Frost Museum: Spiders of Pennsylvania

The Frost Entomological Museum has a large, historical collection of spiders, primarily from Pennsylvania. These spiders were collected as long ago as 1880 and collectively represent hundreds of species. Museum staff are currently cataloging this collection, documenting diversity, and upgrading the storage containers. This collection would provide the materials necessary for an enthusiastic undergraduate researcher to investigate spider diversity in Pennsylvania, both past and present.

University Park
Description of Responsibilities: 

Students will work with museum staff to sort and identify spider species, verify past identifications, and photograph vial contents, including labels. Students will also work with staff to manage the data associated with this collection, for example data entry in spreadsheets.

Students will receive training in spider diversity and morphology, basic microscopy, specimen handling, and georeferencing methods. Students may also be involved in developing educational materials (fact sheets, diagnostic tools).

Number of Opportunities: 
Minimum Qualifications: 
  • Experience with spreadsheets (MS Excel, Google Sheets, etc.)
  • Excellent attention to detail, in part to maintain accuracy of historical records
  • Extreme care in handling small, fragile objects
  • Ability and willingness to learn new software
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Passion for biodiversity and museums
  • Curiosity about the natural world
Posting Date: 
Monday, November 18, 2019 to Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Position Type: 
Volunteer, Academic Credit
Opportunity Timeframe: 
Fall, Spring, Summer
Application Procedure: 

Send resume and statement of interest (one page maximum) to Laura Porturas (, collection manager at the Frost Entomological Museum

Requested Materials: 
  1. resume
  2. statement of interest (one page or less)