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Curator of Herpetology, Ichthyology & Invertebrate Zoology 


The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a non-profit institution dedicated to the conservation and research of the Sonoran Desert Region with the goal of making the Sonoran Desert accessible, understandable, and valued. We are a fusion experience zoo, botanical garden, aquarium, art gallery, natural history museum, and research institute. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums has recognized the Desert Museum for over 25 years of continuous accreditation.


We are seeking an experienced and dynamic Curator for our Department of Herpetology, Ichthyology & Invertebrate Zoology (HIIZ).


Job Description
Job Title: Curator of Herpetology, Ichthyology and Invertebrate Zoology
Department: HIIZ
Reports To: Director of Collections, Maintenance & Exhibits
Compensation: Anticipated Starting Salary $55,000 plus a comprehensive benefit package which includes medical, dental, vision, employer-funded health reimbursement account, Life and LTD insurance, medical and dependent care flexible spending accounts, 403(b) retirement plan with Roth option, dual-level membership, paid holidays, personal business time, sick leave, and vacation.

Responsible for the scientific management and stewardship of the Museums living collections in the following areas: Herpetology, Ichthyology and Invertebrate Zoology; directs and coordinates activities of staff engaged in acquiring, keeping, exhibiting and educating the public on the Museums living collections by performing the following duties.

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

  • Daily supervision of and collaboration with paid staff, interns, and volunteers.
  • Facilitates goal-setting 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, gardens, and museum displays.
  • Experiments with the husbandry, captive breeding and behavioral enrichment of various species, including those never before exhibited in zoos and botanical gardens.
  • Collaborates in technical research on grounds.
  • Interprets the regions biodiversity through exhibitry, docent training, newsletter writing, lectures and other activities.
  • Represents the Museums interests on issues involving respective collections to government agencies, education and conservation organizations.
  • Assures that all necessary federal, state and local permits are in place for species in supervised collection area.
  • Oversees technical training of staff and volunteers.

Supervisory Responsibilities
Directly supervises the Herpetology, Ichthyology & Invertebrate Zoology Department. Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organizations 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.


Note: Application review will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Be prepared to include a resume with your application and completed questionnaire. 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.


Position Requirements

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 a related field.
  • Post-graduate study or professional training in collections management and care highly desirable.
  • Two years’ experience and/or training in staff supervision is a desired, or a combination of at least six years of a related field specific educational degree and work experience.
  • A minimum of four years of paid experience in collections management and care, research or exhibitry in a related field, along with captive propagation, exhibit design or endangered species recovery.
  • Broad knowledge of regional natural history and conservation biology and ability to assist with part-time research, collections databases and facilities development is desirable.

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 database, payroll/timekeeping systems, performance evaluation and word processing software.

Certificates, Licenses, Registrations

  • Professional Fellow status in AZA (or equivalent in botanical field) or ability to obtain.
  • Must have or be able to obtain an Arizona Driver's License.

Other Skills and Abilities

  • Ability to develop research projects (applied)
  • Ability to develop/manage conservation projects (applied)
  • Must have strong coaching skills and be able to work effectively and fairly with people
  • Must be knowledgeable of the natural history in respective area of expertise of the Sonoran Desert region
  • Must be knowledgeable of animal collection operations preferably in an AZA institution
  • Must be knowledgeable of laws and regulations related to the respective collection
  • Demonstrated ability to teach
  • Must have strong communication skills, including oral, written and basic computer use
  • 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.


The above description reflects a general overview of the responsibilities, reporting relationships 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.

EOE Statement We are an equal opportunity employer with a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. For this position, we are seeking candidates who are U.S. citizens or permanent green card holders. We believe that inclusive teams with diverse perspectives are essential to our success and encourage applicants from all backgrounds to apply, within the remit of the eligibility criteria.  
Open Date 9/16/2022  

This position is currently not accepting applications.

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