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Exhibits Curator

Brief Summary of Position

The position is responsible for the creation of exhibits at the museum, the design coordination of exhibits and related projects. Coordinates with outside designers, contractors and with Museum staff to accomplish these projects. The position is part of the team working on the long term planning of the museum and capital projects.

About Us

Located in Tucson, just outside of Saguaro National Park (West), the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a fusion experience zoo, botanical garden, art gallery, natural history museum, aquarium, and research institute. We are widely recognized throughout the world as a model institution for innovative presentation and interpretation of native plants and animals featured together in ecological exhibits. The Museum’s living animal collection contains 4,892 specimens of 242 species. Plants number 56,000 specimens of 1,200 taxa; mineral and fossil collections include 16,853 specimens. Represented in the living collections are 110 to 120 species considered to be of conservation concern. Not a “museum” in the usual sense, it is an unparalleled composite of plant, animal, and geologic collections with the goal of making the Sonoran Desert accessible, understandable, and valued.

Position Description
Job Title:  Curator – Exhibits
Reports To: Director of Living Collections, Maintenance and Exhibits
Compensation: Anticipated Starting Salary $53,500 plus a comprehensive benefit package, which includes medical, dental, vision, life and LTD insurance, FSA, HRA, 403(b) retirement plan, paid holidays, personal business, sick leave, and vacation.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following. Other duties may be assigned.

  • Daily supervision of and collaboration with paid staff, interns, and volunteers.
  • Facilitates goalsetting and evaluation of departmental activities.
  • Project development and management.
  • Budget preparation and management.
  • With other staff, participates in planning, experimental design and development of habitat-based ecological exhibits, and museum displays.
  • Experiments and creation of new environmental enrichment items for various species.
  • Oversees technical training of staff and volunteers on the proper use of equipment and proper use of PPE.

Secondary Duties and Responsibilities

  • Exhibit maintenance activities.
  • Research and development of exhibit concepts.
  • Oversight of construction/fabrication of exhibits and related projects.
  • Review proposals and selection of designers/fabricators.
  • Facilitate in-house design workshops.

Supervisory Responsibilities
Directly supervises in the Exhibits Department: Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization’s policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems.

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Education and/or Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree (B.A. or B.S.) from four-year college or university in design or a planning-related field.
  • Post-graduate study or professional training in collections management and care highly desirable.
  • Two years’ experience and/or training in staff supervision required.
  • A minimum of four years of paid experience in design, research and construction of exhibits.

Language Skills
Ability to read, analyze, and interpret general business periodicals, professional journals, technical procedures, or government regulations. Ability to write reports, business correspondence, and procedure manuals. Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers, clients, customers, and the general public.

Mathematical Skills
Ability to calculate figures and amounts such as discounts, interest, commissions, proportions, percentages, area, circumference, and volume. Ability to apply concepts of basic algebra and geometry.

Reasoning Ability
Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists. Ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form.

Computer Skills
To perform this job successfully, an individual should have knowledge of 3D software (eg: Auto CAD, Sketch up ARC GIS), payroll/timekeeping systems, performance evaluation and word processing software.

Certificates, Licenses, Registrations
The employee must have a valid Arizona driver’s license and a satisfactory driving record.

Other Skills and Abilities

  • Ability to manage complex projects and priorities and the ability to work with people as a supervisor, facilitator and coordinator.
  • Extensive understanding of construction, particularly with respect to naturalistic exhibits.
  • Excellent verbal and graphic communication skills.
  • Familiarity with basic principles of animal husbandry and horticulture.
  • Model building skills is a plus.
  • 3D computer skills (auto CAD, sketch up or other) is a plus.
  • Must have strong organizational skills and attention to detail.

Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this position, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk and sit. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.

Work Environment
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this position, the employee is occasionally exposed to wet and/or humid conditions; moving mechanical parts; high, precarious places; fumes or airborne particles; toxic or caustic chemicals; outside weather conditions; extreme cold; extreme heat; risk of electrical shock and vibration. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

How to Apply

Application review will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.  Be prepared to include a resume with your application. Please understand that if offered a position, you will be required to successfully complete a pre-employment drug screen and provide the equivalent of a satisfactory 3-year Driver’s History Record as a final condition of employment.

To view full details and apply, please visit our career page or copy and paste the following URL into your browser:

The above description reflects a general overview of the responsibilities and position requirements for this job classification. It is not intended to be a complete description of all duties and requirements that may be inherent in the position. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is an equal opportunity institution that values a diverse workforce. The Museum is a drug and alcohol free workplace and participates in E-Verify.