Invertebrate Zoology Collections Manager

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History is seeking a Collection Manager in Invertebrate Zoology. This is a full time, exempt position. Responsible for the continued development and use of these collections, being predominantly marine and terrestrial mollusks, that contain over 3 million specimens. Position will also manage holdings of other invertebrate phyla, with the exception of insects. We seek an energetic individual who will promote the accessibility of these collections through ongoing digitization efforts and through the Museum’s nature education programs, exhibits and science outreach.

This position serves as the primary collections manager for the department, responsible for the maintenance and digital organization of the Museum’s extensive collections of invertebrates, predominantly mollusks, working in close collaboration with IZ curators. Duties include database management as part of the oversight of all collection-related procedures, such as accessioning, deaccessioning, filing, labeling, handling of loans, exchanges and gifts, cataloging, identification, and preparation of specimens. The incumbent is also expected to help seek funding to support the collections, make them more accessible to scientific and public audiences, and participate in public engagement activities.

Specific Responsibilities:

Collections Management

  • Manager of the department collections including preparing and maintaining collection records, literature and specimens.
  • Responsible for the administration of the SPECIFY databases, including online databases
  • Supervises collections staff and volunteers
  • Sets work priorities for collection projects
  • Ensures that specimens are properly prepared, preserved, handled and stored
  • Ensures that adequate and up-to-date records are maintained for all collection related transactions including development, revision and maintenance of computerized cataloguing and loan tracking; tracking all objects through accession, cataloguing, loan, and de-accession
  • Ensures that specimens collected or otherwise acquired by the department were obtained in accordance with professional standards and applicable laws including obtaining required permits and filing appropriate reports when necessary
  • Ensures that collections are secure from destruction by insects and other pests including monitoring and documenting pest infestations, arranging for fumigation of collections and working areas as necessary
  • Arranges loans, exchanges and shipping of specimens
  • Provides information on department collections and collection management policies and procedures to researchers, students, or other investigators
  • Assists in preparing and revising the department’s policy and procedures document including the collection policy, procedures manual and the voucher collection guidelines
  • Researches and recommends updated curatorial procedures and storage methods
  • Solicits, reviews, and selects specimens and other materials donated to the department
  • Ensures workspace is clean and clear of clutter consistent with Museum and department operations and safety procedures.


  • Answers questions relating to any area of invertebrate zoology, identifies specimens; provides information in the care and handling of the collections, provides reference information to staff, professional organizations/institutions, students, scholars, and the general public; responds to inquiries by telephone, mail, email, or in person
  • Organizes and participates in open houses and other special museum events
  • Organizes, hosts, and coordinates meetings and symposia sponsored by the department or Museum
  • Serves as naturalist on museum sponsored field trips and assists in the preparation of relevant information regarding these field trips
  • Presents lectures on invertebrate zoology to school groups, museum groups, service organizations, and the general public
  • Represents the museum and the department in appropriate contacts with the media
  • Helps to develop exhibits relating to invertebrate zoology in conjunction with exhibits and education staff; including exhibit concept, content, design, label writing and editing, specimen preparation, supervision of specimen model construction, and assistance with installation
  • Prepares and produces departmental printed and on-line publications


  • Acquires, documents, and maintains department supplies and equipment
  • Assists in preparing and managing the department budget
  • Provides data and/or prepares department reports, and annual reports
  • Assists in the preparation of grant and contract proposals; administers grants and contracts received
  • Helps formulate department and museum policies and procedures, and short and long-range goals


  • Recruits, selects, schedules, trains, and supervises assistants, students, and volunteers
  • Develops and manages collection and laboratory projects for the above listed personnel
  • Ensures that personnel records and time cards for the above listed personnel are properly maintained
  • Supervises and/or provides assistance to staff, students, and research associates

Professional Involvement

  • Participates in workshop, courses, lectures, seminars, and field trips to broaden background and abilities to carry out department and museum duties listed above
  • Attends professional meetings
  • Engagement in collection-based research or professional development as appropriate
  • Hosts visiting investigators as needed                                                   

Essential Requirements:

  • Master’s degree in invertebrate zoology and/or malacology, or commensurate experience
  • 5 years of experience in museum techniques and collections management
  • Strong working knowledge of collection management software, particularly SPECIFY, and familiarity with national and international digitization efforts
  • Experience in the supervision and training of staff both paid and voluntary
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills including an ability to interact with the general public and media
  • Excellent writing skills
  • Work Environment:
    • General office environment with occasional work throughout the museum’s facilities (exhibit halls, conference rooms, and galleries) with occasional research work outdoors, off site
    • Frequent work typing on computers (repetitive movement – typing)
    • Standard scientific research laboratory environment including extensive use of preservation grade ethanol; occasional exposure to formalin, solvents and histological chemicals
    • Frequent sitting, standing, walking, climbing stairs, and bending with occasional lifting of light to moderate loads (10-50 lbs)

Salary DOE. Please complete the application and submit in one PDF file your (1) letter of interest; (2) current CV with list of publications, (3) names of three references. Any questions can be directed to Human Resources at and Dr. Henry W. Chaney at: