Arizona State Museum

Arizona State Museum (ASM) is the preeminent institution engaged in the anthropology and history of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. The mission of the Arizona State Museum is to increase public understanding and appreciation of the cultural history of Arizona and the surrounding region by collecting, preserving, and interpreting material objects and information from the past and present indigenous peoples and cultures of the southwestern United States and adjacent northern Mexico. ASM’s researchers are leaders in all areas of Southwestern anthropology; they are sought after the world over for their expertise. ASM’s unparalleled collections are accessed continuously through tours, research, teaching, and exhibits. Through the museum’s public programs, groundbreaking research is conducted and visitors have authentic, life-enriching encounters with the region's enduring cultures.  ASM has a long tradition of internships.  They have probably been available at ASM since its founding in 1893, but certainly since Byron Cummings took over in 1915 and starting an actual teaching curriculum in the classroom and in the field.

Requisites for Internships

Internships at the Arizona State Museum are open to students in good academic standing who have maintained at least a 2.0 grade point average at the University of Arizona and are at least sophomores in standing.  ASM interns work directly with museum staff, research faculty or post-doctoral researchers, and may work individually or on a project team. Internships are tailored to the goals of each individual within the internship initiatives. Through museum work, interns gain professional experience.  Interns may be employed beyond their internship as warranted by their performance and project requirements.

Registering for an Internship at the Museum

To receive Anthropology credit for internships at the Arizona State Museum, please follow these steps:

  1. Review the offices and laboratories at the Arizona State Museum listed in this booklet.  Choose an area in which you are interested in pursing your internship.
  2.  Make an appointment with the Director of the office or laboratory in the museum with whom you’d like to work. If you pursue an internship in that office or laboratory, that individual will be your direct advisor.
  3. Arrive prepared to explain to the Director your learning goals and why you are interested in working in his or her area of the museum.
  4. If you are selected for an internship, negotiate the requirements for the internship and any specific work product you must produce (writing a paper, keeping a journal, preparing and giving a presentation, etc.)
  5. Since many staff members at the museum aren’t affiliated faculty in the School of Anthropology, make sure the direct advisor you are working with is either a SOA affiliated faculty or get suggestions from that individual as to who to ask to be your official SOA advisor for certifying and grading your internship.  If that individual  doesn’t know who to ask, contact the Advisor in the SOA, who can provide suggestions.
  6. Review the School of Anthropology's internship policies and fill out an application form.  The SOA offers internships at the Junior and Senior level, numbered 393 and 493.  All internships are graded on an “S” Superior, “P” Pass and “F” Fail scale and are therefore not included in a student’s GPA.
  7. Register for your internship, by filing out a change of schedule form and submitting it, along with your internship application, to the Anthropology undergraduate academic advisor, who can then register you for your internship. ANTH 393 internships can vary in credit from 1-4 credits, while ANTH 493 internships can vary in credit from 1-6 credits. As per the standards set by the Arizona Board of Regents, a student is required to do three hours of work per week for each credit earned; thus each credit requires 45 hours of work over a semester.

ASM offices, collections, laboratories and public programs which offer internship opportunities include:

Collections, Library, and Archives

Archaeological Collections, Second Floor, Room 218

Arizona State Museum’s archaeological collections offer student and faculty researchers opportunities to learn about the past 10,000 years of living in Arizona – from mammoth hunters to historical homesteaders. While the collection centers on this life, it also contains small assemblages of artifacts from surrounding states, including Sonora and Chihuahua in Mexico, and elsewhere, such as the Mediterranean. For more information, contact Dr. Todd Pitezel | Curator of Archaeological Collections | pitezel@email.arizona.edu | 520-621-6312.

ASM Library and Archives, Second Floor, Room 201

ASM Library is a non-circulating research collection specializing in the anthropology of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Browse titles related to archaeology, ethnology, ethnohistory, and material culture of the Southwest in the online catalog at http://larc.asmua.arizona.edu. The historic library reading room is open to the public Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 11am-4pm.

The ASM Archives cares for approximately 2,000 linear feet of paper documents related to the archaeology and ethnology of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. The archives collects original research notes and papers, correspondence, records from contract archaeology firms, field notes and reports from archaeological field schools, project files, and institutional records. Access to the ASM Archives is by appointment only. For more information, contact the ASM Library & Archives at 621-4695 or larc@email.arizona.edu.

Photographic Collections, Visit staff in the ASM Library

Arizona State Museum's photographic collections contain more than 500,000 prints, negatives, and transparencies illustrating the prehistory and ethnology of the American Southwest and northern Mexico. Visitors will have an opportunity to view a representative sample that spans much of the scope of the collection. For more information about the collection please contact Janelle Weakly (jweakly@email.arizona.edu).

