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Invertebrate Zoology – Crustacea: Collections and Research Material Management Internship



  1. Collections Management: Curation and Organization of Crustacea Museum Collections

The National Museum of Natural History’s (NMNH) Department of Invertebrate Zoology has the world’s largest collection of specimens from around the world, of which about 25% are crustaceans. Specimens are preserved and stored in a number of ways: in alcohol or formalin, dried, or mounted on glass slides. All methods require upkeep, and with such a large collection, assistance is needed to do the required maintenance tasks.

  • Specimen Curation: archival jars, alcohol level, gasket integrity
  • Attach/Stuff printed labels to specimen jars
  • Conduct Specimen Shelf Check: verify inventoried specimens are on the shelf
  • Organize Shelf Collections: by phylogenetic and alphabetical order, and by USNM catalog number
  1. Research Material Management: Archiving Crustacean Scientific Publications and Images

During crustacean research it is a common practice to photograph specimens in the field as well as in the lab (both alive and preserved).  Each researcher then amasses quite a collection of images, both photographs, slides and negatives.  Researchers also build large scientific publication libraries, some of which can be rare or in limited quantity.  Many useful and important publications are often requested by colleagues and students. Creating digital (as well as archival) files from these research materials would make them accessible for future research, and readily available to students other researchers.

  1. Organize Crustacea Reprint Library Collections
  • Paper publications (books and reprints – some rather old and fragile) transferred to archival envelopes/plastic sleeves
  • Archival envelopes labeled with author and date of publication
  1. Scan Crustacea Research Material
  • Scan and create digital images from 35 mm film, slides, SEM negatives, line drawings, hand notes and scientific printed material
  • Edit digital images using Adobe Photoshop photo-editing program


Independent and organized worker that takes direction well and is not afraid to get dirty

General understanding of crustacean or invertebrate specimens is helpful

Experience in document scanning using a flat-bed scanner

Experience in file editing helpful; e.g. Adobe Photoshop


Students will learn about museum collections management and curation techniques for different groups of crustaceans while getting hands-on experience working with museum specimens.

Students will also become familiar with some of the principles of archiving historical and scientific printed and image material. Knowledge of proper handling of image material will also be enhanced, as well as digital file editing and file organizational skills.


  • Intern at least 8 hours/week
  • Spring break, Winter break, Summer Interns



Smithsonian Institution Museum Support Center
Department of Invertebrate Zoology-Lab 5
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland, MD

Project Contact Name: Rose A. Gulledge, E-mail: gulledgr@si.edu