Each summer, the Museum hosts a number of student interns from colleges and area high schools. These students work in different areas of the Museum, learning about careers in science or doing research on a specific topic. This is the first in a series of posts about what some of the students are doing at the Museum this summer. In this post, Malachi Fitten and Robert Walton share a little bit about what they've been working on.
We are both seniors at Mc2 STEM High School and will be graduating in 2013. We are also a part of the 2012 Future Connections Program funded by University Circle Incorporated. This last couple of weeks at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History has been fascinating, unorthodox and intriguing—we’ve examined animal specimens, looked for fossils and traveled to Toledo, Youngstown and Pennsylvania.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays we work in Archaeology with Ann Dufresne, curator of Archaeology. If we aren’t working we are reading, and if we are not reading we are working. There is always something to do there. We mostly separate and classify specimens such as bones, fish scales, teeth, flint and stone. Really all of that was the easy stuff, the work got harder the longer we were there.
On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays we work in Invertebrate Paleontology for Dr. Joe Hannibal, curator and head of invertebrate paleontology. This was a great experience for us here at the Museum. In this department our main focus is to research millstones and find fossils inside the millstones. Other tasks in the lab include keeping a daily journal of everything we do for the day. We also are in charge of touching up and refurbishing the Jacobs staff we use to measure the millstones. Dr. Hannibal takes us on various research trips to different mills in Ohio, as well as other states, in order to view and study the millstones they have in stock there. So far we have visited the Isaac Ludwig Mill in Toledo, the Lanternmen`s Mill in Youngstown, the McConnell`s Mill in Portersville, Pennsylvania, Malabar State Farm Park and the Wolf Creek Mill, both in Loudonville. Most of these trips usually last all day. We usually leave early in the morning, and don’t return to the museum until around 6:30 pm! Invertebrate paleontology is a department that definitely requires you to be alert and on top of things.