Ethnological Collections, Second Floor, Room 216

ASM's ethnological collections—about 35,000 items—represent over 400 different culture groups. More than one third are from the SW United States and NW Mexico. In addition to the collections from the Southwest, the remaining collections are from other parts of North America, Central and South America, Africa, Oceania and Asia. Queries about the collections should be addressed to Diane Dittemore (dddittem@email.arizona.edu) or Andrew Higgins (avanyus@email.arizona.edu) 520-621-2079

Archaeological Repository Collections, ASM South, Basement, Visit Repository staff in Room 218

Established in 1984, the ASM repository receives and manages collections excavated on both public and private lands across the state focusing on the historic and prehistoric cultures of Arizona. The collections currently include c. 30,000 cubic feet of comparative sherds, chipped and ground stone, shell artifacts, faunal bone, and environmental samples. These objects, as well as accompanying field notes and reports, are available for research. The repository provides a means for students to gain experiences with material culture of the Southwest, while learning about museum practices and standards. Students frequently assist in the inventory and cataloguing collections. If you are a researcher wishing to request access to the collections, please contact Arthur Vokes by email at vokesa@email.arizona.edu or at 626-9109.

Laboratories

Bioarchaeological Lab/Program, Third Floor, Room 311

The ASM Bioarchaeology Laboratory and Collections provide students and faculty alike with opportunities to learn about the biological variation of past peoples. Human Osteology (ANTH 468/568)—the study of the human skeleton—is offered as a class every fall semester and provides the critical initial training for a career in bioarchaeology, bioanthropology, or forensic anthropology. Our collections offer extensive research potential for professionals and students and we conduct field research and training in the documentation of human skeletal remains. For more information, contact Dr. Watson (watsonjt@email.arizona.edu).

Conservation Laboratory, First Floor, Room 125, Behind The Pottery Project Exhibit

ASM’s conservation laboratory, established in the late 1970s, was the first, and remains the only, museum conservation laboratory in the state dedicated to the preservation of and technical research on anthropological collections. The Preservation Division actively supports and promotes the museum's policy to preserve and protect the collections entrusted to its care. Conservation is the discipline that applies scientific, mathematical, economic, social, artistic, and practical knowledge to research and analyze, design treatments, and prevent damage to our cultural heritage. For more information contact Dr. Nancy Odegaard, Head of Preservation (odegaard@email.arizona.edu) or Gina Watkinson, Laboratory Coordinator (gwatkins@email.arizona.edu) 520-621-6314.

Homol’ovi Research Program/Rock Art Ranch, ASM South, Room 301

The Arizona State Museum’s Homol’ovi Research Program has explored 13th-14th century ancestral Hopi communities near Winslow, Arizona since 1984, as well as more recently at Rock Art Ranch where artifacts as old as 13,000 years have been recovered. An enormous artifact assemblage and database offer undergraduate and graduate students diverse opportunities to gain experience in laboratory analysis or find research topics for independent studies, senior or master’s theses, or dissertations. For more information, contact E. Charles Adams (ecadams@email.arizona.edu; 621-2093).

The Pottery Vault, Room 123, Behind The Pottery Project Exhibit

Take a tour of the pottery vault, which stores some 20,000 Southwest Indian whole-vessel ceramics that are the focus of ASM's Pottery Project. Spanning 2000 years of life in the unique environments of the American desert Southwest and northern Mexico, the collection reflects almost every cultural group in the region. Queries should be addressed to Diane Dittemore (dddittem@email.arizona.edu) or Suzanne Eckert (sleckert@email.arizona.edu).

Stanley J. Olsen Laboratory of Zooarchaeology, Third Floor, Room 311A

The Stanley J. Olsen Laboratory of Zooarchaeology, located on the third floor, is one of the top laboratories for zooarchaeological research in North America. The Lab houses a large reference collection of close to 4000 fish, bird, reptile, amphibian, and mammal skeletal specimens from over 600 species. The collections include specimens from six continents, and the core of the collection comes from the southeastern and southwestern North America. The SJO Lab has great opportunities for students and volunteers to learn about curation of skeletal collections and about zooarchaeological analysis. Curious about skeletons and working in the lab? Contact Dr. Nicole Mathwich (nmathwich@email.arizona.edu).

Research Offices

AZSITE, ASM South, Room 207, Visit staff in the ASM Library

AZSITE is a Geographic Information System (GIS) that serves as a consolidated informational network of recorded cultural resources; including prehistoric and historic sites and properties, and surface surveys within the state of Arizona and a 40-mile buffer around the state.The AZSITE Consortium is a partnership formed by the Arizona State Historic Preservation Office, the Arizona State Museum at the University of Arizona, the School of Human Evolutionary and Social Change at Arizona State University, and the Museum of Northern Arizona. The consortium was created to facilitate the integration and shared management of cultural resources information for the entire state through AZSITE, an electronic cultural resources inventory. Please contact Malissa Hubbard (malissah@email.arizona.edu) for volunteer opportunities.

Office of Ethnohistorical Research (OER), Third Floor, Room 320

The Office of Ethnohistorical Research (OER) offers plenty of resources for student and faculty researchers interested in the ethnohistory, documentary history, environmental history, and/or political ecology of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. OER holdings include a 1,200-reel microfilm collection with tens of thousands of Spanish-language documents pertaining to the Spanish Borderlands, as well as a library with more than 8,000 secondary works, reference materials, indexes to major archival collections, maps, and guides to paleography and translation. Our research program also provides opportunities for students and volunteers to gain hands-on experience with transcribing, translating, and interpreting documents related to the past of this region’s Native peoples. Contact Dr. Dale Brenneman (daleb@email.arizona.edu).

Last Revised: Fall 2018