AAM: Getty International Program

aam-logoAAM: Getty International Program

The AAM-Getty International Program is a professional growth opportunity that provides financial support to non-U.S. museum professionals to attend the AAM Annual Meeting and MuseumExpo. The Review Committee reads applications and selects the most qualified applicants from a talented and diverse pool of museum colleagues.  Selected participants receive:

  • getty_logoComplimentary conference registration
  • Travel stipend for airfare and per diem
  • Up to six nights complimentary lodging at official host conference hotel
  • Orientation session exclusively for international program participants
  • Invitation to the AAM-Getty International Program Breakfast and Global Leadership Reception
  • Participation in exclusive on-site Leadership and Career Management workshop (May 6)

In addition, Participants will also receive:

Applications for the 2017 AAM Annual Meeting are due on Monday, January 30, 2017.


Non-US professionals currently working in museums may apply for the AAM-Getty International Program. Individuals must work in an art museum or work with art collections in a museum in countries with developing or emerging economies. Individuals who have not previously participated in the AAM-Getty International Program will be given preference.

Requirements of Program Participants

  • Participants are required to attend the entire Annual Meeting, AAM-Getty International Program Orientation, AAM-Getty International Program Breakfast and Leadership and Career Management workshop.
  • Participants are expected to stay in the AAM officially designated hotel.

Program Participants are also strongly encouraged to join in the following educational and networking activities:

  • New Member Orientation session
  • First-Time Attendees Welcome session
  • General Sessions
  • Emerging Innovators Forum
  • Professional Networks Marketplace of Ideas

After the conference, AAM-Getty International Program Participants are required to submit an evaluation survey on their Annual Meeting experience.

How to Apply

Applicants submit their application via an online process. Individuals are encouraged to compile their application materials before starting the online process. Applicants will not be able to save and return to complete their application later.  The Review Committee will not consider incomplete or late applications.

To complete the online application by Monday, January 30, 2017:

Step One

  • Prepare and submit a single PDF document in English with the following:
  1. Essay (no longer than 500 words) addressing the following questions:
  • How will your participation at the conference contribute to the rich, diverse conversation at the Annual Meeting?
  • How will your participation at the conference contribute to your professional growth and experience?
  • How will you plan to share knowledge from the conference in your work, institution and more broadly?
  1. Case Study Presentation: Write a case study description on a unique or innovative project, program, activity or research you are involved in at your museum that you would like to discuss at the AAM annual meeting. The case study title and description not to exceed three sentences.
  2. Resume or curriculum vitae (2 to 3-page limit)
  3. Letter of recommendation by a supervisor or employer articulating how your attendance at the Annual Meeting will benefit you, your institution and the broader museum field. Only one letter is required.

Step Two

  • Login to the AAM-Getty International Program Application Form
  • Create a new login profile or review your existing profile for accuracy and complete the demographic information.
  • Provide the estimated airfare costs to fly round-trip to St. Louis, MO (coach-class) May 5- May 10 in the application. Please be as accurate as possible on your estimated airfare costs as the travel subsidy will not exceed the estimated airfare costs provided on the application.
  • Upload your required PDF document to include: essay, resume, proposed case study description, and recommendation letter
  • Insert your first and last name in the Description field.
  • Review your application to be sure all information is accurate and complete. Applicants will not be able to save and return to complete their application later.
  • Click the Submit button.


AAM will notify applicants via email of their application status by February 24, 2017.

Confirmation and Conference Registration

AAM-Getty International Program Participants recipients must:

  • Sign and return AAM-Getty International Program Terms & Conditions Agreement no later than March 3, 2017.
  • Once AAM receives the agreement form we will:
  • Issue a special code with instructions to participants on how to register for complimentary Annual Meeting registration and purchase additional event tickets that are not included in the award.
  • Please note: These awards are non-transferable. Participants are responsible for all costs for obtaining a passport (and a visa, if necessary). Airline reservations will be made by AAM’s official travel agency unless extenuating circumstances require alternate arrangements.



