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Curator of Zoological Exhibits: Design and Construction 

Category Collections/Exhibits  
Position Curator of Zoological Exhibits: Design and Construction  
Full-Time/Part-Time Full-Time  
Exempt/Non-Exempt Exempt  
Compensation Anticipated Starting Salary $55,000 plus comprehensive benefit package  

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. It is 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 enthusiastic, creative, and collaborative individual to join our team as Curator of Zoological Exhibits: Design and Construction!


Position Description
Job Title: Curator of Zoological Exhibits: Design and Construction
Department: Exhibits
Reports To: Director of Living Collections, Maintenance and Exhibits
Compensation: Anticipated Starting Salary $55,000 plus Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum’s 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.

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.

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.


Please 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 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.

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.

Open Date 9/16/2022  

This position is currently accepting applications.

Apply Now


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