Field Museum Internship

Notre Dame Annual Field Museum Internship


In cooperation with the Chicago Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois, the University of Notre Dame Anthropology Department has established a summer internship program open to anthropology majors and minors. This internship is intended to help promote our department's goals of increasing the number of our students pursuing a Ph.D in anthropology, and while planning to obtain a Ph.D after graduation is not a requirement for this internship, it will obviously help your candidacy.

The Internship occurs during the UND summer schedule. Students will be supported with a stipend to help defray costs associated with transportation, housing, and meals. Please note: graduating seniors are ineligible to apply.

Intern Duties
The students selected for the Field Museum internships in Chicago work with the Museum’s staff on their priceless collections, including tasks like helping with new acquisitions, and will come to see museum work from the inside. Interns will report to Christopher Philipp, Regenstein Collections manager of Pacific Anthropology, and will have the opportunity to work with museum staff and Notre Dame Faculty on specialized research projects. To see the types of projects on which curators are currently working, please review the Field Museum website by clicking HERE. Students are encouraged to gear application materials toward current research that sparks their interest.

To read about the experiences of previous interns please see the section below entitled "Previous Intern Stories."


Applicants should submit a complete application as attachments in an email with with the subject line “Field Museum Internship” to Prof. Eric Haanstad A complete applications consists of:

  1. a letter of application (describing why you would like to be an intern at the Field and your qualifications) 

  2. a curriculum vitae (not a resume) 

  3. full contact information for at least one recommender who could provide a letter of recommendation if requested by the committee 

  4. a transcript (a photocopy of an official transcript is acceptable)

The Internship Selection Committee is unable to consider incomplete application packets and/or application packets submitted after the deadline. Graduating seniors are ineligible to apply.

Submission Deadline: 5 pm Wednesday, March 17, 2021.


Previous Intern Stories:

Claire Stanecki - Field Museum Intern, Summer 2019

I am extremely grateful to have worked at the Field Museum this past summer. I worked in the Anthropology Department as an Integrative Research Center intern. I worked with Dr. Mark Golitko on his research and was overseen by Dr. Lisa Niziolek, the Boone Research Scientist in Asian Anthropology at the museum.

I spent most of my days in an anthropology lab conducting compositional data analysis on obsidian from the Hopewell collection. I was trained on a pXRF and ran over 1,500 scans. 664 of those scans were conducted on obsidian from the Hopewell collection itself (blads, flakes, spears, etc). The other 898 scans were conducted on raw samples of obsidian from Idaho, Yellowstone, Arizona, and New Mexico that were collected by Dr. Mark Golitko to be used as a cross-reference to the Hopewell obsidian.

In addition to analyzing the obsidian, I photographed, labeled, and reorganized parts of the collection in order to easily pair an object with its scan. I also worked the museum’s database and archives to learn as much as I could about the objects I was working with, many of which have been at the museum since its opening in 1893.

The opportunity to work with 2,000 year old artifacts and get a glimpse at the inner workings of a world class museum is absolutely invaluable to me. I learned so much and loved spending my summer at the Field Museum!

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Clay Jaskowski - Field Museum Intern, Summer 2018

This summer I was extremely fortunate to be given the opportunity to intern at The Field Museum in Chicago. While at the museum, I worked under Chris Philipp, Julia Kennedy, and Dr. Mark Golitko. Each of my respective supervisors offered incredible insight and taught me valuable lessons throughout the course of my time at the museum. Chris, the Pacific Collections Manager, has worked at the Field Museum for over twenty years, and seemingly knew every object of the tens of thousands in the Pacific Collection. Julia, the Assistant Collections Manager, was always super helpful and taught me both technical database skills, as well as how to catalog and scan information into archives. Dr. Golitko, whose research I was working on for the majority of my time at the museum, taught me how to use pXRF and introduced me to my first real research experience.

My main role while at the museum was to measure the chemical composition of obsidian tips on the end of daggers and spears through use of pXRF. Over my two months at the museum, I scanned and recorded information on over 600 spears and daggers. This data is now being used in further research.  I cannot express how grateful I am for this opportunity that was granted to me over the summer. I would like to especially thank all of my supervisors, as well as the Coss family, whose generous financial assistance made this possible. For other students considering this opportunity, I don’t have much to say except that this experience has been absolutely fantastic, and I cannot think of many better ways to spend a summer.

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Kaitlyn Melloh - Field Museum Intern, Summer 2012


"This summer I worked in the collections department of the Field Museum. I joined many other student interns from around the country, and we worked with objects from around the world. Some of my favorite parts of the internship included going on a collecting trip and bringing back Mexican folk art for the museum. I also enjoyed doing research on some of the older objects and discovering their history. Oftentimes this work included going through old archives and letters. I even got to read some original letters from Franz Boas, which was really cool as an anthropology major. Being in the city of Chicago working at one of the most important museums in the country was definitely a learning experience!"


Elizibeth "Liz" Olveda - Field Museum Intern, Summer 2010


"Some people see museums as places that are stuffy and static, but this could not be further from the truth. During my internship at the Field Museum I was able to experience the programs, challenges, questions, projects, and initiatives that museum staff must work with on a daily basis. Above and below the halls of exhibits are teams of people working out the logistics of traveling exhibitions, accessioning new artifacts, and dealing with the conservation of delicate materials. Interning at the Field Museum gave me access to all these non-public spaces and activities.

For me, every day at the Field Museum was a little bit different. I worked under Chris Philipp, a collections manager for the Anthropology department. I spent much of my time either working in the records room or working directly with artifacts in a storage/work space. As someone with a passion for history, I was thrilled to spend time looking through old catalogue books, photos, and files in the records room. Being able to handle delicately crafted cultural artifacts in the work space was not a bad way to spend an afternoon either. One of my favorite things about interning at the Field Museum was being invited to different curatorial meetings, exhibition meetings, department meetings, and staff lectures. By attending these various meetings an lectures I was able to learn more about issues in the museum and about the various research and projects being conducted by the curators. One day at work I spent an hour sitting inside the Maori house and sacred marae in the museum as Dr. Terrell, the curator of Pacific Anthropology, explained how the Maori of New Zealand used such spaces (essentially, a marae is a place where people encounter one another and explore their differences and shared experiences) and how he hopes to involve the Chicago community in this practice. His passion for his work and his desire to connect communities through the use of a distinct sacred space were truly inspiring. Now, looking back, I could not think of a better way to spend an hour as a student of anthropology."