Museum Hue

Curator, Natural Science OMC

Curator, Natural Science - Oakland Museum of California

The Curator, Natural Science researches and develops exhibitions and core gallery installations that meet the Museum’s community engagement, social impact and business goals; engages the diversity of Oakland residents; and oversees the research and development of the Natural Science collections. 


The following reflects OMCA’s definition of essential functions for this position, but does not restrict the tasks that may be assigned. OMCA may assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this position at any time due to reasonable accommodation or other reasons. 


Support the Museum’s mission, values, vision, and core commitment to the visitor experience, community engagement, and institutional relevancy for the future

Contribute to and support the OMCA strategic plan, annual priorities, and institutional initiatives such as diversity advancement

Contribute to a positive organizational culture based on mutual respect, a spirit of collegiality, cooperation, and openness to many perspectives

Participate in a culture of ongoing learning, collaboration, innovation, creativity, and community engagement


Research and develop ideas for multi-disciplinary exhibitions, gallery installations and programs that meet OMCA’s mission, community engagement and business goals, and leverage our collections and campus in new ways.

Serve as content lead on a core team that guides the collaborative development and implementation of exhibition and gallery projects; participate in audience research, and community consultation and co-creation as key elements of exhibition development 

Work with a cross-functional team to oversee the care, upkeep and enhancement of core gallery collections and experiences; identify, scope and prioritize projects and resources for annual planning; develop innovative methods for meaningful and relevant community engagement and audience development through collections; participate in developing the vision for how the core galleries can drive audiences and create meaningful connections 

Participate in the planning of touring exhibitions including, where feasible, modifying content and experience to better meet institutional goals and enhance the California experience for visitors

Support fundraising and Center activities by conducting original research, writing, supporting grant identification and management and preparing and giving presentations 

Work closely with the Collections Team to research and catalogue legacy and newly acquired collections and artifacts; monitor and update collection records in database to ensure accuracy and relevancy, develop collections policies and procedures, conduct collection surveys to prioritize work for grants and annual planning, attend to the Museum’s policies, procedures, and professional standards regarding the acquisition, documentation, care, and presentation of collections

Using OMCA’s Collection Plan, develop and steward relationships with collectors and donors, collect objects and ephemera related to significant current events and issues in Oakland and the Bay Area, steward collection items and donor relations through the acquisition process

Conduct research and stay abreast of recent scholarship in California history to inform programs and collection development, track contemporary issues that affect our community

Develop, negotiate, and monitor professional services contracts in alignment with museum policies and procedures

Train and supervise volunteers and interns


A combination of experience and education that demonstrates possession of the necessary knowledge and abilities for this position is required as noted:

Ability to display and encourage visitor and internal customer service, take and share responsibility and treat others with respect

Broad knowledge of current trends and issues in curatorship, exhibition development and community engagement

Master’s degree in relevant field required

Minimum 5 years of demonstrated experience originating and developing exhibitions with sound scholarship and broad community relevance and appeal

Demonstrated experience with collection development and research

Experience leading and supervising teams

Broad knowledge of California natural history, through biology, ecology, conservation, geography or a closely related field supported by principles and practices of scholarship research

Basic understanding of fundraising techniques, grant application procedures, and funding sources

Superior communication and presentation skills

Understanding of Museum ethics and standards for collections management and conservation

English, fluent in both spoken and written form; a second language (particularly Spanish or Mandarin) desirable

Proficiency with MS Office suite; collection databases


While performing the duties of this position, the employee is frequently exposed to the following:

Noise, such as groups of people working in enclosed areas

Typical office environment


The Oakland Museum of California is dedicated to diversity, inclusion, accessibility and equity. We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, ability/disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We highly encourage our diverse community to apply for available employment, internship, fellowship and volunteer positions at the Museum, as we aim to ensure our staff reflects the diversity of our visitors and surrounding community.