksmithing

Blacksmith volunteers work in either the boat shop or the blacksmith shop to help with electrical, woodworking, blacksmithing, building, and repair projects for the Museum & Aquarium. Volunteer blacksmiths also conduct demonstrations for guests during certain special events throughout the year. Those interested in this position do not need to have previous blacksmithing experience, but must be interested in learning skill work to demonstrate for visitors.

Equipment and basic training is provided upon starting in this position.

Conservation

Conservation volunteers work alongside our Curator of Conservation Programs on daily, weekly, and monthly projects in the community, including habitat restoration, campus habitat care, greenhouse tending, mussel survey work, prairie, forest, and woodland restoration days, river cleanups, seed harvesting, and more. Those interested will be scheduled and contacted about opportunities as they arise. 

Curatorial

Volunteers will provide support for the Curatorial Services (historical collections) department at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium/Dubuque County Historical Society.

Duties may include but are not limited to:

  • Assists collections management staff with object handling, documentation, exhibit installation/deinstallation.
  • Verifies, updates, or catalogs information on collection items in the database.
  • Correlates items with the correct paper and database files.  
  • Digitally photographs or scans each item and adds images to the database.
  • Researches items in the collection.
  • Assists with proper storage and housing of collection items.

Applicants should possess:

  • Ability to work as part of a team and follow specific directions.
  • Strong computer skills, such as experience with Microsoft Word, Excel, etc.

Development

Volunteers will assist Development staff with matching pre-scanned documents to donation records in our database, Altru. The scanned document would then be attached to the file associated to that record. Training is provided and once understood the volunteer can work independently.

Applicants should possess:

  • A comfortability in working with computers
  • Attention to detail

Note: An NDA must be signed by Development volunteers as files and documents may contain sensitive donor information

Greeter

The volunteer greeter is one of the first individuals that the guests of the Museum & Aquarium interact with. Greeters welcome each visitor to our campus, provide them with a map, and direct them to the various features and exhibits of the Museum & Aquarium. This includes explaining the different buildings and areas, highlighting certain animals, and going over the daily activities being offered.

Basic training is provided prior to starting in this position.

Living Collections

Living Collections volunteers will help to provide daily care of various animals at the Museum &  Aquarium. This may include daily feedings and enclosure cleaning, making and documenting observations related to animal health and well-being, maintaining written and electronic records, testing water quality, and following other Living Collections procedures.

A typical Living Collections volunteer will possess a high school diploma, a background or experience relating to animal husbandry, and be able to commit to a minimum of 8 hours a week with the team.

Extensive training is provided upon starting this position.

Receptionist

The volunteer receptionist is stationed in the administration office of the Mississippi River Center. Receptionists answer all incoming calls during normal business hours and direct them accordingly. They will also greet, welcome, and direct all in-person guests who arrive for meetings and other business. Various mailings and other administrative and office-related tasks also fall under this position.

Basic training is provided upon starting this position.

Special Events

Special events volunteers assist with the Museum & Aquarium's events throughout the year, ranging from small to large scale. Typical tasks may include set up and tear down, helping facilitate crafts, games, and experiments, food preparation, ticketing, historical demonstrations, dressing up in character, and more. Those interested will be contacted about opportunities as they arise. 

Stingray Touch Tank

Down in the Delta volunteers work alongside a museum educator to interpret and inform guests who visit the Delta touch tank about the various rays and skates on exhibit. Volunteers are also responsible for helping to maintain the safety of both the animals and guests, such as instructing guests to rinse their hands before touching the animals, explaining the proper technique to touch and feed the animals, and providing basic facts about the rays and skates to enrich guests’ experience.

Basic training is provided prior to starting in this position.

Internships

We love helping college students gain real-life experience! If you are interested in any of the posted internships, please complete the volunteer application below and email along with your resume, cover letter, and any additional requirements. Applications may also be submitted in person at either box office. For questions, contact Kristen Leffler at 563-557-9545 x221 or kleffler@rivermuseum.com.

Deadlines for submission are as follows:

  • Spring semester application submission deadline: January 1 annually
  • Summer semester application submission deadline: May 1 annually
  • Fall semester application submission deadline: August 25 annually

For questions, contact Kristen Leffler at 563-557-9545 x221 or kleffler@rivermuseum.com. 

