Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Week 1: Introducing the 2015 Intern Team

On Monday, June 22, the final group of paleontology interns arrived at the AMNH to help with the ongoing microfossil conservation and imaging project started in 2013. For our first week, we’ll be introducing ourselves as you’ll be hearing more about us in future blog entries.

Left to right: Claudia, Lindsay, Morgan (front), Brittney, and Sam will be helping complete the microfossil conservation and imaging project started in 2013. They hope the diversity of their past experiences will help them meet this challenge under the guidance of Bushra Hussaini, Senior Scientific Assistant in the Division of Paleontology.

Morgan Black is a current undergraduate student enrolled in a B.S. Geology degree program at Morehead State University. She has an emphasis in biogeosciences and is currently a palynology research fellow under Dr. Jennifer O'Keefe. Morgan is currently researching a set of fluvial/lacustrine deposits in eastern Kentucky and plans to present preliminary paleoecological data at the annual GSA meeting in Baltimore this fall. She was the only winner in the United States of the American Association of Stratigraphic Palynologists undergraduate award in the 2014-2015 academic year. She is very excited to be here at AMNH gaining more experience in the field of micropaleontology, along with databasing and computed tomography, and hopes to bring back much of what she learns here in the museum to her university.

Claudia Deeg, like the other interns, is not a New York City native, but is originally from Philadelphia. She is an upcoming junior at Smith College where she is working toward her undergraduate degree in biology with a minor in geology. At Smith, Claudia has been studying foraminifera spanning the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event under Dr. Sara Pruss. This is her first time working in a museum and Claudia is particularly looking forward to learning more about the technology used to image microfossils.

Sam Martin is a returning intern from 2013. Since then, he has graduated from Southern Illinois University with a honors B.S. Geology degree. He is now going into his second year of graduate school at East Carolina University where he is pursuing a master’s degree in Geological Sciences. His research as a graduate student continues to focus on foraminifera. His working thesis, entitled Distribution and taxonomy of modern benthic foraminifera of the Sunda Shelf (South China Sea) off peninsular Malaysia will, for the first time, document the foraminiferal assemblages and diversity present in the shallow waters of the western South China Sea. He is excited to take a break from his own thesis and help finish the microfossil conservation and imaging project he helped start two summers ago.

Brittney Oleniacz is a current master's student at the University of Kansas in Museum Studies with an emphasis in natural history. Her thesis focuses on the public understanding of natural history museums and the research they produce. During the academic year, she is employed by the KU Biodiversity Institute on a digitization project in the invertebrate paleontology collection. She is interested in understanding microfossil taxonomy, an unfamiliar group to her, and gaining more experience in digitizing museum collections, making them accessible worldwide.

Lindsay Walker is a recent graduate of the Museum and Field Studies M.S. program at the University of Colorado-Boulder. She worked with microfossils and fossil insects for her undergraduate and master’s theses, respectively, and her graduate program emphasized natural history collections management. Lindsay is looking forward to learning how to navigate the challenges of curating and conserving historic research collections. Because imaging has become an increasingly important facet of collections management, she is also excited to work with CT scan data, among other imaging techniques, while at the AMNH.

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