Visitors to our Annual Open House – by the way, the next Open House is coming up soon on Saturday April 22, 2017 – often wonder what everyday life in our museum collections looks like. During the Open House we showcase specimens in fabulous displays but how do we accession and maintain specimens throughout the year? To find out I took a walk through our building on a weekday morning and stopped by each collection to get a snapshot of our students’ and staff’ workdays. Watch the short videos below to get some behind the scenes insights and see how important the help of OSU undergraduate students is for our collections.
In the Borror Laboratory of Bioacoustics Evolution and Ecology major Morgan VanDeCarr digitizes recordings of House Finches Haemorhous mexicanus. The song of these birds was recorded onto a reel-to-reel tape by researcher Erik Bitterbaum at Occidental College in 1976.
In the Triplehorn insect collection Art major Katherine Beigel takes images of tiny insect specimens under a microscope and stacks them into one composite image using special software. Here she shows us a Coleoptera, beetle specimen.
In the Acarology collection Dr. Hans Klompen, Professor in the OSU department of Evolution, Ecology & Organismal Biology, talks to a student. The tick and mite specimens are neatly shelved and ready for the next Acarology Summer Program (June 19 – July 7).
In the Tetrapods collection Evolution and Ecology major Chelsea Hothem updates location information in the computer database. To get accurate data she often goes back to the specimens and reads information on the tags.
We will look behind the scenes in the herbarium, the mollusc and the fish collection on Friday!
About the Author: Angelika Nelson is curator of the Borror Laboratory of Bioacoustics and the museum’s social media and outreach manager.
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