Director of Informatics

Apr 30 2020
Bishop Museum |Honolulu|Full Time
Job Description

Initiates, develops, and directs the Informatics Department across all collections and research activities, including data clean up, normalization, consolidation, integration, security, and sharing of data and associated media files, develops and enhances digital content, directs software development and implementation in support of digital assets across Museum programs and activities, works closely with the Director of Information Technology on infrastructure needs, and consistently adheres to and engages in international data standards and supports funding for research, collections and other Museum programs.


Additional Responsibility Pu​rpose


Museum Safety Captains are responsible for maintaining records, rehearsing safety drills and practices, and coordinating department needs related to safety and security of both the personnel and collections in spaces they often occupy.  As members of a cross-departmental team, Safety Captains help to keep the institution prepared for the variety of natural and human-impacted crises and circumstances that may affect our resources and visitors. Examples of situations that Safety Captains help to prepare for include medical emergencies, natural disasters, weather-resiliency, emergency evacuations, and secure-in-place events. 


Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develops, maintains and manages digital assets (databases, media files, custom and off-shelf software platforms, and web portals and services) related to collections and research involving natural, cultural, and institutional history; works with Curators, Collection Managers, and associated staff to assist in general oversight of digital assets management procedures (data creation, clean-up storage, backup, maintenance, growth, etc.); analyzes data and directs software development and customization as needed. (All Levels)
  • Works toward completing the digitization of collections objects (including Library and Archives collections), including databasing, imaging (photographs, videos), 3D modelling and Structure from Motion (SfM) photogrammetry, georeferencing, and other related digitization technologies. (All Levels)
  • Works towards empowering the Museum’s digital assets in ways that support collections management, scholarly research, and outreach and education through normalization and integration of a variety of digital assets. (All Levels)
  • Remains actively engaged with relevant international data standards bodies, and participates in original scholarly works related to broad informatics communities. (All Levels)
  • Serves the Museum’s public program goals through supporting and/or leading lectures, workshops, field trips, docent training, educational program development, exhibit planning and through the provision of technical information, content knowledge, and assistance to Museum and clients or partners. (All Levels)
  • Contributes significantly to operational planning, which includes planning and development of immediate and long-term project goals and objectives for the Museum. (All Levels)
  • Oversees the design, development, coordination and direction of specific software tools, web portals and services, and other mechanisms for digital assets management related to a broad range of collections and research activities. (All Levels)
  • Actively seeks and obtains financial support through grants, contracts, professional contracts and other resources, in collaboration with other Museum professionals, to further major digital assets management, collections and research activities, and/or to support major Museum programs. (All Levels)
  • Maintains strong affiliations in relevant international data standards organizations and other informatics initiatives through active service (i.e., committees, councils, funding review panels) and participation (i.e., attendance, panel discussions, etc.), including presentations of significant and major works at regional, national, or international meetings, symposia, and workshops which enhances their development as a Museum informatics professional. (All Levels)
  • Travels nationally and internationally to participate in relevant meetings, symposia, and workshops. (All Levels)
  • Defines evolving personnel needs for developing and maintaining digital assets management and content creation, including the prioritization of temporary or permanent staff or contracted positions (software developers, data managers, analysis specialists, technicians, etc.) across multiple phases of the informatics program, and supervises such personnel. (All Levels)
  • Advises collections managers, curators and others engaged in digital assets creation, curation and maintenance. (All Levels)
  • Interacts with staff and Museum clients with tact, courtesy and unqualified respect at all times.  Stays motivated and projects a positive and professional attitude towards fellow workers and clients.  Cooperates and supports teamwork; maintains and strengthens customer relations. (All Levels)
  • Works in a safe manner so as not to endanger fellow staff members, volunteers and visitors.  Complies with safety rules and regulations and establishes safe work practices.  Reads all safety materials received.  Promptly reports unsafe conditions and unsafe acts or accidents to appropriate individuals.  Maintains assigned work area and equipment free to accident-producing conditions. (All Levels)
  • May entail participation on field trips for the purpose of developing software tools used in surveying, sampling, collecting, and general research activities to locations that may be remote from medical facilities and other urban infrastructure, and may involve activities such as hiking, camping, climbing, rope work (such as rappelling and use of rope bridges), transport via helicopter and other small aircraft, working from boats (ships and small craft), submersible diving, snorkeling, scuba diving and other similar activities necessary to fulfill the objectives of the associated research and data capture activities.
  • Maintain Medical and Emergency supply kits by checking assigned supply statuses quarterly.
  • Inspect evacuation bags and update rosters quarterly.
  • Update Emergency policies and procedures in Museum Handbooks within your unit when they change.
  • Facilitate accurate hazardous materials documentation practices within your unit.
  • Communicate policies and procedures between the Safety Committee and colleagues.  Represent safety updates or take issues back from department meetings.
  • Co-facilitate evacuation drills and tabletop exercises to help prepare the unit for multiple emergency scenarios.
  • Train and refresh staff in your zone on emergency procedures, evacuation routes, fire extinguisher locations, fire alarm pull handles.
  • Designate backups for safety issues in your absence.
  • Report unsafe and/or unsecure situations and/or be prepared to address certain situations individually, as appropriate (example: calling for security backup if a visitor seems to be of concern).
  • In times of emergency, know your role and serve as a point person for that role.
  • Performs other duties as requested to accomplish the goals of the Museum. (All Levels)


Education and Experience

  • Advanced degree (or experiential equivalent) in a field related to natural history, cultural history, library studies or computer science (museum studies or related field preferred), with extensive (10+ years) experience developing and/or managing digital assets at comparable scholarly institutions or organizations (museums, universities, colleges, libraries, or major informatics initiatives), and experience managing software developers and software development projects.


  • Must be able to communicate verbally with co-workers and others, both in-person and over the phone or other electronic communications platforms.  
  • Must be able to read and process information, as well as communicate in writing.
  • Machines and equipment used: Desktop and laptop computers, hand-held optical scanners, small hand tools, digital camera and scanner systems, various electrical tools, and photocopier.
  • Software used: Appropriate and applicable software development environments and programming languages, database management systems, web page and web services development and deployment platforms, digital content management systems, MS Word / Excel / Access as well as familiarity with internet and e-mail programs.
  • Current on Museum required safety training
  • Situational Awareness

Physical Requirements

  • Primarily light work with periods of sitting, walking, reaching, lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling.  
  • Long periods of data entry and keyboard use. 
  •  Visual requirements include 20/20 corrected vision, depth perception, and a wide field of vision.  
  • Must be able to lift at least 25 lbs.  
  • Field duties may involve exposure to high altitudes and wet conditions.  
  • Engagement with collections and laboratory work environments may involve exposure to fumes, noxious odors, and gases from the mounting and preservation media, as well as dust and mold from the specimens themselves.  

Direct Reports

  • Software Developer, Data Manager, Data Analyst