For six years, the University of Alberta Museums has been able to offer a fully-funded summer internship program via the Friends of the University of Alberta Museums. This last summer, two U of A students were able to complete their internship with Museums and Collections Services (MACS). Alexandra Rocca, interested in paleontology, and Brittany Wingert, passionate about entomology, spent four months of their summer with the U of A Museums.
“I have always appreciated the value of museums,” said Rocca. “They take learning beyond the classroom or a textbook and provide hands-on and visual information to make a subject come to life. But what many people may not realize is how many intricate parts are involved in making a museum function.”
During their time with MACS, both Rocca and Wingert were able to get hands on experience in many aspects of museum life including curation, research, collections management, exhibits, communications and education.
“The most exciting projects for me were those in collections management,” said Wingert. “This included inventory, sorting, and organizing the fossil collection in the Strickland Museum; inventorying and rehousing the type specimens in the Paleobotanical Collection; and photographing the teaching specimens from the Bryan Gruhn Archaeology Collection.”
Students in the Museum Innovation internship will be exposed to a variety of different roles that exist in museum careers. In addition to the projects mentioned by Wingert, some other projects completed this past summer include:
• Participating in a local paleontology dig,
• Conservation practices in the Museum of Zoology,
• Working with database software programs,
• Helping to install, promote and tear down exhibitions at the U of A Museums Galleries at Enterprise Square.
Those interested in having an experience with MACS like Rocca and Wingert are encouraged to read more and find out how to apply here
*Photo - Rocca (right) and Wingert (left) assisting in the installation of Found Flock, a local artist installation that was at the U of A Museums Galleries at Enterprise Square.