Graduate Program

MFS Graduate Program - Student Experiences

Students come to the Museum and Field Studies program with a wide range of interests and goals. The MFS Program and the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History offer numerous opportunities to get involved in research, exhibits, programming, and outreach.

Read on to find out about the activities of some of our current students!

Crystal Boyd
Track: Collections/Field
Cognate: Entomology

When she's not in class, Crystal spends her time working as a graduate assistant in the entomology collection of the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History.

"My major projects are curating the grasshopper collection, databasing the bee collection, and freezing specimens so dermestid beetles don't eat them!" she says. "I'm hoping to do collections-based research on bumblebees or beetles."

Crystal interned at the Science Museum of Minnesota in 2009 and is currently interning at the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster, CO. She's also the secretary for the Museum Club and a tour guide for school groups.

John Hankla

Track: Collections/Field Track
Cognate: Paleontology

John grew up in a household of collectors—his dad rents mounted dinosaurs to museums and other organizations—and feels lucky to have grown up collecting dinosaurs on his family's ranch in Wyoming (but his favorite dinosaur is Serendipaceratops arthurcclarkei from Australia).

At the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History, John is the coordinator of the Museum Club and he works to organize students and community members to create innovative museum content and programming.

"With these projects I am able to provide students with opportunities for professional development in museum studies," John says, "while helping the museum apply the incredible talent and enthusiasm of the CU student body."

His biggest project for the CU Museum to date was the Tiny Collectors: Harvester Ants exhibit for the BioLounge. This exhibit took advantage of the diverse talents of MFS students and the experience and resources of museum staff.

John interned at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, where he worked with paleontology staff and the museum's fossil collection to create unique visitor experiences in the museum collections, in the lab, and in the field.

Rebecca Wahlberg

Track: Public/Administration
Cognate: Fine Arts

Rebecca started undergraduate studies at the University of Texas—Austin in biology, planning to become a neurosurgeon or environmental reseacher. But after taking some art classes, she switched her major to studio art.

"During a period of frustration with the Fine Art world, I had an epiphany," Rebecca says. "While staring at a sculpture of a giant praying mantis, I realized I should design exhibits in science museums!"

In addition to her studies in the MFS program, Rebecca works as the graduate assistant in the exhibits department, where she designs graphic text panels, changes lighting, uses power tools, narrates cell phone tours, shops for unique objects to keep the BioLounge fresh, and much more. She is also an active member of the Museum Club.

Rebecca hopes to work in exhibits or education for a science-focused institution to help make learning fun and lasting for diverse audiences.