Post-Doc : Degradation of collections due to environmental factors (New York)

Logo Metropolitan Museum of Art

This work will be performed in the Preventive Conservation Science Laboratory of the Metropolitan Museum of Art under the supervision of the Environmental Research Scientist. The purpose is to provide advanced analytical support and scientific research and analysis to improve the museum's understanding, methods, and strategies for preventing collection degradation due to environmental factors. Environmental factors include but are not limited to the off-gassing of materials used to store, display, or transport collections, pollutants, temperature, humidity, particulates, vibration, and light.
Primary responsibilities & duties:
• Evaluates commercially available display, storage, and construction materials for compatibility with artwork using established and novel advanced analytical techniques and protocols including but not limited to volatile organic chemical analysis and material degradation analysis.
• Plans, conducts, and documents, environmental testing to promote the preservation of the collection. Environmental testing includes the evaluation of temperature, humidity, light, dust, pollution, and vibration levels.
• Establishes and implements sensor calibration protocols for analytical and environmental test equipment.
• Develops, maintains, and utilizes databases and guidance documents to document and disseminate test results, advising the Museum on best preventive conservation science practices.
• Collaborates with Registrar, Design, Construction, Conservation, Exhibitions, and Curatorial departments to develop, research, and advise on improving the Museum's environment.
• Performs literature reviews on related topics using scientific and conservation literature, proposing improvements to existing protocols and procedures.
• Writes progress reports, summary reports, standard operating procedures, annotated bibliographies, and publishable manuscripts on related topics and activities.
• Maintain scientific equipment, update equipment standard operating procedures, and train users to operate scientific equipment.
• Supervise and collaborate with interns and fellows.
Experience and Skills:
• Demonstrated expertise in advanced liquid or gas chromatographic analytical techniques such as GC/MS, HPLC, GPC, or LCMS (required).
• Development and implementation of testing methods and protocols for volatiles analysis, ideally the identification and quantification of unknowns.(required).
• Development and implementation of testing methods and protocols for the evaluation of degraded materials (preferred).
• Experience in photochemistry, spectroscopy, environmental chemistry, air quality monitoring, corrosion science, or preventive conservation science (required).
• Experience testing and evaluating museum environment factors such as temperature, humidity, light, dust, pollution, or vibration levels (preferred).
• Experience implementing advanced statistical analysis methods on scientific data (preferred).
• Development of process automation using modern database software and web-enabled tools (preferred).
Knowledge and Education:
• Ph.D. in analytical chemistry, materials science, related disciplines, or equivalent experience (required)
• 1-3 years of experience in quantification of volatile unknowns, air quality testing, building environment monitoring, or chromatography-based testing and analysis (required).
• Experience working in museum environments, specifically, either with or in proximity of art objects (preferred).
To apply, send cover letter and CV to breite@metmuseum.org and careers@metmuseum.org