Internship Application (fillable PDF)

Banquets Intern (Banquets)

Purpose of the position:

The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium’s mission is to explore life of Dubuque, the Mississippi River, and the Rivers of America and their global connections, and to research, interpret, educate and promote the conservation of their historical and natural environment.

The Sales and Banquet intern will assist the Sales & Marketing Department with all afterhours banquet operations for groups hosting events at the NMRM&A.  The intern will work collaboratively with the Museum & Aquarium banquet’s staff to set up, tear down and clean all banquet areas. To move equipment to and from banquet areas in a safe manner. To avoid damage to the museum and to maintain the cleanliness of any space used for a banquet event.  To achieve the overall success of the event or function while learning the processes.  Around 15 - 20 hours per week depending on number of events.  Some weeks might be more than 20 hours; some weeks might be less than 15 hours.

Essential Functions:

  1. Will assist Sales & Banquet Manager with organizing and executing events held at the NMRM&A.
  2. Set tables, chairs, and other equipment to the specification of the client as reported by the Sales & Banquet Manager.
  3. To assist Banquet service and Banquet bartenders as needed to achieve the overall success of the event or function. This may be but not limited to providing ice or glassware for the banquet bars, set or clear guest tables, help with cleaning dishes and other equipment.
  4. Break down and store tables, chairs and other equipment at the conclusion of an Event/Function.
  5. To clean and maintain all function space to the standards of the NMRM&A.
  6. Any other duties, responsibilities, or tasks deemed necessary by the Sales & Banquet Manager.
  7. Must maintain a neat, clean and well-groomed appearance.

Relationships:

This individual will report to the Sales & Banquet Manager on a weekly basis and work with other banquet staff and volunteers accordingly.

Equipment: (e.g., computer, copy machine, telephone, etc.)

Must have general operational knowledge of basic office equipment, computers, and computer software systems.

Qualifications: (e.g., education, training, experience, & skills)

The intern shall possess exceptional organizational skills and be able to work independently as long as with a team.  We are looking for an intelligent, detail-oriented individual who can cover a broad array of duties while assisting the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium to become the nation’s premier center to interpret and preserve the Mississippi River’s natural environment and history, inspire a global audience, and create more knowledgeable and engaged citizens.

Skills/Experience:  Organizational skills.  Excellent verbal and written communication skills.  Listens well.  Works well under stressful situations.

APPLICATION
Please send application, resume, and cover letter to Kristen Leffler at kleffler@rivermuseum.com.

Curatorial Intern (Curatorial)

Intern will provide support for the Curatorial Services (historical collections) department at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium/Dubuque County Historical Society. This is a temporary, non-paid, part time position.

Duties may include but are not limited to:

  • Assists collections management staff with object handling, documentation, exhibit installation/deinstallation.
  • Verifies, updates, or catalogs information on collection items in the database.
  • Correlates items with the correct paper and database files.  
  • Digitally photographs or scans each item and adds images to the database.
  • Researches items in the collection.
  • Assists with proper storage and housing of collection items.

Applicants should possess:

  • Ability to work as part of a team and follow specific directions.
  • Excellent computer skills, such as experience with Microsoft Word, Excel, etc.
  • Education or interest in history, anthropology, research, museums, archives, or related fields, and willingness to learn about proper museum techniques.

APPLICATION
Please send application, resume, and cover letter to Kristen Leffler at kleffler@rivermuseum.com.

Development Database Internship (Development)

The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium’s mission is to explore life of Dubuque, the Mississippi River, and the Rivers of America and their global connections, and to research, interpret, educate and promote the conservation of their historical and natural environment.

The Development intern will assist the Development department with ongoing fundraising activities that meet our mission. The intern will work collaboratively with the Museum & Aquarium staff to update donor and member demographic information which is important for staying connected with those individuals and organizations, research matching gift organizations and opportunities, and work to update our digital donor gift history information as we move closer to our goal of being an even more sustainable/green organization while learning the processes and importance of non-profit development.

