Internships and Fellowships in Conservation
The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) has a long history of hosting interns at all levels of conservation training. This page lists Museum-funded internship opportunities. Interns with outside funding may also be considered, and inquiries can be directed to [email protected]
Indigenous Fellowship Program
This fellowship program is offered for Indigenous students or early career professionals 18 years or older from North America (U.S. and Canada) who are interested in learning about collections care in a museum environment.
- Multiple fellowships will be available from 2024 through 2026.
- Fellowships include a stipend to cover living and travel expenses. Associated funding is available to provide Indigenous mentorship and guidance in collaboration with Museum staff.
- The fellowship duration is flexible, but a minimum of three (3) months is recommended. The fellowship term can be planned for any time of the year based on fellow and Museum staff availability.
- Fellowships will be based in the Museum’s Science Conservation department, which cares for collections throughout the Museum, both in the Division of Anthropology and the Natural Science departments.
- The fellowship structure is flexible depending on each fellow's interests, and current departmental projects. Potential areas addressed include preventative care, written and photographic documentation, examination, research and analysis, and treatment skills.
Applications are due by December 31, 2023, for fellowships during the first half of 2024.
For application materials and any inquiries about the fellowship or interest in participating as an Indigenous mentor in 2024 or later, please contact Assistant Director of Conservation Samantha Alderson at [email protected] or 212-769-5446.
Featured Project: Northwest Coast Hall Internships in Conservation (2018–2020)
Three Indigenous interns participated in the project to revitalize the Museum’s Northwest Coast Hall, which reopened to the public in May 2022. The interns worked on many aspects of the project, from condition assessment to installation, gaining experience while sharing their perspectives and knowledge with Museum and project conservators.
Tsimshian from Ketchikan, Alaska
Brandon began his internship as a recent college graduate with a B.A. degree in Anthropology and some museum experience. His goal was to learn as much as he could about different aspects of museum work.
During his time at the Museum, he participated in basic conservation-related activities of preparing objects for display in the restored and revitalized Northwest Coast Hall as well as in sessions during visits with our Indigenous Consulting Curators and visited other Museum departments to learn about different aspects of the Northwest Coast Hall restoration project.
After completing his internship, Brandon earned a master’s degree from the University of Washington in Museology/Museum Studies. In 2021, Brandon started a position as project coordinator for Mapping Native Intellectual Networks of the Northeast at Amherst College, and in 2022 began studies toward an MLIS degree at San Jose State University.
Hän Hwëch'in Athabascan from Eagle, Alaska, and Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in from Moosehide, Yukon Territory in Canada
Shyanne pursued the internship as a mid-career professional, having been a development officer at the Alaska Native Heritage Center (Anchorage, Alaska), which had a growing collection and but no staff trained in collections care. Shyanne wanted to learn more about collections care to set up a cohesive process and program to teach others how to properly care for the large Alaskan Native collection housed at the center.
During her internship, she worked on various aspects of preventive conservation, including basic object condition assessment, handling, storage solutions, installation, and deinstallation for display.
Since completing the internship, Shyanne became the vice president of the Alaska Native Village Corporation Association, which promotes the success of Alaska Native Village Corporations through education, advocacy, outreach and sustainability projects, and protection of Native lands. in 2023, she has left that position to move back to her ancestral lands, where she works as a consultant with her company Chuu K'onn (Yukon River—Hän Hwëch’in Athabascan) on cultural tourism, cultural awareness, international business and communications, language, cultural revitalization, and working with Indigenous youth.
Choctaw and Chickasaw, Oklahoma
Cheyenne started her internship as a young museum professional with a B.A. degree in Anthropology. She had previously interned at the National Museum of the American Indian and had worked with collections at the Southern Ute Cultural Center in Colorado. Based on her plans to apply to graduate school for conservation and become a conservator, Cheyenne undertook more intensive training in all aspects of conservation during her internship, helping to prepare collections for display in the revitalized Northwest Coast Hall.
After her internship ended, she was accepted into the Getty Post-Baccalaureate Internships in Art Conservation but, due to the pandemic, she could not reside at the Getty. During this period, she worked remotely on research and other activities for the Getty while continuing hands-on conservation work in the Museum lab before being hired as a conservation assistant for a 10-month project to prepare objects for exhibit in the Museum’s new Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Conservation. In 2022, she became a Graduate Opportunity Fellow in the UCLA/Getty M.A. Program in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage.