Category Archives: Tools of the trade

All Fired Up!

Administrative Assistant Lory Beaudoin has discovered an unexpected aspect of her job: accompanying museum scientists to the firing range! Continue reading

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Museum Metabolism

Like animals and plants, museums have a “metabolism”. Do you know how it functions? Continue reading

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Setting Up House: Acquiring and Caring for Live Beetles

What’s involved in getting the live beetles into the museum for exhibition? Overseas shipping, custom housing and a gentle touch are just some of the requirements outlined by animal-care technician Stuart Baatnes. Continue reading

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Spiclypeus shipporum, the New Dino in Town

It’s not every day a palaeontologist introduces a new dinosaur species to the world! Jordan Mallon tells the story of “Judith”, the new horned dinosaur that he recently identified at the museum with colleagues. Continue reading

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Catharine Parr Traill Herbarium Scrapbook Gets Careful Conservation Treatment

How do we preserve plant specimens that are more than a century old? Erika Range describes her conservation work on the precious collection of a celebrated botanist and Canadian pioneer. Continue reading

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How to Keep Skeletons Clean—Just Spit on Them!

Researcher Scott Rufolo tells us about some sometimes surprising techniques that he learned for cleaning bones that will be added to the museum’s collections or used in our research projects. Continue reading

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Shrinking the World to Talk about Nature

Internet technologies helped biologist Paul Hamilton give a talk about conservation to university students in Indonesia without leaving his lab in Canada. Continue reading

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Nature Inside and Out

How are species identified? Let us tell you about some indispensable tools. Continue reading

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My Visit to a New York City Basement

Interest in tools and techniques for care of tissue samples used for DNA research brought Roger Bull to the American Museum of Natural History, where he visited the Ambrose Monell Cryogenic Collection and its −160°C vats. Continue reading

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Preparing Diatom Samples: Part 2

Museum volunteer Joe Holmes takes us behind the scenes in the diatom lab to show us how to prepare microscopic samples for study and preservation. Learn about the steps in making light-microscope slides and SEM discs. Continue reading

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