Long-term, we view this as a distinct opportunity to advance the Museum & Aquarium’s capability to fundraise and maintain a properly updated database; offer learning opportunities for young professionals; and increase strong collaborative efforts with local organizations and prospective donors.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

  • Gain a working knowledge of our donor and member database system (Blackbaud’s Altru).
  • Maintain a working database of funders and deadlines.
  • Assist in prospect research and cultivation of current and new donors, major gifts, and matching gifts.
  • Research possible sponsors, which fits the organizations vision, mission and ongoing educational activities.
  • Track and report event sponsors in the community.
  • Assist in planning Museum & Aquarium upcoming events – Ice Fest, Mad Scientist Party, 4th of July Ice Cream Social, Ding Darling Days & the Taste of Dubuque & more.
  • All other duties as assigned.

RELATIONSHIPS

This individual will report to the Development Database Coordinator, and will work with Development and Membership Managers on a daily basis. In addition, this position would work with other departments such as Marking and Education as well as other administrative office staff, and volunteers accordingly.

QUALIFICATIONS 

The intern shall possess exceptional organizational skills and be able to work independently as well as with others.  We are looking for an intelligent, detail-oriented individual who can cover a broad array of duties while assisting the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium to become the nation’s premier center to interpret and preserve the Mississippi River’s natural environment and history, inspire a global audience, and create more knowledgeable and engaged citizens.

SKILLS

Knowledge of Microsoft Office, Microsoft Excel, basic database principles, internet navigation, and social media experience preferred. Must have general operational knowledge of basic office equipment, computers, postage machine, and computer software systems.

APPLICATION
Please send application, resume, and cover letter to Kristen Leffler at kleffler@rivermuseum.com.

Exhibits Internship (Exhibits)

This is a 4 – 10 hr. per week during business hours. The assistant will provide support for the Exhibits Department at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium.

We are looking for an intelligent, friendly, detail-orientated, hard-working student who can cover a broad array of duties. They must be able to work successfully as part of a team or alone. The student will assist exhibit personnel in all their duties. This could include:

  • Building and painting walls, cases, and new displays.
  • Maintenance and cleaning of existing displays
  • Restoration work on existing buildings and boats
  • Producing in house signage

Specific skills or educational background helpful but not necessary:

  • Fine Arts/Graphic Arts background
  • Some basic construction skills, i.e. painting, sawing, measuring, etc.

APPLICATION
Please send application, resume, and cover letter to Kristen Leffler at kleffler@rivermuseum.com.

Living Collections Intern (Living Collections)

The Living Collections Internship will allow participants to have a greater knowledge and understanding of the general husbandry needs of freshwater fish, saltwater fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, invertebrates, and mammals housed in captive environments at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (NMRM&A).  Interns will work with members of the Living Collections Team to complete the daily tasks required to maintain the health and welfare of animals, as well as clean exhibits and back of house areas.

Please note before applying:

  • We will require a minimum 12 hours of work per week. (One 8-hour day and an additional 4-hour day)

Primary Duties

  • Preparation of food for animal diets and feeding out of diets in efficient manner.
  • Ensure all husbandry areas are kept clean, organized and hazard free; report maintenance needs; perform minor maintenance tasks. Cleaning of the exterior and interior of the enclosures as well as areas around the enclosures (floors, counters under and above enclosures).
  • Exhibit servicing including monitoring the health and well-being of animals, testing for appropriate water parameters and performing water changes as needed, ensuring daily and weekly check sheets are current and maintain written records in accordance with established practice and policy.
  • Provide superb guest service for all visitors.
  • Implement emergency procedures as directed.
  • Work safely with and around potentially hazardous chemicals and dangerous animals.
  • Extended periods of standing and heavy lifting up to 50 lbs.
  • Assist Aquarists with any necessary projects and provide alternative coverage as needed.

Special Requirements

  • Applicants must be currently enrolled in a college or university, or have recently graduated from a college or university.
  • Will typically possess a background related to animal husbandry.
  • Experience with, understanding of, and aptitude for maintaining animals in captivity is helpful.
  • Must possess strength and endurance to perform the physical demands of all Key Responsibilities with or without accommodation.
  • Must be able to read, write, and speak the English language.
  • Ability to interact in a courteous and professional manner.
  • Must be capable of dealing with emergencies calmly and efficiently.
  • Must learn quickly and be self-motivated to elevate personal skill set.
  • Must possess good decision-making and problem solving skills to make sound, independent judgments to identify problems and suggest solutions.

APPLICATION
Please send application, resume, and cover letter to Kristen Leffler at kleffler@rivermuseum.com.

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