Full-Time/Part-time Positions

If you are interested in becoming a part of our team, complete the application form below. Applicants may drop off their application at either the box office location or email the completed application to apply@rivermuseum.org.

employment application

Education Program Manager (Full-time)

Department:  Education         
Full-time/Part-time:  Full-time (regular work week will be Sunday - Thursday). Flexibility on weekends, holidays and evenings is required.    
Exempt/Non-Exempt:  Non-exempt
Reports to:  Director of Education
Staff reporting to this position: Educators as assigned
Location:  National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium

The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (NMRMA) is an outgrowth of the Dubuque County Historical Society, which also operates the Mathias Ham Historic Site, is home to the National Rivers Hall of Fame, and supports a national outreach program called RiverWorks Discovery. Its mission is to inspire stewardship by creating educational experiences where history and rivers come alive.

The Education Program Manager supports our formal programming including school group tours, guided tours, homeschool programs, scout groups, camps, and MakerSpace. This position will help develop curriculum and other educational materials that can be utilized by all of the River Museum’s Educators for tours, programs, and visitor engagement. Quality programs will highlight connections to the Mississippi River through history, conservation, and STEM topics, utilizing resources of NMRMA to make meaningful connections with all audiences. In collaboration with Education Leads, Managers, and the Director of Education, this position is responsible for the leadership and interpretation of Museum & Aquarium exhibits and programming. Strong candidates will have a desire to use their curriculum development, interpretation, and leadership skills to support the mission and vision of the NMRMA and the entire Dubuque County Historical Society.

This is a full time, permanent position. Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. Benefits include vacation time, sick time, paid holidays, medical, dental, flex plan, and 403b retirement plan.

The Dubuque County Historical Society and its properties, the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium and Mathias Ham Historic Site, are committed to embracing diversity, practicing equity, and ensuring accessibility and inclusion. We continually strive to achieve a welcoming environment in all our spaces, where our staff and community feel reflected and valued for their unique perspectives and backgrounds. DEAI values guide and impact all the decisions the museum makes, both internal and external.

Primary duties

  • Create, coordinate, present, and evaluate curriculum-based experiences in formal and informal settings.
     
  • Hold primary responsibility for the development and implementation of formal educational programs, including but not limited to K-12 guided tours, youth camps, and scout groups. 
    • Create educational programming including options such as live animals, biological specimens, historical artifacts, replicas, MakerSpace, arts and crafts, games, props, etc.
    • Collaborate with the Director of Education to align curriculum and activities to core standards and the DCHS mission.
    • Identify relevant training and procedural needs, writing protocols and policy as necessary.
    • Team with the Marketing department to market programming and groups.
  • Assist with supervision of the Education department staff and volunteers.
    • Directly manage a team of educators, including timesheet verifications and annual evaluations.
    • Provide support as a visible mentor and role model and ensure the Education team acts in a cohesive manner, following organizational procedures and industry best practices.
    • Assign responsibilities to Education staff, act as Educator on Duty (EOD) as scheduled, assist with daily tasks, and with providing alternate coverage as needed.
    • Attend department and other meetings as required.

 

Additional duties

  • Stay versed in historical, conservation, STEM, and other education-based topics, including learning about the animals and artifacts in the institutional collection.
  • Maintain working relationships with local and regional educational organizations to foster new and continued collaboration.
  • Maintain written records in accordance with established practices and departmental policies.
  • Attend mandatory, prescheduled trainings.
  • Other duties as assigned.

 

Qualifications 

  • Relevant college course work and/or a Bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in museum studies, education, science, history, anthropology, or related field is strongly preferred.
  • A minimum of 2 years of paid education experience with formal or informal learning processes is preferred, ideally in a PreK-16 school or museum, aquarium, zoo, or nature center.
  • Must have familiarity with computers and the Microsoft Office suite of programs.
  • Must demonstrate superb team-building, decision-making, and problem-solving skills.
  • Must demonstrate the ability to work with all people in a positive and productive manner at all times.
  • Must possess the ability to adapt quickly and be flexible in any scenario, as well as maintain considerable patience.
  • Must be comfortable around the water, and working indoors and outdoors in any weather.
  • Must be able to read, write, and speak the English language.
  • Must hold or be able to possess an Iowa, Wisconsin or Illinois driver’s license within 3 months of hire.
  • Must be capable of holding certification in First Aid and CPR.
  • Must be able to perform any physical demands of job duties, either with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • Final candidates will be subject to a reference and background check.


