Natural History Museum of Los Angeles - Dinosaur Institute

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County was the first dedicated museum building in Los Angeles, opening its doors in 1913. It has amassed one of the world’s most extensive and valuable collections of natural and cultural history – with more than 35 million objects, some as old as 4.5 billion years. We have over 350 staff who are dedicated to helping us meet our mission to inspire wonder, discovery and responsibility for our natural and cultural worlds.

As well as its public face, NHM is a research museum. Part of its staff and part of its mission are dedicated to basic research in biological, geological, and cultural sciences. Analogous to a university, researchers on staff conceive of, generate funding for, and execute basic scientific research in their areas of specialization.

The Dinosaur Institute directly benefits from the contributions of interns; their data collection becomes research assets of the NHM and the global museum community, as it works to digitize natural history collections globally for research, education and outreach.


Los Angeles, CA

Internship Description

The Dinosaur Institute pursues a wide range of marine and terrestrial research and curatorial projects. Interns in the Dinosaur Institute section will join the work of the Mesozoic Collection Manager, Maureen Walsh. Work in the group is carried out with an expectation of independence, but supported by training, both from full-time staff, USC graduate students and resident post docs. Projects for 2022 include:

  • Contribute to the creation of ArcGIS Story Maps utilizing data from the Gnatalie quarry, a Late Jurassic sauropod bone bed, est. 2009 by the Dinosaur Institute in southeastern Utah.
  • Use data collected over 10 years to create Story Maps revealing this rare paleontological site.
  • NSF Antarctica Expeditions est. 1977.
  • Assist in the curation of this Early Triassic fossil collection; learn best practices of natural history collections,
  • Gain curatorial experience through the handling, consolidating, preparation, identification, and organization of this rare collection. The NHM utilizes Emu collections management software.
# of weeks Required Dates Start Time End Time Public Transportation Housing  Format
8 June 27 - August 19 9:30am 4:00pm Yes No In person

Housing Information

NHM is located on Expo Metro Line, housing through multiple USC housing companies, AirBnB, etc. Good metro and transit locations are Koreatown, Mid-Town, Palms and Culver City.

Internship Qualifications

  • Ability to handle fragile specimens with care
  • Attention to detail when working with specimens and when working with data
  • Ability to perform repetitive tasks
  • Ability to work independently and thoughtfully with minimal supervision

Additional Qualifications

This internship is a fantastic opportunity to experience museum work for students interested in Paleontology, Evolutionary Biology, Anthropology, Museum Studies and/or Art.

Writing Sample Required?