In Museum Unlocked, CU Boulder graduate students and staff interview the people behind the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History to give you a behind-the-scenes view into their careers and journeys. Learn about their fulfilling work contributing to scientific research, stewardship of museum collections, academic teaching, and public education and exhibits. Discover the twists and turns of the journeys that have gotten these passionate professionals to where they are now. Listen on Soundcloud, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Stitcher.
Episode One: 3D Modeling, Mentorship, and Mongolian Horses
Dr. William Taylor wanted to be an archaeologist like Indiana Jones as a kid, but lost sight of that dream as a teenager. Discover how a single college elective led Will back to this dream, and how a field school experience in Mongolia sparked a research passion to unlock mysteries of ancient horse domestication. Learn how struggles, privilege, and the impact of mentorship have shaped his path.
Episode Two: Arctic Rainforests, Fossil Teeth, and Climate Change
Tapirs and monkeys lived in the arctic?! Dr. Jaelyn Eberle’s research provides puzzle pieces about prehistoric periods of climate shifts. As a young girl in rural Canada, she looked for fossils with her grandmother, and though she had never met a paleontologist, she knew she would become one. She now leads multidisciplinary science expeditions in the Canadian Arctic. Discover what collaborative field and lab research look like, what it’s like to be a female in paleontology, and her approach to encouraging university students to become concerned citizens.
Episode 3: Marine Symbiosis, Field Biology, and Continuous Curiosity
How can photosynthetic algae and invertebrate animals benefit each other? What can we learn from marine symbiosis to make human agriculture more efficient and human relationships more mutually beneficial? Questions like these feed Dr. Jingchun Li’s continuous curiosity. Inspired by a children’s book series, she became fascinated with biology as a kid and collected unusual pets to observe at home. She now weaves together field biology, lab research, museum collections, teaching, and lessons from being the mom of young children to answer scientific questions about earth’s biodiversity.
Episode 4: A Contextual Approach to Archaeology
It wasn’t until an archaeology class perfectly fit her college schedule that Dr. Samantha Fladd considered being an archaeologist or a college professor. Now, as assistant professor, museum curator, and archaeological researcher, she helps college students investigate cultures of the past through analysis of archives and museum collections. She pays special attention to how access to spaces relates to social power dynamics and identity in past civilizations, and candidly offers insights into privileges and barriers that have impacted her own career journey. Episode releases October 12!