Michelle Koo, Staff Curator

Closed (1) Biodiversity Informatics and GIS Apprenticeship at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology

Applications for Fall 2017 are now closed for this project.

The world's natural history museums are responsible for documenting over 1.8 million species known as a result of 300 years of biological exploration of the planet. The information contained in museums include observational and specimen-based data, text, images, sound and video and form the foundation of what we know about life on earth. The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (MVZ) on the University of California at Berkeley campus, is no exception, holding almost 700,000 amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds from around the globe.

Informatics apprentices will learn about museum and archival practices, global metadata standards and conventions, biogeography, spatial analysis, scientific visualization, and citizen science, in short, the cutting edge of biodiversity informatics. Students work on various informatics activities in the MVZ, depending on their experience and interest, and will directly interact with museum curators, staff researchers, scientists, programmers and staff. They will experience behind-the-scenes of an active research museum and contribute to our success.


Specific tasks are dependent on current research and curatorial needs, and may include writing and implementing SQL in the collection management system, beta-testing new implementation of database portals or other programs, georeferencing of specimens and archival images, acquiring and processing GIS layers, creating or updating software tools for ArcGIS, QGIS, and for websites. We train in all aspects and as required. Students from this program may have the opportunity to be hired for paid research or project assistant positions in the museum.

This year, we have specific need for students with GIS experience to help digitize species data and range maps. The successful candidate will be familiar with ArcGIS or Quantum GIS and GIS concepts and formats. The apprentice will be expected to attend weekly or bimonthly lab meetings.

Qualifications: The following are required: the willingness to devote time to learn these skills, facility with computer programs and scripting languages, love of technical puzzles and learning how to solve them; attention to detail is a must. We seek applicants strongly interested in vertebrate natural history, information design, biodiversity informatics, history of science, or related fields. Biology major not required. Excitement in learning new technology a must. <li>Facility with software tools, especially GIS (e.g., ArcGIS 10.x), database management system, and/or web, e.g., the Adobe Creative Suite. <li>Familiarity with or willingness to learn some programming or scripting languages such as R, ColdFusion, SQL, Python, HTML, CSS, etc. <li>Students must be able to work independently and in close coordination with curatorial staff and other students.

Weekly Hours: 6-9 hrs

Related website: http://mvz.berkeley.edu

Closed (2) Communication/ Outreach apprenticeship

Applications for Fall 2017 are now closed for this project.

The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (MVZ) is a vibrant research and informatics center for the campus and the natural history communities around the world. We are launching a new apprenticeship aiming to harness the myriad of social media technologies to better communicate our research activities amongst our partners, colleagues and other networks as well as connect with new researchers and members of the public. The successful apprentice will learn about the research and informatics activities of the museum and its faculty labs and graduate students (http://mvz.berkeley.edu/) specifically focusing on the AmphibiaWeb project (http://amphibiaweb.org) and the MVZ Archives (http://mvz.berkeley.edu/archives_index.php), and share breaking news, facilitate online discussions and promote our missions.

This is an unique opportunity to help shape the public ‘face’ of these projects and the MVZ in general while learning about science and research, and interacting with people ‘behind the scenes’ of a premier research facility. The candidate will work closely with the staff curators, especially in the MVZ Archives and AmphibiaWeb projects in this first year of the apprenticeship.

More on the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology:
The world's natural history museums are responsible for documenting over 1.8 million species known as a result of 300 years of biological exploration of the planet. The information contained in museums include observational and specimen-based data, text, images, sound and video and form the foundation of what we know about life on earth. The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (MVZ) on the University of California at Berkeley campus, is no exception, holding almost 700,000 amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds from around the globe.


Specific duties may include:
--writing, posting and monitoring FaceBook pages of MVZ, AmphibiaWeb, MVZ Archives
--writing, posting and monitoring Twitter accounts of AmphibiaWeb
--use social media tools (above and others) to promote MVZ and AmphibiaWeb for CalDay
--helping curatorial assistants brainstorm, write and edit blog posts
--assist the appropriate staff in these activities

The apprentice will learn about the myriad of research and outreach activities of the MVZ and its projects such as the Archives and AmphibiaWeb. Depending on interest, apprentices may 'specialize' in promoting and communicating a specific project's activities and goals with a broad audience of fellow students, other researchers and the public globally. Initially, the apprentice will be exposed to a broad scope of MVZ work.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Christina Fidler, Staff Researcher

Qualifications: Requirements include: regular user of or comfortable with online social media technologies such as Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, etc; excellent writer (be prepared to highlight some of your writings) and love of communicating with others about science and nature. Facility with web-based tools such as Google Drive; facility with graphic tools, eg. Adobe Creative Suite. We seek candidates who are interested in outreach and communication with the public and enjoys talking with scientists and students. Biology major not required. A background in science is helpful but not required; more important is a love and enthusiasm to learn and talk about the natural sciences.

Weekly Hours: 6-9 hrs

Related website: http://mvz.berkeley.edu
Related website: http://amphibiaweb.org

Closed (3) Archival Apprenticeship at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology

Closed. This professor is continuing with Spring 2017 apprentices on this project; no new apprentices needed for Fall 2017.

Archival apprenticeship has moved!

See here for current details on this apprenticeship:
http://research.berkeley.edu/urap/projects/detail.lasso?id_list=Mus0659

Weekly Hours: 6-9 hrs

Related website: http://mvzarchives.wordpress.com/
Related website: http://mvzarchives.wordpress.com/