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Director of Sustainable Operations, Jean & Ric Edelman Fossil Park & Museum

Job Details

Job Opportunity:
Do you dream of a world where you can combine your love of buildings and systems with your passion for a vibrant, sustainable planet? The Edelman Fossil Park & Museum is seeking an exceptional individual to join our team as the Director of Sustainable Operations . Our mission is to excite visitors of all ages about the wonders of the natural world and to provide guests with immersive experiences like no other. Visitors to the museum become active participants in uncovering the deep past, contextualizing the present, and plotting a better course towards a more sustainable future.

The new museum, designed by renowned architect, Thomas Wong, is located at a paleontological site of global significance on 65 acres just outside of Philadelphia in South New Jersey. (See: .) It will be powered by photovoltaics and heated and cooled by 72, 250-foot deep geothermal wells. Construction is due to complete in the coming months using reduced-carbon concrete, bird-safe UV-based glass, and other features which come together to create New Jersey’s largest carbon net-zero building — an architectural marvel and physical manifestation of our mission, set into a resplendent naturalistic setting.

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As the Director of Sustainable Operations, you will oversee operations of the building and surrounding property, maintain the museum's infrastructure and equipment, and lead the way on sustainability initiatives across all aspects of museum operations. You’ll also have the opportunity to engage museum guests with this work through sustainability programming in collaboration with the museum’s Director of Public Programming.

As a key member of a collaborative leadership team, you will also empower our patrons to become agents of change, working towards a sustainable and thriving future for our planet. And, as the Director, you will have the unique opportunity to assemble a team of diverse, highly skilled, and passionate individuals who strive together towards a common vision, in a work environment that nurtures the human spirit while fostering productivity and innovation. Our organizational culture encourages individuals to bring their authentic selves to work, a place where their unique talents are valued and fully unleashed.

Moreover, this project has garnered global attention and has been included in Smithsonian Magazine's list of Most Anticipated Museums in the World. The project is led by world renowned paleontologist and explorer, Founding Executive Director, Dr. Kenneth Lacovara, and by Managing Director, longtime Head of Conferences and Head of Curation at TED, Kelly Stoetzel. By joining us, you will be at the forefront of a global movement, making an impact on an international scale. If you are ready to kindle the flame of exploration and planetary stewardship in hearts of all ages, take on the climate and biodiversity crises, build a team of exceptional individuals, and work in a purpose-driven, trust-based, inclusive environment within a globally recognized project, then seize this extraordinary opportunity.


The Director of Sustainable Operations will be responsible for overseeing the operations of the building and surrounding property (including our fossil quarry and fossil field station, water management system, playground, trails and flora and fauna), maintaining the museum's infrastructure and equipment, and working with other teams internally on sustainability initiatives across all aspects of museum operations. You will also oversee critical museum operations, such as IT and AV, value management, and relationships with security, waste management, and other vendors.

The role ties into the museum’s broader charge of creating and delivering exceptional experiences for visitors and learners of all ages and backgrounds, to ensure an overall off-the-charts visitor experience for each person who enters the door.

The ideal candidate will possess experience leading or building commercial facilities, passion for sustainability, and talent for innovative solutions and an unwavering commitment to excellence in every aspect of the job. This senior leader must be committed to pushing back on the climate and biodiversity crises, to creating an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere for visitors and co-workers, and to inspiring every staff member to deliver unparalleled visitor experiences that are purpose-driven, convey a sense of amazement for the natural world, and deliver unending moments of surprise and delight to museum patrons. The successful candidate must be an adept team-builder who can foster an inclusive, positive work environment, and who thrives in a complex, fast-changing, publicly facing live work environment. The right candidate for this role is a builder—someone excited about this ground-floor opportunity to create, innovate, and to give life to an immerging world-class visitor destination. The position reports to the Managing Director and is part of the museum’s executive team.

