Director of Collections & Exhibits

Company Name: 

Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History


165 Forest Avenue
Pacific Grove, CA 93950

Contact Name: 

Carla Bitter




Job Description: 

Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, Job Opportunity

Director of Collections & Exhibits

Supervisor: Executive Director

Direct Reports: Collections & Research Manager

Peer Positions: Director of Education & Outreach, Director of Development & Engagement

Status: Full-time / Exempt / Paid Benefits

Hours: 40 hours/week, some nights and weekends

Compensation: $37.08-$41.20/hr ($77,126.40-$85, 696.00 annually)

The Director of Collections & Exhibits is part of the small, but dynamic leadership team of Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History. Our ideal candidate will enjoy a fast paced, imaginative, collaborative Museum environment, and take both pride and pleasure in delivering our Mission and supporting our Vision, through professional Collections stewardship and exhibition planning and execution, on and off site.

We seek an innovative and experienced Collections leader for planning and realizing the future of preservation and exhibition in our organization. The Museum strives for improved Collections use and oversight, making more of our 40,000 plus objects available to our audiences through rotating gallery exhibits, creating offsite pop-up exhibits, and supporting Wonder on Wheels, a newly imagined museum outreach, mobile experience for Monterey County. Oversight also includes curation of the Museum’s Native Plant garden, interpretive signage for the Monarch Sanctuary, conservation of our library and the 1932 building which is part of the Collection.

The Director is responsible for collections driven exhibit development, acquisition, preservation, management, controls, and disposal; appropriate public access to artifacts, documents, photographs and ephemera, and ensuring compliance with the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and the American Institute of Conservation (AIC) standards of professional care.

In collaboration with the Executive Director and leadership team, the Director is responsible for strategic and organizational planning, cultivating professionalism among our staff and volunteers, and representing the Museum by interacting with key stakeholders, the City of Pacific Grove governance, and the public.

PGMNH Mission & Vision Statements

To inspire discovery, wonder, and stewardship of our natural world.

We envision a community of curious minds, engaged in discovering the natural heritage and cultural legacy that exist today on the Central California Coast. The Museum is a catalyst for conservation and a valued learning resource in this region, facilitating active inquiry for all ages.

Position Responsibilities

  1. Manage and direct the work of the Collections & Exhibits staff, volunteers, partners and contractors. Foster an effective and professional work place providing coaching/mentoring, professional development plans, and positive relationships
  2. Actively supervise, direct and deliver highest quality of collections and archives management, care and access, provide efficient service to research/scholars/community members seeking information and resources
  3. Supervises, directs and evaluates exhibit planning, collaborating with Education and Engagement staff with special near-term focus on families, teens, area college/university students, and the traveling visitor. Recruits and supervises community guest curators and exhibit developers, overseeing contractors and deliverables, and increase digital/web access to the collection and exhibits overtime
  4. Seek and collaborate with Education and Development Directors on new grant and donation opportunities that support our mission and vision
  5. Create and support both an annual Exhibition and Collections plan in cooperation with the Executive Director and take a leadership role in strategic planning/foresighting
  6. Represents Collections as subject matter expert and provides technical expertise and information to agency management, staff, members of the general public, other state agencies, local community organizations and the media, including relevant research, policy analysis and recommendations
  7. Prepare and manage Collections and Exhibits depts budgets, grants, and revenue goals
  8. Lead our CAP and AAM reaccreditation process; next self-study due 2025, by working collaboratively on the Museum’s core documents including Collections Management, Emergency Planning & Recovery, and Interpretive Planning with the City Museum Board, Board Standards & Practices Committee, and City of Pacific Grove Facilities
  9. Invest in professional development opportunities that strengthen our mission and vision and effectively cultivate and steward key stakeholders, strategic partners, peer institutions and other important organizational relationships
  10. Hold and maintain a collaborative work mindset, supporting staff to do the same. Support meaningful evaluations that identify how Collections and Exhibit staff support the Museum’s mission and vision
  11. Prepare a monthly highlight report with relevant metrics for the Executive Director
  12. Lead bi-monthly staff meetings and follow up on action items. Lead bi-monthly Dept and or Facilities meetings and weekly one on ones with direct reports
  13. Responsible for staff evaluations, annual reviews and managing workloads to prioritize meeting deadlines and goals while preventing burnout
  14. Actively participate in developing and enforcing museum policies and procedures and provides counsel to ensure effective decision-making
  15. Demonstrate competency in Museum systems eg Microsoft Office 365, Past Perfect, Conserv, IT/Security, Sharepoint, Teams, Trinet


MA/MS in related field (i.e., Anthropology, Archaeology, Art, Science, Museum Studies, History, or NFP Management)

5+ years of experience in cultural institutions, academia, or museums that includes a combination of exhibition planning, collections management/registrar, supervisory experience, and budget/project management (preferred leadership in AAM accredited museum)

Strong knowledge of AAM standards of accreditation and best practices, AIC, and NAGPRA documentation and reporting requirements, and relevant federal and state laws and regulations

Demonstrated success in representing an institution to partner institutions, contractors, and community members, following our commitment to diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion

Ability to manage and maintain intellectual and physical control over collections and access, including risk management and safety

Experience leading exhibit planning, integrating requirements from multiple departments into proposed plans for discussion, review & approval, and demonstrated success in directing and monitoring contractors and partners through design, fabrication and installation. Knowledge and commitment to Universal and visitor centered design practices preferred

Knowledge of legal and regulatory requirements for artifact acquisition and de-accessioning, with recommendations approved by the Director and authorized by the City Museum Board

Proficiency in collection management and environmental software, such as PastPerfect, and Conserv

Flexibility, creativity, good humor, and strong problem-solving skills, with the ability to identify and achieve goals and objectives and meet multiple competing priorities

Excellent oratory for public presentations, hosting donors and supporters in BTS tours, and strong writing skills in public science communication, social media and supporting grants

Demonstrated commitment to using Collections to further the Museum’s mission and vision, and creating a welcome environment for community co-curation and our audiences

Ability to maintain and grow cooperative working relationships with the City Museum Board, City of Pacific Grove, AAM, WMA, AIC, and CAM, regional community partners and the public

Experience leading budget development, integrating requirements from multiple departments into proposed budgets for discussion, review & approval, and demonstrated success in directing and monitoring expenditures of department funds

Working Conditions:

Essential and marginal functions may require maintaining physical condition necessary for standing or sitting for extended periods. Exhibit and Collections work involving lifting up to 50lbs, moving cabinetry, rehousing specimens. This position will involve working both indoors and outdoors in a variety of weather conditions. The working days/hours will vary depending on need and will require weekend and evening work.

Position may require some travel, primarily within State, but also when building partnerships with peer institutions and participating in professional activities.

Licenses and Certification:

Possession of a valid California driver's license, a satisfactory driving record, and current insurance.

To Apply:

Please email a letter of interest, resume, and contact information for 3 references to Carla Bitter, Executive Director by December 9, 2022. Open until filled.