Blogs & Videos: Imaging and Scanning

Field Museum Women in Science (FMWIS) Internships 2014 -- Hannah Davis

Learn more about FMWIS intern Hannah Davis, and project, "Walking Lichens" and her main supervisors were Jim Boone and Robert Luecking, with subsequent supervisors being Allie Stone and Kelsey Keaton. She mainly worked in the Insect Collection, which holds over four-and-a-half million specimens. Hannah sifted through drawers of Praying Mantids, Katydids, Grasshoppers, Treehoppers, Walking Sticks, and Moths, looking for species which mimicked lichen. Her "mini-collection" consisted of 106 specimens belonging to 88 unique species. 

A Summer Fling

Medieval weaponry and youth outreach don’t often appear in the same sentence, much less the same room. Fortunately, thanks to a recent partnership between the Exhibitions Shop and the Digital Media Learning Program, area high schoolers had a chance to design and build their own catapults! Together, they applied many of the same techniques used for the Biomechanics show to realize their own innovations.

Mummies and Cheetahs, in 3D!

Contrary to the image of mummies portrayed by the popular Scooby-Doo cartoon, mummies are not monsters, capable of smashing through walls; in fact, most mummies are too fragile even to stand on end. Egyptian mummies are embalmed lying on their back, and so fit easily into a medical CT scanner, which looks a bit like a spaceship with a table for the patient that slides through a hole in the middle of the machine. Peruvian mummies are a different story, though, since they were buried crouching – the larger examples won’t fit through the hole.

The Future of DNA Investigations at The Field Museum

  The glass windows that enclose The Field Museum’s Pritzker Laboratory on the second floor of the museum give visitors a glimpse into the daily lives of the scientists, students, and interns that work there.  Now, visitors can also get a glimpse of the future – a new DNA sequencer has arrived, and its users are busy enjoying its capabilities!

2014 REU Intern Anne Gibbons

Hairy legs in the Nursery

ANNE GIBBONS Junior Environmental Studies major at University of Michigan - Ann Arbor REU Mentors: Dr. Petra Sierwald (Curator, Arachnida and Myriapoda, S&E) and Dr. Estevam da Silva (Postdoctoral Researcher, Arachnida and Myriapoda, S&E) Symposium Presentation Title: Fishing around the world: spiders of the genus Dolomedes

What do researchers want?

Nina Cummings, who ably heads our photo archives in the museum shared with me an interesting blog post she saw recently.  It was from The Library of Congress and was written by Bill LeFurgy, their digital initiatives manager of the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program.  The title of the blog post was “What do researchers want from institutions that preserve digital content?”  Here at the museum we are working through our digital initiatives so the post resonated on several fronts.  The opening statement included this: “User expectations influence so much of what stewardship organizations do. We collect and preserve all content primarily to support use.” 

The Egg Book cometh

These days, “digitization” is a frequently word heard around the museum.  Through the years have been some really interesting projects to bring natural history specimens to more people through pictures (see for example the on-line archive of the Berlin negatives of type plant specimens).  We are doing a project in the Bird Division we call “The Egg Book.”  It is a project that is being done with Ivy Press as part of a series of books they have completed in collaboration with the University of Chicago Press which includes The Book of Leaves and The Book of Fungi.  Our book is progressing on a rapid schedule.  It will showcase the eggs of 600 species of birds, most of which will come from our collection, but not all as I talk about below.

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