Employment Opportunities

Available Positions

We are striving to preserve this amazing place we call home through the work taking place in our building and out in the field. Whether you're brushing the dirt off your hands, sorting through collections, cracking your knuckles as you copy-edit, or making sure visitors are having a safe and wonderful experience, being a part of The Nat means being a voice for nature in our region.

That requires building an empowered team. We offer a variety of benefits and are actively working towards greater inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility, which you can read about in our current statement and action plan. The San Diego Natural History Museum is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Why work at The Nat

Interested in joining? Scroll on to see our current openings.

Are you looking for volunteer opportunities instead? View our current needs.

Need more information? Find out more about our benefits and the culture we foster.

Learn more

Full-Time Openings

Love nature? Then you’re going to love The Nat.   

The San Diego Natural History Museum is seeking an Annual Fund and Stewardship Coordinator whose attention to detail and commitment to donor stewardship will help the philanthropy team raise funds to support our mission to preserve nature and biodiversity in this amazing place we call home.   

This position is responsible for coordinating all gift processing activities, managing the Annual Fund, organizing donor stewardship events, and supporting the fundraising team. The successful candidate must demonstrate superb attention to detail and strong writing and project management skills. This position reports to the Director of Philanthropy.  

Principal duties and responsibilities: 
1. Coordinate all gift processing activities- 35% 
  • Processes all donations daily (gift entry, acknowledgments, and donor recognition) via Altru; works closely with Database Administrator to ensure accurate entry of gift information. 
  • Produces thank you letters and manages the acknowledgment process; works closely with Development Officers and program staff to ensure accurate, personalized, and timely acknowledgments. 
  • Prepares and sends weekly gift reports and donor call list reports to Director of Philanthropy and Development Officers.
  • Organizes all gift information for the physical and cloud-based donor files. 
  • Tracks outstanding pledges and monitor pledge payment activity and reminders. 
  • Updates constituent records, including e-mail addresses, address changes, relationships, attributes, etc. as new information is received from donors. 
  • Tracks donor recognition names and requirements; helps track that all donor signage and printed materials are accurate and updated online and in the Museum. 
  • Recommends updates for policies and procedures related to gift processing activities. 

2. Plan, design, and implement the Annual Fund- 35%
  • Plans, organizes, and implements the Museum’s annual fund program, including traditional mail and digital giving activities, with the goal of acquiring new donors and ensuring donor retention.
  • Writes all annual fund pieces, including appeals and thank you letters (direct mail and digital). 
  • Coordinates appeal focus and content with fundraising team management and program area managers. 
  • Works with the Database Administrator to segment and track all mailings via Altru. Tracks successes and challenges and makes recommendations for improvement.
  • Works closely with the Communications team as needed to produce creative and successful traditional mail packages, digital campaigns, and other materials. 
  • Works with outside vendors to facilitate the production and mailing of print pieces and other items. 
  • Manages digital giving content and online giving options.
  • Manages recurring giving program, including staff giving via payroll deductions. 
  • Manages the annual fund budget of revenue and expenses. 
  • Works with Museum staff to create opportunities for giving within the Museum, including donation boxes and round-up options.
  • Creates and sends annual tax summaries for donors. 
  • Tracks national annual fund and online giving trends and makes recommendations. 
  • Attends regular meetings of counterparts at other organizations to stay aware of local trends. 

3. Coordinates Donor Stewardship Events- 25% 
  • Works with the philanthropy team to plan stewardship events for various donor groups (Leadership Circles, Live Oaks Society, Behind the Scenes Tours, Trips, Receptions). 
  • Researches, plans, and executes all aspects of events and trips, both in person at the Museum and in the donor travel program. 
  • Reserves dates and spaces on the Museum calendar; creates event work orders and determines vendor needs with the Special Events team. 
  • Creates a strategy for invitation lists, including segmentation and customized messaging.
  • Writes invitation text (physical or digital, depending on the event) and works with communications team to design invitation packages as needed. 
  • Manages the RSVPs via Altru. 
  • Manages check-in/registration the day of the event. 
  • Coordinates event thank you letters (post event). 
  • Tracks gifts-in-kind (event catering, in coordination with Special Events team). 

4. Philanthropy and Museum general support- 5%
  • Assists with in-person and virtual philanthropy and membership events as needed. 
  • Assists with other Museum department events as assigned. 
  • Actively participates in regular Museum and department meetings. 