Key Responsibilities:
  • Collaborate with executive director, executive team, and facilities manager to manage and maintain museum infrastructure, grounds, and equipment.
  • Respond as needed to property emergencies and on an on-call basis
  • Work with executive director to build an inclusive, fulfilling, purpose-based organizational ethos.
  • Assist in training all operations staff members, including vendor employees, to deliver purpose-driven, quality care to all visitors.
  • Lead a team of employees, including Facilities Manager, Value Manager, Facilities staff, and IT/AV staff.
  • Oversee vendor contracted services, including security, waste disposal, landscaping, and others.
  • Document and manage the museum’s many sustainability features, and prepare submissions to sustainability certificate organizations, such as the Living Building Challenge.
  • Advise museum leadership and staff on sustainability practices and take a leadership role in innovating and implementing new practices across museum operations.
  • Collaborate with public programming staff to create messaging and experiences that teach sustainability and highlight the museum’s many sustainable features and programs.
  • Develop a publicly facing museum sustainability dashboard.
  • Develop and execute a plan for maintenance of the fossil quarry, water management system, trails, gardens, water features, etc.
  • Work with leadership team and public programming staff to create and execute off-the-charts guest experiences.
  • Stay abreast of the latest technology trends to improve the sustainability of museum operations.
  • Assist executive director and leadership team in evaluating programs and operations to drive quality, optimization, value, and innovation.
  • Work with the executive director and leadership team to develop external partnerships that support and enhance the museum’s mission.
  • Host and/or participate in public and/or private events.
  • Ensure that property complies with all local, state, and federal facilities requirements.
  • Other duties as assigned by the executive director and/or managing director
  • A bachelor's degree or higher; A degree in Architecture, Sustainability, Environmental Science, Environmental Engineering, Civil Engineering, or in closely related fields, is a preferred.
  • A minimum of 7 years of managerial experience in a relevant field (building systems) is required.
  • A minimum of 7 years of experience managing and leading teams to foster an inclusive, positive, fulfilling work environment.
  • Familiarity with building systems, such as HVAC, electrical, plumbing, IT infrastructure, geo-thermal systems, etc.
  • Evidence of strong networking skills and a proven ability to build partnerships between organizations.
  • Familiarity with the latest technological innovations in sustainability, and the ability to use this knowledge to improve museum operations and the visitor experience.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and ability to host public events.
  • Outstanding organizational and project management skills, and a desire to produce the extraordinary.
  • Ability to occasionally work outdoors, and to work flexible hours, including on call/emergency response, some weekends and evenings, and a willingness to travel on occasion.
Starting Date: ASAP

To Apply

All candidates should submit: 1) Resume; 2) Cover Letter outlining their suitability for the role, focusing on their ability to help advance the business, visitor experience, and sustainability goals of the museum. Include a description of relevant experience; 3) Provide references on request.

About the Edelman Fossil Park & Museum

The Jean & Ric Edelman Fossil Park & Museum of Rowan University will transform lives by providing a unique opportunity to explore a remarkable site of scientific wonder. Visitors will embark on a personal, hands-on voyage of discovery in an extraordinary setting that bears witness to one of the most momentous events in our planet's history. By opening a window to the past, we imbue visitors with the thrill of scientific discovery as they develop a new appreciation for the preciousness of life that sustains our world today.

The museum under construction will become a one-of-a-kind destination that both educates and entertains. The local community will gain a world-class cultural institution that will attract visitors from across the country and around the globe. The fossil park and museum will energize economic development in the region, elevate the prominence of Rowan University, and foster pride of place for Southern New Jersey.

Globally Important Research
At the Jean & Ric Edelman Fossil Park & Museum, visitors travel back in time to when dinosaurs ruled New Jersey. Sixty-six million years ago, an asteroid struck the Earth, wiping out the dinosaurs and 75% of species. The fossil park’s 4-acre fossil quarry, set into a 65-acre property, is providing scientists with the best view ever into this pivotal, calamitous event that ended an Earth era, paving the way for the modern world as we know it. Over the past 13 years, fossil park founder, Dr. Kenneth Lacovara, and his team, have unearthed over 100,000 fossils from a 66-million years old bonebed in the quarry bottom, and have catalogued over 100 fossil species.