How to apply

To learn more, visit www.rivermuseum.com/apply.  Apply by emailing your resume, cover letter, and references by May 20, 2024 to apply@rivermuseum.com or by delivering them in person to 350 E. 3rd St., Dubuque, IA 52001.

Research suggests that women and individuals from underrepresented backgrounds often apply to jobs only if they meet 100% of the qualifications. We recognize that it is highly unlikely that any applicant is able to meet all of the qualifications for a given role. Therefore, if you are drawn to this position and feel your strengths would be an asset to the organization, we highly encourage you to apply.
 

General Maintenance of Buildings & Grounds (Full-time)

Department:  Facilities         
Full-time/Part-time: Full-time    
Exempt/Non-Exempt: Non-Exempt
Reports to:  Director of Facilities
Staff reporting to this position:  N/A
Location:  National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium
Number of Openings:   2
 

The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium is an outgrowth of the Dubuque County Historical Society, which also operates the Mathias Ham Historic Site, is home to the National Rivers Hall of Fame, and supports a national outreach program called RiverWorks Discovery. Its mission is to inspire stewardship by creating educational experiences where history and rivers come alive. 


We are hiring two General Maintenance employees to assist with all maintenance needs of the organization. This is a multifaceted role that provides preventative support, inspections, improvements, and repairs. This is a full time, permanent position with rotating weekend availability required. Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. Benefits include vacation time, sick time, paid holidays, medical, dental, flex plan, and 403b retirement plan.

The Dubuque County Historical Society and its properties, the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium and Mathias Ham Historic Site, are committed to embracing diversity, practicing equity, and ensuring accessibility and inclusion. We continually strive to achieve a welcoming environment in all our spaces, where our staff and community feel reflected and valued for their unique perspectives and backgrounds. DEAI values guide and impact all the decisions the museum makes, both internal and external.

Primary duties
  • Perform general building & grounds maintenance of the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium and Mathias Ham Historic Site properties, including repairing structural damage, painting, minor plumbing, basic mechanical knowledge, preventive measures, etc. 
  • Perform routine grounds maintenance of the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium and Mathias Ham Historic Site properties, including lawn care, snow removal, landscaping, etc. 
  • Conduct regular inspections of buildings, equipment, and systems and identify any issues
  • Identify and repair potential safety hazards in order to avoid damage and injury 
  • Assist with the set up and tear down for exhibits and events 
  • Additional duties as assigned
Additional duties
  • Work with the Facilities team to ensure strict adherence to all relevant state and federal guidelines for safety and productivity, including OSHA and ADA 
  • Work with the Facilities and Manager on Duty team to conduct various safety drills 
  • Upon hiring you will Complete safety, bloodborne pathogens, fire extinguisher, CPR, and any other required trainings

Qualifications 
  • Demonstrated experience as a maintenance technician or related position 
  • Strong understanding of general maintenance processes and methods 
  • Experience in operating a variety of equipment, including lawn mowers, hand tools, power tools, snow blowers, etc. 
  • Working knowledge of common tools, appliances, and devices 
  • Must be able to read, write, and speak the English language.
  • Must be able to perform any physical demands of job duties, either with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • Final candidates will be subject to a reference and background check.
How to apply
 

To learn more, visit www.rivermuseum.com/apply.  Apply by emailing your resume, cover letter, and references to apply@rivermuseum.com or by delivering them in person to 350 E. 3rd St., Dubuque, IA 52001.

Research suggests that women and individuals from underrepresented backgrounds often apply to jobs only if they meet 100% of the qualifications. We recognize that it is highly unlikely that any applicant is able to meet all of the qualifications for a given role. Therefore, if you are drawn to this position and feel your strengths would be an asset to the organization, we highly encourage you to apply.
 

