As a unit of the National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park’s mission is to “conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same…as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations” (The Organic Act of the NPS). Additionally, the mission of Yellowstone’s Heritage and Research Center is to document and preserve the park’s cultural and natural resources, and make them accessible to the public and researchers.
The internship is located in Yellowstone National Park, the world’s first national park, and is designed to introduce the student to the curatorial field, and, specifically, working with a large and diverse collection at a national park. As such, the intern will learn how to perform original cataloging of a wide range of cultural objects and natural history specimens; photograph and rehouse objects; and enter all data and image files into the collections management database used by the NPS (Interior Collection Management System). They will also create an exhibit on their park topic of choice, including research, object choice, text and labels, and installation.
Read blog posts from last year's intern, Kerstin Heinrich, here and here.
What you will do
Catalog cultural resource objects from historic furniture and photographs to artwork and early souvenirs
Catalog natural history specimens such as wolf skulls, mounted taxidermy items, and insects
Create a one-case exhibit on a park topic of choice (research the topic, write all text and caption labels, choose objects and images, and install)
Take photographs of three-dimensional objects and upload files to respective catalog records for collection photo-documentation.
Assist curatorial staff with public and special behind-the-scenes tours of the HRC facility and collections
Eligibility and Requirements:
Successful interns will possess an excellent attention to detail as well as flexibility in working on a variety of projects, and the ability to manage their day-to-day work.
An interest in the museum field would be helpful as one of the internship goals is to help interns determine whether or not it is a field they would want to pursue. Another desired skill would be an interest in Yellowstone’s cultural and/or natural history, and a love of the outdoors (interns who enjoy hiking and exploring will get much more out of living in a national park).
While the internship is appropriate for freshman students, it is mostly geared to sophomores and juniors who have declared majors and may be looking into potential career fields. Coterms are eligible only if they hold undergraduate status. Graduating seniors are eligible.
Art and history majors are encouraged to apply, but since the park also has a large natural history collection, majors involving various sciences are appropriate as well.