Author Archives: BRTC

Angela Guajardo, Student Intern

Case Checks The Biodiversity Research and Teaching Collections, or the BRTC, at Texas A&M University is one of the largest university based natural history collections in the United States. Home to over a million preserved specimens, the BRTC serves as a worthwhile educational tool for the students of Texas A&M. As a student, I have had the pleasure of working at the BRTC in the mammal division under Dr. Jessica Light. The mammal division of the BRTC is comprised of mammal skin, skeleton, and alcohol specimens that have… Read More →

Small mammal prep – Student Intern Hudson Berkhouse

My name is Hudson Berkhouse and I am a senior at Texas A&M University.  For the past two years I have been a Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences major (WFSC; or as I like to say, a Wi-Fi-Sci-Guy), with an emphasis on management.  Prior to becoming a WFSC major, I majored in Biomedical Sciences. I changed my major as a sophomore because I wanted hands-on field and lab experience, both of which are heavily emphasized in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences.  Accordingly, my internship entailed working as a field technician… Read More →

Data Collection – Student Intern Hudson Berkhouse

My name is Hudson Berkhouse and I am a senior Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences major at Texas A&M University.  One of the reasons I was originally drawn to this major was that it combines a thorough scientific education in many wildlife-related scientific fields with hands-on training and experience.  Accordingly, students seeking a degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences must, at some point in their undergraduate years, fulfill an internship that is in some way related to their studies.  For my internship, I was able to work as a… Read More →

Sherman trapping at the APC – Lauren Wimbish

During August, I went into the field to trap small mammals at the Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge near Sealy, Texas. I spent August 19-21 at the refuge with two graduate students from the Light Lab who were collecting samples for their research. The purpose of this research was to examine the effects of invasive red imported fire ants on small mammals, ticks, and tick-borne pathogens. On the first night we arrived, we set out 60 Sherman live traps at each of four transects distributed across areas… Read More →

Mammal preparation at the BRTC – Stefan Hill

Hands down, the best job I have had while interning at the BRTC was preparing mammal skins for the collection.  Although I haven’t had much time to prep any skins on my own, I am hoping that will change in the last few weeks of my internship.   Of all the tasks given to me this semester, it is not only the most fun but has also been the most rewarding experience of my time here.   Prepping a mammal and providing a skin and corresponding skeletal material to the… Read More →

Stefan Hill, sorter of tissues

One of my main projects during my internship at Texas A&M University’s Biodiversity Research and Teaching Collections (BRTC) was sorting through and organizing a collection of tissue samples from past research by Dr. Ira Greenbaum. These tissue samples were primarily harvested from a variety of Peromyscus species over decades of research. Totaling over 7,000 combined liver, heart, kidney, and testicle samples, the collection had been stored inside freezers in Dr. Greenbaum’s lab for some time, until those freezers started to fail.  Luckily the BRTC was able to take… Read More →

Small mammal preparation at the BRTC

Noel Lyon – BRTC intern One of the more hands on tasks at the Biodiversity Research and Teaching Collections (BRTC) is to prepare scientific specimens to be cataloged into the mammal database. Scientifically prepared skins held in natural history collections provide morphological and physical characteristics of individuals and the species as a whole. These data can illustrate how individuals and a species can vary through time and geography, creating a snapshot of a species in a given time and location. Furthermore, additional data such as the life stage,… Read More →

Stefan Hill, Dermestid Care Level: Expert

My name is Stefan Hill and during my final semester as an undergraduate at Texas A&M University, I had the fortunate pleasure of interning at Texas A&M University’s Biodiversity Research and Teaching Collections (BRTC).   It was the busiest semester I have had to date in my entire college career, but the experience I gained as an intern in these short few months have been one of the highlights of my academic study.  I learned the ins and outs of how the specimens in the collection are selected, prepared,… Read More →

Mammal Collection at the BRTC – from the eyes of an intern

Noel Lyon – Spring intern 2015 The mammal collection at the Biodiversity Research and Teaching Collections (BRTC) contains thousands of scientific specimens. These include alcohol specimens, skeletons, skulls, and scientifically prepared specimens. One of the greatest dangers to skeletons, skulls, and alcohol specimens is being dropped, whereas scientifically prepared specimens are threatened by insect pests. One of the many insect pests detrimental to preserved animal skins is the cigarette beetle. Larvae feed by burrowing into the skin, which can damage or ruin a museum specimen. Feeding by adults… Read More →

Libraries of Life –

Excellent article from NY Times about collections! Libraries of Life –