The six members of Collections Program Technician team (CPT) will be lending their much appreciated assistance to various projects within the Department of Vertebrate Zoology over the next four years. The team mission is to accelerate digitization efforts across the museum and improve the physical care of collections both at NHB and MSC. Paul Kimberly of the ADS Office will be supervising the team. To give Department staff a little background on our new museum colleagues, each team member has provided a short professional bio. Please welcome them to our community!
Amanda Lawrence received her Bachelor’s Degree in Geobiology with a Minor in Marine Science. She attended Texas Tech University where she received a Master’s Degree in Museum Science. While pursuing her Master’s she worked in the mammal and bird collections in the Natural Science Research Laboratory at the Museum of Texas Tech University. She also has experience working in genetic research laboratories so knows her way around tissue collections. Amanda is interested in expanding her working knowledge of natural history collections management and preventative conservation.
One familiar face is returning to us! Many of us were fortunate to work with Julie Hoskin when she was a member of the CSS team from 2001 to 2007. Julie left the Smithsonian for a stint at the Virginia Museum of Natural History, but returned to NMNH in 2009 to work on a digitization project for the Divisions of Birds and Mammals. In 2011, she began collaborating on a large scale collections project for a national medical museum, but we were lucky enough to lure her back. Julie is known for her impeccable standards and work ethic. She told us, “I have enjoyed all of my museum experiences, but love working with the people and collections at NMNH more than any other museum. Thrilled to be back!”
Jennifer Strotman has a BS in Biology and a BA Behavioral Science (emphasis in anthropology), along with a minor in Criminalistics. She has a wide range of experiences under her belt, including service as a Military Police soldier in the U.S. Army and an Invertebrate Zookeeper. She comes to us all the way from Kanab, Utah, where she most recently worked at an animal sanctuary (so we know she’s into vertebrates). Like many of us, she also suffers from the travel and hiking bug. Jennifer is excited to begin a new chapter in her career and told us, “I have a passion for learning new things and I can’t wait to get involved with the collections. I am honored to be a member of the NMNH family.”
Erin Bilyeu is a self described, “life-long museum nerd.” She grew up exploring all the museums in the Chicago area. She received her MS in Anthropology and Museum Studies at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and spent several years working in various museums including the Louisiana State Museum in New Orleans and the Inter-Mountain Regional Repository for the National Park Service in Tucson, AZ. Erin and her husband, a newly minted Ph.D. in archaeology, moved to the DC area in late summer and are eagerly exploring all that DC has to offer. Erin is a skilled knitter and would have no doubt been an asset to the recent Coral Reef Crochet exhibit. If there are any staff who have an interest in forming a knitting group please let her know.
Laura Tancredi is originally from Staten Island, N.Y. She was a history major at Boston University and received a Masters in archaeology at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Her passion for history led her to Mount Vernon where she served as an archaeological lab manager. Laura was heavily involved with uncovering and cataloging artifacts from a trash midden dating to the household of George Washington and his elder half-brother. Laura told us, “I’m looking forward to being able to work with a wide variety of collections and a lot of interesting people.”