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McGUIRE CENTER NEWS,
Issue 6, April 2012
McGUIRE CENTER NEWS,
Issue 6, April 2012
5
How long have you been volunteering at the
Museum?
Almost a year.
What made you start volunteering here?
I received my Bachelor’s degree in biology and
Master’s in zoology, so I always had a fascination with
the natural world.
Did you go to UF for your Master’s?
No, it was from Harisignh Gour Universty in Sagar,
India.
What was your specialty?
My main interest was wildlife conservation and I did
a project on small mammals.
What do you do for the Museum?
I am data basing a large moth collection from
California that was recently donated to the Museum.
What will be the outcome of this work?
I am working, together with my supervisor Dr.
Andrei Sourakov, toward a publication that will list
all the species collected by the now deceased David
Bauer during a long survey. This is important for
understanding community ecology.
What kind of training did you receive when you
first started volunteering?
I was shown how to handle specimens, how to
accession them into the collection (add special
accession labels to the specimen on a pin), how to
check the identifications using web-based resources,
and how to enter data into spreadsheets.
Has volunteering at the Museum helped you
develop any new skills?
Yes, particularly handling the specimens and their
identification.
What do you enjoy the most about it?
I was especially excited to learn about
the diversity of moths that is out there.
What activities are you involved in outside of the
Museum?
I stay at home while my husband goes to UF to work
on his Ph.D. I like reading and spend time on Facebook.
But, I am hoping to pass my GRE exams and become a
student in the Department of Entomology here.
Entomology? So, you are changing your area of
study to insects? Did volunteering with the moth
collection contribute to this decision?
Yes, to a great extent.
How long have you been volunteering at the
Museum?
About two weeks
What made you start volunteering here?
I had some free time and I am graduating soon.
I wanted to fill it with something that would be
beneficial for me after I graduate, where I would be
learning new skills and be involved with something
that is close to my field of study. Plus, I love visiting the
Museum and thought it would be a fun place to do this.
So far, I haven’t been disappointed.
What do you do for the Museum?
I spread butterflies and moths. It’s really cool.
What kind of training did you receive when you
first started volunteering?
I actually went to many of the training sessions for
a lot of different volunteer positions. I got training
on touring as a docent, interacting with people as a
Butterfly Rainforest interpreter, and spreading and
pinning butterflies and moths, which is what I decided
to stick with.
Has volunteering at the Museum helped you
develop any new skills?
I knew a little about spreading butterflies and moths
before coming here, but I’ve since been able to refine
that skill further.
What activities are you involved in outside of the
Museum?
I am a senior zoology undergraduate student at UF.
Also, and as corny as it might sound, I’ve devoted my
life to the Lord Jesus Christ and am an active member
in his church. Those two things are what take up most
of my time outside of volunteering. Occasionally, I also
like to play board games and card games when I do have
spare time.
What do you enjoy the most about it?
I like the laid-back atmosphere and the sense of
accomplishment I get from what I do.
Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for
people thinking about volunteering here?
I would say to go to all of the training sessions for
as many of the volunteer positions as you can to get
exposed to as much as you can. Then, you can decide
which of the volunteer opportunities fits you the best.
That’s where you focus afterward.
VOLUNTEER profile:
Tomas Bustamante_____________________________
VOLUNTEER profile:
Teena Jain ____________________________________
VOLUNTEER profile:
Rupali Pande _ ________________________________
VOLUNTEER profile:
Minjia Zhong _ ________________________________
Teena Jain works in the collections.
Mating
Zygaena carniolica
moths (Russia)
Lysandra coridon
(Russia)
Pale Tussock moth caterpillar,
Calliteara
pudibunda
(Russia)
Coenonympha pamphilus lyllus
(Armenia)
Volunteer Coordinator Amy Hester watches
as volunteer Tomas Bustamante prepares
specimens.
These moth specimens were collected by
David Bauer and databased by Teena Jain.
Thecla betulae hairstreak
(Russia)
How long have you been volunteering at the
Museum?
Just under a year.
What made you start volunteering here?
I wanted something to do while my husband was at
UF finishing school.
What do you do for the Museum?
I pin specimens in the McGuire Center collection.
What it means is that I prepare specimens that were
stored dry in paper envelopes (sometimes for many
years), so that they can be studied and housed in the
main collection. The specimens are relaxed (hydrated)
in a moist environment and become soft enough to be
mounted on a spreading board. Then, when they are
dry, I take them off the boards, add a label and they are
ready to be curated into the collection.
What kind of training did you receive when you
first started volunteering?
I received hands-on training when I first started in
McGuire.
What activities are you involved in outside of the
Museum?
I like watching comedy movies and shows. Also, I
like crafting, baking and shopping.
What do you enjoy the most about volunteering?
I like the order and precision that the pinning
offers. I am moving away to New Hampshire soon. I
am going to miss my volunteering, but hopefully I will
find something similar there. I really had good time
preparing specimens and am thankful for the wonderful
opportunity to work in the Museum. I hope that I did
good work.
How long have you been volunteering at the
Museum?
Three years
What made you start volunteering here?
I wanted to volunteer somewhere that I felt made a
difference.
What do you do for the Museum?
As a JV, I started on the Discovery Cart and as an
exhibit docent and camp assistant. I then moved to the
McGuire Center’s collections and am currently working
in Dr. Kawahara’s lab. I am creating wing vouchers,
which means that when the DNA of the insect is used
for the analysis, it corresponds to a voucher specimen.
In this case, it is a pair of wings that are held inside
a special holder and stored in an album. The DNA
sequence that will be used in research can be traced
back to this voucher as well as to its picture on the
internet.
What kind of training did you receive when you
first started volunteering?
All of the training has been very hands-on and
straight forward.
Has volunteering at the Museum helped you
develop any new skills?
Working in the DNA lab has given me skills I hope
to use in college. I hope to attend Harvard or Yale and
would like to work in science either in the medical or
environmental engineering field.
What activities are you involved
in outside of the Museum?
I enjoy playing the piano, drawing and reading.
What do you enjoy the most about volunteering?
I enjoy learning and helping. Working in the
molecular biology lab makes me feel like I’m helping
the Museum overall and not just the summer camps.
Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for
people thinking about volunteering here?
Do it if you like it. Don’t force yourself for a resume.
Rupali Pande prepares moth specimens.
This photograph illustrates the variation among specimens
of
Hemileuca eglanterina,
a silk moth from California, in
David Bauer’s collection.
Junior volunteer Minjia Zhong works in the collections.