Your Qualifications: 
  • Bachelor’s degree preferred; an equivalent combination of education and experience may be substituted. 
  • Two years professional nonprofit fundraising experience. 
  • Must have knowledge of gift processing, event planning, and annual fund programs. 
  • Constituent Records Management (CRM)/prospect database experience is required, Altru experience preferred.  
  • Experience with Microsoft Office software, including Word, SharePoint, Excel, Teams, and Outlook, is required. 
  • Record of successful experience in activities requiring customer service and/or donor relations. 
  • Ability to manage projects: complete concurrent projects accurately and completely within deadlines.  
  • Superb attention to detail, strong organization, and time management skills. 
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal. 
  • Ability to work well independently and within a team environment. 

This is a full-time, non-exempt position with benefits such as health insurance, vacation, sick-time, 15 paid holidays, free admission into all of Balboa Park’s museums, and more.    

The salary for this position is $23 per hour for a 40-hour per week schedule. This position is required to work on site in Balboa Park no less than four days per week, with the option to work remotely one day per week.  

Ready to apply? Please submit a single PDF file containing your cover letter, resume, and two writing samples that highlight relevant skills to hr@sdnhm.org.

A little more about us.    

The San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat) was founded by amateur naturalists in 1874 and has played a major role in the conversation of our region. Having recently completed a strategic plan, The Nat is looking forward to an exciting new era as it approaches its 150th anniversary, focused on innovative audience engagement and an increased role in conservation. sdnat.org

Position Summary:

The Community Engagement Manager at the San Diego Natural History Museum (the Nat) leads the strategic development, growth and implementation of community engagement and community science programming within The Nat and the greater San Diego community.

The role will manage existing community partnerships, act as the liaison for new partnerships, and work with staff across the Museum to better reach and engage diverse communities throughout the San Diego region. The position collaborates with colleagues to create programming and build relationships with community partners with a focus on diversity and inclusion.

The Community Engagement Manager acts as the lead for public-facing activities tied to Museum and partner community science projects. The role will work closely with both the Education and Science Departments to develop the strategy and programming for community science activities.


  • Create and implement new models of participation and programming to extend the Museum’s reach and deepen our impact.
  • Update and implement strategic plans for community engagement, determining actions for engaging community members, and approaches to building awareness of the Museum’s initiatives and programs.
  • Establish and manage cross-departmental Community Engagement Committee, codifying all community engagement activities, messaging, goals and training.
  • Initiate and maintain ongoing relationships with STEAM, conservation, education, and community leaders and support the development of a community-engagement strategy.
    • Develop new strategic partnerships to expand the Museum’s reach, particularly among under-served constituencies.
    • Conduct community assessments to gather feedback on offerings and programs.
    • Represent the Museum in the community at meetings, events and online, in partnership with Marketing and Communications.
    • Participate in larger Education and Nat centered programs, which may include facilitation or behind-the-scenes support.
Access Programs:
  • Work with community partners to promote and provide access to programs and admissions for the public, including oversight of the Museums for All program and other access initiatives.
  • Write regular reports documenting the status of the Museums for All program, including quarterly reporting to IMLS.
Outreach Activities
  • Participate and/or staff appropriate community outreach events. Responsible for choosing which events provide greatest reach of mission and message as well as ROI.
  • Work with Volunteer Department to plan and engage museum’s outreach volunteers in programmatic and outreach efforts.
  • Act as the lead for The Nat at large-scale community events, training and working with educators as needed.
  • Coordinate and engage partners and community members in surveys, discussions and meetings that inform program implementation and evaluation for the Education department.
  • Manage Nat Speaker’s Bureau.
  • Oversee and manage the development and implementation of community science programming, projects and initiatives.
  • Manage the Museum’s public-facing strategy for community science, including coordinating community science stakeholders, key networks and community members.
  • Lead efforts for the Museum’s community science programs and “Healthy Canyon” initiative, which may include:
    • Oversight of major community science events and The Nat’s participation, including Audubon Christmas Bird Count, Border BioBlitz, City Nature Challenge, Snapshot Cal Coast and other events as needed.
    • Manage The Nat’s participation in and contribution to community science events, overseeing project deliverables, maintaining community partnerships and delivering iNaturalist trainings.
    • Activate community participation in The Nat’s ongoing community science projects.
    • Provide direct or indirect oversight of interns providing program or community engagement.
    • Represent and report to community stakeholders on the progress and outcomes of community science initiatives and projects.
    • Support the evaluation of community partners and participants.
    • Oversee and report on the long-term study of The Nat’s native plant garden’s biodiversity working with BRCC staff, volunteers and public to document change over time.
  • Compile, create and manage distribution of state-of-the-art community science tools, guidelines and materials.
  • Document, track and evaluate project/program activities.
  • Organize people and resources to ensure projects run smoothly and are completed efficiently.
  • Work with Communications Department to market programs, update websites, and create gather and update website content and printed materials.
  • Work with Philanthropy Department to develop proposals and reports for funding, including grants, foundation and sponsorship materials for all programs.
  • Contribute to and participate in the Museum’s IDEA (Inclusion-Diversity-Equity-Accessibility) committee and initiatives. 
  • Manage and develop budgets for programs.
  • Deliver (all) programming with the principles and values set forth in the Museum’s strategic plan and roadmap.
    • Duties as assigned.
  • Demonstrated ability to connect and work with external partners and individuals, including schools, museums, nonprofits, tribal nations, who are from diverse backgrounds.
  • BA or BS and 2+ years of experience in community engagement and/or community science.


