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Opportunities - Insect Division

Employment & Volunteering

The Insect Division accepts volunteers that wish to assist us with our collections management, database projects, and other activities where extra hands and minds make a difference. We only ask that volunteers be over the age of 16, and capable of working with fragile materials.

We often have positions open for students that have been awarded College Work-Study grants. Typically, such jobs are 10-15 hrs per week, and may involve working with live insect cultures, database entry, specimen illustration, slide-ringing and labeling, image scanning, general collections maintenance, and other tasks that involve working with the collections. Check the listings online on the UM Student Employment page.

Temporary part-time hourly positions are often available, especially at the beginning of semesters, and during the summer months. Employees must be over the age of 18, and capable of working with database entry on computers, specimen handling, and working with minimal supervision once trained for a specific task. You do not have to be a UM student to work in these positions, but preference is given to UM students.

Our new location at 3600 Varsity Drive is ca. 5 miles from campus, and not on a direct bus route. However, for UM students, we have cab service available that can transport you from the main campus to Varsity Drive.  Therefore, the ability to schedule your work in half-days would be very desirable.

Contact a Curator or the Collections Manager if you are interested in working for us.

Current Student Job Postings

Position: Field Technician/Research Assistant

Term: May - October 2019 (6 month summer temporary position)

Rate: $11/hour, up to 24 hours per week

Job Description:

Learn about Michigan’s amazing hymenopteran diversity! Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, and ants) is the most specious group of insects in the world and one of the most important, yet much is still unknown about the hymenoptera in Michigan. Hymenoptera greatly impact the health and function of natural, agricultural, and urban environments as pollinators, pest control, and pests themselves. This project (Michigan’s Hidden Triple Threat: Hymenoptera Pollinators, Parasitoids, & Predators) will provide key information concerning contemporary hymenopteran fauna in Michigan.

Two technicians are sought to survey the bees and wasps in Michigan. Technicians will be trained in insect collecting and trapping techniques, preparation and processing procedures, general insect identification, and ecological data collection. Fieldwork and data collection will be conducted in the E.S. George Reserve and Saginaw Forest every other week with specimen preparation, data processing, and identification conducted at the Research Museums Center (RMC) on non-fieldwork weeks.

Job requirements:

MUST be able to work outside on sunny days during collection/field weeks. This often requires a flexible schedule since the weather can be fickle.

• Must be comfortable handling/being trained to handle live insects including stinging insects. The chances of being stung are actually surprisingly low –after collecting for close to 20 years, I’ve only been stung handful of times while collecting. 

• Must have a valid driver’s license to drive to field sites (car will be provided)

• Experience with insects or collecting is a plus, but not required.

Contact:  If you are interested in this position, please send your CV and cover letter to Dr. Erika Tucker (

Application review will start March 11, 2019. Applications will continue to be accepted until the position is filled.