Job Listings

Collection Manager of Herpetology

University of Oklahoma
Job Location:
Arts and Museum Administration
* Job Number:

Organization: Okla Museum of Natural History

Job Location: Oklahoma-Norman-Norman Campus


Work Schedule: Work Schedule: Monday-Friday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, occasional evenings and weekends

Work Type: Onsite

Salary Range: Targeted salary $33,600-$40,000 based on experience

Benefits Provided: Yes

Required Attachments: Resume, Cover Letter, Other Document (See Job Requirements for details)

Job Description


The Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History is searching for a collection manager to administer the herpetology collection, consisting of more than 58,000 physical specimens, specimen records, field notebooks, and audio and visual materials. The research collection is the largest repository of Oklahoma amphibians and reptiles. It has a geographic diversity that covers 46 states and 54 countries, including specimens from Central and South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. University faculty, scientists, curators, staff, students, and national and international scholars use the collections for research, education, and public engagement.

The Collections Manager in Herpetology is responsible for the daily curatorial operations and management of the SNOMNH collections and associated data on amphibians and reptiles. Responsibilities also include training and supervision of curatorial technicians and assistants, research interns, and collection volunteers. Other duties are to: Develop and maintain the collection, database, and associated metadata, and support research staff and exhibition and outreach programs. Maintain the collection website, including the online database and image library. Ensure proper permits and documentation for field collections, accessions, loans, and exchange of museum specimens. Assist the curator, faculty, scholars, and students in accessing and obtaining specimens for their research. Assist in organizing and preparing presentations and programs highlighting collection materials and research activities. Help visiting researchers make use of the collections.


  • Assists curator in maintaining the overall integrity and long-term preservation of the physical amphibian and reptile (herpetology) collections of the SNOMNH, associated data, and collection-storage environment.

  • Implement a comprehensive monitoring program on the status and organization of the physical (fluid, dry), including testing and replacing fluids when needed and upgrading and replacing labels and specimen tags as needed.

  • Maintain the collection database, ensuring the digitization of specimen data, records, and information for widespread accessibility and dissemination. Work in tandem with a curator to maintain collection and research lab websites and develop database improvement strategic plans.

  • Maintain and enhance standard operating procedures for the care of the collection.

  • Manage the processing and record keeping of specimen loans, exchanges, and donations, including following national and international regulations for shipping and receiving, packing specimens to ensure their integrity, filling out and maintaining loan forms, corresponding with researchers to ensure the safe arrival and return of specimens, and overseeing loans requested by curators and students in herpetology.

  • Respond to verbal and written requests, including inquiries from the general public.

  • Organize and maintain records detailing collection activities, usage, and statuses for the purpose of annual reports, grant proposals and reports, and other relevant documentation.

  • Assists in developing and enforcing collection and research lab policies, and procedures, and assessing short- and long-term goals for the collection.

  • Identifies and/or re-identifies specimens and reorganizes collection when required due to taxonomic revisions.

  • Organize and integrate recently accessioned specimens, and associated data and records into both the collection and databases.

  • Arrange and compile essential documentation for specimen accession, encompassing national and international permits and related paperwork; assist curator, researchers, and students in specimen transfer/importation logistics, including coordination with pertinent state, federal, and international offices.

  • May conduct some collection-focused research in the field of expertise and/or assist and support the research program of the curator, including (but not limited to) specimen preparation, photographic work, fieldwork, and preparing grant proposals and research publications.

  • Assists in public programs and educational and outreach activities, including the development of outreach materials, exhibitions (temporary and permanent), and direct participation in public outreach events as directed. Conduct tours to the public, visiting scholars, and students, and give presentations or informal classes.

  • Assist curator in coordinating personnel hires and onboarding.

  • Trains and supervises collection assistants, students, volunteers, and interns to carry out curation activities, specimen preparation, and research. Assists visiting researchers make use of the collections.

  • Performs various duties as needed to successfully fulfill the function of the position or other related duties as assigned, including (but not limited to) lab safety, inventory, and ordering supplies.