  • 4+ years of equivalent work experience. 
  • Prior experience in an informal education setting. 
  • Shows creative initiative in program development. 
  • Excellent communication skills. 
  • Strong organizational skills. 
  • Spanish speaking/bi-lingual (highly desired) 

In compliance with the San Diego Natural History Museum’s mandatory vaccination policy, the Museum requires proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. Accommodation based on medical and religious exemptions will be considered. 

This is a full-time (non-exempt) hourly position with benefits such as health insurance, vacation, 15 paid holidays, free admission into all of Balboa Park’s museums as well as free admission to the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park. Work schedule is 5 days a week and may include some evenings and weekends. 

Applicants should submit a resume and cover letter that highlights your relevant experience to hr@sdnhm.org.   

Review of resumes will begin on September 8, 2023. No phone calls or drop–ins, please.  

Pay rate: $25.00 per hour 

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Fellowship position in the Department of Paleontology at the San Diego Natural History Museum (SDNHM). The James R. Colclough Paleontology Postdoctoral Fellowship supports research in marine mammal paleobiology and evolutionary biology. The Fellowship was created to honor the memory of James R. Colclough, longtime volunteer in the Department of Paleontology, and is funded by the James R. Colclough Paleontology Endowment.


The Fellowship is designed to advance the academic and professional training of the next generation of vertebrate paleobiologists by providing them with the funding and facilities to pursue specific, time-limited research projects in association with Museum scientists and utilizing vertebrate fossil specimens housed in the SDNHM Department of Paleontology.


Duties will include conducting original research in marine mammal paleobiology, providing research assistance to the Curator of Paleontology, and introducing new technologies and analytical methods into the Museum setting. Postdoctoral Fellows are expected to be in residence at SDNHM full time and actively engaged in the SDNHM community. The position will include opportunities for interactions with colleagues at nearby San Diego State University, University of California-San Diego, and University of San Diego.


To be considered for this position, applicants must have received a PhD degree within the past six (6) years. Soon-to-graduate PhDs may apply, but all formal requirements for a Ph.D. must be completed before the start of the appointment.

In compliance with the San Diego Natural History Museum’s mandatory vaccination policy, the Museum requires proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. Accommodations based on medical and religious exemptions will be considered. 

This is a full-time, exempt position with benefits such as health insurance, vacation, 15 paid holidays, reciprocal free admission to all of Balboa Park’s museums, as well as to the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park.


Annual compensation is $64,480, plus fringe benefits. Supplemental research funds also may be available. Appointments will typically be made for two years contingent on satisfactory progress in year one.

Starting Date:

On or about October 1, 2023


Applicants should submit a cover letter (1-2 pages), a succinct statement (~700 words) detailing current work and research interests, an up to date curriculum vitae, a list of publications, and the names and contact information for two professional references.

Please submit materials to tdemere@sdnhm.org by February 12, 2023.