Two positions at Carnegie Museum of Natural History


Carnegie Museum of Natural History is advertising two full time academic positions:

ASSISTANT CURATOR OF AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES Responsibilities include original scientific research involving the biology of amphibians and reptiles in such areas as systematics, evolutionary biology, ecology, conservation biology, especially but not limited to work involving consequences of anthropogenic change. 1311-ft-assistant-curator-of-amphibians-and-reptiles

POST-DOCTORAL FELLOW, INTERIM CURATOR, ANTHROPOCENE (2-year fixed term, renewable) The position’s primary responsibility is to work with the Director and the Director’s senior leadership, the museum’s science staff, as well as Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh central staff to develop an intellectual and infrastructural framework for the new Center for Anthropocene Studies. 1312-ft-post-doctoral-fellow-interim-curator-anthropocene


About Carnegie Museum of Natural History

The museum consists of 115,000 square feet organized into 30 galleries as well as space for research, library, and administration. It over 22 million specimens, of which about 10,000 are on view at any given time and about 1 million are cataloged in online databases. The museum’s active curatorial departments are: Herpetology, Invertebrate Zoology, Mammals, Minerals, Mollusks, and Vertebrate Paleontology.

It also owns Powdermill Nature Reserve, the environmental research center of Carnegie Museum of Natural History, has been dedicated to its mission of research, education, and conservation for more than 50 years. It is a place for scientists, for students, and for families who are interested in the natural world.

Carnegie Museum of Natural History maintains an international reputation for scientific research, publishing scholarly journals and books including Annals of Carnegie Museum, which offers peer-reviewed articles in organismal biology, earth sciences, and anthropology; Bulletin of Carnegie Museum of Natural History, offering monographs or collections of related papers from symposia; and Special Publications of Carnegie Museum, documenting special topics or areas of research.


Call for Workshop and Session Topics, ICOM NATHIST 2017

22357168195_913df4c0bf_cICOM NATHIST conferences frequently include workshops on special topics and sessions of spoken papers. These have been very successful in providing the opportunity for special interest groups to spend time on a particular topic. One such special session resulted in our upcoming book The Future of Natural History Museums and every year the Wildlife Trafficking Working Group holds a special session for its members and interested parties.

In 2017, we offer you the opportunity to suggest themes as we lead up to our call for papers (March 1, 2017) by downloading this form and sending it in to us. icom-nathist-2017-proposal-for-sessions-and-workshop-topics-suggestions-final The deadline is February 20, 2017. 

What to expect:

A session:  a group of four or more individual spoken presentations, each about 15 minutes long, all on the same theme. You do not have to have individual papers or speakers identified at this stage, however if you do, please include them. If you do not obtain speakers for your session or, and the Planning Committee takes it forward, it will be included in the call for papers. Although there will be a poster session, session proposals are for spoken presentations only.

 A workshop: a facilitated symposium on a specific subject – can be free-form or highly structured, typically lasting about 90 minutes. It has the function of bringing together small groups, in which everyone present is requested to participate actively. A facilitator (perhaps you) has prepared the concepts and techniques they will present and discuss through a combination of visual materials, interactive tools or equipment, and demonstrations. It may include some take home material and may emphasize on “hand-on-practice” designed to teach or reinforce new skills. Small specialist workshops can be accommodated in a breakout room at the museum.

If you have difficulty accessing the form, or have specific questions, please use the online contact form.

We look forward to hearing from you – your participation will ensure we all get the very best out of this meeting.


ICOM NATHIST Archives Project, Phase 2

Files cropped.gifEarlier this year, ICOM NATHIST completed phase one of its archives project, to upload onto our site all the past newsletters since the first issue, in 1978. Special thanks to past President, Dr. Gerhard Winter, for driving this project through to completion. These can be downloaded from our Archive page.