Housekeeper (Part-time)

Department: Facilities
Full-time/Part-time: Part-time
Exempt/Non-Exempt: Non-exempt
Reports to: Lead Housekeeper
Staff reporting to this position: N/A
Location: National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium

The Dubuque County Historical Society (DCHS) and National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (NMRMA) are seeking a customer-oriented and friendly part-time housekeeper to create a clean and orderly environment for our guests and staff.
The Dubuque County Historical Society and its properties, the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium and Mathias Ham Historic Site, are committed to embracing diversity, practicing equity, and ensuring accessibility and inclusion. We continually strive to achieve a welcoming environment in all our spaces, where our staff and community feel reflected and valued for their unique perspectives and backgrounds. DEAI values guide and impact all the decisions the museum makes, both internal and external.

Primary Duties

•    Perform a variety of cleaning activities such as sweeping, mopping, dusting, and polishing
•    Assist in all aspects of buildings and grounds cleaning and sanitizing
•    Ensure that all properties are clean, safe, and well-maintained
•    Present the museum positively by maintaining a clean and presentable appearance

Additional Requirements

•    Position requires the ability to stand for prolonged periods of time, to stoop, kneel, bend, climb, lift, and carry.
•    Position requires working occasionally on weekends
•    Must be able to occasionally lift weights of up to 25 lbs.
•    Must be able to use and climb a step stool and occasionally work at heights
•    Ability to work with little supervision and maintain a high level of performance

If you are interested in joining our team, please go to www.rivermuseum.com/join-our-team  and complete an application or pick up one at our box office. Applications can be mailed (or dropped off in person) to National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, Attn: Human Resources, 350 East Third St, Dubuque, IA 52001.

Research suggests that women and individuals from underrepresented backgrounds often apply to jobs only if they meet 100% of the qualifications. We recognize that it is highly unlikely that any applicant is able to meet all of the qualifications for a given role. Therefore, if you are drawn to this position and feel your strengths would be an asset to the organization, we highly encourage you to apply.

Museum Cafe Associate (Part-time)

Department: Sales & Guest Services
Full-time/Part-time: Part-time
Exempt/Non-Exempt: Non-exempt
Reports to: Café Manager & Assistant Café Manager
Staff reporting to this position: N/A
Location: National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium
 

The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium is an outgrowth of the Dubuque County Historical Society, which also operates the Mathias Ham Historic Site and is home to the National Rivers Hall of Fame.
Join us in a fun, fast-paced environment by enhancing the museum guest experience through providing a meal or a snack. An ideal candidate is someone with exceptional customer service skills, enjoys working on a team, and positively portrays the organization. This position offers a flexible work schedule with weekday and weekend hours available (no evenings after 4 p.m. required).
 

The Dubuque County Historical Society and its properties, the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium and Mathias Ham Historic Site, are committed to embracing diversity, practicing equity, and ensuring accessibility and inclusion. We continually strive to achieve a welcoming environment in all our spaces, where our staff and community feel reflected and valued for their unique perspectives and backgrounds. DEAI values guide and impact all the decisions the museum makes, both internal and external.
 

Primary duties
  • Take food orders using an electronic point-of-sale system and be comfortable with cash handling
  • Ensure the cleanliness of the dining area and kitchen
  • Follow all food preparation safety laws and rules
  • Interact with guests in a positive, friendly manner
     
Qualifications
  • Highly qualified candidates are preferred to have previous experience in food service and/or cash handling experience but not required
  • Must be able to read, write, and speak the English language.
  • Must be able to perform any physical demands of job duties, either with or without reasonable accommodation. These demands may include periods of standing, reaching, kneeling, pushing, pulling, carrying, lifting, or moving objects 25 lbs. or less.
  • Final candidates will be subject to a reference and background check.
     
How to apply

To learn more, visit www.rivermuseum.org/apply. Apply by emailing your application or resume, cover letter, and references to apply@rivermuseum.org or by delivering them in person to 350 E. 3rd St., Dubuque, IA.

