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Research and Study Opportunites

The Arctic Studies Center (National Museum of Natural History) announces internship and volunteer opportunities for students, artists, museum staff and community scholars. These programs are offered in both Anchorage, Alaska and in Washington, D.C. All are offered by competitive application.


Arctic Studies Center
Internships & Volunteer Opportunities
(Washington, D.C.)

Intern Application (PDF file)ASC Intern Application (PDF file)

Openings for volunteers and/or interns are available primarily to currently enrolled undergraduate, recent college graduates and graduate students. Please inquire. Academic credit may be arranged.

Projects include:

1) Artifact collection return (historic and prehistoric)

2) Graphic design for research reports (illustrations, photography and webpage design)

Deadline: Accepted year-round

For further information and to apply please contact the Arctic Studies Center arcticstudies@si.edu.

ASC Alaska Office
Internship & Volunteer Opportunities
(Anchorage, AK only)

Internship Opportunities
The Alaska Office of the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center (SASC) at the Anchorage Museum is accepting applications for museum education, documentary film and archaeology internship positions for the Living Our Cultures, Sharing Our Heritage: The First Peoples of Alaska exhibition. The four positions available for 2015 are listed below.
Through a partnership with the University of Alaska Foundation, currently-enrolled students at the University of Alaska (Juneau, Anchorage and Fairbanks) can apply for an internship with stipend (see below).

1) Museum Education Intern
Intern will work with SASC and Anchorage Museum education staff to create educational materials for Alaska Native cultural heritage public programs associated with the Living Our Cultures exhibition. Duties to include: Participating in development meetings; recording, transcribing and editing selections from discussions with Alaska Native scholars and artists; preparing text for the Sharing Knowledge web site and Living Our Cultures exhibition interactives; researching Alaska Native cultural content for curriculum; researching and writing to Alaska state standards; writing curriculum; working with an editor; editing digital images; and basic graphic design.
Selection criteria: Advance undergraduate or graduate student. Experience and/or coursework in education and Indigenous cultures required. Experience working with Photoshop and InDesign required.
Position available: Spring, summer and fall

2) Documentary Films Intern
Intern will work with SASC staff to produce short topical documentary videos. Duties to include: participating in design, set-up, filming, editing and production of finished films documenting Alaska Native cultural workshops, consultations with elders, artist events, and other research and public programs at the SASC; assisting in archival film and photo research.
Selection criteria: Graduate student. Video production and editing experience required. Proficiency in Final Cut Pro required. Experience and/or coursework in anthropology and Indigenous cultures preferred.
Position available: Spring, summer and fall

3) Archaeological Lab Assistant
Intern will work with SASC Director Aron Crowell to conduct analysis of archaeological and oral historical data for coastal southern Alaska. Duties include archaeological lab research, artifact cataloging and creation of maps, including GIS models.
Qualifications: Advance undergraduate or graduate student in anthropology. Previous archaeological field experience and GIS or Surfer maps program experience preferred.
Position available: Spring and fall

Positions are available as:
1) A volunteer position
2) An independent study for university credit (set up with your home institution)
3) A University of Alaska Foundation internship with stipend-for University of Alaska matriculating students only; for Documentary Films and Education internships only (More information will be provided upon inquiry.)
Note: For internships 1 to 3, please see 'How to Apply' below.
4) A Smithsonian internship by competitive application
Please visit the Smithsonian Office of Fellowships //www.si.edu/ofg/ofgapp.htm for information on fellowships and awards available through the Smithsonian Institution.

How to Apply:
To the email address below, please send:
1) a CV that includes relevant coursework and experience and what computer programs you have experience using
2) a cover letter stating the internship, position type and dates you are applying for.
Note: Applications are accepted year-round. The duration of internships is 10 to 12 weeks.

For further information, contact:
Dawn Biddison, Assistant Curator Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center, Alaska Office 625 C Street Anchorage, AK 99501 BiddisonD@si.edu

Natural History Internship Program
(Washington, D.C. only)

Available to undergraduate or beginning level graduate students and some advanced placement high school students (must be 16 years of age). Placement available in the natural history science units, development and publications (public affairs), scientific illustration and informatics. There are no placements in public education, exhibits design and production or any public programs. No financial assistance or housing provided. Duration: varies with each position. All information and application materials are available on the web at: https://www.nmnh.si.edu/rtp/other_opps/

Deadline: Applications accepted year-round

Research Training Program (Washington, D.C. only)

Awarded to outstanding undergraduate students from around the world. Features a ten-week curriculum of hypothesis testing research projects in the biological, geological and anthropological sciences plus lectures, workshops, discussions, field trips and more. Award package includes stipend, housing, transportation allowance and research supply budget. All information and application materials available on the web: https://www.nmnh.si.edu/rtp/


Native American Awards Program
(Anchorage, AK; Washington, D.C.; New York, NY)

  • Visiting Student Awards:
    For currently enrolled, advanced graduate students formally or informally related to a Native American/Alaska Native community. Pursue independent research in association with Smithsonian staff. Stipends and a small research allowance included. A travel allowance may be available. Duration: up to 10 weeks.
  • Internship Awards:
    Awarded to undergraduate and graduate Native American students formally or informally related to a Native American community to participate in research or museum activities related to Native American studies. Duration: 10 weeks.
  • Community Scholar Awards:
    Available to elders, artists or other individuals who wish to look at collections and pursue independently-designed research projects in association with Smithsonian staff. Projects have included, for example, studies of gutskin garments, Athabascan beadwork and Cup'ik hunting equipment. Stipends and a small research allowance included. A travel allowance may be included. Duration: up to 21 days.

Minority Internship Program
(Anchorage, AK; Washington, D.C.; New York, NY)

Available for students to participate in research or museum-related activities. U.S. minority undergraduate and beginning level graduate students are encouraged to apply. Carries a stipend of $350 per week and travel allowances may be provided. Duration: 10 weeks.

Applications and/or information about the Native American Awards Program and the Minority Internship Program can be found on the website: //www.si.edu/ofg/


Stipended and Non-Stipended Internships
(Anchorage, AK; Washington, DC; New York, NY)

Available for students to participate in research or museum-related activities. U.S. minority undergraduate and beginning level graduate students encouraged to apply. Stipended internships carry a stipend of $350 per week (up to 10 weeks max); travel allowances may be provided. Non-stipended positions do not have financial assistance. Visit the NMAI website for more information and application materials: www.nmai.si.edu

Deadline: Requests accepted year-round.

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