A Rich Heritage
Surprising to many, New Jersey boasts a rich heritage of fossil discovery. In 1858, Hadrosaurus, the world’s first discovered nearly complete dinosaur, was found in Haddonfield, New Jersey. In 1866, the world’s first discovered tyrannosaur, Dryptosaurus, was unearthed just a mile from the fossil park. (T. rex, found in Montana, would come later in 1905.) Many other new species of ancient creatures have been discovered in New Jersey, from Cretaceous beds running from Freehold southwest through Swedesboro. Although dinosaurs were first recognized from fragmentary remains in England, southern New Jersey can rightfully claim its place as the cradle of dinosaur paleontology.

The Thrill of Discovery:
Hand-on, authentic discovery is at the core of the Jean & Ric Edelman Fossil Park & Museum public experience. Above the research layer, there are areas designated for public digging. Nearly every child or grownup who visits the quarry to dig for fossil, finds a 65-million-year-old fossil, with their own hands, that they get to take home. Over and over, this has been a transformational experience for people. When they make a personal connect between themselves and deep time, and the place where they live and the Earth’s ancient past, they never again see the world, or their place in it, in quite the same way. Children seem to understand the authenticity of the experience. The shark tooth or ancient clam that they may dig up, is a real discovery. At that moment, they become explorers, voyagers, authentic discoverers—an experience that can set them on a new path.

The core concept behind the Jean & Ric Edelman Fossil Park & Museum is that we must learn from Earth’s deep past to guide our way into the future. The extinction of the dinosaurs serves as a cautionary tale for the multiple, simultaneous existential crises we face today. In the Hall of Extinction & Hope, visitors will confront the alarming facts about the unfolding climate and biodiversity crises. And they will learn why there is hope in the battle to save Earth’s atmosphere and biosphere, and that we all must act now to create the future that we all wish for our posterity. Finally, through a personalized RFID system, visitors will connect with sustainability programs and organizations, giving them a sense of agency and avenues through which they can make a positive difference.

Carbon Net-Zero and Sustainable Construction
The Jean & Ric Edelman Fossil Park Museum will be an all-electric building, deriving its energy from photovoltaics and geothermal heating and cooling. Upon opening, the museum will be New Jersey’s largest carbon net-zero facility. Further, construction is underway using reduced carbon concrete, bird-safe glass, and large amounts of embodied carbon contained within sustainably raised accoya cladding and wood-fiber-lamination beams.

About Rowan University
Rowan University is a comprehensive national university. The university enrolls approximately 22,000 students. Its main campus is in Glassboro, N.J., 20-miles southeast of Philadelphia. Philadelphia International Airport is 30 minutes away, and New York and Washington, DC are easily accessible by train from Philadelphia. Rowan has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report and was named the third fastest-growing public research university in the nation by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Advertised: Aug 23 2023 Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close: Sep 27 2023 11:55 PM Eastern Daylight Time


Rowan University

Since its founding in 1923, Rowan University has evolved from a teacher preparation college to a public research institution ranked among the top 100 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Today, Rowan University offers bachelor through doctoral degrees and professional certificates in person and online to 22,000 students through its main campus in Glassboro, N.J., its medical school campuses in Camden, Stratford, and Sewell, and on the campuses of partner community colleges. 

Rowan focuses on practical research at the intersection of engineering, medicine, science, and business while ensuring excellence in undergraduate education. The University has earned national recognition for innovation; commitme

Rowan University will become a new model for higher education by being inclusiveagile, and responsive, offering diverse scholarly and creative educational experiences, pathways, environments, and services to meet the needs of all students; maintaining agility by strategically delivering organizational capacity across the institution; and responding to emerging demands and opportunities regionally and nationally.nt to high-quality, affordable education; and the development of public-private partnerships. A Carnegie-classified R2 (high research activity) institution, Rowan is the nation’s third fastest-growing public research university, as reported by The Chronicle of Higher Education. 

As a leading employer in southern New Jersey with over 3,500 employees, Rowan offers comprehensive and competitive employment. 

A dynamic institution in the midst of unprecedented growth, Rowan offers faculty small classes, strong academic programs and ample research and leadership opportunities.

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