Internship Information

Each semester, the faculty, staff, and students of the Georgia Museum of Natural History welcome undergraduates as Natural History Interns to enjoy a hands-on course with the Museum. Interns receive supervised experiential learning working directly with the faculty, staff, and other students curating one of the natural history collections affiliated with the Georgia Museum of Natural History or with education and outreach programs.

The course objective is for Interns to learn about museums of natural history and natural history collections by working closely with collection staff collecting, accessioning, preparing, cataloging, and curating natural history collections or with education staff interpretating natural history to the public. Students will practice techniques and methods for curating materials in one or more collections under the direction of collection personnel. Routine curatorial practices such as identification and preparation of specimens and data management will be part of the Internship. In addition, Interns may participate in tours, outreach presentations at area schools, special events, preparation of displays, and occasional weekend field trips.

The Internship is a non-traditional format course offered for 3 semester credit hours every semester, including the summer through session. Students are expected to maintain a weekly work schedule consisting of 7 hours per week during normal University hours (no evenings or weekends) and to submit a brief paper at the end of the semester. During the summer semester, Interns must work 14 hours per week. The total number of hours for each grading period is 105 hours. The schedule is arranged at the convenience of the Intern and collection personnel.

Collections available for Internships are: Archaeology, Arthropods, Botany, Economic Geology, Herpetology, Ichthyology, Invertebrates, Mammalogy, Mineralogy, Mycology, Ornithology, and Zooarchaeology. Internships are also available in Educational Outreach. Students interested in Scientific Illustration should contact Dr. Reitz. A list of Museum Adjuncts eligible to supervise an Intern is provided at the bottom of this site.

The Internship grade is based on Attendance, Accuracy, Attitude, and a brief paper due on the last day of class. The Museum faculty, staff, and students are professionals and we will be treating you as one of us. In turn, you will be expected to conduct yourself professionally. Your evaluation will be based on your ability to do this. These four criteria reflect the professional nature of the contribution the Intern is expected to make to the Museum. Each of these criteria will be evaluated equally and each one constitutes 25% of your grade. By the nature of the course, the evaluation will be subjective. The course may be repeated at the Museum's discretion based on our evaluation of your performance in these four areas.

The first step to become an Intern is to request an interview with a member of the faculty or staff associated with the natural history collection with which you would like to work, or a member of the education staff if you prefer to work in the Museum's outreach program. You are expected to make an appointment with collection personnel for this interview, during which you should be prepared to discuss your interest in the Internship. Although appointments may be made over the phone or via email, acceptance as an Intern requires a personal interview.

Students interested in an Internship should arrange for an interview with the faculty/staff of the collection in which they are interested EARLY in the registration process. Most collections limit the number of Interns they accept each semester and some semesters a specific collection will not be able to accept an Intern.

Students approved by collection personnel for the Internship will enroll under the prefix associated with the collection in which they will be interning. Once you are accepted as an Intern, collection personnel will arrange to have the POD cleared or may ask you to contact the Intern coordinator, Elizabeth Reitz, for clearance.

There is a meeting of all Interns at the beginning of each semester, usually during the first week of the new semester. This meeting will be at 5:00 in Room 8 of the Natural History Building. All Interns must attend this meeting. The exact date of this meeting varies from semester to semester and you should check with your supervisor before classes begin in order to know when the meeting is scheduled.

The Natural History Internship is not normally available for enrollment during the drop/add period. There is no graduate section. No financial stipend is available. The Internship is not available for Maymester or Summer short sessions. Students must be enrolled through the University of Georgia.

If you have further questions, please contact Dr. Suzanne E. Pilaar Birch (, 706-542-4171) or one of the collections listed below.

Eligible Supervisors

Dr. Jennifer Birch

Dr. Suzanne Birch

Dr. Steve Kowalewski

Amanda Thompson

Dr. Victor Thompson

Dr. Mark Williams


Dr. Laurie Reitsema


Dr. Rick Hoebeke

Dr. Joe McHugh


Dr. Doug Crowe

Dr. Paul Schroeder

Dr. Sally Walker


Dr. Richard Hanlin

Plant Biology

Steven Hughes

Dr. W. B. Zomlefer


Dr. B. J. Freeman

Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians

Nikki Castleberry


Dr. Elizabeth Reitz

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