Norris Center Internships

Norris Center Internships Available Now

All internships are available for 2 units (6 hours per week) or 5 units (12 hours per week). If you're interested in an internship, email and/or with which internship you are interested in, why, and a screenshot of your class schedule for the quarter. 

Internships for COVID Times (Fall 2020)

1) Senior internships and senior theses. Got a research idea that you want to try out? Got a favorite organism that you want to learn more about? Contact us to set up a two-quarter-long (5 units each quarter) project.

2) Updating the Santa Cruz Mountains Bioregional Council list of sensitive species. Synchronous meetings Mondays from 10:30 - 11:30AM. Interns will help research insect, bird and/or mammal species of Santa Cruz County that may need additional conservation protection. Interns will speak with local experts, and conduct an extensive literature search, in addition to learning the website skills necessary to put this information online.

3) Summarizing the racist and anti-racist past of natural history collections. Synchronous meetings on Thursdays from 1:20-3:20PM. Interns will work with Norris Center staff to summarize the history of natural history collections across the world, focusing specifically in ways that collections and collectors undertook racist/colonialist/imperialist, and/or anti-racist/anti-colonialist/anti-imperialist actions. The final product will be a document that the Norris Center can use to highlight anti-racist heroes, and learn from the mistakes of the past to become a more diverse, inclusive and equitable space for all.

4) Georeferencing natural history collections. Synchronous meetings on Thursdays from 10AM to 1PM. Natural history collections all over the world, including the Norris Center, need your help georeferencing specimens.  You will go on voyages to far off lands, using your knowledge, Google Maps and specialized software to assign latitudes, longitudes and error circles to descriptions of locations where specimens were found. It's fun work, and it greatly increases the value of specimens. 


Internships for Non-COVID Times (TBD)

lots of halticid bees

1) Randy Morgan Insect Collection Internship: Interns will work to digitize Randy Morgan's prolific insect collection. Interns will help photograph insect specimens, add collected insects to online databases, and troubleshoot problematic insect collections. Skills gained will include museum collection curation, online databasing, data entry, and insect identification.

2) Bird Taxidermy Internship: Interns will work to turn dead, salvaged birds into scientific museum study skins. Following detailed taxidermy instructions, students will skin and prepare birds to be used by researchers and classes at the Norris Center. Skills gained will include bird identification, bird morphology, museum collection curation and taxidermy.

two students hold a snake3) UC Natural Reserve Resurvey Project: Interns will help with an ongoing resurvey at Fort Ord Natural Reserve. The purpose of the resurvey project is to document, with vouchered museum specimens, every single species that currently occurs on the reserves -- from bryophytes to birds!  In Interns will begin conducting field work to capture, create specimens of, and accession to the museum, every species found at Fort Ord, including a mandatory camping trip. Students can choose one of the following taxon groups to join: mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, insects, fungi, bryophytes and lichens, plants or non-insect invertebrates. Skills gained include helping field surveys, general field work, species identification, natural history, museum curation, and museum accessioning. No previous experience with the taxon group is necessary -- just the strong desire to learn! See here for another summary and current results. 

4) Collections Management Internship: Interns will help keep the Norris Center collections working smoothly. Projects include pest management, organizing specimens, databasing specimens, digitizing specimen collections, and working to inventory existing specimens. Skills gained include strong museum curation skills, taxonomic knowledge of any group of organisms, and online databasing.

calachortus luteus5) Norris Center Herbarium Internship: Interns will help accession and digitize plant specimens from around the Central Coast of California. In addition to helping press, mount and label regional speciemens (including new species!), students will help scan images and score phenology for an ongoing plant phenology project at the Norris Center. Skills gained include plant taxonomy, herbarium organization and curation, plant morphology and online databasing.