Job Opportunities
at PRI

Internship Opportunities
at PRI

Volunteer Opportunities

For our online volunteer application,

Volunteer Opportunities at the Museum of the Earth and PRI

· Collections
Our collection contains approximately 3 million specimens, making it the 7th largest collection in the country. Each year, even more private and scientific collections are donated and assistance is needed in order to manage the ever-growing number of specimens.

· Prep Lab
The Prep Lab is a very exciting part of the Museum because you and the public will see progress being made every day. This area is designed to give the visitor a window into the world of a paleontologist by allowing them to observe the preparation of specimens. It will give you an opportunity to learn how to conserve and prepare fossils as well as learn what types of tools and materials are needed for such work.

· Library/Archives

Our library of over 60,000 volumes focuses on paleontology, geology and natural history. The Wells Rare Book Room houses an important collection of books on corals, mollusks, and foraminiferans. Our oldest volume dates back to 1684. Help is needed in general library upkeep, organization of volumes and the restoration of old books. In addition to our library, we have an extensive collection of photographic and glass slides, photos and memorabilia from PRI Directors and other notable scientists. Help is needed in organizing and in writing short histories of the different collections.

· Education

The Education Department at the Museum is responsible for museum programming. Docents are needed to facilitate inquiry-based learning in the museum's interactive labs, tours and classroom program. Docents will be working with a variety of audiences, such as school groups, community groups and other museum visitors. There are many on-going volunteer opportunities, as well as, one-day educational events, that will need extra docent support. Training will be provided so that docents have a good understanding of both paleontology and the Museum of the Earth.

· Operations

The Museum is a flurry of activity with not only Museum visitors, but facility rentals and events as well. Assistance is needed for event preparation duties such as setting up tables and chairs for events, assistance with event facilitation, greeting visitors as they arrive. The Operations team would love to have some volunteer assistance with fulfilling the needs of facility rentals and events. This also includes special events put on by other departments in the institution.

· Exhibits

The Exhibits Department is responsible for updating and maintaining the exhibits throughout the Museum. Our exhibits team is constantly coming up with new ideas to improve the Museum. Work with the exhibits team and help build new permanent exhibits, set-up and break-down temporary exhibits and play a role in enhancing the visitor experience.

· Development and Public Relations

The Development and PR Department is actively working toward increasing exposure and interest in the Museum on a continual basis. Volunteers are needed to help with various mailings, collecting feedback from our visitors, compiling survey results and much more. Learn how non-profit institutions function and grow.

· Administration

The Paleontological Research Institution, like any non-profit institution, functions like a business. Administrative help is needed in all of our departments on a weekly basis.

Museum of the Earth
Volunteer Training

The Museum of the Earth offers volunteer training sessions for those interested in helping the Museum bring the Earth to life. Volunteers are needed for everything ranging from guiding visitors through the Museum to helping out in the museum store, with opening events and with Museum operations.

Upcoming Volunteer Training Sessions

6-week Docent Training Seminar:
Starting late September 2005; contact Alicia Reynolds for dates.

General Orientations:
Contact Alicia Reynolds for tours.

Prep-lab Orientations:
Fourth Friday of every month starting at 3pm.

Volunteer meetings and Continuing Education:
Second Thursday of every month.

Evolution and Creationism: A Guide for Museum Docents

Interested in Volunteering?
Contact Alicia Reynolds, Assistant Director of Museum Operations or 607-273-6623 ext. 13

Recent Volunteer Action!
Cornell POST Volunteers clear invasive species from around the PRI buildings.


The Paleontological Research Institution
1259 Trumansburg Road • Ithaca, NY 14850 • phone: 607-273-6623 • fax: 607-273-6620
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