Curator of Ethnography

Position Summary

Administers the Department of Anthropology’s ethnographic collections, facilities and activities related to them. Conducts research and prepares publications and exhibits relating to the Department’s objectives.

Specific Responsibilities:


  • Assumes responsibility for department operation and attends committee meetings in Department Head’s absence
  • Maintains records of receipt, exchange or loan of collection items
  • Helps to formulate department policies and long-range plans
  • Provides data for annual reports, budgets, and grant proposals
  • Provides information on department activities, collections, facilities, etc. to Department Head, Director and others as appropriate

Personnel Management

  • Schedules, trains, and supervises department volunteers, interns, and other temporary staff
  • Maintains personnel records, time logs, etc. for above listed staff
  • Assists Department Head in training and supervising regular staff


  • Maintains a clean and safe work area
  • Maintains an equipment inventory
  • Collaborates with Department Head to acquire and maintain necessary equipment
  • Collaborates with Department Head to carry out emergency procedures
  • Collaborates with Department Head on use of safety equipment
  • Supervises security of facilities

Collections Management

  • Selects and pursues acquisitions of appropriate ethnographic objects for collections
  • Supervises storage, preparation, preservation and security of ethnographic collections, including objects on exhibit, in accordance with current professional museum standards
  • Supervises keeping of records on ethnographic collection accessions, loans, exchanges, and catalog data
  • Solicits, reviews, and determines disposition of donated ethnographic material particularly basketry and textiles, from most of Western North America  with a focus on Chumash and California


  • Provides reference information and instructional services for staff and public
  • Serves as resource person for other departments, including docent training and production of anthropological exhibits
  • Serves on Museum committees as requested (Bulletin, Conservation, CRC, etc.)


  • Engages in research appropriate to the Museum’s area of concern, and publishes the results in both scientific and popular formats
  • Attends professional meetings and other programs to present results as well as to obtain new information, and to represent the Museum when appropriate

Essential Requirements

  • Advance degree in anthropology or related study with a expertise in Ethnography
  • Experience with basketry and textiles, from most of Western North America  with a focus on Chumash and California highly desirable
  • Experience in museum techniques specific to scientific research and collections management
  • Experience in original scientific research and subsequent distribution of information through publications
  • Experience in the supervision and training of staff both paid and voluntary
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills; Excellent writing skills
  • Strong working knowledge of computer software including database software and MS Office

Work Environment

  • General office environment with occasional work throughout the museum’s facilities (exhibit halls, conference rooms, and galleries) with occasional research work outdoors
  • Frequent work on computers (repetitive movement – typing)
  • Standard scientific research laboratory environment with occasional use 
  • Frequent sitting, standing, walking, climbing stairs and bending with occasional lifting of light to moderate loads (10-25lbs)

When applying please upload (1) letter of interest; (2) current CV with list of publications in one PDF; include (3) names of three references.