Bryophyte Collections Management and Curation
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The US Herbarium’s bryophyte collection, consisting of approximately 125,000 specimens of mosses, liverworts, and hornworts, is being rehoused, reorganized, and curated in a modern phylogenetic system. Specimen packets are being removed from herbarium sheets, evaluated to determine whether they need to be placed in new archival packets, and reorganized in newly-purchased cabinets. Some specimens are undergoing taxonomic review. Duplicate specimens are being distributed to other herbaria as exchange material, and new material is being incorporated into the holdings at the Smithsonian.
QUALIFICATIONS: This opportunity is suitable for graduate, undergraduate, and advanced high-school students. Post-graduates are also welcome. Excellent dexterity, organizational skills, and attention to detail are essential. A background or interest in botany, particularly bryology, is desirable but not required.
LEARNING OBJECTIVES: Interns will gain experience in multiple aspects of collections management and curation in a museum herbarium setting including preparation of archival packets and specimen labels, reorganizing specimens within the collection, selecting and preparing specimens to be distributed to other herbaria as exchange material, and entering data. If interested, there will be opportunities to gain experience using microscopes to examine specimens as part of the taxonomic review process.
TIMEFRAME: Winter break 2019. There is some flexibility with timing but a minimum commitment of 24 hours per week is required.
AWARD PACKAGE: None.
HOW TO APPLY: Applicants should submit initial inquiries to the project Contact by email, stating their availability and interest in bryophytes, plants, and/or collections management and curation. If invited to apply, applicants will be required to submit their CV or resume and arrange for two letters of recommendation to be sent directly to the project Contact.
LOCATION: US National Herbarium, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (10th Ave. and Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC)