Earth Sciences Documentation Photographer

Love looking at fossils? We are looking for a volunteer to help photograph fossil and rock specimens from all earth sciences collections, including paleobotany, vertebrate paleontology, invertebrate paleontology, as well as rocks and minerals. Prior experience with geological or fossil specimens is not required, but an interest helps with learning the features to target.  The photographs generated are meant to document the specimens in our collection and be attached to our database records, they will become available to the public through an online database. This job is repetitive and requires an adherence to patterned procedures while maintaining attention to the subject.


  • Setup lighting and photograph specimens and/or features of specimens
  • Utilize focus-stack photography equipment and software, EOS Canon 5d Mark III, StackShot automated Macro Rail, Zerene Stacker
  • Edit, crop, and label images in Adobe Photoshop
  • Record data in Excel, following precise format, syntax, and accuracy
  • Manage and prepare data and images for database ingest

Required Skills

  • Intermediate experience with data management in Microsoft Excel
  • Intermediate experience with Photoshop
  • Eagerness to learn additional software skills
  • Previous experience in photography of still items and lighting is desirable, at minimum an eye for aspects of image quality and detail is needed
  • An appreciation of repetitive and patterned tasks/procedures
  • Ability to sit or stand for extended periods of time
  • Ability to handle small, delicate specimens safely
  • Ability to read small and fine print
  • Solid oral & written communication skills
  • Being meticulous and detailed oriented is highly valued
  • Volunteers must be able to work independently once training is completed and with support from staff when necessary


On the job training will be provided by the collections managers, collections staff, and occasionally by the curators. Training will include basic working knowledge of fossil anatomic terminology, specimen handling, proper equipment use, as well as desired product quality and format.

Shifts available Sunday-Friday, between the hours of 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Applicants must be able to volunteer for a four hour shift each week with a minimum of 20 shifts within one year.

Age Requirements
Available to individual applicants 18 years of age or older.

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