Curator of Entomology

Santa Barbara
Full Time
Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

Title: Curator, Schlinger Foundation Chair of Entomology

Classification: Full-time, Exempt

Department: Invertebrate Zoology

Reports To: Head, Department of Invertebrate Zoology

Wage Band: Curators

Compensation: $67,000 – $73,000 annually*

Created: November 2014

Revised: January 2024


Mission: The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History inspires a thirst for discovery and a passion for the natural world.


Position Summary: Primary responsibilities include the continuing development, curation and study of the Museum’s collection of insects and other terrestrial arthropods from the California Channel Islands and the adjacent diverse habitats of the southern Californian regions, as well as energetic leadership of museum educational programs promoting the study and appreciation of insects and their environments.


Curational and Research Responsibilities:

  • Serves as the primary resource in entomology, being able to identify specimens and provide information and services to all Museum constituents.
  • Collects and curates insects, and other terrestrial arthropods, with a specific emphasis on the fauna of the Santa Barbara region including the adjacent Channel Islands.
  • Ensures the continued high quality of the collection and its accessibility to visiting scientists and students, with the goal of creating a noteworthy resource for research. Will also serve as collection manager of insects and other terrestrial arthropods, excluding crustaceans. This includes arranging loans and accessions, overseeing collections volunteers, and ensuring specimens are prepared, preserved, handled, and stored to the standards of best practices.
  • Maintains a high level of scholarship and an active program in collections-based research, including authoring publications in scientific and/or popular works.
  • Maintains and contributes to the comprehensive taxonomic and bibliographical inventory and database of insects and other terrestrial arthropods found in the Santa Barbara region.
  • Develops and maintains a presence in the professional entomological community through attendance and participation at meetings and other venues as the Museum representative.
  • Creates, or fosters, opportunities to collaborate on research initiatives with local government agencies and institutions such as the University of California, Santa Barbara.
  • Recognizes and develops opportunities for funding and additional support as needed.

Museum Programs Responsibilities:

  • Helps develop and participate in museum-sponsored public programs, including lectures, field trips, collection tours and other interactions involving insects and other terrestrial arthropods.
  • Participates in the operation and management of the Museum’s seasonal Butterfly Pavilion.
  • Participates as a resource in the function and continuing development of the Museum’s outdoor programs. These functions include instructing volunteers, student interpreters and interns as needed.
  • Advises and collaborates on Museum exhibit projects including the acquisition, preparation and conservation of display insects, including living specimens when required.
  • Contributes appropriate articles and notices to Museum publications on a regular basis.
  • Participates in the general programs and activities of the Museum as needed, such as events for Museum Members, and standing committees.
  • Contribute to a positive guest experience by greeting and addressing any questions when encountering guests as they navigate through the Museum and Sea Center.
  • Supports the Museum’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion for fellow staff, guests and the community.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Essential Requirements:

  • Ph.D. in Entomology, or related subject.
  • Experience in insect collecting methodology, collection curation, and a record of collections-based research.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Able to be an enthusiastic interpreter on all aspects of general entomology to the general public and local media.
  • Excellent writing skills.
  • Strong working knowledge of computer software programs and databases [ie. ecdysis].

Work Environment:

  • General office environment with occasional work throughout the museum’s facilities (exhibit halls, conference rooms & galleries) with frequent research work outdoors (day and evening hours).
  • Frequent work on computers (repetitive movement – typing).
  • Standard scientific research laboratory environment with occasional use of ethanol, formalin, and histological chemicals.
  • Frequent sitting, standing, walking, climbing stairs and bending with occasional hiking and climbing.
  • Occasional lifting of moderate loads (50-75 lbs.).

The incumbent must be able to perform each requirement of the position as outlined in the job description. Essential Requirements are representative and are essential for satisfactory job performance. The Work Environment characteristics are representative of those that may be encountered while on the job. The Museum will make reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the position.


*The pay range above represents the lowest possible rate for the position and the highest possible rate. Factors that may be used to determine where newly hired employees will be placed in the pay range include the employee specific skills and qualifications, relevant years of experience and comparison to other employees already in this role. Most often, a newly hired employee will be placed below the midpoint of the range.


To apply, please visit:

Leave a Response

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top