Research suggests that women and individuals from underrepresented backgrounds often apply to jobs only if they meet 100% of the qualifications. We recognize that it is highly unlikely that any applicant is able to meet all of the qualifications for a given role. Therefore, if you are drawn to this position and feel your strengths would be an asset to the organization, we highly encourage you to apply.


 

Volunteer Positions

The very nature of volunteering means choosing to work without being paid for it. As a result, people choose to spend their time on issues they feel strongly about. If you have a passion for animals, history, education, or conservation, the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, Dubuque County Historical Society, and Mathias Ham Historic Site are for you!

Volunteers receive several benefits including free individual admission. Flexible schedules are available. To apply, complete the volunteer application below. Some positions may require you to upload a cover letter and resume. For more information, contact Missy Wersinger at 563-557-9545 x213 or mwersinger@rivermuseum.org.

volunteer application

Blacksmithing

Blacksmith volunteers work in either the boat shop or the blacksmith shop to help with electrical, woodworking, blacksmithing, building, and repair projects for the Museum & Aquarium. Volunteer blacksmiths also conduct demonstrations for guests during certain special events throughout the year. Those interested in this position do not need to have previous blacksmithing experience, but must be interested in learning skill work to demonstrate for visitors.

Equipment and basic training is provided upon starting in this position.

Conservation

Conservation volunteers work alongside our Curator of Conservation Programs on daily, weekly, and monthly projects in the community, including habitat restoration, campus habitat care, greenhouse tending, mussel survey work, prairie, forest, and woodland restoration days, river cleanups, seed harvesting, and more. Those interested will be scheduled and contacted about opportunities as they arise. 

Development

Volunteers will assist Development staff with matching pre-scanned documents to donation records in our database, Altru. The scanned document would then be attached to the file associated to that record. Training is provided and once understood the volunteer can work independently.

Applicants should possess:

  • A comfortability in working with computers
  • Attention to detail

 

Note: An NDA must be signed by Development volunteers as files and documents may contain sensitive donor information

Greeters

The volunteer greeter is one of the first individuals that the guests of the Museum & Aquarium interact with. Greeters welcome each visitor to our campus, provide them with a map, and direct them to the various features and exhibits of the Museum & Aquarium. This includes explaining the different buildings and areas, highlighting certain animals, and going over the daily activities being offered.

Basic training is provided prior to starting in this position.

MakerSpace

At the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, the MakerSpace volunteer will assist the educator in overseeing the space.

Role and Responsibilities:

  • Welcome guests to the space.
  • Assist with describing what activities are available to the guests and helping them with the activity, as needed.
  • Clean up areas, as needed.
  • Good communication skills. Comfortable approaching guests and initiating conversation.
  • Other related duties as assigned.

Living Collections

Living Collections volunteers will help to provide daily care of various animals at the Museum &  Aquarium. This may include daily feedings and enclosure cleaning, making and documenting observations related to animal health and well-being, maintaining written and electronic records, testing water quality, and following other Living Collections procedures.

A typical Living Collections volunteer will possess a high school diploma, a background or experience relating to animal husbandry, and be able to commit to a minimum of 8 hours a week with the team.

Extensive training is provided upon starting this position.

Receptionist

The volunteer receptionist is stationed in the administration office of the Mississippi River Center. Receptionists answer all incoming calls during normal business hours and direct them accordingly. They will also greet, welcome, and direct all in-person guests who arrive for meetings and other business. Various mailings and other administrative and office-related tasks also fall under this position.

Basic training is provided upon starting this position.

River of Innovation (ROI)

The Rivers of Innovation (ROI) Assistant helps to provide a positive experience for visitors to the Rivers of Innovation area focusing on the topographic map and water table area.
Volunteers will perform the following tasks:

  • Welcome and interact with visitors in the exhibit
  • Mopping up any water on the floor from the water table
  • Sweep up topographic map pieces
  • Interpreting the various elements of the ROI exhibit from the Machine Shop to the Boat Shop
  • Direct guests to locations around campus as needed such as the bathroom, comfort room, and the second salt water building.

