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Director of Exhibitions

Anticipated Vacancy

The Paleontological Research Institution (PRI) seeks a creative, curious, and organized Director of Exhibitions. PRI is located in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York. Our Museum of the Earth and Cayuga Nature Center make accessible the history of life on Earth, the processes by which the Earth system works, and the science by which we understand it.

The Director of Exhibitions for the Paleontological Research Institution is a full-time position that oversees the institution’s 15,000 square feet of permanent and temporary exhibits, as well as a small traveling and offsite exhibits program. S/he will be responsible for activities related to the planning and design of all exhibitions at the Museum of the Earth and Cayuga Nature Center, with the primary goal being the communication of the history of life on Earth in an aesthetic, innovative, and accessible manner.

The Director of Exhibitions will:

  • Direct all aspects of the exhibit program at the Museum of the Earth and Cayuga Nature Center, including content development, interpretive strategy, evaluation, label writing, design, and installation of: permanent exhibits, temporary exhibits, traveling exhibits, and local offsite exhibits.
  • Supervise volunteers, interns, and part-time fabrication staff; lead project teams of institution staff; and collaborate with scientists and staff at other organizations.
  • Manage multiple ongoing exhibit projects, obtaining quotes, selecting vendors, reviewing contracts, and supervising production through all phases, from conceptualization to installation.
  • Work with PRI’s Director and other department heads on the strategic planning of museum and nature center improvements; budget and schedule Exhibitions Department projects; participate in fund-raising efforts.
  • Assist other PRI staff on special projects, programs, or events as needed and when time allows.

This position reports to PRI’s Director and works closely with other institutional personnel, especially the Directors of Education, Collections, and Museum Operations in a team-centered environment.


Minimum 3-5 years of increasingly responsible experience in a museum and/or gallery setting. Masters degree preferred in Museum Studies, Design, or related discipline; excellent writing skills and proven experience in Adobe Creative Suite; ability to juggle multiple projects to meet critical deadlines; strong time management, planning, and teamwork skills. Ability to work with the public, scientists, vendors, and colleagues professionally and tactfully. Familiarity with computer-aided software such as VectorWorks, and with carpentry or other fabrication techniques a plus.

To apply, please send cover letter, resume, and 3-5 writing and design samples via email to: Amanda Schmitt, Assistant to the Director (