Our Story

Founded as—and still officially named—the San Diego Society of Natural History, our organization traces its roots to an enthusiastic group of amateur naturalists who came together in 1874 to study the unique flora and fauna of our region. Now known as the San Diego Natural History Museum (and affectionately referred to as The Nat), the organization focuses on the natural history and unique biodiversity of our binational region of southern California and the Baja Peninsula. The Nat has more than eight million specimens, a $12M annual budget, 170 employees, and welcomes nearly 300,000 people to the Museum each year. In addition to our location in Balboa Park, The Nat hosts environmental education programs in the community, and we are engaged in scientific research throughout Southern California and the Baja California Peninsula. 

While many people know The Nat as a flagship institution in Balboa Park, we are much bigger than our building. The world we live in is an amazing place. We want everyone to understand it better, enjoy it more, and love it as much as we do, so we’ll all protect it for the future. Because we believe that nature is the biggest exhibition of all. For more information, please visit: sdnat.org.

Leadership & Culture

As a member of the executive team, the VP of Conservation and Science will report to CEO, Judy Gradwohl, who joined the Museum in July 2016 as the organization’s first woman president and CEO, following more than 30 years at the Smithsonian Institution. Judy’s passion for and wide range of experience in natural history research, science communication, and museum management has taken the organization to new heights. Under her leadership, the Museum developed a new strategic plan focused on regional science, collections, education, and conservation. Culture is everything at The Nat, where we work hard to create an environment that gives team members a voice in the strategic direction of the institution. We celebrate innovation, entrepreneurial thinking and collaboration, without ever losing our sense of humor and camaraderie. The VP will join a convivial and dedicated Science department of 55 exceptionally talented staff, working collaboratively to help shape The Nat’s future as we head into our 150th anniversary next year.

Benefits & Features
  • Salary: $120,000 - $135,000.
  • Medical, Dental and Vision Coverage.
  • Flexible Spending Accounts: Health, Dependent and Transit.
  • Life Insurance for annual salary up to $150,000.
  • AD&D and Long-Term Disability.
  • 401K with match.
  • PTO: 10 paid days off, 10 paid sick days, 15 paid holidays.
  • Park employee discounts at stores, coffee carts, and restaurants.
  • Free admission into all of Balboa Park’s museums and the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park.
  • For more information on The Nat’s benefits please visit: https://www.sdnhm.org/about-us/employment/why-work-here

This role will need to work primarily on-site in Balboa Park, there is some flexibility for remote work. Because the mission region includes Mexico travel to the Baja Peninsula or mainland Mexico will be required.

Position Summary

Our leadership team took the opportunity to reimagine the VP of Conservation & Science position, significantly expanding the scope to focus on broader organizational development and scientific advancement. The new VP will focus in 5 critical areas:

  1. Leadership: refine and drive the Science Department’s mission, research, conservation activities, operations and business strategy. Oversee collections policy and ensure the quality and integrity of research.
  2. Advocacy: serve as an ambassador, spokesperson and subject matter expert for The Nat through panels, public speaking, accompanying and leading tours and stewardship events, and through publishing research, white papers and position pieces.
  3. Convene: develop and expand the Museum’s ability to serve as a recognized leader in the field of science and conservation.
  4. Advancement: support efforts to expand and diversify revenue through grants, contracts, and other new and innovative sources, including our extremely successful Paleo Sciences and Bio Sciences divisions.
  5. Management: coach, mentor, and develop the Science Department team working in the Museum and in the field on both sides of the Border.

As a member of the executive team, the VP of Conservation & Science will report to the CEO and serve as head of our Conservation and Science Division They will have wide latitude to shape their role, including strategy and tactics in the areas listed above, as well as integrating science and conservation across Museum activities, and developing the overall culture across the organization. The VP will also oversee The Nat’s business services division, which includes our well-established Paleo Services and Bio Services, with a combined budget of nearly $3M annually.

