Research Assistants

volunteer couple working in Malacology

Collections and Systematics Research

Volunteers have an exceptional opportunity to assist scientists in caring for the vast research collections of the Academy. The departments where volunteers have been active include: Botany, Diatom Herbarium, Entomology, Ichthyology, Malacology, Ornithology, and Vertebrate Zoology. These collections include 18 million specimens from around the world, including thousands of types, the specimens used as standards to describe the entire species. Depending upon your skills and interests, you can assist in a variety of tasks critical to the effective use of the collections—everything from cleaning and labeling to cataloging, sorting, and inventory. Volunteers can also work in VIREO (Visual Resources for Ornithology), helping to database this vast collection of bird photography.

Ornithology Donor Descendant Research Assistant

The Ornithology Department is searching for a new volunteer to assist with our ongoing donor descendant research program. This project identifies individuals throughout the history of the Academy who have contributed to the Ornithology Department's world-class collection. The project seeks to identify descendants of donors to offer them a personal connection to the collection and the work of the Academy today. A volunteer with computer skills and some basic knowledge of databases is needed to assist in updating our donor descendent database, tracking contacts with donors, and preparing text and images for web publishing about donor descendant families. This volunteer role offers an individual with an interest in history (and birds) the unique opportunity to contribute professional experience and computer skills to this important project.

Patrick Center for Environmental Research

Research scientists in the Patrick Center for Environmental Research examine aquatic ecosystems and their plant and animal populations, as well as water pollution, toxicology, and the human and chemical impact on water systems. Openings in this area are limited, but volunteers with a strong grounding in biology and an interest in environmental conservation are welcome to contact us to explore possibilities.

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