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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.

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

Assistant Curator of Living Collections

Position Title: Assistant Curator of Living Collections
Full-time/Part-time: Full-time; weekends, holidays and evenings as required
Exempt/Non-Exempt: Exempt
Department: Living Collections
Reports To: Curator of Living Collections
Staff Reporting To This Position: Aquarists, Keepers, Operators, and Aquarist Aides

The Assistant Curator of Living Collections position is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Living Collections department. Two individuals who will be assigned to opposite work schedules will hold this position; together they will work cooperatively to fulfill the listed duties between them. This position is estimated to require 35% office work and 65% on-the-floor work.

The Dubuque County Historical Society and its National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Applicants from populations underrepresented in the 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.

Primary Duties

  • Act as primary caretaker for assigned exhibits/systems/animals.
    • Provide daily cleaning and care for animals and life support systems.
    • Feed animals according to established feed schedule and recommend changes as necessary.
    • Make daily observations of animals for health assessment and report suspected incidence of disease immediately to the management; collaborate on appropriate therapy.
    • Maintain written records in accordance with established practice and policy.
    • Monitor and manage water quality in assigned exhibits and holding tanks.
    • Keep all husbandry areas clean, organized and hazard free, report maintenance needs, and perform minor maintenance tasks.
    • Study reference materials about animals in institutional collection.
    • Ensure alarms and monitoring systems are set appropriately and functional.
    • Maintain lighting as appropriate for the species.
  • Lead and manage the Living Collections department staff.
    • Ensure staff acts in a cohesive manner.
    • Ensure staff follows procedures.
    • Assist staff with daily tasks.
    • Coach, motivate, train, and instruct staff and volunteers.
    • Assist with departmental hiring.
    • Perform annual evaluations for direct reports listed above.
    • Perform walkthroughs with Living Collections staff.
    • Act as a visible mentor and role model at all times.
    • Provide alternate coverage for other team members as needed.
  • Lead and manage the Living Collections volunteer and intern support staff.
    • Act as primary liaison between Living Collections department and Volunteer Coordinator.
    • Assign responsibilities to Living Collections volunteers and interns.
    • Organize training sessions.
    • Maintain schedule for all volunteers and interns.
    • Perform regular evaluations for volunteers and interns.
    • Schedule job shadows and tours as appropriate.

Additional Duties

  • Ensure animal identification graphics are current.
  • Act as primary liaison between Living Collections and Marketing departments for social media purposes.
  • Act as Dive Safety Officer.
  • Act as primary liaison between Living Collections and Conservation Programs departments.
  • Act as a safety officer within the Living Collections department.
    • Attend monthly meetings of the Safety Committee.
    • Ensure waste is disposed of safely, legally, and ethically.
    • Ensure Safety Data Sheets are maintained.
  • Participate in the construction and care of exhibit life support systems, including routine preventative maintenance on equipment.
  • Work safely with and around potentially hazardous chemicals and dangerous animals.
  • Dive at least 12 times per year to remain an active member of the dive team.
  • Extended periods of standing, kneeling, bending, climbing, and heavy lifting up to 50 lbs.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Requirements

