Yale Peabody Museum Summer Internships

Student Summer Internships at the Yale Peabody Museum

The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History (YPM) is delighted to offer an expanded summer internship program for Yale undergraduate students! Interns will participate in the rich variety of research taking place in the Yale Science Hill community, and will work on a semi-independent project with one or more advisors using the Yale Peabody Museum’s diverse collections and resources. Included in the list below is one internship that is jointly sponsored by Yale University and the Smithsonian Institution.


The cohort of students selected for YPM summer internships will convene twice before the end of exams in early May for an orientation and introduction to the program, and to discuss expectations. For interns working on projects in or near New Haven, we'll hold meetings every other week to share progress reports and insights. We'll conclude with two follow-up sessions in early fall, the last of which will involve short presentations of students' work to that point. Students will also be expected to contribute written material for the Museum's website in the form of a blog, annotated photo essay, or more formal final report.


Please see internship projects below. All internships are 8 weeks long unless otherwise noted. The internships are for Yale undergraduate students; seniors graduating in May 2020 are unfortunately not eligible. The project descriptions for the YPM summer internships were developed by the internship advisors. You are welcome to contact the advisor(s) to propose changes or extensions to these projects, and accompanying budgetary amendments. If so, please be prepared to describe these changes in the application.


Summer 2020 Internship Projects

Internship applications are now closed for summer 2020. Click on the titles below for project descriptions and stipend amounts. Contact the listed advisor or the Director of Student Programs for more information.


Assessing Plant Specimen Collecting Bias

Advisor: Patrick Sweeney (Senior Collections Manager, YPM Division of Botany)


Development of High-Throughput Methods for Mass 3D Digitization of Natural History Collections

Advisor: Nelson Rios (YPM Head of Biodiversity Informatics and Data Science)


Digging Deeper: Showcasing the Untold Story of Fossil Vertebrates

Advisor: Vanessa R. Rhue (Collections Manager, YPM Division of Vertebrate Paleontology)


Exhibitions Interpretation

Advisor: Kailen Rogers (YPM Assistant Director of Exhibitions)


Functional Limb Morphology of Earliest Paleocene Mammals from the Bug Creek Anthills, Northeastern Montana

Advisors: Professor Eric Sargis (YPM Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology), Professor Stephen Chester, Brooklyn College (YPM VP curatorial affiliate) and Spencer Irvine (YPM VP graduate student)


Investigating the History and Technology Behind 500 Years of Scientific Instruments

Advisor: Alexi Baker (Collections Manager, YPM Division of History of Science and Technology)


Managing a Teaching Collection: Education

Advisors: Nicole Palffy-Muhoray (Assistant Director, YPM Student Programs) and Erin Gredell (Registrar, YPM)


Patterns of Speciation in the Longnose Darter Complex, Percina nasuta

Advisor: Professor Tom Near (YPM Curator of Vertebrate Zoology)


Phylogeography of Blue Ridge Endemic Freshwater Fishes

Advisor: Professor Tom Near (YPM Curator of Vertebrate Zoology)


Revisiting Ancient Reefs in the Glass Mountains, Texas

Advisor: Susan Butts (Senior Collections Manager, YPM Division of Invertebrate Paleontology)


Species Boundaries among Indomalayan Pencil-tailed Tree Mice (Rodentia, Muridae) from Southeast Asia

Yale/Smithsonian Joint Internship

Advisors: Professor Eric Sargis (YPM Curator of Mammalogy and Vertebrate Paleontology), Dr. Melissa Hawkins (USNM-SI Curator of Mammals), and Dr. Neal Woodman (USGS Research Biologist and USNM-SI Research Associate in Vertebrate Zoology)



Information and to Apply


Internship applications are now closed for summer 2020. Please check back here next year for information about summer 2021. Typically the internship topics are posted in early January with a mid-February application deadline.


Questions? Contact David Heiser, Director of Student Programs: david.heiser@yale.edu


Past Summer Internship Blogs

Take a look inside a few of the 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 summer internships through these fantastic student blogs!










David Heiser

Director of Student Programs


(203) 432-9545
Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History
P.O. Box 208118
New Haven, CT 06520-8118 USA