Due to a number of requests, we are reinstating occasional newsletters, starting with digests of communications since 2013. The first of these, Issue #36 is now available, along with news about our re-branding exercise and various updates.

Download the newsletter here.

This cataloguing of our past communications comprises the second and final phase of the project. Issues #37 through #39 will be devoted to information from 2014 through 2016, respectively.

For questions regarding this project, please use the comment form at this link.


Season’s Greetings


As another year draws to a close, it’s typical for us to reflect on where we’ve come and were we’re going. What we can predict for 2017, perhaps more than many past years, is relatively uncertain. Even a few highlights from a list of current environmental issues is enough to give most of us pause. The Arctic was 36° warmer than usual at the beginning of the northern winter and the change in climate is already reflected in major shifts in flora communities in previously permanently frozen areas like Greenland. Sudan’s ecosystems and natural resources are deteriorating due to desertification to the point where the area could become uninhabitable. The 2016 wild population of black rhinos is between 5,042 and 5,455 individuals, a staggering decline from 500,000 individuals a hundred years ago. The World Economic Forum predicts that the world’s oceans will contain 1 tonne of plastic for every 3 tonnes of fish by 2025 and by 2050, more plastic, by weight, than fish. Only a minority of Americans fully accept evolution through natural selection.

holly-berries-snowAdded to this is the uncertain future of science and research in many countries, heightening concerns over the state of global environmental protection. What will 2017 bring in terms of the operating context of natural history museums? How will our institutions add to global understanding of evolution? Biodiversity conservation? How will we fare in a global economic and political climate that may or may not value our key messages and core work?

One thing is certain: our work, both as as individual institutions and through membership-based organizations like ICOM NATHIST, is more important than ever. As one of the main (and most credible) channels through which the public learns about the natural sciences, natural history museums are critical sources of knowledge on which to base informed decisions. In view of this, our committee has been very busy on a number of fronts this year and has achieved a considerable amount. Here are some highlights:

  • The Wildlife Trafficking Working Group released the white paper on natural history museums and wildlife trafficking, presented at the annual conference of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and has received international attention.
  • We held our 2016 conference in Milan, as part of the ICOM triennial conference in which we welcomed a number of new board members and collaborated with the Committee for University Museums and Collections (UMAC) on a symposium about displaying human remains.
  • Our website visitation climbed by more than 10% since last year and better than by 37% over the past two years.
  • We released a conference planning manual which is already gaining credibility as a best practice document for the sector.
  • We published a Japanese version of the ICOM Code of Ethics for Natural History Museums and redesigned the website for the ICOM NATHIST Ethics Working Group
  • We archived back issues of our newsletter going back to 1978 and made them available on the web
  • Signed a memorandum of understanding with the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC) and engaged in joint projects with our partners like WAZA and UNEP.
  • Administration of Platform 2022 has been taken over by the National Taiwan Museum, who have also produced the first comprehensive history of ICOM NATHIST.

jay-in-winterThe Board of ICOM NATHIST is enormously grateful to all those who have contributed to our success this year. From our hosts at MUSE and ICOM Italy for consummately hosting our conference, to the members of the Paris-based ICOM Secretariat who have provided such excellent support for administration, to members of the cultural and scientific sectors who have partnered with us so effectively this year and, most important, to our members who are life’s blood of the Committee the reason for what we do.

Warmest wishes for the 2016 holiday season to you and your family.


