Peter Oboyski, Sr. Museum Scientist

Closed (1) Insects of the world photograph collection

Applications for Fall 2018 are now closed for this project.

Ed Ross traveled the world photographing insects and other arthropods, pioneering techniques in on-location 35mm photography. He died in 2016 at the age of 100, leaving behind an invaluable collection of images on 35mm slides. The Essig Museum recently inherited this collection and is preserving and digitizing the images to make them available for outreach, teaching, and research.

Students will be trained in methods of image digitization and archival techniques. All images will be keyworded by type of organism, location, and other relevant data to aid in finding and retrieving them in our archive. In this way students will travel the world with Dr. Ross seeing the odd and the beautiful just as he saw them.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Dr. Peter Oboyski

Qualifications: An interest in photography and/or archival science is desirable. An interest in insects and natural history is desirable, but not essential.

Weekly Hours: 6-8 hrs
Related website: http://www.twocatdigital.com/news/exciting-digitization-project-insects-and-plants-a-living-theater

Closed (2) Insect and spider survey of Sulawesi (Indonesia)

Applications for Fall 2018 are now closed for this project.

The Essig Museum is part of an ongoing large-scale collecting effort on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. We anticipate collecting vast quantities of bizarre and fascinating arthropods, many of which will be new to science. The two main goals of the project are to document the biological diversity of the island and understand how this biodiversity changes over different habitats and elevation. We are looking for URAP students to help sort, photograph, label, and prepare specimens for identification and documentation.

URAP students will sort specimens to Order (beetles, flies, moths, bees, etc.) and label and mount representatives of each morphospecies (ie. groups of unique looking specimens) on pins. Representatives of each morphospecies will be photographed and posted to the project website and social media.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Dr. Peter Oboyski

Qualifications: An interest in working with insects and spiders is required. Previous experience with sorting and preparing arthropod specimens is desirable but not essential. Previous experience with macrophotography is desirable but not essential.

Weekly Hours: 6-8 hrs

Related website: http://essig.berkeley.edu/
Related website: https://essig.berkeley.edu/sulawesi-expedition-2016/

Closed (3) Butterfly mapping

Applications for Fall 2018 are now closed for this project.

The Essig Museum is one of the largest university collections of terrestrial arthropods in the country and the largest collection of California insects anywhere. Our specimens are derived from both research projects at Cal as well as generous donations from private collectors. The Essig Museum recently received a donation of hundreds of specimens of California butterflies spanning over 50 years of collecting by two brothers. We are looking for URAP students to be responsible for organizing this new accession; capturing the label data and georeferencing the locality for each specimen in our online, open-access database; and take high quality images of representative specimens. Students will also have the opportunity to see behind the scenes of a natural history museum.

URAP students will handle pinned specimens of butterflies and moths, learn how to use several types of imaging systems, learn data entry procedures for the Essig database, and learn georeferencing best practices to allow collecting locations to be displayed on interactive maps.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Dr. Peter Oboyski

Qualifications: Previous experience working with pinned insects is desirable but not essential. A basic understanding of computer software (eg. spreadsheets, web navigation, etc.) is required.

Weekly Hours: 6-8 hrs

Related website: http://essig.berkeley.edu/
Related website: http://essigdb.berkeley.edu/

Closed (4) Walkingstick insect colony wranglers

Applications for Fall 2018 are now closed for this project.

The Essig Museum maintains colonies of several walking stick species. These species were part of a previous research project on the origins and mechanics of flight and are being maintained for future research and outreach events. Some of the colonies are species not native to North America and so require special attention to prevent accidental release.

The URAP student, under the direction of the supervisor, will maintain the walking stick colonies, which includes: harvesting blackberry branches to feed to the insects, removing old branches, managing eggs and newly hatched insects, and maintaining a proper rearing environment. Students will also collect data on stick insect behavior.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Dr. Peter Oboyski

Qualifications: An interest in maintaining a live colony of bizarre and interesting insects is required. Previous experience is desirable but not essential.

Weekly Hours: 3-5 hrs