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Field Museum Semester: Research in Natural History (ACM)


Robin Ragan

Professor of Modern Languages (Spanish)

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999



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The ACM Field Museum Semester is an intensive research and class-based experience for upper-level students interested in natural history research with a background in evolutionary biology, anthropology, geology, and/or a related discipline. The program provides the opportunity for students to explore scientific research and the Field Museum collections through a substantive internship, a semester-long course taught by the Visiting Faculty Director, and a seminar led by Field Museum professional staff. Undergraduates from ACM colleges are eligible to apply.

The Field Museum Semester: Research in Natural History program is designed to offer you the unique undergraduate experience of immersing yourself in research at the Field Museum, a world-renowned natural history museum in Chicago. With a mentored internship, you will have the opportunity to pursue scientific questions in a museum setting as well as the opportunity to engage across scientific disciplines through the visiting faculty course and seminar. You will also become a member of the Field Museum community through your coursework and internship.

Program learning objectives:

  • Understand the functioning of a large, research, public-facing natural history museum, as related to mission.
  • Contribute significantly to ongoing activities of the museum while working closely with a supervisor.
  • Develop your skills as a member of a research community, interacting with other scientists and experts, sharing the results of your work, and engaging with your peers on the program.
  • Engage in an interdisciplinary course with an ACM faculty member and the full cohort of students on a topic connected to the work of the Field.
  • Develop your understanding of how your internship and specific tasks fit into a larger on-going project and make connections throughout the museum by actively participating in the seminar portion of the program.

While participating in the program, you will gain skills in conducting research, extend your knowledge, and learn how the scientific method and research discovery processes fit into larger projects; you will write about and discuss your internship through oral and visual presentations and written materials; and you will develop an understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of research being conducted at the Field Museum. 

Learn more about the Field Museum Semester: Research in Natural History (ACM) 

Offered: Fall Semester

Credits: 4.5 Knox credits

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Printed on Monday, May 23, 2022