Students

Museum student Ghennya Shain posing with her live mounts (ca. 2022).

Museum student Ghennya Shain posing with her live mounts (ca. 2022).

Zalophus californianus (California sea lion) skeleton mount by museum student Itsi Trejo (ca. 2022).

Zalophus californianus (California sea lion) skeleton mount by museum student Itsi Trejo (ca. 2022).

Student Jessica Hernandez preparing a long-tailed weasel skin.

Jessica Hernandez preparing a long-tailed weasel skin.

Students working on preparing mammalian specimens.

Students working on preparing mammalian specimens.

Student Brandon Zelaya skinning a gopher snake.

Brandon Zelaya skinning a gopher snake.

Thomomys bottae (Botta's Pocket Gopher) skeleton mount by Nathan O Johle.

Thomomys bottae (Botta's Pocket Gopher) skeleton mount by Nathan O Johle.

Museum student Tegan Alberts curating weasels and skunks. 

The Prep Lab

The Vertebrate Museum facilities include a preparatory space (The Prep Lab) as well as a dermestid beetle (Dermestes maculatus) colony. There are a number ways to be involved with the museum! Students interested in museum sciences have the opportunity to learn how to prepare museum specimens (skin, stuff, and/or prepare skeletons), curate collections, and/or learn database managementLimited volunteer opportunities exist in the VM collection, and are dependent on availability and interest of the applicant. Interested students should submit a volunteer form and email Dr. Jesyka Meléndez, the Collections Manager at  jm1032@humboldt.edu.

 

 

Museum Studies (BIOL 499)

Students interested in museum-based sciences have the opportunity to enroll in BIOL 499 units and pursue independent research projects. Projects pursued within the museum make use of research collections and the various on-campus facilities. There is limited availability for mentoring within the museum, but interested students should contact the collections manager and curator. Some current student research projects are highlighted below. 

Student Spotlight

Aviva Saadatfar is excited to be a part of a community that addresses conservation in a meaningful way. She loves learning about all kinds of plants and animals in her classes and enjoys field work as well. Her favorite outdoor activities are hiking and birdwatching, and she absolutely loves filling her home with houseplants. She also cherishes the time she gets to spend with friends and family. Her favorite bird is the green-winged teal - because they are so cute and funny. Her favorite type of flower is an orchid - she loves how beautiful and diverse they are! 

BIOL 499 Project: "Mechanisms of echocation in the shrew". Aviva uses CT scans of museum specimens to study the hyoid-tympanic anatomy of various shrew genera and its relation to echolocation.

Student Spotlight

Tegan Alberts is a wildlife major interested in studying museum practices and reproductive biology. In his free time, he enjoys embroidering, playing Dungeons & Dragons, painting, and collecting South African succulents. His favorite animals are sea otters and thylacines. 

BIOL 499 Project: "Investigating genitalia interactions in sexually antagonistic Southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) and North American river otters (Lontra canadensis)". Tegan will be using CT scans of mustelid genitals to examine morphological fit.

Student Spotlight

Ghennya Shain, a biochemistry major, has been our intrepid taxidermy live mounter. She braved the live mounting of both a skunk (you might have smelled it around SciC!) and 'Jeb' the gray fox (pictured here). Beyond her interest in the fringe, Ghennya is a talented chemist and, as part of her undergraduate research project, tested  mammlian hair samples from our museum for the presence of 2,4-D Amine Weed Killer.