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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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Projects
Mentors for students in the YES! Program may come from any of the following departments*:

National Museum of Natural History

  • Botany
    • – Interns will gain introductory skills in examining botanic objects in the museum collection. The intern will learn the basics of natural history research, museum exhibit collections, sample preservation, analysis, and organization and identification of specimens. The intern will learn the methods of archival storage in the botany department and how the present collections are being adapted.
      Website: http://botany.si.edu/
  • Cultural Anthropology
    • – Anthropology is the study of human beings and societies in the past and present. The research conducted by the Department of Anthropology staff covers a wide range of topics and areas of the world. Some of the research topics include human-environmental interactions, population migration, origins of domestication, and linguistics. The intern will learn the basics of anthropological research, how museum collections are catalogued, conserved and studied. Website: http://anthropology.si.edu/index.html
  • Entomology
    • – With over 35 million specimens housed in more than 132,354 drawers, 33,000 jars or vitals, and 23,000 slides in more than 5,200 cabinets, the National Insect Collection is one of the largest entomological collections in the world. Interns will learn the basics of natural history research, specimen identification, pinning and labeling, and live collection management.
      Website: http://entomology.si.edu/
  • Insect Zoo & Butterfly Pavilion
    • - This hands-on project will give the student the unique opportunity to support the Insect Zoo & Butterfly Pavilion staff in many aspects of the exhibit’s daily operations. The intern will assist with plant care and animal husbandry in the lab and exhibit, interact with museum visitors, maintain clean conditions in the exhibits and lab and work with staff to ensure butterfly containment.
      Website: http://www.mnh.si.edu/education/exhibitions/insectzoo.html
  • Invertebrate Zoology
    • – In this department, scientific research is conducted by research biologists, curators, and specialists on specimens in our collections and performed in the Museum's laboratories and collections facilities. The intern will learn the basics of natural history research, museum collections, and gain introductory skills in examining invertebrate specimens.
      Website: http://invertebrates.si.edu/
  • Mineral Science
    • - Staff in our Mineral Sciences department study the origin and evolution of the Earth and Solar System, Earth processes and their products, and the effects of geologic and meteoritic phenomena on Earth's atmosphere and biosphere. The department has in their care the premier research collections of minerals, meteorites, rocks, ores, and volcano data/images. Interns will learn the basics of scientific research in a natural history museum, museum collections, and gain introductory skills in examining minerals.
      Website: http://mineralsciences.si.edu/
  • Paleobiology
    • – The department’s mission is to increase public and scientific understanding of the biological and environmental history of Earth through the study of fossil animals, plants, and protists. In addition to performing scientific research, the department assembles and curates fossil collections that are studied by scientists from around the country and the world. The interns will learn the basics in fossil collection management: identification, labeling, and preserving specimens.
      Website: http://paleobiology.si.edu/
  • Vertebrate Zoology
    • – This department houses a world-class collection of preserved specimens ranging from mammals to birds. Divisional collection management staff preserves, conserve, and document specimens to ensure their accessibility to present and future research activities. Interns will learn the basics of natural history research and collection management including: assisting with specimen organization, identification, cataloging, updating and labeling of specimens. Project topics: Mammals or Birds
      Website: http://vertebrates.si.edu/

National Zoological Park

Disclaimer: Students must be at least 16 years of age in order to be considered for an internship at the National Zoo

  • Amazonia/Animal Hospital
    • – The intern will have the opportunity to be in a tropical rainforest environment without leaving D.C. Interns will get a unique experience working with many species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and bird species. The intern will get hands on experience with cleaning, food preparation, and opportunities for public education. In addition, the intern will have the opportunity to gain experience shadowing at the Zoo’s Animal Hospital. Interns will observe veterinarian procedures of Zoo animals including annual check-ups.
      Website: http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/Amazonia/Exhibit/
  • American Trails
    • – A recently renovated space, you experience the wander through landscaped trails and discover unparalleled opportunities to come face-to-face with California sea lions, watch playful beavers and otters, admire the classic beauty of eagles and wolves. The intern will get hands on experience with cleaning; food preparation; some basic animal training techniques; and opportunities for public education.
      Website: http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/AmericanTrail/
  • Asia Trail
    • - One of the newest areas built at the Zoo back in 2006, Asia Trial will give the intern a broad spectrum of Asian species to work with. The intern will get hands on experience with cleaning; food preparation; some basic animal training techniques; and opportunities for public education. The intern will also have the opportunity to learn about research data collection and behavior research topics.
      Website: http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/AsiaTrail/
    • Bird House
      • - The widest varieties of birds at the zoo live indoors at the Bird House where a series of smaller exhibits encircle a large indoor jungle complete with free-flying tropical birds. The intern will get hands on experience with cleaning, food preparation, and opportunities for public education.
        Website: http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/Birds/Exhibit/bird_house.cfm
    • Lions & Tigers
      • - At the National Zoo's lions and tigers brings up close and personal in a fun and exciting learning adventure. The intern will get hands on experience with cleaning, food preparation, and opportunities for public education. The intern will gain enrichment through preparation and behavior watches as well as learning about the maintenance of the animals and its daily operations.
        Website: http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/GreatCats/
    • Reptiles
      • - At the Zoo’s Reptile Discovery Center, you can experience the wonder and excitement of the reptilian and amphibian world. The intern will learn about these fascinating animals and develop a greater understanding of these unique and important species. The intern will assist Animal Keepers with daily cleaning feeding with the possibility of hands on experience working with some of the animals at RDC.

        Website: http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/ReptilesAmphibians/Exhibit/default.cfmhttp://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/ReptilesAmphibians/Exhibit/default.cfm

    • Small Mammals
      • – In the Small Mammal House, you can gaze at the sprightly grace of the golden lion tamarin, the uncanny armor of the three-banded armadillo, and the fascinating quills of the prehensile-tailed porcupine. Naked mole-rats are a favorite, and tree shrews are often on the go. The intern will get hands on experience with cleaning; food preparation; public speaking opportunities during scheduled animal demonstrations.

        Website: http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/SmallMammals/smhouse.cfm

    Smithsonian Gardens

  • The Smithsonian Gardens provides an exceptionally well-rounded array of experiences while transforming its gardens into an interactive and engaging learning environment. Internships include regular horticulture maintenance duties such as planting, watering, weeding, pruning and record-keeping, analyzing ecosystems and public programming. Interns will learn about wildlife interactions with the plants in the gardens and learn how to enter data into a web based citizen scientist program.
    Website: http://www.gardens.si.edu/

 

National Air and Space Museum

  • Interns will gain introductory skills in physics, geology, or space science. Interns will learn under the guidance of research scientist and educators working in the Center for Planetary and Earth Studies (CEPS) which performs original research and outreach activities on topics covering planetary science, terrestrial geophysics, and the remote sensing of environmental change.
    Website: http://airandspace.si.edu/research/earth-and-planetary/

 

 

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