  • Participates in scholarly activity outside the university that promotes the SNOMNH collections, as exemplified by attending professional meetings and/or engaging in professional development activities.

Located on the University of Oklahoma Norman campus, the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History is part of exceptional academic and research communities. Furthermore, with affordable living costs and a diverse range of recreational activities, the city of Norman offers the appeal of a vibrant community with a small-town feel, paired with the cultural and educational opportunities presented by the University of Oklahoma. There are many perks to employment at The University of Oklahoma, including but not limited to:

* 27 days of annual paid time off, increased with years of service

* 14 paid holiday days off

* Healthcare plan options to meet healthcare and financial needs

* Retirement plan options

* Two weeks of paid parental leave

* Employee wellness program featuring activities to earn up to $300/year

* Discounted athletic and cultural event tickets

* Tuition Waiver Program; Discounted tuition and fees for yourself and other dependents

* On-campus fitness and recreation centers, museums, gardens, and restaurants

Required Attachments:

  • Current Resume
  • Cover Letter that specifically describes how your background and experience align with the requirements, qualifications, and responsibilities of the position

For more information about the museum, visit the website at:

Job Requirements


Required Education: Bachelor's Degree

Equivalency/Substitution: Will accept 48 months of museum-related work experience in lieu of the Bachelor's degree


  • Demonstrated knowledge of best museum practices and standards for collection care, collection and database management, documentation, digitization, conservation, and registration methods for collections

  • Demonstrated knowledge of herpetology

  • Knowledge of best practices for the preservation and exhibition of physical objects and their data (e.g., metadata standards, data management, etc.)

  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills commensurate with representing the herpetology collection in one-on-one and group settings

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills

  • Excellent skills in organization and time management

  • Ability to work independently and in teams and foster a positive and collaborative work environment

  • Must use established occupational health and safety practice


  • Valid driver's license

Advertised Physical Requirements:

  • Required to be mobile, agile, bend, stoop, squat, climb, lift (15-44 pounds), and carry

  • Able to engage in repetitive motions

  • Able to read handwritten documents

  • Able to speak including expressing oneself or exchanging information with others; able to hear including receiving detailed information orally; and able to see including color, depth, perception, or clarity

  • Able to follow safety procedures for facilities, equipment, and chemicals used in the study, preparation, and storage of natural history collections
  • Frequent exposure to safety hazards from chemicals and onerous odors

Departmental Preferences:

  • Graduate degree (M.S.) in life sciences, biology, zoology, or related field of study

  • 24-36 months of curatorial or academic experience working with collections in a museum, educational, or similar public institution

  • Experience in the preparation and preservation of amphibians and reptiles and genomic resources

  • Demonstrated knowledge of systematics, taxonomy, and classification of amphibians and reptiles, as evidenced by application materials and work history

  • Experience with database management and relational databases (e.g., FileMaker Pro, Specify, Arctos)

  • Experience with training and/or overseeing personnel such as students, interns, and/or volunteers
  • Experience with education and outreach activities for the general public

Supervision: Students, volunteers, and interns

Special Instructions: If you are selected as a final candidate for this position, you will be subject to The University of Oklahoma Norman Campus Tuberculosis Testing policy. To view the policy, visit

Why You Belong at the University of Oklahoma: The University of Oklahoma fosters an inclusive culture of respect and civility, belonging, and access, which are essential to our collective pursuit of excellence and our determination to change lives. The unique talents, perspectives, and experiences of our community enrich the learning, and working environment at OU, inspiring us to harness our innovation, creativity, and collaboration for the advancement of people everywhere.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement: The University of Oklahoma, in compliance with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, age, religion, disability, political beliefs, or status as a veteran in any of its policies, practices, or procedures. This includes, but is not limited to, admissions, employment, financial aid, housing, services in educational programs or activities, and health care services that the University operates or provides.

Hiring contingent upon a Background Check?: Yes

Special Indications: None

Job Posting: Apr 11, 2024

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