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Research Assistant Opportunity

Creating a comparative database of 3D models of African mammalian skeletons [Research Assistantship]

Professor: Andrew Barr

Department: Anthropology

Title: Creating a comparative database of 3D models of African mammalian skeletons

Description: The goal of this project is to build a comparative database of 3D models of African mammalian skeletons. The student research assistant will learn all aspects of capturing, processing, and storing 3D data using a hand-held white-light scanner of the type used in many industrial applications (e.g., additive manufacturing and 3D printing) .

The anatomical models produced in this project will be used in identifying mammal fossils from the eastern African fossil record, as well as in studies of the functional adaptations of African mammals.  The broader goal is to understand the ecological context in which human evolution occurred over the past 3 million years in eastern Africa.

Duties: Assistant will be responsible for making 3D models of museum skeletal collections in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, at both the downtown Washington, DC location and the Suiteland, MD storage facility. Assistant must be competent in using a Window laptop, and be willing and able to learn 3D scanning protocol. Assistant will be expected to learn basic identification of skeletal elements of a variety of mammalian species. Assistant will be expected to to travel to museum locations and maintain curatorial standards while working with biological skeletal collections. If interested, assistant may be involved in the analysis and presentation of study results at national academic conferences.

Time commitment: 4-6 hours per week (average)

Credit hour option*: 2

Submit Cover Letter/Resume to: wabarr@gwu.edu

*If credit is sought, all registration deadlines and requirements must be met. Students selected to be research assistants should contact Ben Faulkner at benfaulkner@gwu.edu whether they intend to pursue credit or not.

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