Lynx on display at the Royal BC Museum in Victoria, B.C.

Sorry for the late post! I was having technical issues yesterday. What does my ideal museum job look like? I am very interested in various different departments and subunits of museums. I think the most interesting to me are the collections. Being interested in biology and the sciences, I really enjoy being around physical specimens. I also love organizing and taking care of things. I would be particularly interested in learning about different preservation techniques that conservators use to preserve/repair objects. I loved hearing about the work that Angela and Nicole do! I was totally onboard until Nicole started talking about all of the chemistry required to do her job (organic chemistry is currently doing a number on me). Another really rewarding job would be a job in education or science communication. I have found that not all scientists are adept at explaining their science in an approachable way to the general public. Sharing science with non-scientists has been one of the most fun things I’ve been able to do since beginning my degree and educating the public about important topics such as biodiversity loss, climate change, etc. is becoming so much more important as the world changes around us. I remember visiting science and technology museums as a child and finding it incredibly enriching to be able to learn things outside of a classroom.

 

I have really enjoyed my time working in the lab doing research, so that is high on my list as well. I’m currently planning on taking a year or two off from academia before applying to graduate programs, but once my graduate program is completed, I think I’d really enjoy participating in biological/ecological research in a museum again. I also have a good deal of experience doing field work, so being able to get outside and actively participate in building a collection would be so much fun. I especially enjoyed Dr. Rick Williams video (and his beard) this week. Hearing about his and Dr. Ickert-Bond’s work really makes me wish I had been able to take more botany classes during my undergraduate degree!

 

All of that being said, being in school the past few years, I have really enjoyed taking various classes in cultural studies. For example, last summer, I was able to take a class in Alaska Native Studies which was really great to learn about the rich cultural history of Alaska Natives. I think a job working in cultural resources would be very rewarding ensuring that certain pieces of history are being maintained and handled in an appropriate and respectful manner.

 

I really enjoyed learning about all of the different types of jobs in a museum this week. As you can tell, my interests are quite broad which I think is *why* I’m so interested in museums. It seems like a great opportunity to wear many different hats and continue learning new things as my career progresses. My question this week is: what are some remarkably cool exhibits that you all have seen in a museum?

2 Thoughts to “My Ideal Museum Job”

  1. Michael Hubert

    Tony,
    when I went to Iceland , I went to the PERLAN museum (https://perlan.is/?lang=en) this museum had a lot of interactive exhibits and a ice room exhibit that you could experience the cold of the winters in Iceland. some of the other interesting things were the melting of the glaciers exhibit that had glaciers from all over Iceland and the world and you could see how they were disappearing real time with real life photos taken very 3 months to give it a time lapse feel. one of the best ones that I visited. IF you like odd museums then another that I thought was interesting and weird was the ICELANDIC PHALLOLOGICAL MUSEUM
    (https://phallus.is/en/) very interesting place !

  2. Angela Linn

    “Informal science education” is one of the most important roles museums help fill in our communities and is often how the research conducted by curators gets translated into exhibits for the public. Museums always need people who can write well, between grant proposals, exhibit labels, social media posts, and newspaper features!

    One of my favorite museum exhibits is also a historical artifact in and of itself. I grew up in Iowa and at the University of Iowa’s Museum of Natural History is one of the last existing cycloramas (a diorama that goes all around you) – check it out! https://mnh.uiowa.edu/exhibits/laysan-island-cyclorama I loved this as a kid and visited a few years ago with my own son, who also entered it in awe. Talk about an immersive exhibit.

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