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

Aquarist Aide (Part-Time)

Position Title: Aquarist Aide
Full-time/Part-time: Part-time; weekends, holidays and evenings as required
Exempt/Non-Exempt:
Non-Exempt
Department:
Living Collections
Reports To:
Assistant Curator

Aquarist Aides perform duties related to the husbandry of animals owned by or entrusted to the aquarium, the appearance and upkeep of live exhibits, enclosures, and the associated life support systems, and the support areas related to the animal collection. Specific assignments may vary depending on the day-to-day needs to the department.

The Dubuque County Historical Society and its National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium and Mathias Ham Historic Site are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer.  We strive to create a culture of inclusivity, empowerment, respect, and the opportunity to succeed. It is a priority to create a workplace that reflects the communities that we serve, and where all feel welcome to bring their full, authentic selves to our organization.

Primary Duties

  • Provide daily cleaning and care of assigned exhibits and life support systems.
  • Ensure daily and weekly check sheets are current.
  • Feed animals according to established feed schedule, 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.
  • Participate in the construction and care of exhibit life support systems, including routine preventative maintenance on equipment.
  • Provide alternate coverage for other Aquarists as assigned.
  • Ensure all husbandry areas are kept clean, organized and hazard free; report maintenance needs; perform minor maintenance tasks.
  • Provide superb customer service for all visitors.
  • Engage in continued learning about animals and plants in institutional collection.
  • 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.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Experience

  • Will typically possess a background related to living organisms.
  • 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 Primary Duties with or without accommodation.
  • A High School Diploma is required.
  • 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 skills to make sound, independent judgments.
  • Must possess good problem-solving skills to identify problems and suggest solutions.

How To Apply

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

Educator, Overnights (Part-Time)

Position Title: Educator, Overnights
Full-time/Part-time: Part-time; weekends, holidays and evenings as required
Exempt/Non-Exempt: Non-Exempt
Department: Education
Reports To:
 Education Leads (as assigned)
Staff Reporting To This Position: 
N/A

The Educator, Overnights position is primarily responsible for the presentation of engaging and inclusive educational programs while providing for the safety of guests and facilities during late night or overnight events. This position requires a high degree of self-confidence, self-sufficiency, and reliability. Programs highlight connections to the Mississippi River through history, conservation, and STEM topics, utilizing dynamic resources of the NMRMA campus to forge meaningful connections with all audiences. Some of these programs involve the use of live ambassador animals, requiring a degree of comfort around animals.

The Dubuque County Historical Society and its National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium and Mathias Ham Historic Site are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer.  We strive to create a culture of inclusivity, empowerment, respect, and the opportunity to succeed. It is a priority to create a workplace that reflects the communities that we serve, and where all feel welcome to bring their full, authentic selves to our organization.

Primary Duties

  • Provide care and oversight of guests and facilities during pre-scheduled overnight programs.
    • Act as staff point person for any guest needs.
    • Make regular checks of guests to ensure their safety.
    • Remain in the museum all night.
    • Perform educational programs that include options such as: arts and crafts, live animals, games, activities, artifacts, props, etc.

Additional Duties

  • Perform variable daily roles as assigned, including, but not limited to: Boat Shop, Delta, W.M. Black dredge boat, Wet Lab, Camps, Overnights, Outreach, and Tours.
  • Remain comfortable, competent, and invested in history, conservation, and STEM topics to ensure redundancy and cross-training are in place.
  • Attend mandatory, prescheduled training sessions.
  • Engage in continued learning about animals, plants, and artifacts in institutional collection.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Requirements

  • Relevant college course work and/or a Bachelor’s degree with an emphasis on biology, environmental science, ecology, history, anthropology, education, or a related field is encouraged but not required.
  • Prior exposure to informal learning processes, preferably in an aquarium, zoo, nature center, or museum setting is preferred.
  • A personal email account and phone number are required for information exchange.
  • Must be able to read, write, and speak the English language.
  • Must possess strength and endurance to perform the physical demands of all listed duties with or without accommodation.
  • Must be comfortable in and around the water, and indoors and outdoors in any weather.
  • 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, and references to apply@rivermuseum.com. Apply in person at 350 E. Third St., Dubuque, IA 52001.

RiverWorks Discovery Coordinator (Part-Time)

Full-time/Part-time: Part-time
Exempt/Non-Exempt: Non-exempt
Department: 
RiverWorks Discovery
Reports To: 
RiverWorks Discovery Director

The Dubuque County Historical Society (DCHS) seeks a professional responsible for performing a variety of tasks for its program RiverWorks Discovery. 

RiverWorks Discovery (RWD) is a nationally recognized educational outreach effort of the National Rivers Hall of Fame, located at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium.  RWD teaches people about the commerce, culture and conservation of America’s rivers and their watersheds. RWD is a coordinated effort that brings together the river industry, community leaders, museums, nature centers, educators and the public to recognize the important role our rivers have played throughout history and will continue to play in our nation’s future.

Primary responsibilities will include acting as a liaison between RWD and others at DCHS, assisting with administrative tasks, donor relations, marketing and public relations, as well as program scheduling and development. This position requires a combination of education, training, and experience that demonstrates the ability to perform the duties and responsibilities as described, including related work experience.

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.

Principle Responsibilities:

Administrative Assistance

  • Handle administrative details associated with program scheduling for schools and community events, including scheduling dates and times for programs, gathering and/or prepare materials, promoting events to intended audience, inviting guests and speakers, and making appropriate recommendations for improvement, etc.).
  • Write and coordinate media materials for distribution. (i.e. copying, filing, mailing, e-mailing)
  • Communicate regularly across the organization regarding RWD plans, programs, needs and initiatives.
  • Manage special projects as directed, including timeline, communication, resource needs and allocation, etc.

