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AI Faculty Positions, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida

The University of Florida (UF) is embarking on a campus-wide strategic initiative to hire clusters of faculty with expertise in Artificial Intelligence (AI). As part of this initiative, the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH) is seeking qualified applicants for two 12-month, tenure-track faculty positions in AI, broadly envisioned, with innovative research interests and experience. These positions will be filled at the Assistant or Associate faculty level in the FLMNH Department of Natural History. Salary is competitive and negotiable based on experience.

The FLMNH, a college-level unit within UF, is a vibrant community of about 300 employees, including 32 full-time faculty, UF undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral research associates, and museum collections, education, and administrative support staff. As the official state museum of Florida, our core mission includes stewardship of 40 million specimens and artifacts, award-winning exhibitions, diverse public programs, and emerging virtual and digital engagement. The FLMNH Department of Natural History’s research and collections programs are world class and attract about $10 million annually in government and philanthropic support.

The FLMNH enjoys cross-campus collaborations with many of the 16 UF colleges, including those of potential relevance to these new faculty positions: Agricultural and Life Sciences (Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences), Education, Engineering, Journalism and Communications, Libraries, and Liberal Arts and Sciences. These positions require a strong commitment to university education, museum-based research, and outreach. Interactions with allied academic departments include affiliate professorship status with responsibility for supervision of graduate students and teaching at least one formal course per year. Interdisciplinary UF institutes, such as the Informatics Institute, Biodiversity Institute, and Genetics Institute, offer additional opportunities for collaboration.

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Position 1 (#68327) AI and Biological and/or Cultural Diversity Past and Present

We seek to strengthen FLMNH’s global leadership role in biodiversity informatics by hiring a creative, interdisciplinary scholar whose research and teaching focus on innovative approaches using machine learning (ML) and computer vision, as applied to natural history data sources. This position is part of a multi-college cluster hire under the theme of AI and the Resilient and Built Environment. We invite candidates who ask and answer questions about changes in biological and/or cultural diversity through space and time and whose interests include working with burgeoning media and information generated from natural history datasets, community scientists, and in-situ and remote sensors. Possible data sources include 2D and 3D images, audio and video, and genetic data from the domains of biodiversity, paleontology, and archaeology. Preferred candidates will have a strong foundation in statistical ML, deep-learning, and working in scalable computing environments. We especially encourage applications from candidates who contribute to the diversity, inclusivity, and excellence of the academic community and who have experience working with underserved and/or underrepresented student populations. FLMNH has made strategic investments in biodiversity informatics and is a national and international leader in this area. Its leadership position is further enhanced by iDigBio, the national hub for digitization of natural history specimens, and multiple funded infrastructure projects in imaging and media creation. The successful candidate will join other FLMNH faculty who are currently using ML approaches. Qualifications include a Ph.D., or equivalent, in biology, anthropology, geography, engineering, computer science, or other relevant discipline. For inquiries concerning this position, contact Dr. Pam Soltis, Search Chair, psoltis (at) flmnh.ufl.edu.

AI and Museum Education

Position 2 (#68329) AI and Museum Education and Outreach

We envision an innovative AI program in museum education and outreach and seek a faculty member in this emerging field. Housed in the FLMNH, this position is part of the UF AI Workforce and Education Cluster, with links to our Thompson Earth Systems Institute and other UF colleges. We invite applications from those who have active research programs, external support, vision, and experience in AI related to formal, informal, and/or community audiences and learning. Applicants with experience working with multicultural, underserved, and/or underrepresented audiences are particularly encouraged to apply. Potential areas of interest include: exploring how recognition systems can create innovative exhibits and personalized tours; understanding how augmented reality can enhance the exhibit experience; identifying how AI can be used to engage individuals and/or groups worldwide; and applications of smart, adaptive learning technologies for K-12 museum education and outreach. Other relevant areas of interest not exemplified above are also encouraged to apply. UF has a vibrant, highly collaborative community of museum and related educational and outreach initiatives and strong partnerships with K-12 formal education statewide, especially through the Scientist in Every Florida School program. Qualifications include a Ph.D., or equivalent, in education, engineering, the natural or social sciences, or other relevant disciplines. For inquiries concerning this position, contact Dr. Bruce MacFadden, Search Chair, bmacfadd (at) flmnh.ufl.edu.

