My Volunteer Story


Volunteering Behind the Scenes in Ornithology - Meet Anne Via

"When I first started helping out in Ornithology, I thought I might simply write a few labels, because Paul Sweet, the Collection Manager, had asked if I had good handwriting. Over the years I have spent as a volunteer in Ornithology at AMNH, my skill set has expanded and now I do many things to help out including filing Fish and Wildlife forms, arranging for the binding of journals, preparing of skeletons and skins, making labels for new specimens, cataloging specimens, organizing areas of the collection, and I still do use my handwriting for various things including the handwritten catalog, specimen box labels, and data on specimen labels. Handling specimens of all sizes and from all over the world is a privilege and learning about the birds and the places they come from is very exciting. Because I help the Collection Manager whose job is broad, varied, and detail-oriented, I am always switching gears, learning something new, and most importantly I am never bored. I feel like I add value but I also enjoy being around such intelligent people."



Tour Guide and Volunteer in Exhibition and Invertebrate Paleontology - Meet Linda Scalbom

"I've been an AMNH volunteer for over ten years and each year it gets more interesting and rewarding. Not many jobs offer the opportunity to work with objects 4.5 billion years old or talk about the largest vertebrate ever to live on the planet or to answer visitor questions. My favorite is "How did T. rex brush his teeth?" Interested in the answer? They gained and lost their teeth throughout their lifetime and therefore never had to worry about dental hygiene. In addition to the public side of volunteering at AMNH, I’ve had the opportunity to work behind the scenes in several different areas - the Exhibition Department where I learned the fine art of creating foliage, coral and flowers and the Department of Invertebrate Paleontology where I catalogue and care for the Museum’s fossil collection. I’ve learned a lot and had the pleasure of sharing a lot."