Assistant, Associate or Full Scientist/Curator

Do you have a passion for cutting-edge biodiversity science and applying it to global sustainability challenges?

The California Academy of Sciences seeks to fill several endowed positions with Ph.D.-level scientists who do outstanding biodiversity / ecological science, focus on broader science communication & engagement, care about increasing diversity in science, connect their work to real-world sustainability outcomes, and want to change the world.

Under new leadership, the Academy is aggressively investing in groundbreaking scientific research & discovery, and hiring new scientists who will help us pursue our mission to “Explore, Explain and Sustain Life” on Earth. We are eagerly seeking up-and-coming scientific leaders with expertise in biodiversity, ecology & evolution, and global environmental change. At the Academy, scientists and curators are appointed in hard-money, endowed positions within our Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability (IBSS), and are expected to embrace scientific exploration, science communication & engagement, increasing diversity, and making a real difference in environmental sustainability.

Founded in 1853, the Academy offers a unique and powerful setting to conduct scientific research and engagement. Housed in its Double LEED Platinum building in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, the Academy combines a world-class museum, research institute, and educational center all under one roof. Facilities include outstanding research collections (with almost 46 million specimens); a world-leading digital planetarium / visualization studio; premiere aquarium facilities with nearly 40,000 living animals and unique culturing facilities; indoor rainforest, coral reef, and California coast habitats; numerous exhibits and educational facilities; and advanced research laboratories for work in genomics, specimen preparation, digitization, computer modeling, scientific visualization, etc. The Academy also recently acquired iNaturalist, a platform that engages global observers in high-quality data collection for citizen science. Furthermore, the Academy includes outstanding research and education staff who integrate science with cutting-edge virtual and in-person educational programming.

The new scientist “cluster hires” will join nearly 100 other staff and students in IBSS, and help us address some of the world’s most pressing problems related to biodiversity conservation, ecosystem health, global environmental change, and sustainability – and communicate it to stakeholders and a diverse public.

The open positions are broad, and we are searching in many areas of biodiversity science and related fields. The Academy especially seeks experts in coral reef biology, tropical rain forests, the ecology of California, and the impacts of global change on biodiversity, as well as candidates with interests in marine mammals and amphibian decline. We seek candidates with skills in “big data”, modeling, GIS, visualization, genomics, and innovative methods for field- and collections-based research. Candidates who connect their work to larger sustainability challenges are of special interest. Candidates must also show leadership in science communication and engagement, as well as an interest in increasing diversity in science.

Candidates will be reviewed until all positions are filled; for full consideration, send applications by November 1, 2015. Interviews will be held early in 2016; starting dates are negotiable. Suitable candidates must have a doctorate in a relevant field; postdoctoral experience or equivalent training; enthusiasm for communicating science to broad audiences; commitment to expanding diversity in science; and a passion to pursue research with sustainability outcomes.

A complete application consists of the following which you will be asked to upload: 
1. Cover letter; 2. Curriculum vitae; 3. Three, two-page vision statements (one outlines your scientific goals, another your education & engagement goals, and lastly the sustainability outcomes of your research); 4. Four publications (two technical and two examples of public/media outreach); 5. Two letters of reference plus a list of 3-5 additional contacts.

Additional questions? Contact the Chief of IBSS, Dr. Meg Lowman (

The California Academy of Sciences is an Equal Opportunity Employer and committed to ensuring that all employees and applicants receive equal consideration and treatment, regardless of race, color, creed, gender (including gender identity or gender expression), religion, marital or domestic partner status, age, national origin or ancestry, physical, mental or medical disability, sex, sexual orientation, citizenship, military service status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law or local ordinance.


The California Academy of Sciences will consider for employment all qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance (SF Police Code, Article 49).

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