Mar. 10, 2011

Spotlight: Student opportunities — Senior gets personal view of Museum of Natural History

Dunn looks at a display at the museum

Geneseo senior Bridget Dunn interned during winter break at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. /PHOTO BY DAVID PRICE, NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY



A senior anthropology major earned a first-hand view of the behind-the-scenes workings at one of the world's most celebrated museums.

Bridget Dunn '12 spent three weeks between semesters interning at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. The museum is one of 19 museums administered by the Smithsonian Institution and the most visited. More than 7.4 million people visited in 2009.

Dunn's responsibilities included updating documents in the invertebrate zoology department and getting a close-up view of the mummy vault. The museum contains more than 126 million specimens of plants, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks and human cultural artifacts.

"The most interesting aspect of working there was discovering the great amount of activity and coordination involved in preparing the numerous displays," said Dunn. "The staff and scientists were all very friendly and supportive and encouraged my input. The experience helped me clarify how I want to be involved in the museum field. It was a tremendous networking opportunity."

Dunn is interested in cultural resource management, the practice of managing cultural resources such as the arts and heritage. She is considering graduate programs in either museum studies or archeology.