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Associate Curator, Natural Sciences [Oakland Museum of California]

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on January 31, 1974 in job announcements |

OMCA is one of the Bay Area’s leading cultural institutions and the only museum devoted to the art, history, and natural sciences of the state. OMCA recently completed a $62.2 million capital campaign for the Museum’s first-ever renovation and is currently undertaking a significant organizational transformation. This is an exciting opportunity to be a part of OMCA’s transformation as a 21st century museum.

 

ROLE OF THE OMCA LAB 

The OMCA Lab brings together curatorial content expertise in California art, history, and natural sciences with visitor-centered interpretative approaches and visitor research and evaluation.  OMCA Lab staff advance interdisciplinary connections between disciplines, link contemporary issues with historic trends, and align content delivery goals with visitor experience strategies through a range of platforms including exhibitions, collection presentations, public programming, on-line activities, and publications.

 

SUMMARY OF POSITION DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The Associate Curator, Natural Sciences assists the curatorial team with the presentation, acquisition, documentation, research, and development of OMCA natural science content and collections through exhibitions, public programs, publications, and online activities. The Associate Curator helps to engage multiple communities in dynamic conversations and explorations of content, linking California’s natural environment and biological sciences to the diversity and complexities of the California experience.

 

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The following reflects OMCA’s definition of essential functions for this position, but does not restrict the tasks that may be assigned.  OMCA may assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this position at any time due to reasonable accommodation or other reasons.

 

Institutional Responsibilities

  • Support the Museum’s mission, values, vision, and core commitment to the visitor experience, community engagement, and institutional relevancy for the future;
  • Contribute to and support the OMCA strategic plan, annual priorities, and institutional initiatives such as diversity advancement;
  • Exercise leadership, the highest level of integrity, and professionalism in all aspects of work on behalf of OMCA and service to the public;
  • Contribute creative ideas and propose solutions to support a proactive work environment;
  • Contribute to a positive organizational culture based on mutual respect, a spirit of collegiality, cooperation, and openness to many perspectives;
  • Work within guidelines for the prudent management of the OMCA annual budget and finances;
  • Adhere to personnel policies and practices;
  • Participate in a culture of ongoing learning, collaboration, innovation, creativity, and community engagement;
  • Participate on and/or lead project teams as assigned; and,
  • Participate in conversations and education about museum practices, standards, and trends that contribute to a 21st century museum in service to the public.

 

Collections, Exhibition, and Program Development

  • Research, document, and develop collections and exhibit elements related to the natural sciences that reflect California’s biodiversity and environmental issues;
  • Assist in the development of creative approaches to using collections to support diverse types of visitor experiences, delivery platforms, interdisciplinary strategies, and topics representative of multiple viewpoints and perspectives;
  • Participate in the planning of touring exhibitions that meet OMCA’s mission and, when feasible, create additional elements to deepen the California experience for visitors;
  • Collaborate in the development and implementation of collections management systems, collection policies and procedures, and conservation activities;
  • Attend to the Museum’s policies, procedures, and professional standards regarding the acquisition, documentation, care, and presentation of collections.

 

Research and Facilitation of Content

  • Conduct research to assist in the development of content for implementation of exhibitions, public programs, publications, and online activities;
  • Develop and conduct activities for engaging the public in dynamic conversations and explorations of content relevant to the California experience, both historical and contemporary through such formats as OMCA advisory councils, community organizations, thought leaders and peers;
  • Collaborate with staff in developing strategies for, and producing, a seamless integration of content with interpretation across diverse platforms such as exhibition text, web content, articles, public presentations, and programs; and
  • Work collaboratively with outside museums and educational institutions, environmental organizations, state and federal agencies, science advisors, and citizen science programs.

 

Project Management and Administration;

  • Assist in project management of exhibitions and other activities;
  • Manage projects including the research, preparation, and administration of related budgets, timelines, and reports;
  • Develop, negotiate, and monitor professional services contracts; and
  • Lead and train volunteers and interns.

 

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Broad knowledge of California natural history, through biology, ecology, conservation, geography or a closely related field supported by principles and practices of scholarship research;
  • Experience with science outreach to visitors and local communities using exhibits, public programs, a trained core of Docents, educational opportunities with local schools and colleges, citizen science projects, field-based learning, on-line activities, publications, or other similar activities;
  • Ability to work within the OMCA to develop multidisciplinary exhibits, events, and programs;
  • Familiarity with collection development and management of specimens or materials related to natural sciences, including methods of selection, documentation, evaluation, preservation, exhibition, handling, and interpretation;
  • Basic understanding of fundraising techniques, grant application procedures, and funding sources;
  • Understanding of computer systems and applications;
  • Understanding of Museum ethics and standards for collections management and conservation;
  • English, fluent in both spoken and written form; and,
  • A secondary language, such as Spanish or Chinese, is desired.

 

Ability to:

  • Analyze, synthesize, and interpret complex ideas for multiple platforms serving diverse audiences and Museum visitors;
  • Communicate effectively orally and in writing; and
  • Operate a motor vehicle in the performance of assigned duties.

 

EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE

A combination of experience and education that demonstrates possession of the necessary knowledge and abilities for this position is required as noted:

  • Four years of responsible professional work experience in a museum or related institution working with natural sciences or related fields including developing collections, exhibitions, publications, programs, and other content platforms supported by research and collections; and,
  • Bachelor’s degree in biology, environmental sciences, ecology or a related field required.
  • Master’s degree in the field of science, environmental studies, ecology or a related field highly preferred.

 

PHYSICAL & MENTAL REQUIREMENTS

While performing the duties of this position, the employee is frequently required to do the following:

  • Coordinate multiple tasks simultaneously;
  • Collect, interpret, and/or analyze complex data and information; and,
  • Utilize visual acuity to read technical information, analyze objects, and/or use a keyboard.

 

WORK ENVIRONMENT

While performing the duties of this position, the employee is frequently exposed to the following:

  • Noise, such as groups of people working in enclosed areas;
  • Typical office environment; and,
  • Operate a motor vehicle in the performance of assigned duties.
  • Function in various types of weather, terrain, and natural environments when leading field courses.

 

LICENSE OR CERTIFICATE

To perform the duties of this position, the employee is required to possess the following:

  • Valid California driver’s license.

 

TO APPLY
Download an employment application from http://museumca.org/employment-internships. Please submit the completed application, resume, and cover letter with three references. Applications can be sent by email. Include job number and title in the subject line.

Or mail to:

Oakland Museum of California
1000 Oak Street, Oakland, CA 94607
www.museumca.org

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