Donor and Partner Relations

  • Assist Director in attracting new supporters and work to retain existing supporters, which may include limited travel.
  • Act as a point of contact to respond to inquiries received from supporters and the public via telephone, email, website or social media.
  • Maintain a database of supporters and industry contacts.
  • Coordinate production and mailing of appeal letters and other information.
  • Create monthly fundraising/sponsorship reports, media exposure reports, and other database reports as needed.
  • Assist with grant applications and fundraising requests, partnering with DCHS development staff.
  • Process donations and prepare acknowledgement letters and other correspondence
  • Prepare donor related materials to be sent for solicitation.

Marketing and Public Relations

  • Assure RWD is consistently presented in a strong, positive image through various forms of social media and public events or functions.
  • Create and continually update social media accounts and various other media outlets.  Monitor and respond to social media comments.
  • Continually update the RWD website with news, dates and events.
  • Research and craft social media messages on a consistent basis.
  • Write and coordinate media materials for distribution.
  • Helps develop, prepare, and provide content for updates and newsletters, including producing and/or updating newsletters, classroom resources and library resources.
  • Participate in the development of interactive displays and exhibits

Program Schedule and Development

  • Develop and maintain a working knowledge of the river industry and its culture.
  • Assist the RWD Director in the missions, programs, events and goals to ensure they are consistently presented in a positive light to agencies, organization and the general public
  • Partner with Education and Outreach in the development, planning and delivery of RWD programming including creating new curriculum; planning workshops, presentations and field trips in locations around the country.

Additional Responsibilities

  • Take part in DCHS events on our campuses and in outreach programs.
  • Monitor expenses and budget and achieve expense goals.
  • Attend National Rivers Hall of Fame meetings as required.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: 

  • Maintain a working knowledge of the river industry and its culture. Previous knowledge is a plus, but not required.
  • Must possess or be able to acquire a valid Iowa, Wisconsin, or Illinois driver’s license within 3 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.
  • Must demonstrate superb team-building skills with an ability to instill a positive and productive attitude in others.
  • Final candidates are subject to a reference and background check.

How to Apply

Apply by emailing your application, resume, cover letter, salary requirements, and references to apply@rivermuseum.com. Apply in person at 350 E. 3rd St, Dubuque, IA 52001.

Weekend Maintenance Technician (Part-Time)

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

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 volunteer@rivermuseum.com.

volunteer APPLICATION 

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.

Down in the Delta

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.

Flood & Erosion Table

The flood and erosion table volunteer moves between these two exhibits to interpret their functions to guests. The flood table simulates the 1965 flood in Dubuque that flooded the Ice Harbor and much of downtown Dubuque. The erosion table helps guests explore erosion and the impact that soil has on both the Mississippi River and other rivers throughout the world.

Basic training is provided prior to starting in this position.

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.

RiverWorks

The RiverWorks volunteer is charged with greeting guests as they approach the RiverWorks SplashZone exhibit, as well as maintaining an environment for safety and fun. The RiverWorks SplashZone is an area for children and families to learn about industry on the river, the water cycle, and other related topics in an interactive manner. Volunteers provide visitors with smocks so as not to get their clothing wet, assist with mopping excess water from the floor, and in disassembling the toy boats for the next guests once children have finished building them.

Basic training is provided prior to starting in this position.

Special Events

The Museum & Aquarium holds several special events throughout the year, with multiple events happening each month. These events range from smaller scale with a few dozen guests to very large scale with a few thousand guests. Special event volunteers help with a wide variety of tasks that help these events go smoothly, including but not limited to set up and tear down, ticketing, assisting with crafts and games, food preparation and serving, historical demonstrations, dressing up in character, and more.

Special event needs are communicated to volunteers on a bi-weekly basis. Many special event volunteers also regularly volunteer in another area at the Museum & Aquarium, though this is not required. 

Web Lab

Using photos, interpretive media, and live animals, the Wet Lab volunteer accompanies and assists a museum educator to showcase various animals of the Mississippi River, including sturgeon, crayfish, alligators, snapping turtles, mussels, and more. The Wet Lab volunteer will help to maintain the safety of the sturgeon touch tank for both the animals and guests.

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

Internship Application

Social Media Intern (Marketing/Communications)

The social media marketing internship will work directly with marketing staff from the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium to manage multiple social media platforms targeted to diverse audiences. This includes utilizing creativity to develop engaging content as well as being able to analyze the results of various social media campaigns.

Social media platforms utilized include Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. In a typical day, you will:

  • Create content based on River Museum & Ham Site initiatives, events, programs, exhibits, etc.
  • Curate content through interactions with other departments
  • Monitor messages and posts from those interacting with our platforms and respond appropriately
  • Regularly analyze other museums, zoos and aquariums to see what is working in our industry
  • Actively participate and lend your voice and ideas to various marketing initiatives
  • Execute other marketing projects as requested, including updating portions of the institution’s website as appropriate

Successful interns will possess:

  • A knowledge of and love for social media
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong proofreading and editing abilities
  • Working towards a degree in marketing, communications, graphic design or a related field

Links to Social Media Platforms:
https://www.facebook.com/rivermuseum/?ref=bookmarks
https://www.facebook.com/MathiasHamHistoricSite/?ref=bookmarks
https://www.instagram.com/rivermuseum/
https://www.instagram.com/marktwainstatue/
https://twitter.com/RiverMuseum
https://twitter.com/MarkTwainStatue

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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