Strategic Initiatives and Initiative Projects
I have had the privilege to work on several projects that are linked directly to an organization's strategic plan. Perhaps the one that I am singularly most proud of is the design, construction and outfitting of the Avenir Collections Center at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science (DMNS).
Most recently I have been involved with the reimagining and updating of the DMNS exhibit Space Odyssey. For this exhibit I was responsible for the display, care and handling of a Mars Exploration Rover, Manned Maneuvering Unit as well as the contents of an Exploration Station analyzing meteorites and authoring the contents of that section of our volunteer manual.
Most of my experience in managing museum collections has been focused on following best practices when it comes to object storage, associated data, use, and loan tracking - all while making these collections publicly accessible. My collections experiences are often fast-paced and exceptionally dynamic - I've often been called on a Sunday evening to respond to an opportunity, or event on Monday morning - and I deliver.
Having been one of the leaders of a massive database migration project in 2012, I have extensive experience administering Axiell's EMu database, including writing and designing customized Crystal Reports to create object guides for users of our collections.
Exhibitions and Programs
At DMNS we work in teams to bring unique exhibits to life with the DMNS brand. Collections has always been integral with how we connect with, and inspire our community. As Education Collections Manager, I had the opportunity to create programing to enhance over 50 temporary exhibits. Often, these required me to learn new skills and new content beyond my academic areas of specialty.
For each exhibit we conceptualize, fabricate and deliver unique, hands on learning experiences from, Exploration Stations, to outfitting period enactors, to mocking up lab/discovery experiences. Each one of these requires the writing manuals for, and training the volunteer corps of more than 300 people.
Creative Collections Communication
I have had a lot of really cool opportunities to use museum collections in ways that are largely outside of the box. This is the part of my expertise I find most rewarding: the challenge of balancing preservation with public engagement. Because, after all, it is in the public trust in which we hold our repositories.
Some of the neat events I've supported with collections:
A Table at TEDx MileHigh for our Young Professionals
Brain Scoop with Emily Graslie - Health Sciences
Science on the Spot - science on a table with collections
Cabinets of Curiosity for Halloween Science
Girls in Science - Women in STEAM Careers
I have had the honor of mentoring hundreds of people in my career. From high school students, to pre-med and doctors doing their residency. From detailed projects building mounts in museum settings, to people who are just exploring career options.
The program that I am most proud to have been a part of is the Teen Science Scholar program at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. As mentors we worked with kids that have passion for science but not the support infrastructure to see their passion realized. As mentors, we have them for 9 weeks, but we build relationships that are intended to last lifetimes. It was a super rewarding experience (and continues to be) for me. I hope it was for them.