What does success look like for the new VP of Conservation & Science? Looking out over a 3–5-year time horizon, we would envisage the following achievements:

  1. Vision: play a key role in the creation of a Natural History Museum that remains extremely relevant now, and into the future; establish The Nat as the leading authority in all areas of conservation science and biodiversity in the San Diego-Baja California region.
  2. Strategy: create a strategic plan for The Nat’s Research Department, as well as individual plans for the Paleo Services, Bio Services, and other potential new businesses added to our portfolio.
  3. Talent: lead a proactive succession planning strategy to prepare the department ahead of future retirements and enable us to attract and retain talented and diverse new team members.
  4. Advancement: grow and diversify The Nat’s consulting practices/business services, identifying other potential earned revenue opportunities to support our research agenda, including NSF funding and other grant sources.
  5. Leadership: ensure that the Conservation and Science division is well-integrated into the Museum as a whole, and significantly contributes to the well-being and functioning of the Museum and its full range of staff.
Duties & Responsibilities
  • Develop and manage a $3.5M annual budget, comprised of grant-funded and fee-for-service revenue.
  • Serve as a conservation and scientific spokesperson, speaking to current and potential partners, the Board of Directors, elected officials, donors, media, and other Museum stakeholders.
  • Participate in the Museum’s overall strategy planning, policy and advocacy activities, priority setting, and budget development.
  • Serve as an ambassador from the department to the rest of the Museum.
  • Monitor relevant scientific literature and conservation activities to ensure the Museum remains up-to-date with current trends and findings in the field.
Background Profile
  • Demonstrated experience successfully leading a scientific research or science-based conservation organization. Ideally has experience working with natural history research and collections, and field studies.
  • Familiarity with scientific contracting or consulting work.
  • Strong leadership and business skills with an entrepreneurial spirit and the ability to develop strategy, multi-task, motivate, set objectives, and manage the performance of a multi-disciplinary science and conservation staff.
  • Excellent communication skills, written and oral; ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with management, staff, and stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated success in fundraising, including experience with major donors, foundations, corporations, and government funders, and ability to identify new funding streams.
  • Committed to the Museum’s mission, maintaining perspective, a professional demeanor, and a sense of humor.  
  • An advanced degree in natural sciences, biological conservation or a related field.  A Ph.D. is preferred, but not required.
  • Spanish-speaking is a plus.
COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

In compliance with the San Diego Natural History Museum’s mandatory vaccination policy, the Museum requires proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. Accommodations based on medical and religious exemptions will be considered.

For more information or to apply, please contact:

Sarah Thompson, Director, Blair Search Partners
1855 1st Avenue, Suite 300, San Diego, CA 92101

The Visitor Services Department is the heart of our organization, which welcomes more than 300K guests per year (and growing!) and generates revenue that supports the Nat’s important mission. 

The Visitor Services Manager (VSM) is responsible for the daily operation and administration of the Visitor Services department and museum admission operations. Primary responsibilities include all aspects of hiring, onboarding, supporting, and managing a fun, creative, and diverse team of Visitor Services staff. They reinforce Museum policies, procedures, and values within the department, and they provide feedback to VS staff to ensure that they meet both performance and behavior expectations, while maintaining high team morale and building a positive team culture. 

The VSM ensures that the department meets the needs of all guests through consistent and intentional customer service. They center the guest experience: ensuring that guest visits are positive, and that guests feel valued, safe, and welcomed. The VSM also prioritizes making our museum accessible for all, and in particular for under-represented communities. Our Museum is full of super-cool nature and science stuff and we want everyone to be able to love it as much as we do!!! 

The VSM collaborates with multiple internal departments and they also represent our organization externally with peers at similar institutions in order to adopt and share best practices as appropriate. They also guide department efforts to collect and analyze data to support the achievement of our goals, and contribute to the monitoring and reporting of our efforts.  

Essential Responsibilities 

  • Manage Visitor Services staffing operations; including hiring, training, scheduling, timecard management, staff meetings and communications. 

  • Ensure delivery of exceptional customer service as well as resolve customer issues in a timely manner. 

  • Supervise opening/closing procedures and daily operational aspects related to the Museum’s public spaces including phone and email communications. 

  • Complete daily/weekly/monthly reports required for internal and external stakeholders and partners. 

  • Coordinate and maintain on-site signage, admissions-related web content, and phone messages. 

  • Manage third-party ticketing operations (Balboa Park Explorer, Go Card/Smart Destinations, FIT partners) including reporting, pricing updates, and content changes.  

  • Coordinate and manage Resident Free Tuesdays, December Nights, and other large-scale admission-based programs and events. 

  • Lead the process of updating and creating Visitor Services Department processes and procedures. 

  • Maintain strong knowledge of the ticketing/database system- Altru. 

  • Assist Senior Director of Operations with management of the department’s annual budget including variance analysis when necessary. 

