Curator, Rancho La Brea

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHMLA) is seeking a Curator for its renowned late Pleistocene Rancho La Brea collections housed at the La Brea Tar Pits & Museum. The successful candidate will conduct collection-based research in evolutionary biology and paleoecology broadly defined to include systematics, biogeography, global change, and/or biodiversity science, particularly as it relates to Rancho La Brea’s vast collection of microfossils. The NHMLA, the largest natural history museum in the western United States, has recently finished a dramatic transformation including new ground-breaking exhibitions and a 3 ½ acre wildlife garden, and it anticipates completing a similar transformation at the La Brea Tar Pits & Museum during the next decade. The successful candidate will play an instrumental role in the development and implementation of this exciting vision.

The La Brea Tar Pits & Museum constitutes one of the world’s richest Ice Age fossil sites and has to date yielded an estimated 5 million specimens representing more than 600 species of animals and plants of Late Pleistocene and Holocene age. These collections afford a huge potential for a broad array of research and public programs and are continuously growing through ongoing excavations. The successful candidate will be responsible for: developing a dynamic, productive, and scientifically significant program of research to build a growing scientific and public profile; overseeing the development and curation of important collections; maintaining and strengthening the NHM’s presence in key professional and governmental networks; and establishing active internal NHM collaborations, especially with the Education, Exhibits, Marketing and Communications, and Advancement Departments.

The successful candidate will have a Ph.D., a strong track record of published research, and experience in generating funding to support research. Experience in collections management would be an advantage, as would an interest in creative ways of engaging the public in research (e.g., community science). The Curator will be expected to develop an active and publically engaging research program, develop working relationships with local universities, mentor students and postdoctoral fellows, and maintain research through obtaining competitive grants and/or funding from other external sources. The candidate must have the vision and capability to build a research program that can be integrated within the NHMLA’s ongoing efforts to document and interpret biotic responses to environmental change. The Curator will manage the collection’s growth and undertake research in ways that increase both its scientific and public appeal.
The ability to communicate effectively and engage with a wide variety of audiences, including the public and the NHMLA’s various stakeholders, is paramount. The successful candidate will be expected to oversee staff and supervise the NHMLA’s Rancho La Brea programs. The Curator will actively participate in a broad range of museum activities, such as exhibits, education, outreach, training of educators, public communications including (but not limited to) media interactions, and fundraising. More specifically, the successful candidate will be expected to play a key role in the ongoing transformation of the La Brea Tar Pits & Museum. The Curator will also be responsible for building productive ties with local universities, professional associations, educators, and other relevant organizations within the scientific and general community.

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is seeking applicants who have demonstrated experience and commitment working with a diverse community. This is a full-time position with a salary and title commensurate with experience.

The application deadline is September 1st, 2018. The starting date is July 1st, 2019. Applicants should send a cover letter, vision statement, curriculum vitae, and the full contact information of at least three professional references as a single PDF document to thayden@nhm.org, La Brea Tar Pits & Museum Curatorial Search, Research & Collections, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90007, USA.

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Please, No Phone Calls, No Fax.

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