Florida softshell turtle, Apalone ferox, photo by J.D. Willson

Collections Manager of Amphibians and Reptiles

Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Pittsburgh, PA
Closing Date
30 September 2018

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History has an immediate opening for a Collections Manager of Amphibians and Reptiles. This position will oversee the direct care, organization, management, and improved accessibility of approximately 242,000 preserved specimens of amphibians and reptiles and their associated data, based on current best museum practices. While there may be opportunities to assist with or conduct research, these will be constrained by management priorities of the collection.

Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is interested in candidates who, through their experience and collaborations, will contribute to diversity and excellence of the Carnegie Museums community. 

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Curate physical specimens, including specimen preparation, and organization, care, and housing of specimens and associated tissues.
  • Conduct and coordinate processing of new and existing collections, including physical preparation, labeling, cataloguing, accessioning, and loans.
  • Establish priorities for collection care and management in coordination with curatorial and research staff.
  • Develop and implement collections management policies that are aligned with best museum practices.
  • Provide collection access to the research community, including assisting visitors to the collection and processing specimen loans.
  • Digitize and document collections, including databasing and capturing digital images of scientific labels and specimens.
  • Digitize and document section of Amphibians & Reptiles correspondence, archives, publications, and loan records using collection management software.
  • Maintain electronic and digital records, and update taxonomic and auxiliary information.
  • Apply taxonomic expertise to improve identifications of specimens in the collection.
  • Collaborate and liaise with external biological data repositories and partners, including VertNet, iDigBio, and GBIF.
  • Provide periodic support to the museum community, such as serving on committees, or working with exhibits and education teams to develop herpetology-related content for the broader museum community.
  • Train and supervise technicians, students, interns, and volunteers working in the collection.
  • Collaborate with Curator and other museum staff to develop grant proposals for collections improvements and other collection-based initiatives.
  • Provide support for promotional and institutional advancement activities, including opportunities to engage with donors and participate in tours of the collection.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to walk, sit, talk, and hear. The employee is occasionally required to use hands to handle specimens and operate tools or controls and use arms to reach. Drawers to be manipulated (if present in the section) will be located up to 96 inches high (employee may use step stool or ladder). The employee is occasionally required to climb (stairs, ladders, stepstools) or balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl

The employee performs duties in a wide variety of settings including office, collection area, and public galleries. The noise level in the work environment will vary accordingly. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus

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.


Master’s in biology (with an emphasis in herpetology), ecology, or evolution with at least 3 years of collection experience, or a Bachelor’s degree in an applicable field and 5 years collection experience. A strong background in herpetology is required, including familiarity with other herpetology collections. The successful candidate should also demonstrate knowledge of taxonomic principles and collection management, strong organizational skills, and supervisory skills for overseeing collection personnel, including technicians, volunteers, students, and interns. A proven track record of improvement, development, promotion and maximized use of collections, as well as database and genetic resource management skills are essential. Imaging skills are highly desirable.

The successful applicant must have demonstrated expertise in herpetology, including knowledge of taxonomy of global and local (Pennsylvania) amphibians and reptiles, and have experience in natural history collection use and management. Establishing and curating a genetic resources (tissue) collection of amphibians and reptiles will also be important components of this position. The Collections Manager of Amphibians and Reptiles will be expected to serve as a strong advocate for natural history collections, and must be able to effectively communicate their importance to members of the public and scientific community alike.

Candidates should be familiar with Microsoft Access or similar database platforms, and with external biological data repositories including VertNet and iDigBio.

Exceptional organizational skills, with an inherent dedication to detail, are required.

To Apply

Interested candidates encouraged to apply at: carnegiemuseums.org/opportunities:

  1. Click Search Jobs;
  2. Click Apply Now for Collection Manager Carnegie Museum of Natural History – Oakland Req#81

The following PA Act 153 clearances, or proof of application of clearances, are required beginning employment and as a condition of continued employment:

  • Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance
  • Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check
  • FBI Fingerprint Criminal Background Check
  • Obtaining the required clearances is completed as part of the new hire process.

Carnegie Museums is an EEO-1 Affirmative Action Employer-M/F/Veteran/Disability.

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