Special Events

Special events volunteers assist with the Museum & Aquarium's events throughout the year, ranging from small to large scale. Typical tasks may include set up and tear down, helping facilitate crafts, games, and experiments, food preparation, ticketing, historical demonstrations, dressing up in character, and more. Those interested will be contacted about opportunities as they arise. 

Stingray Touch Tank

Down in the Delta volunteers work alongside a museum educator to interpret and inform guests who visit the Delta touch tank about the various rays and skates on exhibit. Volunteers are also responsible for helping to maintain the safety of both the animals and guests, such as instructing guests to rinse their hands before touching the animals, explaining the proper technique to touch and feed the animals, and providing basic facts about the rays and skates to enrich guests’ experience.

Basic training is provided prior to starting in this position.

Traveling Exhibit (seasonal)

Our special traveling exhibits are on the 2nd floor of the Mississippi River Center. The volunteer will direct guests to areas of the exhibit and assist when needed.

Volunteers will perform the following tasks:

  • Welcome and answer questions about the exhibit
  • Direct visitors on how to use certain interactive parts 
  • Assist the mini rock wall and zip line
  • Notify staff if there are broken parts that need repaired
  • Wipe down areas that get used frequently throughout the exhibit
  • Other related duties as assigned
     

William M. Black (WMB) (seasonal)

The William M. Black dredge boat volunteer provides a positive experience for visitors that come aboard the 1934 vessel. The dredge boat is open seasonally and weather dependent. The volunteer will assist the William M. Black Educator by welcoming them and directing them to tour specific areas of the boat. 

Volunteers will perform the following tasks:

  • Welcome and interact with visitors as they board the vessel
  • Hand out brochures with facts about the William M. Black 
  • Mopping up any water on the deck
  • Sweep or dust visible areas near the entry of the boat 
  • Interpreting the various elements of the William M. Black including the history and the function of different portions of the dredge boat.
  • Direct guests to locations around campus as needed such as the bathroom, comfort room, café and the second building.

 

Internships

We love helping college students gain real-life experience! If you are interested in any of the posted internships, please complete the internship application below and email along with your resume, cover letter, and any additional requirements. Applications may also be submitted in person at either box office. 

For questions, contact Kristen Leffler at 563-557-9545 x221 or kleffler@rivermuseum.org.

Deadlines for submission are as follows

  • Spring semester application deadline January 1 annually
  • Summer semester application deadline: April 15 annually
  • Fall semester application deadline: August 15 annually 
     

internship application

Banquets Internship

The Banquet intern will assist the Sales & Guest Services Department with the booking, planning, coordination, preparation, and post-event needs of all after-hours banquet operations for events at NMRMA. This may include weddings, receptions, corporate events, and other similar gatherings.

Primary Duties

  • Participate in organizing and executing events
  • Attend client meetings or participate in client phone calls
  • Set tables, chairs, and other equipment to the specification of the client
  • Collaborate with Banquet service and Banquet bartenders as to achieve the overall success of the event
  • Break down and store tables, chairs and other equipment at the conclusion of an event
  • Clean and maintain all event space to the standards of the organization

 

Application
Please send application, resume, and cover letter materials to Kristen Leffler at kleffler@rivermuseum.org. Details and information can be found on www.rivermuseum.org/join-our-team.

Conservation Programs Internship

Are you interested in getting hands-on, outside of the classroom experience in the environmental field and becoming a member of the next generation of conservation heroes?  The Conservation Programs internship allows for the opportunity to understand the role of action-oriented conservation campaigns and participate in networking opportunities with and learn from conservation professionals.

Primary Duties

  • Facilitate in-situ community-based conservation action programming with area conservation partners targeting family audiences. Programming may include but is no limited to:
    • Freshwater Mussel Propagation for Restoration
    • Invasive Species Removal
    • Trash Clean-ups
    • Bottomland Forest Restoration
    • Wildlife Surveys
    • Water Quality Monitoring
  • Assist in the facilitation of Teen Stewardship Team work sessions and in-situ conservation action programming 
  • Explore the elements that go into an aquarium-based conservation organization including:
    • Conservation Education
    • Development and Funding
    • Marketing
    • Graphics
    • Public Relations
  • Enhance teamwork, leadership and communication skills.
  • Work with others towards the goal of saving wildlife and stewarding rivers


Application
Please send application, resume, and cover letter materials to Kristen Leffler at kleffler@rivermuseum.org. Details and information can be found on www.rivermuseum.org/join-our-team.