Musée de la Nature in Sion, Switzerland, Wins National Prize for Anthropocene Exhibition


Dr. Nicolas Kramar addresses guests at the Valais Nature Museum at the celebration of the SCNAT Award

14 December, 2016 – Switzerland. ICOM NATHIST member Musée de la Nature in Sion, Valais (Valais Nature Museum) Switzerland and its Director, Dr. Nicolas Kramar  received the prestigious Prix Expo 2016, awarded by the Swiss Academy of Natural Sciences (SCNAT) for the exhibition “Objectif Terre: Vivre l’Anthropocène” (Objective Earth”: Living in the Anthropocene) The jury praised the courage of the Museum of Nature to approach the Anthropocene with brilliance, with the aim of making it accessible to a large, non-specialist audience, as well as Marie Velardi’s remarkable scenography, which was extended to the Penitentiary until 2 April 2017.


exhibition-signageThe Anthropocene: a new era

Humanity is crossing a new geological era: the Anthropocene. For the first time, man has become, for a very short time, a few hundred years, a force capable of radically transforming the natural environment. The contemporary environmental problems that result from it go far beyond the sole theme of climate. To break the impasse, the issue is not just scientific and technological. It is primarily cultural and anthropological. The Anthropocene presents itself as a tremendous opportunity to rethink our relationship with nature to forge links with it and become a full-fledged landowner.

What is our place on Earth?

Interpret the public, offer reliable and reasoned information, enrich it with new and stimulating reflections on topical themes, nicolas-accpeting-the-awardencourage it to participate in the construction of our common future: these are some of the ambitions of this exhibition. The course takes place on the three floors of the Penitentiary, each answering a specific question about the Anthropocene: Why are we talking about Anthropocene? What is the origin of our present situation? How to live in the time of the Anthropocene? In the final section, the public is invited to participate and propose new and creative solutions that will complement the exhibition to rethink its place and its relationship with the land. For a new and stronger consciousness about the relationship and protection of our environment is necessary, to rethink the living environment of man and animal. Thus, the demand for action is more cultural, political and social than technical. In the present era of the Anthropocene, man must again turn first to the earth. In short: Objective Earth!



Partial view of the exhibition. Photo: M. Martinez  courtesy of Valais Nature Museum

Museography by Marie Velardi

Multiple lines run through the walls and floors of the exhibition space, from the stairwell to the top floor of the Old Penitentiary of Sion, through the exhibition halls. These lines disturb the grids present in the architecture, and offer a dynamic route to the visitors of the exhibition. Initially untied, they intersect and participate in the content of the rooms, to speak in their own way of the subject. For example, in the room on modernity, two perspective grids give an impression of vertigo and loss of spatial references, as a way of experiencing a mathematized space and a distance from modernity. In the “conquer” room, a line becomes the access road to the summit of a mountain painted on the wall, to approach the conquest of the Alps, and in the room “Fence” the lines become fence. On the 3rd floor, while some lines run in a straight line against the walls, as if they were continuing the modern “project” until its disintegration, other lines connect and form a weaving, creating links. It is a space of possibilities, which is developing in a modular way, and will continue to be built throughout the exhibition, according to the proposals of resources coming from the public.

The 2016 Expo Award rewards the courage of the Museum


Nicolas Kramar celebrates with two of his sons, Romain and Thomas, accompanied by Dr Jürg Pfister, Secretary General of SCNAT and Esther Waeber-Kalbermatten, minister of culture of the State of Valais. Photo courtesy of Valais Nature Museum

The Swiss Academy of Natural Sciences (SCNAT) is an association of 35,000 experts who are committed at regional, national and international level to the future of science and society. Each year, by awarding the Expo Prize, it distinguishes exhibitions and related events that spark a passion for nature and the natural sciences to a wide audience in a lively and scientifically based way. By awarding the 2016 Expo Prize, the jury welcomes the Museum’s handling of the Anthropocene, a difficult and topical subject. It also highlights the multidisciplinary approach and the remarkable scenography on which the exhibition is based. Exposure is extended to the Penitentiary until April 2, 2017.

See the museum’s website (in French) at this link.

ICOM NATHIST releases official conference planning manual


Dec 6- 2016. ICOM NATHIST has just released its first conference planning manual, an aid to those planning an annual ICOM NATHIST conference or who are contemplating doing so.

The manual is the amalgamation of lessons from many past conferences, authored jointly by past conference hosts and ICOM NATHIST Board Members. Read more and download the manual at this link.