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The University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute (BI), on the Lawrence campus, is one of the premier research and education institutes in the U.S. in biodiversity science, biodiversity informatics, paleobiology, biogeography, evolutionary biology, and archaeology. The BI, one of the University's designated research centers, reports to the KU Office of Research and comprises three units:
Natural History Museum (NHM), in Dyche Hall, is the iconic public face of the BI and provides public programming in informal science education, science outreach and engagement, and in its 50,000 sq. ft. of exhibits.
Research and Collections in Dyche, Lippincott, Lindley, Haworth, Spooner and Bridwell halls and the Public Safety Building, includes 14 scientific research divisions and departments, ~11 million specimens and cultural objects in research collections with associated biotic and archaeological data that document the life and past cultures of the planet, and research laboratories, offices and equipment.
Paleontological Institute, in Lindley Hall, is the global hub for production of the Treatise of Invertebrate Paleontology, an encyclopedic compendium on fossil invertebrate animals.
The BI and its three units are housed in seven buildings on Main and West Campus. The BI is home to 55 staff members and 60+ graduate and undergraduate students who work in its research and public programming divisions and departments.
Staff members and students are engaged in scientific research, education and service in archaeology and in the faunistics, floristics, biogeography, history, paleobiology, ecology, phylogenetics, systematics, genomics, behavior, and morphology of the world's plants and animals. Taxonomic foci include mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish, insects, corals, sea anemones, parasites, and plants, as well as fossil vertebrates, invertebrates and plants. Archaeological foci include Great Plains cultures, European and Middle Eastern rock art, and horse cultures of the Eurasian steppe peoples.
The BI acquires, manages, and stewards collections of recent and extinct plants and animals, and of past cultural objects, along with their associated data. The BI serves the worldwide biodiversity science and archaeology communities through free and open access to collection-based data, and through extensive loans of specimens and tissues of animal and plants, and of cultural objects. In addition to graduate and undergraduate educational opportunities, the BI provides a wide variety of public programs to approximately 30,000 visitors including 10,000 K-12 students, youth and families annually onsite and through science outreach to local and regional communities. The BI has an annual state operating budget approaching $3 million, which is approximately doubled or tripled through extramural grants and contracts.
The Communications Coordinator promotes and publicizes Biodiversity Institute relevant research and public programs using print media, social media, news media, radio advertisements, the BI website and other outlets. Additionally, the position works in collaboration and coordination with BI staff to increase museum visitation and promote events for the Biodiversity Institute and Natural History Museum, as well as planning and implementing promotional events such as Science on Tap and Hawk Week tabling.
The University of Kansas is a Carnegie doctoral/research-extensive university with a $1.4 billion endowment and a faculty of 2,600. Current enrollment is 28,500 (19,000 undergraduate), with students drawn from 110 nations and all 50 states. The 1,000-acre main campus is in Lawrence, a community of 95,000 in hilly northeast Kansas that lies about 35 miles west of Kansas City and 30 minutes from the state capital, Topeka.. Lawrence has a thriving community with a wide range of activities/events
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