  • A Bachelor’s degree with an emphasis on biology or science course work is preferred.
  • Must have previous exposure to aquariums and/or zoos and a background related to living organisms in a professional setting.
  • Will typically have a minimum of 6 years of paid husbandry experience in a zoo or aquarium setting, and 3 years of supervisory experience.
  • Must demonstrate an advanced understanding of the operation of the equipment necessary to maintain live exhibits, especially aquatic life support systems, and the fundamentals of water chemistry and basic analysis of critical water quality parameters.
  • Must possess knowledge and skills for minor carpentry, plumbing, and painting.
  • Must possess strength and endurance to perform the physical demands of all Primary Duties with or without accommodation.
  • Must possess or be able to acquire a valid Iowa, Wisconsin or Illinois driver’s license within 3 months of hire.
  • Must possess SCUBA certification or the ability to obtain certification within 6 months of hire.
  • Ability to interact in a courteous and professional manner.
  • Must learn quickly and be self-motivated to elevate personal skill set.
  • Must possess exemplary decision-making skills to make sound, independent judgments.
  • Must possess exemplary problem-solving skills to identify problems and suggest solutions.
  • Must demonstrate the ability to work with all people in a positive and productive manner, even in stressful situations.
  • Must be able to read, write, and speak the English language.
  • Experience with, understanding of, and aptitude for maintaining a diverse range of animals is essential.
  • Must be capable of dealing with emergencies calmly and efficiently.
  • Must demonstrate the ability to stay organized by updating protocols and check sheets in a timely manner without supervision.
  • Must show an interest in developing themselves and the aquarium/animal care industry, possibly shown by presenting at professional conferences and/or publishing articles.
  • Must demonstrate superb team-building skills with an ability to instill a positive and productive attitude in others.
  • Must show the ability to plan and build cohesive educational live exhibits, possibly shown by taking on the lead role in all aspects of the construction of a new live exhibit (including LSS, exhibit design, budgeting, purchasing, collection planning, acquisition of animals, etc.)
  • 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. Apply in person at 350 E. Third St., Dubuque, IA 52001.

Housekeeper

Position Title: Housekeeper
Full-time/Part-time: Part-time (30 hours)
Department: Housekeeping/Maintenance
Reports To: Head Housekeeper & Facilities Manager

The Dubuque County Historical Society (DCHS) and National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (NMRMA) are seeking candidates for the Housekeeping Position. 


Primary Duties

  • Assisting in all aspects of buildings and grounds cleaning
  • Ensuring that all properties are clean, safe and well-maintained
  • Position requires the ability to stand for prolonged periods of time, to stoop, kneel, bend, climb, lift and carry.
  • Present the museum positively by maintaining a clean and presentable appearance

Experience

  • 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
  • A driver’s license and high school diploma or equivalent is preferred.

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 to National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, Attn: Human Resources, 350 East Third St, Dubuque, IA 52001; or dropped of in person at the box office.

Weekend Maintenance Technician

Position Title: Weekend Maintenance Technician            
Full-time/Part-time: Part-time, weekends
Exempt/Non-Exempt: Non-exempt
Department: Facilities
Reports To: Director of Facilities

The Dubuque County Historical Society (DCHS) seeks a professional responsible for performing a variety of work in the general maintenance and repair of buildings, facilities, equipment, and grounds including the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (NMRMA) and the Mathias Ham Historic Site (MHHS). Primary responsibilities will include a variety of work in the maintenance and repair of buildings and grounds including carpentry, electrical, plumbing, masonry, painting, and grounds maintenance. This position requires any combination of education, training, and experience, which demonstrates ability to perform the duties and responsibilities as described including related work experience in one or more of the building trades.

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.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Plumbing: Identifies and performs basic repairs of plumbing leaks or breaks; opens clogged lines and drains; replaces seals and other minor parts; maintains drinking fountains.
  • Painting: applies and prepares various surfaces for paint, enamel, lacquer, varnish, or stain; remove or paints over graffiti; repairs wall coverings.
  • Grounds Maintenance: Maintains grounds in clean, safe, and orderly manner including mowing, trimming, weeding, aerating, minor pest management; cleans debris from grounds, pathways, and parking lots; maintains grounds maintenance equipment.
  • Assist with the set up and tear down of events/rental.

Requirements

  • A combination of education, training, and experience, which demonstrates ability to perform the duties and responsibilities as described including related work experience in one or more of the building trades.
  • Possesses or is able to acquire safety certifications such as first aid, CPR, AED, small watercraft safety, etc.
  • Valid driver’s license, good driving record, and reliable transportation.
  • Demonstrates the ability to work with and communicate effectively with all people in a positive and productive manner, even in stressful situations.
  • Final candidates will be subject to a background check.
  • Extended periods of standing, kneeling, bending, climbing, and heavy lifting up to 50 lbs.
  • Keep all areas clean, organized and hazard free, report maintenance needs, and perform minor maintenance tasks.
  • Other duties as assigned.

How To Apply

To learn more, visit rivermuseum.com/apply. Apply by emailing your resume, cover letter, salary requirements, and references to apply@rivermuseum.com. Apply in person at 350 E. Third St, Dubuque, IA 52001.

