Museum Studies

MSC01 1050
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Physical Location:
Hibben Center
Rm 320

Phone: (505) 277-0786

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Current Student Projects

Kaylen Jones combines her love for art and wolves with her position at the Museum of Southwest Biology.

While purusuing her Masters in Museum Studies at the University of New Mexico Kaylen Jones has works as a Museum Tech at the Museum of Southwest Biology.  As the video notes, one class in Museum Practices has changed her life and career path.  Were excited to follow her educational and professional career.

Kaylen Jones MA student 2016

Kathrine Shaum is gaining hands on experience working with collections at the Maxwell Museum

Museum Studies Students and Faculty with African objectI am a graduate student at the University of New Mexico working on a master’s degree in Anthropology with an emphasis on Public Archaeology. As a Graduate Assistant (GA) in Museum Studies, I assist the Curator of Ethnology at the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology with the collections. These collections are surprisingly varied, ranging from hundreds of kachina dolls, Navajo rugs, and Native American baskets to Maya textiles, contemporary Pueblo pottery, and African sculpture and metalwork.

My duties include researching the origins and artists behind recently donated objects, accessioning objects in the database and on paper, guiding visiting researchers and students, assisting with moves and inventories, and cleaning and treating objects.

Having never worked in a proper anthropology museum before, I am finding each of these new experiences valuable. After graduation, I hope to continue in anthropology and archaeology in either a museum or in the field.   

Steve Maness combines his graduate work in Latin American Studies with a Museum Studies Minor

Steve Maness is a second year student in the interdisciplinary Master of Arts program, through the Latin American & Iberian Institute where his focus is Pre-Columbian Art History and Anthropology. He has been a Graduate Assistant in Museum Studies since Spring of 2013. Steve’s program has a direct and shared interest with Dr. Traxler’s (our Director) prior accomplishments in Maya Archaeology. In addition to direct access to Dr. Traxler’s experience and attentive guidance, his Graduate Assistantship lends valuable insight and training toward his future plans to be a college instructor and work for cultural organizations. Steve is the first person in his family to attend college and therefore invests heavily in helping others toward success. He has served as Co-Chair on the Graduate Professional Student Association Grant Committee and currently represents graduate student interests on the President’s Cabinet. Because of his diverse, non-traditional background combined with his passionate investment in community enrichment, he was an American Alliance of Museums Fellow at the spring annual meeting in Seattle, Washington. In Fall 2014, he was nominated for the prestigious 2014 Sarah Belle Brown Community Service Award. Prior to pursuing a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies, Steve earned a B.A. in University Studies with an emphasis in Ancient Cultures. Steve’s interest in Museum Studies is the result of a rich background as a musician (instrumental and vocal) through work with esteemed trainers, including Kim S. Shelley (percussionist) of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and vocal coach Maralin Niska of theNew York Metropolitan Opera. He was adopted and raised on his grandparent’s farm in the township of Old Mines, Missouri. He eagerly welcomes questions or opportunities to help others in their pursuit of higher education, community service or personal development.

Maren Svare at Chaco Cultural Historic Park in New Mexico
Maren taking surveys at Chetro Ketl

Maren Svare studies how visitors use interpretive materials at Chaco Culture National Historic Park

I am a graduate student at the University of New Mexico working on my master’s thesis in Anthropology and completing a graduate minor in Museum Studies.  Most recently, I have been doing fieldwork at Chaco Culture National Historic Park in Northwestern New Mexico.  Here, I am working on a project aimed toward understanding how visitors at Chaco utilize the interpretive materials provided by the National Park Service.  In particular, I am interested in gaining a better understanding of what visitors learn and don’t learn from the material provided.  To see Chaco from both a visitor’s and an interpreter’s point of view, I have conducted personal interviews with park rangers, volunteers and visitors.  I have also developed a comprehensive visitor’s survey which I’ve had the opportunity to administer over several weekend visits.  Once I finish my study at Chaco I intend to present my completed work to the Park Service staff and at various academic conferences.

In addition to my fieldwork, I also volunteer as a student docent at the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, leading school group tours.  By combining my studies with these experiences, upon graduation I hope to work in a museum in an education capacity, creating exciting curriculum for museum visitors, specifically children.