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

Herpetology Collections Manager

Field Museum of Natural History
Chicago, Illinois
Closing Date
10 April 2020

The Field Museum is hiring a Collection Manager to manage its world-class Herpetology collections.

The museum houses one of the world’s largest collections of zoological specimens. The 306,000-specimen Amphibian and Reptile Collection is comprised of over 286,688 catalog entries. It's a major research resource for the national and international scientific communities and contains unique material of special historical and ecological significance. The collection is world-class in size as well as taxonomic and geographic scope. The bulk of the collection (98%) is stored in 70% ethanol and contained in over 30,000 jars and 97 steel tanks. The skeletal collection contains over 7,600 skeletons and 1,700 cleared and stained preparations. There are also over 20,000 specimens with genetic resources stored in our cryogenic facility.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Collection Manager reports to the Head of Zoological collections and will supervise a staff managing day-to-day activities in the Herpetology collection. The Collection Manager will work jointly with curators to set long and short-term priorities for the Herpetology collections. The Collection Manager will also interact with other collections areas, research scientists, exhibitions developers, and education staff. The Collection Manager will have opportunities to seek funding for collections improvements and specimen-based research projects. The successful candidate will be evaluated on the ability to promote, study, build, care for, and ensure accessibility to the great wealth of specimens in the collection. 

Responsibilities include:

  • Managing digitization tasks including imaging specimens, georeferencing, species inventory, and development and evaluation of workflows and standards to ensure best practices;
  • Incorporating new material into the collection, preparing, sorting, identifying, and cataloging specimens;
  • Tracking and reporting metrics of collection use and growth;
  • Managing the herpetology collection budget;
  • Coordinating an active loan program and on-site use of the collection by researchers;
  • Participating in the museum’s public programming and promoting the mission of the museum and its fundraising goals;
  • Training, mentorship, and supervision of staff, interns, and volunteers in the collection.


  • PhD (with an emphasis in Herpetology) with collections experience is preferred, or equivalent combination of education and experience, e.g., Masters in Biology (with an emphasis in Herpetology) with at least 3 year's collections experience;
  • A well-versed background in Herpetology is required, including familiarity with other Herpetology collections and research;
  • Knowledge of taxonomic principles and Herpetology collection management;
  • Strong organizational skills necessary to keep collection accessible;
  • Ample experience with collection databases, imaging systems, and data aggregators is required, as well as a strong history of managing digitization projects;
  • Working knowledge of international and domestic regulations for shipment of specimens and requirements for packing loans;
  • Strong history of building and managing a diverse team of staff, interns, and volunteers.

To Apply

Apply online at careers.hireology.com/fieldmuseum/378844/description. Applications must include Cover Letter and CV to be considered. Review of applications will begin on April 10, 2020. 

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