Thursday, August 20, 2015

Historical Society seeks curator with geology expertise for Tempe museum

The Arizona Historical Society is seeking to fill a Museum Curator 2 posting for the Natural History Collection in Tempe.  The posting is listed in the official website for the State of Arizona government jobs.  Anyone interested in viewing/applying can go to:

This is the position formerly held by Dr. Madison Barkley, who oversaw the collections from the former Arizona Mining & Mineral Museum.   Some of the minerals are on display at the Tempe museum.  The former museum building in Phoenix was closed for renovations and is maintenance mode.   The Legislature passed a bill in the last session to transfer the building, museum authorization, and the curator position to AZGS to reopen it as the Arizona Mining, Mineral, and Natural History Education Museum, but it was vetoed by the governor.

AHS reports that "In 2010 the collection of the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum, previously maintained by the Arizona Department of Mines and Mineral Resources (ADMMR), was transferred to the Arizona Historical Society (Arizona Revised Statutes §41-827). The collection now makes up the majority of the Arizona Historical Society Natural History Collection.

The Natural History Collection is a permanent collection with materials pertaining to the natural history of Arizona and the mining industry in Arizona. The Collection also includes mining and mineral related books, journals, magazines, and historical documents related to the history of the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum."   [right, photo of pyrite specimen in AHS collection. Credit, AHS]

Description of the job:

The Arizona Historical Society seeks a Museum Curator 2 with geological expertise to manage its mineral collections and develop associated educational programming.  This position requires flexibility with work hours and days/nights, weekends, and holidays.  The position also requires day trips and some overnight stays within and outside of Maricopa County.  


The successful candidate for this position will possess a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology or a related field.  One year of experience equivalent to curator responsibilities is preferred.  In addition, you should demonstrate the following: 
  • Familiarity with the discipline of geology
  • Specialized knowledge of minerals/mineralogy
  • Ability to develop educational and public programming
  • Understanding of the principles of collections management
  • Ability to work in teams
  • Skill in written and oral communication

 Salary range is $33,435 - $59,812


  1. Filling this position will only waste more state funds. The AHS facility in Tempe is not a serious museum and attracts just over 3,000 visitors per year. The huge, taxpayer supported facility serves primarily as a venue for social events.

  2. Prospective applicants may want to consider why the geologist that had the job left to sell insurance.