Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

PICS Organization Name
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County - Evaluation & Museum Impact

City/State
Remote

Organization Description

The Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County include the Natural History Museum, La Brea Tar Pits, and the William S. Hart Museum. The museum is committed to its mission of being a “museum of, for, and with Los Angeles” and strives to connect our community to urban nature. We protect and share more than 35 million specimens and artifacts, the largest natural and cultural history collection in the western United States. Collectively, our museums serve more than 1 million visitors annually, and we are committed to representing the diversity of Los Angeles County. The goal of the Museum’s evaluation work is to monitor the progress we are making toward achieving our strategic goals. We are currently exploring new ways to assess the visitor experience and program effectiveness – especially in a digital and socially distant environment. As the museum remains partially closed to the public and programs have migrated online, we must change the way we measure the impact we have on our community. A Princeton intern will support that work, contributing insights from their own experience with distance learning and other digital programs. The intern will also increase the museum’s capacity to conduct evaluations, by supporting the collection and analysis of large quantities of data.

Internship Description

This summer, our Director of Evaluation and Museum Impact will be designing and conducting several evaluations of museum activities, in collaboration with various museum departments. The Evaluation intern will work directly with the Director, though in a remote setting. The museum has several exhibitions in the development phase, with one opening in Summer 2021, some of which will be presented online. The Director supports exhibition development with concept testing, prototyping, and implementation evaluation. Some of that work has pivoted to an online format, and the Evaluation intern will support the Director in those activities.

The Evaluation intern will learn about formative and summative evaluation in the museum environment, as well as techniques for analyzing both quantitative and qualitative data. The intern will work with the Director to conduct online surveys and analyze data on museum visitors and participants in museum programs, many of which will be online. Specific tasks may include:

  • Researching evaluation techniques to help shape the Museum’s evaluation strategy
  • Summarizing past evaluation reports
  • Creating and revising data collection tools, including surveys and observation protocols
  • Preparing online surveys using survey software
  • Supporting online interviews and focus groups
  • Conducting observations of participants in online programs, including the Adventures in Nature summer camp and a teen internship program
  • Entering and cleaning survey and observation data
  • Creating graphs and tables to summarize quantitative and qualitative data
  • Analyzing text responses from surveys and interviews
  • Providing recommendations for program improvement
  • Conducting research to better understand the museum’s community and diverse population it serves

While this internship will be conducted remotely, it is a unique opportunity for an intern to gain experience with and help shape new research and evaluation techniques that can be employed in a digital environment. The intern will have the opportunity to attend museum seminars and network with staff members from various departments to gain a high-level perspective on how different museum departments collaborate to achieve common goals. This is both an exciting and uncertain time for museums and other cultural institutions. The intern will get a first-hand perspective on how our institution adapts to these unprecedented and evolving challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Weekly Stipend # of Weeks Required Dates Start Time End Time Housing Provided? Certificate Requirement? Can be Remote?
$500/$450 if remote 10 6/1/21 - 8/6/21 9:00 am 5:00 pm No No Yes

Internship Qualifications

Required:

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Analytic and problem-solving skills
  • A positive attitude and strong interpersonal skills
  • Highly organized with attention to detail
  • Basic computer skills, including Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • An appreciation for the natural world

Additional Info
A background check is required

Former Interns
Monica Dobrinoiu '21, Rachel Mrkaich '21, Diana Chao '21 

Evaluation Excerpt

 The museum is constantly having outreach programs for the kids of LA county, and I even gave a few tours of the fossil preparation lab to kids myself. Many of these kids had never had exposure to science like this before, so the social impact component is definitely there even if it’s not directly related to my tasks. I also learned a lot about the inner workings of a museum as well as paleontology during the internship, which was educationally enriching if at times a bit exhausting. —Diana Chao '21