Today is Lauralee Thompson’s one year anniversary as a volunteer in the Triplehorn Insect Collection. It all started on September 2, 2015. Lauralee sent me an email message inquiring about volunteer opportunities. She had seen an article on the Columbus Dispatch about our efforts to catalog our specimens and wanted to know if she could help us deal with our backlog. The next day she came to visit and the next Monday, Sept. 8, she was starting as a volunteer.
Since then Lauralee has come in three times a week and worked on various curatorial projects, from transferring specimens to newer, safer storage units, to inventorying a donation of fossil specimens (with Jan Nishimura, another of our volunteers), to moving all the Aphididae slide collection to safer, temporary storage boxes, to cataloguing all the species names for some beetle families in the collection. She also cleaned a lot of insect drawers and cabinets, helped with the move of the Parshall butterfly collection, and volunteered to help during the Museum Open House back in April.
For the past few months Lauralee has been knee-deep in our old loan records, going back to 1950s! She’s digitizing and organizing those records and finding some very interesting information about the history of the collection in the process. Her experience as a sociologist is proving to be very advantageous in the understanding of all the ins and outs of collection loan practices in the olden days.
Besides the top-notch quality of the work that Lauralee is doing for the collection, and her willingness to help with whatever needs to be done, she’s a great lab mate. Yesterday Lauralee brought a big plate of cookies to share with the staff and students of the collection in celebration of her 1 year anniversary with us. Today it’s our turn to say “Thanks, Lauralee! Happy Anniversary! May this be the first of many!”
About the Author: Dr. Luciana Musetti is and Entomologist and currently the Curator of the Triplehorn Insect Collection.