Parasitoid Wasp Curation and Collection Management Internship
Description: This internship involves learning about the curation and management of the Braconidae and Ichneumonidae (Insecta: Hymenoptera) collections at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History (NMNH). Goals of the project are to (1) add specimens to the collection to expand specimen holdings, (2) update tray, drawer, and cabinet labels to account for taxonomic changes, (3) reorganize holdings to increase the accessibility of specimens, and (4) improve the physical preservation of specimens by transferring them from non-archival to archival containers. Interns may have an opportunity to discover and document novel braconid or ichneumonid diversity for a defined geographic region or ecosystem using specimens in the NMNH. Interns may also have an opportunity to participate in occasional local fieldwork. Those participating in this internship will receive training in one or a combination of the following: sample insects using a variety of methods; sort field-collected samples of insects; prepare pinned and labeled wasp specimens; label vials, trays, drawers, and cabinets; search databases for current taxon names; search the Internet for detailed geographic data for collected specimens; and identify specimens to levels ranging from superfamily to genus.
Qualifications: A major or minor in biology or a related field is also required. The position requires attention to detail and a high level of dexterity. Preference will be given to applicants with experience in entomology or collections, particularly of insects or plants.
Timetable: Indefinite, but internship is a minimum of 2 months, 24 hours per week.
Award package: None
Project contact name: Robert R. Kula