Job Listings

Senior Scientific Specialist, Archaeology - Illinois State Archaeological Survey (167096)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Job Location:
Urbana, Illinois
Laboratory and Research

Senior Scientific Specialist, Archaeology

Illinois State Archaeological Survey

Prairie Research Institute

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Illinois State Archaeological Survey (ISAS) is part of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which is centrally located between Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis. For 80 years, the University of Illinois has studied the state's archaeological heritage. ISAS incorporates that knowledge in its programs to protect, preserve, and interpret these irreplaceable and non-renewable resources within the context of Illinois' need to encourage and promote sustainable development. Learn more at

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability, or veteran status. For more information, visit

ISAS is seeking a Senior Scientific Specialist, Archaeology. The Archaeologist will coordinate the flow of environmental survey and cultural resource project information between the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), IDOT district offices, the IDOT Cultural Resources Unit, the State Historic Preservation Office, and the ISAS Transportation Section for the purposes of (1) characterizing the research potential of said projects for ISAS, (2) ensuring accurate and timely management of ISAS archaeological and architectural projects, (3) completing archaeological and architectural compliance reports on time, and (4) assisting IDOT in implementing its tribal monitoring policy. Position is based in Champaign, Illinois.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Receive environmental survey requests (ESR) and borrow site requests from IDOT district staff, ensure their completeness and readiness for review by the IDOT Cultural Resources Unit Head, and summarize for IDOT the potential impacts of the requests on cultural resources, as requested.
  • Communicate directly with IDOT district staff when additional information is required.
  • At IDOT's direction, notify ISAS's Architectural and Transportation Section staff of need for architectural review and/or archaeological survey.
  • Enter relevant information onto IDOT's project monitoring application, ESR tracking form, and maintain project files on IDOT's file server.
  • Coordinate with IDOT, IDOT contractors, ISAS field station coordinators, and ISAS administration to implement IDOT's tribal monitoring policy.
  • Ensure that the terms of the policy are met by ISAS, assist in the development of project-specific monitoring plans, track all activities surrounding project-specific monitors and ISAS staff monitors.
  • Facilitate processing of ISAS central office subcontracts and on-site and remote meetings.
  • Process IDOT cultural clearance memos and provide same to IDOT districts and ISAS Transportation Section.
  • Prepare spreadsheets to be provided to the State Historic Preservation Office of projects determined by the IDOT Cultural Resources Unit Head and IDOT Architectural Historian to have no historic properties affected.
  • Assist with archaeological survey short report review, compilation, and submittal to IDOT.
  • File comments received via the project notification system or received by e-mail for IDOT.
  • Maintain IDOT's list of Tribal commitments.
  • Provide updates regarding cultural resource studies to IDOT district staff upon request.
  • Represent the Survey and PRI at meetings and other venues in area of expertise.
  • Keep abreast of developments in the discipline.
  • Perform other duties as needed in order to further the mission and goals of PRI.

Required Qualifications: Bachelor's degree in anthropology, archaeology, or closely related discipline. Alternate degree fields will be considered/accepted depending on the nature and depth of the experience as it relates to this position. At least 2 years' related industry or research experience with a bachelor's degree. Experience conducting field investigations in the Midwest. Familiarity and/or experience with precontact-era and historic-period sites in Illinois and beyond. Familiarity and/or experience with federal and state of Illinois historic preservation, burial laws, and regulations. Effective communication, personal relations, collaboration, organizational, teamwork, and leadership skills. Demonstrated ability to perform effectively in a diverse and fast- paced work environment consisting of multiple and changing priorities with stringent deadlines, under minimal supervision. Attention to detail, sound judgment, and strong conflict resolution skills. Affinity for cooperative or interdisciplinary research with scientists at the Survey, professionals at other Surveys or other academic units, as well as governmental and other academic institutions. Proficiency with word processing, database, and graphic software. Valid driver's license.

Preferred Qualifications: Master's degree in anthropology, archaeology, or closely related discipline. Alternate degree fields will be considered/accepted depending on the nature and depth of the experience as it relates to this position. Methodological specialization and skills relating to the analysis of archaeological material and data (e.g., GIS, materials analysis).

This is a full-time academic professional appointment renewable annually based on satisfactory progress in the position and continued funding. The starting date is negotiable and the salary is commensurate with experience.

Applications must be received by July 6, 2022. Applicants may be interviewed before the closing date; however, no hiring decision will be made until after this date. To apply, please visit to complete an online profile and to upload 1) a cover letter that clearly articulates how your qualifications and experience make you a viable candidate for this position and should address the qualifications listed above, 2) a rsum/CV, and 3) the names and contact information (including e-mail addresses) of three professional (not personal) references. All requested information/documentation must be submitted for applications to be considered. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

For further information please contact Lori Walston-Vonderharr, Human Resources, Prairie Research Institute, at or 217-244-2401.

University of Illinois faculty, staff and students are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If you are not able to receive the vaccine for medical or religious reasons, you may seek approval for an exemption in accordance with applicable University processes.

University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. Convictions are not a bar to employment. The University of Illinois System requires candidates selected for hire to disclose any documented finding of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment and to authorize inquiries to current and former employers regarding findings of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. For more information, visit Policy on Consideration of Sexual Misconduct in Prior Employment. As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility

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