Exhibits Specialist – University of Kansas Natural History Museum, Lawrence

The University of Kansas Natural History Museum’s exhibits inspire and inform visitors about natural history and related science topics. The Exhibits Specialist position is a crucial part of the exhibit design and production team, and assists with creating and executing interactive displays and environments for museum visitors. The responsibilities include construction, installation, and maintenance of exhibits, as well as related administrative support. This position is a key staff member in a small department with responsibility for exhibit production and all exhibit-related elements used by visitors and in museum programming. The exhibits specialist is expected to work independently, as well as part of a team, and to provide input on exhibit design, prototyping, sourcing, and estimates for materials and time for jobs. This person should be creative, self-motivated, and curious about natural history and science, with strong organizational skills and attention to detail.


Develop and maintain exhibits (70%)

  1. Fabricate and install exhibits featuring natural history specimens and other elements, using a wide variety of materials and methods.
  2. Lead maintenance/repair of museum exhibits, as well as keeping the fabrication area in order (e.g., tools and equipment maintenance/repair).
  3. Produce prototypes and conduct materials research and testing.
  4. Construct exhibit structure and furniture, specimen mounts, etc.
  5. Create and assist with exhibit labels/graphics, including layout and design, production, and installation.
  6. Contribute to exhibit design and projects by generating ideas and conducting subject research.
  7. Liaise with faculty, staff, and others (e.g., university facilities and construction unit) to develop exhibits.
  8. Monitor exhibit environmental conditions and care for exhibits collections, including pest control.
  9. Oversee live exhibit care with other exhibits staff: develop and maintain protocols for plant and invertebrate animal areas, including student staff training and supervision; monitor and liaise with the university’s Animal Care Unit for vertebrates.

Supervision, Management, and Administration (25%)

1.   Support the recruitment, supervision, and training of student staff (e.g., create schedule of work, monitor

       performance, and provide feedback).

2.   Work with other exhibits staff and associate director to produce a schedule of work for all exhibit projects and tasks

      to meet deadlines; prepare budgets and track expenses for projects; provide reports and perform other record

       keeping  (e.g., collections).

3.   Source and work with outside vendors and contractors, including providing a scope of work and associated

      paperwork (e.g., contract, payment).

Other related duties (5%)

1.  Collaborate with colleagues on other informal science education initiatives, including generating items for other education and outreach projects (e.g., produce casts and models, props).

2.  Participate in exhibit prototype trial-testing with visitors.

3.  Other exhibit and museum-related duties as assigned.


  1. Bachelor’s degree in relevant field, such as industrial or graphic design, fine arts, architecture, museum studies, science communication, science education, or other related field. Or an equivalent combination of education/experience (associates degree and three years, or a high school diploma/GED and five years)
  2. 1-year professional experience working in an exhibit department or other interpretive development environment.
  3. Demonstrated proficiency with exhibit construction tools (e.g., hand tools, power tools) and methods (e.g., carpentry skills, technologies, electronics).
  4. Knowledge of material (wood, steel, and plastics) uses (applications) and processes for construction (fabrication, welding, creating molds and casts), and graphics production.
  5. Demonstrated ability to organize time, prioritize and manage multiple projects and deadlines, and work independently.
  6. Demonstrated proficiency in communicating ideas visually through prototyping, models, sketches, and detail drawings for exhibit fabrication (plan, elevation, section, perspective).
  7. Demonstrated experience troubleshooting designs with technical, mechanical, and electrical components.
  8. Experience with Microsoft Office suite and other programs, such as Adobe Creative Suite.


  1. Master’s degree in relevant field, such as industrial or graphic design, fine arts, architecture, museum studies, science communication, science education, or other related field.
  2. Three+ years professional experience working in exhibit department or other interpretive development environment.
  3. Experience in performing all aspects of exhibit/interpretive development from conception to completion.
  4. Demonstrated creative problem-solving abilities for interpreting and translating ideas and activities into three-dimensional interactive experiences.
  5. Knowledge of museum standards and practices.
  6. Experience in project management (e.g., planning, tracking).
  7. Knowledge of exhibit security, lighting, and conservation requirements.

Advertised Salary Range

$42,000 to $46,000 annually with full benefits.

Only complete applications will be considered.  A complete application includes an online application form, resume, cover letter, names, and contact information for three professional references.

For more information and to apply visit http://www.employment.ku.edu/staff/23942BR

Review begins February 6, 2023.

KU is an EO/AAE. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, national origin, disability, genetic information or protected Veteran status.

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