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

Curatorial Associate, Herpetology

Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Closing Date
Review of applications will likely begin around the end of October and continue until the position is filled.

The Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCV) is seeking a curatorial associate in its herpetology department. The successful applicant will report to the MCZ's Director, Collections Operations, and the faculty-curator of herpetology. In conjunction with the Director, Collections Operations, and the faculty- curator, the Curatorial Associate (CA) will determine short- and long-term collection priorities.

With rich collections comprised of more than 21 million extant and fossil invertebrate and vertebrate specimens, the Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ) at Harvard University has been a center for research and education focused on advancing evolutionary biology and biodiversity science since its founding in 1859.

Job-Specific Responsibilities

  • Assists with development of policies and processes that conform to best-practice standards for the long-term preservation and conservation of specimens within the herpetological collection in accordance with and as defined by natural history museum associations (e.g., Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, The American Alliance of Museums).
  • Supervises the daily curatorial activities of the curatorial staff assigned to the collection, temporary staff and students. The CA also oversees the activities of academic and non-academic visitors, researchers and students using the collection.
  • Management responsibilities include building and developing a diverse and effective team; planning and delegating work effectively; communicating and monitoring performance expectations; motivating and developing direct reports; and ensuring compliance with Harvard-wide, FAS and MCZ policies and procedures, as well as local, state and federal laws and regulations. Is responsible for managing the curation of existing and new collections.
  • Oversees and processes all incoming/outgoing loans of specimens, including proper documentation for import/export permits. Identifies new acquisitions through fieldwork, donations, etc., and oversees the proper accessioning with the appropriate documents, including capture in the computerized specimen database and maintenance of departmental accession files.
  • Provides oversight of the database and is responsible for accurate data input, enhancement and updating.
  • Prepares and monitors departmental budgets and orders collection-related supplies necessary for the curatorial activities of the department.
  • Consults on the development of work/research areas and space for housing specimen collections within the department.
  • May be called on to assist in preparation of grant proposals for collection or facilities improvement.
  • Participates in museum-wide initiatives and collaborative projects, including with other MCZ departments.
  • Assists the public with questions.


Minimum Qualifications

  • Master's degree required in biology and/or natural history museum studies.
  • At least 7 years of curatorial experience in a herpetology collection.
  • Minimum of 3 years of supervisory experience.

Additional Qualifications

  • Superior knowledge of vertebrate systematics. Experience in handling specimens highly desirable.
  • Demonstrated writing, public speaking, and organizational skills; excellent computer skills, including database management.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills required, as well as the ability to work both independently and in a busy team environment.

Physical Requirements

  • Must be able to stand for extended periods, walk, climb or balance, stoop, reach, kneel and/or crouch, often on uneven terrain or wet surfaces.
  • Must be able to lift and/or move objects weighing 50 pounds.

To Apply

Apply online at https://sjobs.brassring.com/TGnewUI/Search/home/HomeWithPreLoad?partner…

In order to be considered for this position, a cover letter and resume must be submitted.

All formal written offers will be made by FAS HR.

We are unable to provide visa sponsorship for this position.

Harvard offers an outstanding benefits package including:

  • Time Off: 3- 4 weeks paid vacation, paid holiday break, 12 paid sick days, 12.5 paid holidays, and 3 paid personal days per year.
  • Medical/Dental/Vision: We offer a variety of excellent medical plans, dental & vision plans, all coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive tuition assistance program, $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and discounted options through participating Harvard grad schools.
  • Transportation: Harvard offers a 50% discounted MBTA pass as well as additional options to assist employees in their daily commute.
  • Wellness Options: Harvard offers programs and classes at little or no cost, including stress management, massages, nutrition, meditation and complimentary health services.
  • Harvard access to athletic facilities, libraries, campus events and many discounts throughout metro Boston.

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