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California Academy of Sciences

Our mission is to regenerate the natural world through science, learning, and collaboration.

Senior Exhibit Content Developer

We hope you are inspired by what we do and are excited to contribute to our mission. The Academy is looking for candidates who do great work, and we know they may come from a number of different backgrounds and experiences. We encourage you to apply even if you do not believe you meet every ­one of the qualifications for the position.

The Senior Exhibit Content Developer is responsible for developing original concepts for captivating mission-focused exhibitions, researching and creating accessible scientific content, organizing project materials, producing engaging interactives and media, and conducting evaluations to ensure the quality and value of the visitor experience. You’ll join the Academy’s outstanding Exhibit Studio and collaborate with scientists and other content experts, educators, artists, technologists, and other internal and external partners. We are seeking an experienced writer with strong interpersonal skills and ability to work with diverse collaborators in a team environment and independently. This position reports to the Manager of Exhibition Content Development.

Come join a team dedicated to the Academy’s mission, vision and values!

We are committed to ensuring diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion are intrinsic to Academy culture and operations, from recruitment and retention to science and advocacy. Explore Our Commitment to Racial Equity to learn about our intentional engagement of traditionally excluded groups in an effort to spark interest in or foster pathways to scientific careers.

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable persons with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Lead exhibition content development on assigned projects, from idea generation and concept development through design and fabrication.
  • Research and interpret scientific information, images, objects, and technologies; complete exhibition topic, theme, and narrative development informed by literature reviews and visitor evaluation.
  • Develop interpretive messages using original research and current scholarship for delivery through text, visual media, interactives, and audio.
  • Create compelling interpretive strategies that advance the Academy mission and strategic priorities.
  • Write lively copy for labels and media scripts; edit, fact-check, and proofread writing by other content team members and contractors.
  • Produce high-quality written materials for project teams, internal, and external audiences; help assure editorial quality control.
  • Advocate for audience-centered experiences that make science fun, engaging, and surprising for people of varied backgrounds.
  • Liaison effectively with scientific and public engagement staff, disseminate information at various phases of a project, facilitate content reviews by internal and external experts and incorporate feedback.
  • Coordinate work with cross-functional teams of project managers, designers and developers, subject matter experts, collections staff, educators, and others.
  • Contribute to visitor research and evaluation at specified points in the exhibition development process to ensure projects achieve goals and objectives; provide regular status reports and updates.
  • Work with teams to develop prototypes, test with audiences, iterate, analyze findings, and implement recommendations.
  • Oversee and coordinate the translation process for multilingual exhibitions.
  • Collaborate effectively and contribute to the Academy’s exhibition development process, bring new ideas, and find efficiencies to evolve the processes.
  • Complete work in a timely manner to meet schedules and budgets.
  • Mentor junior Exhibits staff, interns, and volunteers.
  • Participate in professional development opportunities to stay informed of trends in the museum field, learn from and share knowledge with colleagues, and build relevant partnerships.
  • Follow all Academy safety regulations
  • Perform other duties as assigned



  • 7+ years of experience leading the creation of large-scale exhibitions.
  • Bachelor’s degree in life sciences, environmental studies, museum studies, or related field; Master’s degree preferred.
  • Thorough understanding of exhibition development processes and design principles.
  • Demonstrated experience in informal science communication, storytelling, and science writing for diverse public audiences.
  • Proven experience developing highly interactive exhibits.


  • Ability to work on creative projects both independently and on collaborative teams. 
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills and ability to write clearly, concisely, and imaginatively.
  • Finely-tuned writing skills with ability to communicate complex content in an accessible and compelling way.
  • Ability to synthesize and organize information and apply a variety of methods and techniques to communicate concepts to general audience(s).
  • Proven ability to balance multiple projects and meet deadlines, taking responsibility for on-time, on-budget products, while maintaining high standards of quality.
  • Ability to ensure that exhibition content is intellectually and emotionally engaging. Exhibitions should have a “fun” or “Wow!” factor that will drive attendance to the Academy.
  • Knowledge of conservation factors and proper presentation of research collections and artifacts.
  • Knowledge of exhibit evaluation methods in informal education settings.
  • Maintains and models a positive, collaborative, supportive, and flexible culture.
  • Ability to read and interpret design drawings, safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals.
  • Ability to speak effectively before groups or individuals, cross-functional teams, and external stakeholders from different identities and experiences.
  • High attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Skilled in using Microsoft Office and Google Apps; fluency in a range of computer software collaboration tools such as Evernote, Box, and others to create, manipulate, and share documents, spreadsheets, images, and other digital assets. Some familiarity with Adobe Creative Suite is desired.
  • Passion for the Academy’s mission to regenerate the natural world through science, learning, and collaboration.
  • Demonstrated commitment to equity and inclusion.

The physical expectations described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the position’s responsibilities, either with or without reasonable accommodation if needed due to a disability.

At the Academy, we get to work in pretty unique spaces. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to move, work in an office environment, reach with hands and arms, in addition to using a computer for long intervals of time, communication on the phone, in person, and online meetings/calls. Must be able to perform repetitive motions 75% of the time. Must be able to transport 30 lbs.

Regular on-site work for collaboration, prototyping, and reviews of the public floor will be required. Other work may be done remotely, in keeping with Academy and Exhibit Studio Policies.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: This position is open until July 30, 2021.

The California Academy of Sciences will give full consideration for employment to 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).

The California Academy of Sciences is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to ensure 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, place of birth, national origin or ancestry, physical, mental or medical disability, height or weight, sex, sexual orientation, citizenship, military service status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law or local ordinance.

How to Apply

Please upload a resume and complete the brief online application here. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Drive
San Francisco, CA 94118

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