Campus News

Grant to foster natural history museum internships

A grant from the UGA Office of Experiential Learning will afford more than two dozen students the opportunity to participate in an enhanced internship program with the Georgia Museum of Natural History, beginning in fall 2019. With more than 7 million specimens across 11 collections, the internships will provide students with a unique firsthand experience with museum archives and interaction with curators. 

The internships, which are open to all majors, will be of interest to students majoring in a discipline related to the listed subjects in the collection, including anthropology, biology, ecology, entomology, plant biology, plant pathology and forestry and natural resources. Beginning in fall 2019, the internships will be extended to geography majors as well. 

“Interns get to work with a faculty member or museum curator and their corresponding museum collection one-on-one throughout the semester and can repeat the internship for an additional semester,” said Suzanne Pilaar Birch, assistant professor of anthropology and geography and Georgia Museum of Natural History internship coordinator.  

The museum, which is a consortium of a variety of collections, is housed in several locations across campus. The Natural History Building, located on Cedar Street, houses the administrative offices of the museum as well as a display area with ongoing exhibits, open to the public weekdays and Saturdays outside football season. It also houses the arthropod, herpetology, ichthyology, invertebrate, mammalogy, ornithology and zooarchaeology collections in addition to a teaching collection. The botany herbarium is located in the Miller Plant Sciences Building, and the archaeology collection is housed at the UGA Laboratory of Archaeology on Whitehall Road. 

“Creating high-quality holistic internships aligning to the core values of UGA’s experiential learning program is always a prime thrust for our office,” said Scott Pegan, interim director of the UGA Office of Experiential Learning. “These internships that the National History Museum has developed naturally fit into the academic fabric of UGA with their firsthand, high-stakes, leadership experiences.”