Volunteer Positions

Have an interest in history, animals, conservation, or simply enjoy helping others? Whether it’s one day a month, one day a week, or just for special events and projects, we’d love for you to join in our mission.

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 recieve free individual admission, reduced museum admission for your guests, and discounts on food & beverage and museum store purchases. 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 Field at 563-557-9545 x221 or volunteer@rivermuseum.com.

required volunteer APPLICATION 

Blacksmith/Maintenance Volunteer

Currently seeking volunteers for Thursdays. Blacksmith volunteers are located in either the Blacksmith Shop or the Boat Shop in the Mississippi River Center. Volunteers interested in this position need not have blacksmithing/skilled experience; however, they should be interested in learning and demonstrating blacksmith/skilled work for visitors. Equipment and some training is provided. 

Down in the Delta

Daily: 10 a.m. - noon and/or noon - 3 p.m. Down in the Delta volunteers assist the Delta Educator in the National River Center with tasks such as instructing visitors to rinse hands, explaining the proper technique to use while interacting with the animals, and provides simple interpretation when applicable. This volunteer assists the Delta Educator in interpreting the stingray of the Mississippi Delta and in maintaining a safe environment for our animals and our visitors.

As with all volunteers, Down in Delta volunteers are representatives of the Museum & Aquarium. They are required to wear a clean uniform with name badge. Using a cell phone, eating, and drinking are not permitted while at their post.

Erosion Table Volunteer

Daily: 10 a.m. - noon and/or 12 p.m. - 3 p.m. Erosion table volunteers are located beside the erosion table in the Mississippi River Discovery Center. Using photos, interpretive media, and the table itself, the volunteer working this station will interpret the process of erosion to visitors, engage students in hands on learning, and maintain the flood table as visitors explore erosion and the impacts soil has on the Mississippi River and other rivers throughout the world.

As with all volunteers, Erosion Table volunteers are representatives of the Museum & Aquarium. They are required to wear a clean uniform with name badge. Using a cell phone, eating, and drinking are not permitted while at their post.

Flood Table Volunteer

Daily: 10 a.m. - noon and/or noon - 3 p.m. Flood table volunteers are located beside the flood table in the Mississippi River Center. They explain to visitors the history of flooding in the city of Dubuque and the impact seasonal flooding has on the Mississippi River floodplain. Using photos and other interpretive media, the volunteer will orient the visitor to  important landmarks on the flood table. Visitors always like personal stories from actual experiences or stories volunteers have heard from others who experienced a Dubuque flood.

As with all volunteers, Erosion Table volunteers are representatives of the Museum & Aquarium. They are required to wear a clean uniform with name badge. Using a cell phone, eating, and drinking are not permitted while at their post.

Greeter

Greeters stand near the main entrance and welcome every visitor to the Museum & Aquarium with a smile. They answer questions, briefly explain the campus, give directions and maps, and help our guests to the best of their ability (or find them someone who can). Greeters should be outgoing, friendly, knowledgeable, and excellent at customer service.

As with all volunteers, greeters are representatives of the Museum & Aquarium. They are required to wear a clean uniform with name badge. Using a cell phone, eating, and drinking are not permitted while greeting.

Living Collections Volunteer

The Living Collection Volunteer will commit to 8 hours a week with the Living Collection team. Volunteers will help to provide the daily care of the aquariums inhabitants. This will include daily feedings and cleanings, making observations relating to animal health, maintaining written records and following Living Collections Procedures. Typically a Living Collections Volunteer will possess a background related to animal husbandry, a high school diploma, and be able to read and write the English language.

Riverworks Assistant

RiverWorks assistants help the Educator at the RiverWorks Stream Table in the National River Center. They help clean up water, hang up smocks, and collect boats. RiverWorks assistants should be outgoing, friendly, knowledgeable, and excellent at customer service.

As with all volunteers, RiverWorks assistants are representatives of the Museum & Aquarium. They are required to wear a clean uniform with name badge. This area can get wet, so proper footwear should be worn for safety. Using a cell phone, eating, and drinking are not permitted while on the floor.

