Zoology 405: Introduction to Museum Studies in the Natural Sciences

Fall Semester. This 2 or 3 credit course provides students with a general background of natural history museums, including history, collections, field collecting, specimen preparation, ethics, laws and education. It introduces students to a variety of natural science, humanities (as they apply to natural science) and library collections located at or near the University of Wisconsin Madison.

Outdoors Museum instruction
Learning field techniques

Directed Study (699) Opportunities at the UW Zoological Museum

 Zoology 699: Directed Study Regular Offerings

Please contact the Museum if you are interested in participating in a directed study. You must receive permission prior to enrolling in Integrative Biology 699 courses.  The form can be found here.

Introduction to Museum Techniques

Fall and spring semesters. This course offers students an opportunity to learn the methods and practical applications of   museum work. Students gain hands-on experience in the following areas: museum administration (museum security, accessions, loans and collection management); preparation of biological museum specimens (preparing specimens as skins, skeletons, in fluid and management of the dermestid colony); and final preparation and storage of specimens (cleaning skeletons, labeling, boxing, cataloging and specimen storage); modern studies of material conservation and preservation are introduced.

Advanced Museum Techniques

Fall, spring and summer semesters. This advanced course offers students the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge learned in the Introduction to Museum Techniques directed study (described above) and expand their skills in one or more chosen areas of museum work. Advanced Museum Techniques directed study projects are tailored to the student’s interest and the needs and availability of Museum staff to oversee the assignment. This directed study option can be repeated in the same or different areas of the Museum during subsequent semesters.

Zoology 699: Directed Study Special (Occasional) Topics Offerings

Archaeological Faunal Analysis

Fall, spring and summer semesters. This course provides a hands-on introduction to the principles and techniques for identifying and interpreting animal bones found at archaeological sites. By using the comparative osteological collections, students learn to 1) identify and classify faunal remains; 2) use quantitative techniques for recognizing assemblage-level patterns in bone data; and 3) achieve an understanding of how archaeologists translate such patterned evidence into reconstructions of past human behavior.

Museum Research

Fall, spring and summer semesters. This course offers students the opportunity to carry out independent research projects and report their findings, using various comparative museum collections. Some common topics include skeletal pathology, anatomical variation, and zoogeography. Students work one-on-one with a museum curator to complete this highly specialized course. A research proposal must be submitted for review, if students are considering this option.

Other UW-Madison Courses served by the UW Zoological Museum

Biocore 382: Evolution, Ecology, & Genetics
Psychology 450: Animal Behavior-Primates
Wildlife 306: Terrestrial Vertebrates
Zoology 102: Animal Biology Laboratory
Zoology 400: Tropical Herpetology
Zoology 430: Comparative Anatomy
Zoology 510: Ecology of Fishes
Zoology 521: Birds of Southern Wisconsin