  • Additional duties as assigned in support of the mission of the Museum. 


  • 5 years of customer service experience in a front-line environment and 3+ years in a formal supervisory capacity required; to include completion of written performance appraisals and delivery of performance feedback. 

  • Experience working with a point-of-sale system, customer relations management system or other admissions/ticketing database system is required. Experience working with Altru ticketing system a plus. 

  • Knowledge of accounting, budgeting, and financial/attendance reporting. 

  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience. 


  • Leadership skills to empower, motivate, and develop a collaborative and positive work environment. 

  • Demonstrated employee management skills, including hiring, scheduling, training, conflict resolution, and team building. 

  • Excellent customer service skills, ability to work as a team player, exercise diplomacy, and make independent decisions.  

  • Excellent communication skills; verbal and written fluency in English. Spanish is desirable, but not required 

  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision, prioritize tasks, and work under pressure to meet scheduled and unexpected deadlines.  

  • Solid analytic, organizational, and problem-solving skills. 

  • Strong knowledge of MS Office suite including Excel and Outlook. 

This is a full-time, hourly position. The Visitor Services Manager may be required to work weekends, evenings, and holidays to ensure daily supervisory coverage. Currently, the Museum is open to the public seven days a week from 10 AM to 5 PM, but our hours vary seasonally. 

The position pay range is $25/hr to $28/hr. 

 The VSM position is eligible for benefits such as health insurance, sick leave and vacation, paid holidays, retirement plans, and free admission into all of Balboa Park’s museums as well as free admission to the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park.    

Another benefit is that the Nat is a great place to work. Our organization is FULL of mission-driven staff and volunteers who really care about our natural environment and genuinely care about each other.  We are celebrating our 150th Anniversary in 2024 and it is a very exciting time to be a part of this organization! 

Please send resume and cover letter to hr@sdnhm.orgNo phone calls or drop-ins please 

We will begin reviewing resumes and contacting strong applicants, the week of October 2. 

Part-Time Openings

The San Diego Natural History Museum is seeking enthusiastic, Part-Time Facility Maintenance Technician.  This role plays a crucial role in ensuring the smooth and efficient operation of the museum's physical infrastructure and facilities. You will be responsible for performing a variety of maintenance tasks and repairs to maintain the museum's premises in top condition for visitors, staff, and exhibits.

Major Responsibilities:

1. General Facility Maintenance:

  • Conduct regular inspections of the museum's buildings, galleries, and outdoor areas to identify and address maintenance needs.
  • Perform routine maintenance tasks such as changing light bulbs.
  • Address basic plumbing and electrical problems.
  • Patch and paint museum and office walls.

2. Equipment and Tools:

  • Keep maintenance tools and equipment in good working condition and report any malfunctions or the need for replacement.
  • Maintain an inventory of supplies and request restocking as needed for maintenance and cleaning purposes.

3. Team Collaboration:

  • Cooperate and communicate effectively with other museum staff members to ensure a seamless operation and a positive visitor experience.
  • Provide support and assistance during museum events and activities as required.


  • High school diploma or equivalent; additional technical training or certification in facilities maintenance or related fields is advantageous.
  • Basic knowledge of electrical, plumbing beneficial but not required
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Ability to lift heavy objects up to 50lbs
  • Flexibility to work evenings, weekends, and holidays as needed.

In compliance with the San Diego Natural History Museum’s mandatory vaccination policy, the Museum requires proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. Accommodations based on medical and religious exemptions will be considered.

This position is part-time, and your work schedule may include evenings, weekends, and holidays as needed. The San Diego Natural History Museum is open daily, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

Position pays $18/hour.  This is a part-time position. 

Employees enjoy free admission into all of Balboa Park’s museums as well as free admission to the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park. 

Please send resume and cover letter to hr@sdnhm.org. No phone calls or drop-ins please.


We invite applications for a paid undergraduate student position in the Department of Herpetology at the San Diego Natural History Museum. This immersive apprenticeship program offers students experience in amphibian and reptile biodiversity science focused on specimen digitization, specimen preparation, and collection curation. The position involves extensive training and mentorship that will prepare students for continued advancement in the biological sciences. We are especially eager for applicants with an interest in using our world-class collections to engage the public, promote science literacy, and inform conservation efforts. Come join our vibrant team of nature aficionados! 

