[Taxacom] Graduate Research Assistantship in BiodiversityInformatics: THIRD NOTICE

Mike Sadka M.Sadka at nhm.ac.uk
Fri Apr 16 11:44:39 CDT 2010


Hi taxacomers

This is somewhat against my better judgement (as usual!) but I can't
resist commenting on this job description.

The postholder's duties will include "compilation and manipulation of
GIS data using ESRI ArcGIS, implementation of GeoServer, documentation &
testing of all project software & data, and providing outreach and
support" so it is clearly a job which requires technical competence.

However, the requirements say "Some programming experience preferred,
but not required."

So the employer would be happy with a complete novice programmer then?

Personally I think this is symptomatic of a problem I observe
frequently, which is that scientists appear to have little respect for
ICT skills - apparently assuming that programmers do little more than
typists.

Although of course anyone can learn ICT, it can be done well or
appallingly badly, and experience is vital.  ICT is not just about
making computers do stuff - it's also about making them do stuff in an
efficient and sustainable manner, which is much harder, and something
novice programmers rarely have the skills or experience for.  

One might respond by saying that this is not a programming job, but no
ICT skills are requested at all.  ICT documentation and support are
skills in themselves, and again unlikely to be done well by an ICT
novice, and data manipulation is always risky - especially for those who
have little experience of managing digital datasets.

Perhaps this is one reason why ICT for systematics lags so far behind
other sciences (cf. molecular biology) - systematists generally can't do
ICT, but don't trust anyone else to do it for them!  

I don't really understand why not - after all, biologists don't build
Land Rovers or electron microscopes on the assumption that mechanics or
physicists don't understand biology... so how are information systems
any different?

Cheerio, Mike





__________________________

Mike Sadka
Interactive Media
x5462

 


-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
[mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Hank Bart
Sent: 15 April 2010 19:05
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: [Taxacom] Graduate Research Assistantship in
BiodiversityInformatics: THIRD NOTICE

Graduate Research Assistantship in Biodiversity Informatics

Tulane University Ecology and Evolutionary Biology/Museum of Natural
History Tulane University

 

The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) and Tulane
University Museum of Natural History are seeking a Graduate Research
Assistant to work on the recently funded Improving GEOLocate Software
Development Project.  GEOLocate is a software application for
semi-automated georeferencing of natural history collections data
(http://www.museum.tulane.edu/geolocate).  The successful applicant
would be admitted to either a Master's or Ph.D. degree program in EEB
(http://www.eebio.tulane.edu/graduate/) and would receive a full
graduate tuition waiver and a stipend of $22,000 per year.  Primary
responsibilities would include compilation and manipulation of GIS data
using ESRI ArcGIS, implementation of GeoServer, documentation & testing
of all project software & data, and providing outreach and support.
Some programming experience preferred, but not required.  

 

Send resume/curriculum vitae listing all relevant professional
experience and names and contact information for three references to
Hank Bart (hank at museum.tulane.edu). Applicants must also apply for
graduate admission to the EEB department
(https://app.applyyourself.com/?id=tulane-g). 

 

 

Henry L. Bart, Jr.

Director and Curator of Fishes

Tulane University Museum of Natural History

3705 Main Street

Belle Chasse, Louisiana 70037

Voice: 504-394-1711

Fax: 504-394-5045

Website: http://www.museum.tulane.edu/hank

 

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