Development Database Internship

The Development intern will assist the Development department with ongoing fundraising activities that meet our mission. The intern will work collaboratively with staff to update donor and member demographic information, research match gift organizations and opportunities, and work to update our digital donor gift history information as we move closer to our goal of being an even more sustainable/green organization while learning the processes and importance of non-profit development.

This is a distinct opportunity to advance the organization’s capability to fundraise and maintain a properly updated database and increase strong collaborative efforts with local organizations and prospective donors.


Primary Duties

  • Gain and maintain working knowledge of our donor and member database system

  • Maintain a working database of funders and deadlines

  • Assist in prospect research and cultivation of current and new donors, major gifts, and matching gifts

  • Research possible sponsors, which fits the organizations vision, mission and ongoing educational activities

  • Track and report event sponsors in the community

  • Assist in planning Museum & Aquarium upcoming events

Application

Please send application, resume, and cover letter materials to Kristen Leffler at kleffler@rivermuseum.org. Details and information can be found on www.rivermuseum.org/join-our-team.

Living Collections Internship

The Living Collections Internship will allow participants to have a greater knowledge and understanding of the general husbandry needs of freshwater fish, saltwater fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, invertebrates, and mammals housed in captive environments at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium.  Interns will work with members of the Living Collections Team to complete the daily tasks required to maintain the health and welfare of animals, as well as clean exhibits and back of house areas.

Priority will be given for individuals who are able work four days a week (Sunday to Wednesday or Wednesday to Saturday) 7am to 4pm. The minimum requirements are two full 8 hour days. The internship will run 10-12 weeks.

Primary duties

  • Preparation of food for animal diets and feeding in efficient manner
  • Exhibit servicing including monitoring the health and well-being of animals, testing for appropriate water parameters and performing water changes as needed, ensuring daily and weekly check sheets are current and maintain written records in accordance with established practice and policy
  • Ensure all husbandry areas are kept organized and hazard free
  • Report maintenance needs; perform minor maintenance tasks
  • Clean and maintain the exterior and interior of the enclosures as well as areas around the enclosures (floors, counters under and above enclosures)
  • Work safely with and around potentially hazardous chemicals and dangerous animals

 

Application

Please send application, resume, and cover letter materials to Kristen Leffler at kleffler@rivermuseum.org. Details and information can be found on www.rivermuseum.org/join-our-team.

 

Social Media & Communications Internship

The Marketing & Communications team at the organization is responsible for public representation through branding, advertising, media relations, social media, sales, and public events. The Social Media and Communications intern will work closely with the Marketing & Communications Manager, Graphic Design Manager, and other departments to collect, develop, organize, and disseminate engaging content for social media, press releases, e-newsletters, promotional pieces, advertising, and the website.

Primary Duties

  • Collaborate to serve as a primary “voice” of the River Museum’s social media channels, developing strategy, providing creativity, and producing engaging content while managing day-to-day social media responsibilities and amplifying our brand and mission
  • Interact with our social media audience as necessary and assist in responding to inquiries and posts on our platforms
  • Work closely with the Marketing & Communications Manager and others to develop strategy, content, placement, and success of digital media efforts and to keep the website updated and maintained
  • Take quality photographs and videos for use on social media and the organization’s website as well as take photographs, as needed, of events, programs, and activities for use in marketing publications
  • Produce short form video for social media platforms as well as in-depth and longer educational content for grant and programming purposes
  • Maintain the organization’s website, including organizing and updating webpages
  • Assist with content development as needed for website, social media, and digital creative
  • Actively seek ideas and keep apprised of trends and best practices in social media, marketing, communications, design, and the industry
  • Provide recommendations to strengthen and improve marketing and communications efforts

 

Application
Please send application, resume, and cover letter materials to Kristen Leffler at kleffler@rivermuseum.org. Details and information can be found on www.rivermuseum.org/join-our-team.