Special Events

Volunteers that select to volunteer their time at special events will be updated regularly by email/newsletter of the upcoming volunteer needs. The Museum & Aquarium holds approximately one-two special events per month that will require volunteer help. Volunteer positions include, but are not limited to: event set-up and teardown, ticket sales, food/beverage booth, money handling, donation booth, children’s games, & more!  Please contact Vicky Sutter at 563-557-9545 or vsutter@rivermuseum.com with any questions regarding special events.

Touch Tank Volunteer

Touch Tank volunteers attend to the Sturgeon Touch Tank in the Mississippi River Center. They explain proper hand-washing to guests and offer help as needed. There will be an Educator on hand to answer in-depth questions. Touch Tank volunteers should be outgoing, friendly, knowledgeable, and excellent at customer service.

As with all volunteers, Touch Tank Volunteers are representatives of the Museum & Aquarium. They are required to wear a clean uniform with name badge. Using a cell phone, eating, and drinking are not permitted while at their post.

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 Field at 563-557-9545 x221 or volunteer@rivermuseum.com.

Deadlines for submission are as follows:

  • Spring semester application submission deadline: January 1 annually
  • Summer semester application submission deadline: April 15 annually
  • Fall semester application submission deadline: August 25 annually

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

Internship VOLUNTEER Application

RiverWorks Discovery Internship (Fundraising/Development)

RiverWorks Discovery® Intern

Purpose of the position:
RiverWorks Discovery’s (RWD) mission is to educate communities about commerce, culture, conservation, and careers on the great rivers of America and their watersheds.  We are a national education outreach program through the efforts of the National Rivers Hall of Fame, located at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium. 

The RWD intern will assist the Program Coordinator and Director with ongoing fundraising activities that meet our mission. The intern will work collaboratively with the Museum & Aquarium staff to research new sponsors and identify innovative donor cultivation techniques, while learning the processes and importance of non-profit development.

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

Essential Functions:

  • Research possible sponsors, which fit the organizations vision, mission, and ongoing educational activities.
  • Track and report event sponsors in the community and surrounding areas.
  • Assist in prospect research, marketing, and cultivation of current and new donors, and major gifts.
  • Maintain a working database of funders and deadlines.
  • Assist in updating the National Rivers Hall of Fame web pages
  • All other duties as assigned.

Relationships:
This individual will report to the Program Coordinator, and will work with both the Program Director and Program Coordinator on a daily basis. In addition, this position would work with other departments such as Marketing and Education as well as other administrative office 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.  We are looking for an intelligent, detail-oriented individual who can cover a broad array of duties while assisting the RiverWorks Discovery team with sponsors, file maintenance, and event planning for the upcoming RWD-Who Works the Rivers Fall event schedule.

Skills/Experience: 
Knowledge of Microsoft Office, Development database, internet navigation, and social media experience preferred.

Please send resume & cover letter to: Kristen Field at kfield@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.

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.
  • Priority will be given for individuals who are able work four days a week (Sunday to Wednesday or Wednesday to Saturday) 7am to 4pm. The minimal requirements are two full 8 hour days. The internship will run 10-12 weeks, starting late September.

Application Requirements

  • NMRM&A Application
  • Cover Letter
  • Resume

 

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.

This is a temporary, non-paid, part time position with the possibility of extension.  If interested, please send museum application, cover letter and resume to Kristen Field at kfield@rivermuseum.com.

Development Intern (Development)

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 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 research new sponsors and identify innovative donor cultivation techniques, 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; offer learning opportunities for young professionals; and increase strong collaborative efforts with local organizations and prospective donors.

Essential Functions:

  • Research possible sponsors, which fits the organizations vision, mission and ongoing educational activities.
  • Track and report event sponsors in the community.
  • Assist in prospect research and cultivation of current and new donors, and major gifts.
  • Maintain a working database of funders and deadlines.
  • Gain a working knowledge of our donor and member database system – Altru.
  • 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 Manager, 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.

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

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

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

The intern shall possess exceptional organizational skills and be able to work independently.  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: Knowledge of Microsoft Office, Development database, internet navigation, and social media experience preferred.

Please send Resume & Cover letter to: Kristen Field at kfield@rivermuseum.com

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