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Employment Opportunities


Nature Museum employee with students

Celebrating 160 years of science exploration and education, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is the public face of the Chicago Academy of Sciences. The Chicago Academy of Sciences was founded in 1857 as Chicago’s first museum dedicated to educating Chicagoans about nature and science through the preservation and display of native specimens, classroom activities, and dissemination of scientific knowledge.

Today, the Museum distinguishes itself through extensive involvement in schools, providing more hands-on science instruction than any other museum in Chicago, and the opportunities it provides for visitors to experience nature up close in exhibits such as its iconic Judy Istock Butterfly Haven. The Museum also continues the Academy’s tradition of research, conservation and education about nature in the Midwest through participatory exhibits and programs, educational outreach and ongoing scientific activity. Its collections, due to their age and type, are among the most important in the region.

Thank you for your interest in opportunities at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. All current opportunities are listed below. If there are no current positions listed, please check back often as we post job openings as they become vacant.

  • Director of Public Engagement (Full Time)
  • Exhibit Designer (Full Time)

  • Director of Public Engagement (Full Time)
    Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

    Position Overview:

    The  Director of Public Engagement (DPE) will have the opportunity to creatively build on and shape a broad department encompassing Public Programming and Forums as they relate to the Museum’s many mission-driven initiatives. This is a unique position for a visionary leader who understands how to create and execute innovative engagement and learning opportunities across all ages. 

    The Museum is looking for a dynamic and collaborative individual with a passion for excellence and the desire to reach to new audiences. The DPE will design and implement the engagement strategy and program portfolio for children, family and adult learning delivered by the Public Engagement department. Existing programs represent a broad range of offerings that include public interpretive programming, gallery talks, forums/symposiums, films, demonstrations and other engagements. 

    The DPE will design, develop, and implement strategies for evaluating the impact of lifelong learning programs and for expanding external partnerships that are regional in scope. This position will report to the President & Chief Executive Officer. The DPE will supervise all aspects of the Public Engagement department. The DPE will collaborate with many Museum departments such as Marketing, Visitor Services, Volunteers and Biology.

    Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

    • Lead and support an effective, innovative and professional team comprised of the Public Engagement Manager, Program Development Specialist, Facilitators and Volunteers.
    • Participate in the implementation and updates to the institution’s Strategic Plan, Vision 2024.
    • Oversee the budget for the Public Engagement department.
    • Organize, develop and implement public interpretive programs for myriad audiences.
    • Cultivate and maintain meaningful partnerships with numerous community stakeholders to sustain innovative audience development and outreach.
    • Participate in the development of public interpretive programming and media that meets the mission, complements existing and future exhibitions and creates valuable experiences for all Museum visitors.
    • Remain current on new research, media and trends  museums and public interpretive programming.
    • Continually evaluate and improve public interpretive programming to ensure effective delivery of our visitor experience relevant to myriad audiences.
    • Along with other departments, coordinate external media to increase the institutional public profile.
    • Performs other duties as assigned.

    Job Qualifications:

    • Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s degree in nonprofit administration or fields related to the museum’s mission, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
    • Minimum 3-5 years of professional experience.
    • Experience track record at building successful and sustainable programs.
    • Excels at staff management.
    • Knowledge and understanding of cultural institutions; particularly of nature history museums.
    • Knowledge and understanding of marketing and media practices.
    • Strong attention to details and accuracy.
    • Excellent critical thinking skills, oral and written communication skills.
    • Ability to work well with others and maintain professional manner using tact, initiative, good judgment and confidentiality.
    • Deadline driven and ability to prioritize competing tasks, while maintain efficiency.
    • Advanced computer skills and proficiency with Microsoft Office.

    Salary is commensurate with experience.

    Work in the museum’s Lincoln Park location; strong benefits package; Equal Opportunity Employer.

    How to Apply:

    Please send cover letter and resume via e-mail to Subject line, please put Director of Public Engagement position.

    No phone calls please. Only qualified candidates will be contacted.  

    The Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

    Exhibit Designer (Full Time)
    Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

    Supervisor Title: VP of Exhibitions and the Museum Experience

    Position Overview:

    The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum of the Chicago Academy of Sciences is seeking a full time Exhibit Designer / Project Manager to assist with the creation of new environments and displays. The Exhibit Designer will be part of a team that produces world class exhibits and experiences. The candidate must have strong, design, visualization and organizational ability.

    Principle Duties and Responsibilities:

    • Ideate and design exhibit components for temporary and permanent exhibits
    • Produce 3-D renderings and models of exhibit component
    • Produce CAD construction drawings of display components and Capital Improvement Projects
    • Specify fixtures and furnishings using ADA and Universal Design Guidelines
    • Sourcing and ordering materials and supplies from new and established vendors
    • Act as Project Manager for special project assignments and temp exhibit installations
    • Assist with the installation of temporary and permanent exhibits
    • Assist with the installation of flat artwork using museum standard practices.
    • Coordinate the construction and installation of temporary exhibits
    • Facilitate purchasing and departmental asset inventory management


    • Must possess exceptionally strong design, visualization and organizational skills
    • Must have at least 5 years experience in exhibit/display design and fabrication
    • Desire and ability to work both independently and within a team environment
    • Knowledge of mechanical, electronic and audio visual equipment
    • Proficiency in industry standard CAD software such as VectorWorks, AutoCAD, SketchUP
    • Must possess a thorough understanding of construction and fabrication techniques
    • Proficiency in Photoshop, In Design and Illustrator a plus
    • Knowledge of AV media editing tools such as Final Cut Pro and After Effects a plus
    • Must possess a valid driver’s license

    Compensation: Commensurate with experience

    How To Apply:

    Please send cover letter and resume to: 

    No phone calls please. Only qualified candidates will be contacted.  

    The Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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