Collection Manager 2, Section of Vertebrate Paleontology

Carnegie Museum of Natural History - Oakland, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America Req #1186
Monday, July 24, 2023

Carnegie Museum of Natural History, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, is among the top natural history museums in the country. It maintains, preserves, and interprets an extraordinary collection of artifacts, objects, and scientific specimens used to broaden understanding of evolution, conservation, and biodiversity. Carnegie Museum of Natural History generates new scientific knowledge, advances science literacy, and inspires visitors of all ages to become passionate about science, nature, and world cultures. Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is interested in candidates who, through their experience and collaborations, will contribute to diversity and excellence of the Carnegie Museums community.

This Full-Time position is eligible for the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh’s many Benefits

Please scroll to the bottom of this page to see information on the starting pay rate.

The Collection Manager 2, Section of Vertebrate Paleontology primary responsibilities involve the physical care, maintenance, and preservation of collections, primarily that of Vertebrate Paleontology (VP) but with some oversight of the much less extensive Paleobotany (PB) collection as well. A portion of this work will be dedicated to innovating and/or implementing modern storage techniques within both collections and increasing their visibility and utility. Requests for collection visits, loans, data, and images will be handled in a timely manner with appropriate documentation for both collections. Collaboration with curators and conservators will be undertaken to propose, develop, and apply for grants related to collection care and/or data management. Outreach will include roles within the larger museum community, including development (e.g., participation in donor cultivation activities such as collection tours), exhibits, education, marketing and communications, media requests, and internal public lectures. Service is expected to be at a high level both within the museum and within the disciplinary community, and professional development activities will be undertaken to further knowledge of collection stewardship. Limited paleontological research activity (potentially including fieldwork) will be allowed at the discretion of the Supervisor.

For full consideration, please submit a cover letter with your application.


  • The successful candidate will have a graduate degree (Master’s or PhD) in vertebrate paleontology or a closely related field AND at least five years of work experience involving day-to-day management of collections including physical care, maintenance and preservation, and data and records management, including experience using the Axiell EMu database platform and Microsoft Access.
  • Evidence of effective science communication and project management is also required.
  • A proven track record of improvement, development, promotion, and maximized use of collections is preferred.



  • Candidates with a strong knowledge of both scientific principles and the techniques, procedures, best practices, and professional standards for specimen preparation, specimen handling, and scientific data management are preferred. Familiarity with vertebrate systematics and Phanerozoic stratigraphy, including North American Land Mammal Ages, is a must.
  • An understanding of relevant regulatory laws and compliance procedures related to paleontological collections is also required. Collection managers must have the ability to both works independently and supervise volunteers and/or student workers on large, iterative tasks over lengthy periods of time.
  • Necessary computer skills include word processing, spreadsheets, image editing, and Axiell EMu (VP) and Microsoft Access (PB) databases.
  • Ability to take high quality digital 2D and 3D images of specimens is a plus. Collection managers must be able to work collaboratively and must establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with co-workers, supervisors, and the public.
  • The collection manager must have the capability to identify and prioritize needs within the collection, propose modern solutions to meet those needs, and collaborate with curators and conservators to develop and apply for grants related to collections care and data management.



  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to walk, sit, talk, and hear.
  • The employee must be able to use hands to handle specimens and operate tools or controls and use arms to reach and turn cranks to open/close large compactor storage cabinets. Drawers to be manipulated will be located up to 96 inches in height (employee may use step stool or ladder).
  • The employee is frequently required to climb (stairs, ladders, stepstools) or balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl.
  • The employee performs duties in a wide variety of settings including office, collection area, preparation lab, public galleries, and the field. The noise level in the work environment will vary accordingly.
  • The employee must often lift and/or move objects up to 30 pounds and operate a pallet truck and power-assisted forklift to move heavy objects. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.
  • The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.



  • Maintenance, organization, and growth of the VP collection: For the existing collections (including archives and library materials), the collection manager must maintain a complete database of all specimens/objects in Axiell EMu (VP) and Microsoft Access (PB) (respectively) and monitor their storage conditions, including but not limited to temperature and humidity levels, pest infestation, and cleanliness.
  • Collection Manager 2 must also handle the receipt and cataloging of new specimens and be familiar with and comply with the museum collections management policy. 
  • Collaboration with curators and conservators must be undertaken to propose, develop, and apply for grants related to collection care and/or data management. Collection Manager 2 is expected to develop, implement, and train others in best management practices for direct care of collections.
  • Oversight of the PB collection includes (infrequently, in comparison to VP) providing access to visitors, processing loan requests and incoming specimens, and performing periodic checks on the safety and integrity of the collection.
  • Data management: All specimens must be recorded, and records should be complete and clear. A complete inventory of the collection should be maintained. A significant amount of effort must be dedicated to increasing the visibility and utility of the collections.
  • User services: Schedules and assists collection visitors. Requests for loans, data, and images must be handled in a timely manner with appropriate documentation.
  • Outreach: Includes roles within the larger museum community, including development, exhibits, education, marketing and communications, media requests, and internal public lectures.
  • Service and professional development: Both internal (e.g., section administration, support for activities in other departments such as committee work) and external service (e.g., professional society membership and officer positions, consultations, peer review) is expected to be at a high level. Professional development activities must be undertaken to further knowledge of collections management.
  • Other duties as assigned.


The following PA Act 153 clearances, or proof of application of clearances, are required beginning employment and as a condition of continued employment: Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check FBI Fingerprint Criminal Background Check Obtaining the required clearances is completed as part of the new hire process.

Carnegie Museums is an Equal Opportunity-Affirmative Action Employer – Minorities / Females / Veterans / Individuals with Disabilities / Sexual Orientation / Gender Identity

The above job description reflects the essential functions and qualifications for the position identified, and shall not be construed as a detailed description of all the work requirements that may be inherent in the position. The job description does not constitute an employment contract and does not alter the at-will relationship between CMP and the employee.   

*GUIDANCE ON ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS:   The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) requires employers to consider and accommodate qualified individuals with disabilities.  An individual is qualified if he or she can perform the essential functions of a job with or without reasonable accommodation. An essential job function is any task that is a fundamental part of the job.  When considering essentiality, one must focus upon whether the function is essential to this particular job and not to the department as a whole. Some additional guidance on essential functions follows below.  Please note that the following guidelines are non-exhaustive.  If you have any questions or need additional guidance, please contact Human Resources. A. Is the function required to be performed on a regular basis? If the function is rarely performed, it may not be essential. B. Is the function highly specialized? Is the incumbent hired for his/her expertise or ability to perform the function?  The need for special expertise is an indication of an essential function. C. Does the position exist, at least in part, to perform the function?  If so, the function is more likely to be essential. D. How much time is spent performing the function and how often?  Note that even functions performed 10% of the time could be essential if they are required on a regular basis. E. Would elimination of the function fundamentally alter the job?  If so, the function is more likely to be essential. F. What are the consequences of not requiring the incumbent to perform the function? If they are significant, the function is more likely to be essential.  G. Are there a limited number of employees among whom the performance of the function could be distributed if the incumbent could not perform it?  If so, it is more likely to be essential.

Other details

  • Job Family Vacation Category II
  • Pay Type Salary
  • Min Hiring Rate $48,000.00
  • Max Hiring Rate $54,000.00
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  • Carnegie Museum of Natural History - Oakland, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America