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Duke Lemur Center

The Duke Lemur Center (DLC) is part of Duke University and houses the largest and most diverse collection of lemurs found outside of Madagascar. Situated on 70 acres the DLC is committed to research, education and conservation.

Summer Fossil Collection Intern

The Division of Fossil Primates (DFP) at the DLC is seeking a 2017 Summer Fossil Collection Intern. The DFP houses a collection of approximately 30,000 fossils specimens, mostly from Egypt and Madagascar. The collection forms the basis for research focused on the origin of higher primates (Anthropoidea = monkeys, apes and humans) and the origin and diversification of lemurs. In addition the DFP has recently received a collection of fossil mammals from Colombia which are in the process of being added to those specimens now housed at the DFP. The intern will be involved in unpacking and cataloging the Colombian collection which includes approximately 4,000 specimens from the Miocene (12 million year old) locality of La Venta.

The intern will be introduced to the fundamentals of museum collection curation from acquisition to specimen processing, to identification and data-basing and ultimately to safe and accessible storage. The intern will be required to complete an independent project within the larger structure of the curation process. Interns can expect to gain experience in museum skills such as safe handling of fragile and irreplaceable fossil specimens, the process of identifying and describing museum specimens for curation, data-basing of specimen and locality information, proper methods of fossil preparation and conservation, digital capture of specimens including both 2D and 3D imaging techniques, and how to safely store fossil specimens without unduly limiting their accessibility for study. The intern must be capable of lifting and carrying 50 pounds because some of the work involved will be physical in nature.

This program is intended for individuals who are genuinely interested in learning the museum curation process but who lack prior experience and/or opportunity to otherwise do so.  The summer intern program requires a 10 week-commitment starting Tuesday, May 30th and ending Saturday, August 5th, 2017.  Weekly schedules can be flexible, but requires 15 hours of on-site training and/or data collection each week, Monday-Friday. Preference will be given to applicants who can devote larger blocks of time (e.g. 5 hrs/3 days) rather than more and shorter shifts.

Interns will be required to present their project results (oral or poster presentation) as part of the DLC Intern Symposium on Saturday, August 5th, 2017.

This is an unpaid internship. Housing and transportation are not provided

REQUIREMENTS: Applicants must be at least 18 years of age. Applicants must either be currently attending college or graduated within the last three years. Applicants must have the ability to understand and follow written and oral instruction and have effective communication skills. Applicants must be able to lift 50 pounds. Applicants must possess the ability to adapt to an ever-changing work environment and be available to work weekends and holidays. Public speaking skills are highly encouraged.

Interns must have their own transportation to the DFP. Housing and transportation is not provided.


Experience Required


Further Comments


How to Apply

To apply to the internship program, please complete and submit the application (link: . Applications will be accepted until March 22, 2017. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. Two letters of recommendation must be received before the deadline for an application to be complete. The application allows you to list the contact information for two references. Two letters of recommendation from the listed contacts must be sent directly to the Student Projects/Research Technician, Erin Shaw (

Duke Lemur Center
3705 Erwin Road
Durham, NC 27705
Phone: 919.401.1561
Fax: 919.490.5394

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