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The core objectives for the incoming apprentice are to develop proficiency in photographing specimens for upload to public-facing websites, preparation of alcohol-preserved whole-body specimens, and the organization, maintenance, and use of biodiversity collections and their associated data. Activities under this apprenticeship feed into advancing the Amphibian and Reptile Atlas of Peninsular California. 

To achieve these objectives, the student apprentice will be given guidance on collecting ethics and the purpose of collections, as well as general protocols for gathering, tracking, storing, and retrieving specimen-based data. The apprentice will gain skills in photographic editing techniques in Adobe Lightroom, data management techniques using the software Specify, best-practice techniques for preserving specimens, and the identification of amphibian and reptile species in Southern California and the Baja California Peninsula. 

Apprentices may also be invited to participate in additional departmental activities. Such activities could include co-leading behind-the-scenes tours of the Herpetology collection, joining trips to field sites in Southern California, or co-authoring scientific publications or public outreach materials. We encourage the incoming apprentice to also consider proposing an independent project that fulfils their personal interests and the institutional goals of the Department of Herpetology. 

HOURS: Up to 240 hours total. Desired commitment is 12 hours of work per week over a period of 5 months (20 weeks) from September 2023 through March 2024. Flexible schedule. 

COMPENSATION: Paid, hourly, $18.00/hr. 

Employees enjoy free admission into all of Balboa Park’s museums as well as free admission to the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park. 

LOCATION: On-site. Some remote fieldwork may be possible. 

ELIGIBILITY: To be considered for this position, applicants must be full-time students in the final two years of a life science undergraduate degree program (or equivalent). Applicants must also be eager to learn, organized and detail-oriented, and be comfortable working hands-on with preserved amphibian and reptile specimens (including snakes!). Prior experience with herpetology or wildlife biology is a plus, but not required. 

We place special emphasis on recruiting students who are members of groups currently underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers. 

In compliance with the San Diego Natural History Museum’s mandatory vaccination policy, the Museum requires proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. Accommodations based on medical and religious exemptions will be considered. 


Please submit a CV or resume with two references, together with a brief statement (400–500 words) detailing relevant course work and scientific/career interests. Please submit materials to hr@sdnhm.org . No phone calls or drop-ins, please. 

The application deadline for this position is September 29, 2023. 

The San Diego Natural History Museum is seeking a skilled and passionate Horticulturist to oversee the development, maintenance, and care of our upcoming Native Plant Garden. Under the direction of the Senior Director of Education & Officer of Campaign Projects, the Horticulturist will be responsible for overseeing the garden's health and developing ongoing maintenance & care plans. The Horticulturist will be responsible for ongoing development, training and oversight of activities for all Nat Garden Corps volunteers.

Major Responsibilities:

Garden Design, Maintenance and Care:

  • Select and source appropriate replacements for native plant species, taking into account approved species, regional ecology, conservation needs, and aesthetic appeal.
  • Conduct regular inspections of the native plant garden, monitoring plant health, pest infestations, and soil conditions.
  • Develop and execute a comprehensive plant care schedule, including watering, pruning, and pest control.
  • Work directly with Parks & Recreation staff, who remotely operate the Nat Garden’s irrigation systems, to ensure all plants are receiving all watering/irrigation requirements.
  • Ensure the garden's cleanliness and appearance is maintained to the highest standards for visitors' enjoyment and educational purposes.
  • Work with Forever Balboa Park and Nat Volunteer Department to train all Nat Garden Corps volunteers on native plant care and maintenance protocols.
  • Plan and oversee volunteers' activities two times per week (Tuesdays and Saturdays) for garden maintenance, ensuring they are properly instructed and equipped.
  • Responsible for updating native plant maintenance plans, detailing specific care requirements for each plant species in the garden.
  • Purchase and maintain all necessary inventory for Garden maintenance.
  • Co-develop annual garden budget. Track and report on all expenses as needed.
  • Assist in supporting garden-related events and programs for the public.
  • Serve as a point of contact for volunteers conducting both maintenance and interpretation activities in the garden.
  • Collaborate with botanical researchers and participate in data collection and plant-related research activities, including oversight of long-term community science study of garden biodiversity. 

