Every summer, The Bill Lane Center for the American West offers many opportunities for Stanford undergraduates (including graduating seniors and co-terms) to work with organizations throughout the West. Through these internships, students can explore careers in natural history, conservation, land use, museum curation, resource management, energy and more.
All internships are full-time and last ten weeks during the summer. They are fully funded by the Lane Center.
The Lane Center has placed over 200 interns in positions across the West since 2005. As such, we have developed strong relationships with host organizations and work hard to ensure interns have successful and enriching experiences.
Read more about past interns' experiences here.
The Bill Lane Center will provide a base stipend of $7,500 with additional funding for student financial aid and cost of living adjustments for the internship location, if applicable.
Description of the Organization and Internship Overview:
The National Park Service cares for over 160 million museum items in its many units. The Yosemite Museum preserves one of the oldest and most diverse collections in the service, and curates a collection of over 5 million natural and cultural items. The park’s varied holdings include photographs, fine art, archives, historic artifacts, maps, baskets and other ethnographic objects, herbarium specimens, biological and geological specimens, and archeological artifacts.
The Yosemite Museum collects cultural artifacts, natural specimens, and historic records that document Yosemite National Park. The museum preserves these resources for future generations and makes these collections available for research, public enjoyment, and education. The Yosemite Museum has displays that interpret the cultural history of Yosemite's native people from 1850 to the present, demonstrations of stone tool making, basket-weaving, beadwork, and traditional games.
The Museum Database Management Intern will have the opportunity to assist in the management of Yosemite National Park’s collection database, documenting one of the National Park Service’s most notable and diverse museum collections. Training will be provided in the use of the Department of Interior’s collection management database, Re:Discovery Interior Collection Management System (ICMS). This database is used by agencies throughout the Department of Interior (National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and others) to manage their museum collection data. Yosemite National Park has approximately 8,000 accession records and 250,000 catalog records representing over 5 million cultural and natural history items. The intern will become proficient in NPS museum record data standards, navigation, and modification. This internship would be ideal for anyone interested in cultural resource management, museum registration, or database management.
The intern will assist with a variety of data management tasks in Re:Discovery Interior Collection Management System (ICMS) which will contribute to greater accessibility and intellectual control of Yosemite National Park’s museum collections. They will be provided with training and instruction in the use of ICMS and National Park Service standards for museum records.
Projects may include data clean-up such as standardizing storage location formats, identifying and correcting misspellings, standardizing entries and removing duplicates from authority tables; linking catalog records to records in other modules such as the Exhibits or Loans modules; and reviewing draft catalog records to identify missing required fields and steps needed to finalize them.
The intern may also assist with management of the research permit tracking database (Microsoft Excel), which is used by museum staff to track the status of collections generated by permitted research in the park. The intern will gain experience and develop proficiency working with NPS museum practices and data standards including required fields, data formatting, and authority tables. They will navigate and organize large datasets and develop skills in modifying and standardizing museum collection data.
Internship Work Environment:
This will be a remote internship; Housing is not available.
- Develop skills in the use of Yosemite National Park’s collection database, ICMS
- Identify inconsistencies and errors in collection data
- Search, organize, and edit data based on findings
- Document standard formatting and assist in the development of SOPs or guides for internal use
- Monitor and maintain research permit tracking database
Bill Lane Center internships are part of Cardinal Quarter opportunities and students from all disciplines are encouraged to apply. The opportunities are full-time (35-40 hours a week) for 10 consecutive weeks during the summer. Specific start and end dates can be coordinated directly with the supervisor.
- Students are not permitted to engage in another full-time internship, job, or volunteer opportunity (whether funded by Stanford or otherwise) during this full-time, summer internship.
- Student athletes should confirm the impact of any awarded stipend on their athletic eligibility by contacting the Compliance Services Office prior to committing to a research project or internship.
All undergraduates, including graduating seniors, are eligible. Coterms are eligible only if they hold undergraduate status.
For more helpful application advice, please visit the BLC’s FAQs page.
Application Guidelines for this Internship:
This internship would be best suited for students with experience or familiarity with computer science, database management, and/or museum studies.
The internship will be fully remote and will require a certain level of maturity and intern must have the ability to maintain their schedule independently.
Candidates must possess good organizational and analytical skills, and attention to detail.
Strong written and oral communications skills are important.
The intern must be comfortable working remotely and should be able to work independently and proactively.
Ideally, applicants will have interest in one or more fields of study related to the museum’s holdings (history, anthropology, environmental studies, etc.) and/or interest in database management, information management or museum studies.
Prior experience working with museum collections or collection management databases is preferred but not required.
Interest in the National Park Service and exploring civil service professions.
Selection of Applicants:
Complete applications are screened and finalists are contacted for an interview with staff from The Bill Lane Center for the American West. The top candidates for the position are forwarded to the organization for direct interviews with their potential supervisors and other staff.
Host organizations will then notify the Lane Center of their preferred candidate and that applicant will receive an internship offer from the Bill Lane Center by email.
The applicant is expected to respond promptly (within 48 hours) via email to the offer or the offer will be rescinded.
Once an applicant accepts an offer, they should promptly notify all other Stanford and non-Stanford programs to which they have applied that they have accepted another offer and withdraw their candidacy from those other opportunities.