Michelle Koo, Staff Curator

These apprenticeships are part of a campus-wide project in 2020 commemorating the 150th anniversary of the passage of a resolution by the Board of Regents enabling the admission of women to the University of California. Undergraduate research apprentices will explore the 150-year history of women at Cal through a particular lens agreed upon with their faculty instructor. At the semester’s end, the students’ research may be presented at poster sessions and may be featured on a website published by the University.

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

Applications for fall 2021 are now closed for this project.

The world's natural history museums are responsible for documenting over 1.8 billion 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 Berkeley campus, is no exception, holding over 800,000 amphibians, reptiles, fish, mammals and birds from around the world.

Informatics apprentices will learn about museum 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 georeferencing of specimens and archival images, writing and implementing SQL in the collection management system, beta-testing new implementation of database portals or other programs, acquiring and processing GIS layers, creating GIS layers, and preparing material 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 curatorial assistant positions in the museum.

This year we will have the option to work remotely or in the museum lab, and need 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 qualifications: willingness to devote time to learn new skills, facility with computer programs, love of technical puzzles and learning how to solve them; attention to detail is a must. We seek applicants strongly interested in one of the following: vertebrate natural history, information design and visualization, biodiversity informatics, history of science, or related fields. Biology major not required. Excitement in learning new technology and making data accessible a must. Specific familiarity with the following software tools are needed: GIS (ArcGIS or Quantum GIS), database management system, and/or web design (e.g., the Adobe Creative Suite). Familiarity with or willingness to learn some programming or scripting languages such as R, ColdFusion, SQL, Python, HTML, CSS, etc. Students must be able to work independently and in close coordination with curatorial staff and other students.

Weekly Hours: 6-8 hrs

Related website: https://mvz.berkeley.edu
Related website: https://bnhm.berkeley.edu

Closed (2) Communication and Outreach apprenticeship

Closed. This professor is continuing with Spring 2021 apprentices on this project; no new apprentices needed for Fall 2021.

The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (MVZ) is a vibrant research and informatics center for the campus and the natural history communities around the world. If you enjoy sharing natural history news and research as well as connecting people in our community and the public, this is the apprenticeship for you! We seek an apprentice to help manage the MVZ's social media (e.g., website, Facebook, Twitter, etc). The successful apprentice will learn about the research and informatics activities of the museum and its faculty labs and graduate students (https://mvz.berkeley.edu/) including the AmphibiaWeb project (https://amphibiaweb.org), 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.

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 over 740,000 amphibians, reptiles, fish, 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 the MVZ
--use social media tools (above and others) to promote MVZ for CalDay
--helping curatorial assistants brainstorm, write and edit blog posts
--help with virtual CalDay exhibits
--assist the appropriate staff in these activities

The apprentice will learn about the myriad of research and outreach activities of the MVZ. 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.

This project can be done remotely., Staff Researcher

Qualifications: Requirements include: familiar and comfortable using online social media such as Twitter, Facebook, 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 and with graphic tools, e.g., Adobe Creative Suite. Preference for WordPress website experience. 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: 6-8 hrs

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

Closed (3) Archives Apprentice at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology

Applications for fall 2021 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. The world's natural history museums are responsible for documenting over 1.8 billion 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 over 800,000 vertebrates and their archives from around the globe.

The MVZ Archives Apprentice will aid in the care, research, and management of the MVZ Archives. This position does not require a biology background and we welcome any student with interests in history, sociology, curation, field work, and of course, natural history.

This year we seek an apprentice for two areas of tasks: 1) to continue with our original research commemorating 150 Years of Women on campus, specifically the women who have shaped the natural history museums on campus. Our project was highlighted on the Berkeley campus’s year-long commemoration of 150 Years of Women (https://150w.berkeley.edu/home) and on our website (https://mvz.berkeley.edu/150women/). We seek creative students to help research and develop material for the new biographies of women in the natural sciences.

Second, with the return to campus, we have many in-person tasks, such as new accessions, improvements to the collection rooms, and file management. The successful candidate's duties will grow in responsibility as apprentices learn Archival procedures and protocols. During this apprenticeship, the student will learn how archives fit into the data-driven tasks of a natural history museum. Examples of tasks may include: responding to external research requests for primary source material (e.g., field notebooks, original photos), researching and organizing historic images for digital displays and CalDay exhibits, organizing and digitizing field notes and correspondence for access, re-housing historic images in need of conservation and other assigned tasks.

By the end of the semester, the apprentice will be expected to write a short blog post on an aspect of the MVZ Archives that interests them. (See past student submissions here: https://mvzarchives.berkeley.edu/category/uraps/)


Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Carlie Magill, Staff Researcher

Qualifications: Attention to detail is a requirement, especially necessary for the care and handling of irreplaceable data and objects. Familiarity with web-based tools such as Google Drive, Box.com, etc; facility with graphic tools, e.g., Adobe Creative Suite required. Good communication skills (verbal and written) are necessary.

Weekly Hours: 6-8 hrs

Related website: https://mvz.berkeley.edu/mvzarchives/
Related website: https://mvzarchives.berkeley.edu/