General Responsibilities:

  • Coordinate with other Museum staff, volunteers, and contractors involved in the garden's maintenance and development.
  • Comply with safety guidelines and practices for horticultural activities, ensuring a safe environment for visitors and staff.
  • Keep detailed records of garden maintenance activities, plant inventory, and any changes or developments related to the garden.
  • Stay informed about horticultural best practices, new plant varieties, and trends in native plant landscaping.


  • Bachelor's degree in Horticulture, Botany, Environmental Science, or a related field preferred with 1+ year of experience; or 3+ years of equivalent experience without degree.
  • Proven experience in horticulture, preferably in the care of native plant species.
  • Knowledge of California's native plant species and their ecological significance.
  • Understanding of sustainable gardening practices and water-efficient irrigation systems.
  • Strong communication and collaboration skills to work effectively with volunteers, Museum staff and the public.
  • Ability to work independently, prioritize tasks, and handle multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Physical ability to perform horticultural tasks, including bending, lifting, and prolonged outdoor work.
  • Passion for environmental conservation and promoting the significance of native plant species.

Additional Information:

This is a temporary, part-time, non-exempt position with 20 hours of work per week. Availability on Tuesdays and Saturdays is required. The position is classified as temporary and will be re-evaluated after twelve months of completed service.

In compliance with the San Diego Natural History Museum's mandatory vaccination policy, the Museum requires proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. Accommodation based on medical and religious exemptions will be considered.

Applicants should submit a resume and cover letter that highlights relevant experience to hr@sdnhm.org.

Review of resumes will begin on October 9, 2023. No phone calls or drop–ins, please.

Pay rate: $25.00 per hour.

The Museum Educator coordinates and facilitates programs utilizing the Museum’s exhibits and collections to ensure that guests, families and school groups have an exceptional experience. We aim to foster curiosity and a love and respect of the natural world. We use an inquiry-based approach while following current science standards. The Museum Educator must represent the San Diego Natural History Museum (the Nat) while providing an engaging learning environment. 

Duties and Responsibilities:  

  • Facilitate programs to include camps, classes, workshops, tours, floor and adult programming. 

  • Facilitate weekly Saturday Nature Studio Program.  

  • Perform daily functions associated with the summer programming to include camp instructor and/or support staff.  

  • Provide a secure, safe, and supportive atmosphere for program participants. 

  • Prepare and organize program spaces and materials. 

  • Cleaning and maintenance of program spaces.  

  • Support and communicate with staff and volunteers. 

  • Assist with administrative processes to support the effective and efficient flow of programs and department projects, including some documentation and evaluation. 

  • Participate and assist in the execution of museum and outreach events within the community. 

  • Cleaning and maintenance of program spaces.  

  • Honor and uphold the Nat’s mission statement, policies and expectations. 

  • May support with live animal care as needed.  

  • Other duties as assigned by supervisor.  


  • Coursework or degree in education-related field; and/or 1-2 years-experience facilitating youth-based programming. Previous museum experience a plus. 

  • Experience and interest in working with children and families required 

  • Must have knowledge and a passion for environmental science and natural history, as well as a desire to educate children in an engaging way.  

  • Superior organization and time management skills.  

  • Strong attention to detail and pro-active problem-solving skills.  

  • Vigilant about time management. 

  • Excellent social and communication skills with the ability to communicate clearly with both student and adult audiences  

  • Must be flexible, patient, resourceful and accountable 

  • Up-to-date first aid and CPR certification highly preferred. 

  • Proficiency in MS Office suite of programs, flexibility to learn instructional technology. Promethean a plus.  

  • Fluent in English, both spoken and written form; Spanish language is a plus 

  • Must be able to work in a highly collaborative, fast-paced work environment, as well as being able to work independently and in a team.   

  • Must be able to meet physical demands of job to include walking, standing, bending, kneeling and lift and move objects. 

  • Must be able to work flexible hours including weekends.  

  • Must pass background check and Live Scan screening.  

 Additional Information: 

This is a temporary, part-time, non-exempt position. 

In compliance with the San Diego Natural History Museum's mandatory vaccination policy, the Museum requires proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. Accommodation based on medical and religious exemptions will be considered.

Applicants should submit a resume and cover letter that highlights relevant experience to hr@sdnhm.org.

Review of resumes will begin on October 4, 2023. No phone calls or drop–ins, please.

Rate: $20.00 per hour (non-exempt)