Riley O'Rourke '20

Entomology Collections Assistant at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science 

Riley O'RourkeThis summer, I was fortunate to be an entomology collections assistant in the Zoology Lab at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (DMNS). I had previously been a teen volunteer in the children's workshops at DMNS, and since I am interested in museum sciences, I have been scouring the museum website for positions in collections. As an entomology collections assistant, I have been pinning beetles every week for roughly 4-5 hours. I never realized how many different ways you could pin a beetle as well as how museums across the country try to standardize them for researchers. I am working under the collections manager/curator and am starting to understand more about him and his position at the museum. By doing job shadows, volunteer work, and now my museum internship, I have figured out that the museum is where I want to be.

My advice for other students is to keep applying for positions, get your name out there, and to not give up. I had applied for ten different jobs at DMNS until I got an interview for my current internship. I hope to find more internships like this one while I’m still at UP. After graduation, I hope to go to Washington, D.C. to get my master’s degree in museum sciences.