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Oakland Museum of California Announces New Curator of Natural Science

(OAKLAND, CA) October 15, 2019The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) announces the appointment of Ryder Diaz as the Museum’s new Curator of Natural Science. Diaz will lead Natural Science content at OMCA, contributing to the development of OMCA’s Gallery of California Natural Sciences, the Museum’s science collections, and relevant special exhibitions.

Through his prior work as an Exhibit Content Developer at the California Academy of Sciences, Diaz brings more than five years of experience developing museum exhibitions that inspire wonder and appreciation for the natural world. From topic research to prototyping hands-on interactive elements, Diaz led the development of Skin, Hidden Reef, and a refresh of Rainforests of the World, among other exhibitions at the Academy. While at the Academy, his label writing was recognized twice by the American Alliance of Museums’ Excellence in Exhibition Label Writing Competition.

Diaz is also an experienced storyteller and science communicator. Prior to his museum work, Diaz was a producer and reporter covering health-related topics, including his role as a health producer for KQED’s “The California Report.”

Diaz holds a Master’s degree in Population Biology (focusing on California native bee ecology) and a graduate certificate in science communication. He currently serves on the Community Advisory Committee for Oakland’s 2030 Equitable Climate Action Plan (ECAP).

“We are incredibly fortunate to welcome Ryder Diaz to our curatorial team,” says Peggy Monahan, OMCA’s Director of Content Development. “Ryder has outstanding experience and innovative ideas in the field of natural science, a discipline that is essential to the content and mission of our organization. I’m looking forward to his work at OMCA.”

“I’ve been a long-time fan of OMCA’s multidisciplinary, civic-minded exhibitions,” says Diaz. “I’m excited to be part of an organization that is working to create spaces that inspire dialogue, exploration, and interaction. As the Curator of Natural Science, I hope to help people build deeper connections to the natural world and to foster a sense of stewardship for our communities and environments.”

The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) tells the many stories that comprise California, creating the space and context for greater connection, trust, and understanding between people. Through its inclusive exhibitions, public programs, educational initiatives, and cultural events, OMCA brings Californians together and inspires greater understanding about what our state’s art, history, and natural surroundings teach us about ourselves and each other. With more than 1.9 million objects, OMCA brings together its multi-disciplinary collections of art, history, and natural science with the first-person accounts and often untold narratives of California, all within its 110,000 square feet of gallery space and seven-acre campus. The Museum is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year as a leading cultural institution of the Bay Area and a resource for the research and understanding of California’s dynamic cultural and environmental heritage for visitors from the region, the state, and around the world.

The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) is at 1000 Oak Street, at 10th Street, in Oakland. Museum admission is $16 general; $11 seniors and students with valid ID, $7 youth ages 9 to 17, and free for Members and children 8 and under. There is a $5 charge in addition to general admission pricing for special exhibitions. OMCA offers onsite underground parking and is conveniently located one block from the Lake Merritt BART station, on the corner of 10th Street and Oak Street. The accessibility ramp is located at the 1000 Oak Street main entrance to the Museum.