Get Involved

The Essig Museum has opportunities to participate in entomology at every level of experience from beginners to professionals. Like most natural history museums, the Essig Museum takes in more specimens, research documents, and other objects than we can process with our limited staff. Unfortunately, we have no paid position currently available. For more information about working with us please review the options below and contact the Collection Manager. Please include your level of experience and what topics you are most interested in.

You can also visit the list of UC Entomology faculty for other work and research opportunities.

Citizen Science

Help us capture the collection data from our six million specimens by joining our Citizen Science team. Here you can help us transcribe label data from our specimens. Once transcribed, data are loaded into the California Terrestrial Arthropod Database, where we can map the distribution of California insects and spiders collected over the past century.

Volunteer Program

Our volunteer program is designed to get students and community members involved directly with our collections. Tasks include: sorting, pinning, and labeling specimens, databasing, and helping to manage museum equipment and supplies. Volunteers are welcome to log as many or as few hours as they like during normal museum hours of operation (9:00 am – 5:00 pm). We are also looking for a volunteer to photograph specimens (a representative of each species) for our website.

Internship Program

Interns agree to commit a certain number of hours per week (typically 4-6) in exchange for instruction on identification, preparation techniques, and more advanced topics in entomology and museum management. Interns also have the opportunity to work on outreach projects (posters, themed display drawers, educational activities, etc.) based on their particularly interests. Internships can take the form of URAP position (Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program) depending on available projects.

Docent Program

The Essig Museum is a research collection and generally not open to the public except for three annual outreach events: Darwin Day (February), CalDay (April), and HomeComing (October or November). In an effort to increase our visibility and service to the Bay Area community we are launching a docent program. Docents will be trained by museum staff on the history of the Essig Museum and interesting facts about insects and other arthropods to convey to visitors on scheduled tour days.

Museum Affiliate Program

The purpose of our Affiliate Program is to provide opportunities for advanced, non-UC affiliated entomologists to participate in museum activities, conduct independent research and curatorial projects, and collaborate with staff research. Affiliates are expected to largely work independently on self-initiated projects.