Application process

Interested applicants must apply online at https://account.interfolio.com/login?apply=82273 for Position 1 or https://account.interfolio.com/login?apply=82275 for Position 2. Applicants interested in both positions should apply separately to each position using the position number listed for each.  Applicants must submit (1) cover letter; (2) full CV, including list of peer-reviewed publications and grants received; (3) research statement; (4) education and outreach statement; (5) statement describing the applicant’s contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion through teaching, research, or service; and (6) names and email addresses of a minimum of 3 professional references (do not send letters). For more information, please visit FLMNH Department of Natural History. If an accommodation due to a disability is needed to apply for this position, please call (352) 392-2HRS or the Florida Relay System at (800) 955-8771 (TDD).

Review of applications will begin on February 15, 2021, and will continue until the positions are filled.

For each position, the final candidate will be required to provide an official transcript to the hiring department upon hire. A transcript will not be considered official if a designation of “Issued to Student” is visible. Degrees earned from an educational institution outside of the United States must be evaluated by a professional credentialing service provider approved by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES), which can be found at http://www.naces.org/.

Click here for faculty application resources.

The University of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Employer dedicated to building a broadly diverse and inclusive faculty and staff. The University of Florida invites all qualified applicants, including minorities, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. The University of Florida is a public institution and subject to all requirements under the Florida Sunshine and Public Records laws.

The Florida Museum’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:

At FLMNH, we strive to create a more diverse and inclusive student, faculty, and staff experience at the University of Florida.  As a university-based museum, we believe it is essential that we, as educators, develop pathways for learners of all ages and wide-ranging audiences toward increased diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion in STEM and Humanities disciplines and workforces. We are committed to the ongoing self-reflection and work needed to serve students from historically underrepresented groups within the greater University of Florida community, especially through student mentorship, teaching, and experiential learning opportunities. Candidates who, through their research, teaching, and/or service, will contribute to the diversity and excellence of the UF community are encouraged to apply.

The University of Florida

The University of Florida ranks sixth among public research universities and is the flagship of Florida’s state university system. Located in Gainesville since 1906, UF has 16 colleges, a major academic health center, a top-ranked undergraduate online program, a championship-winning athletic program, and, in keeping with its land-grant mission, one of the nation’s most comprehensive agriculture and natural resources programs. All are based at the university’s 2,000-acre main campus, joining its historic core with advanced facilities and preserved natural areas, and connecting to adjacent innovation, commercial, and residential districts.

UF has 56,000 students, 31,000 employees, including 5,500 faculty members, a $6 billion annual budget, and more than 140 mission-focused units across the state of Florida. It is the Sunshine State’s only member of the Association of American Universities comprising the nation’s 60 leading public and private research universities. It is ranked sixth among public universities in the U.S. News &World Report Best College Rankings, second in Kiplinger’s Best College Values, and sixth in The New York Times College Access Index. UF has 45 members of the National Academies and American Academy of Arts and Sciences; 51 fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and two Pulitzer Prize winners. A record 41,400 students applied for 6,500 positions in the 2019-20 freshman class.

Several qualities distinguish UF among today’s leading public research universities. The first is its highly comprehensive breadth on a single campus, facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration among, for example, faculty within the colleges of journalism, engineering, and medicine. The second is its unwavering support from the State of Florida, which has endorsed UF’s drive to become one of the nation’s very best public research universities, supporting this effort since 2013 with hundreds of millions of dollars in additional funding to grow its faculty ranks. UF’s third exceptional quality is its dynamism. Like the state of Florida, now the nation’s third largest and among its fastest-growing, UF is undergoing rapid transformation as it pursues its overarching aspiration “to be a premier university that the state, nation, and world look to for leadership.”

Learn more about working at UF here.

The City of Gainesville

Gainesville is home to Florida’s largest and oldest university, and so is one of the state’s centers of education, medicine, cultural events, and athletics. The University of Florida and UF Health Shands Hospital are the leading employers in Gainesville and provide jobs for many residents of surrounding counties. Gainesville is also the largest city in Alachua County and is the county seat, with approximately 269,000 residents county-wide. It serves as the cultural, educational, and commercial center for northcentral Florida. The city provides a full range of municipal services, including cultural and nature services and necessary administrative services to support these activities. Additionally, the city owns a regional transit system, a regional airport, and a 72-par championship golf course. Known for its preservation of historic buildings and the beauty of its natural surroundings, Gainesville’s numerous parks, museums, and lakes provide entertainment to thousands of visitors. Because of its beautiful landscape and urban “forest,” Gainesville is one of the most attractive cities in Florida. The city is in a central location to both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, providing easy access to beaches, nature preserves, and water-based activities.

Learn more about the Gainesville area here.