Well, there were two fantastic projects that we wanted to give the NatSCA Bill Pettit Memorial Award to this year. Here are the details:
Saving the World’s Rarest Skeleton
In 2014-15 the Grant Museum will undertake a major project in remedial conservation to disarticulate, clean and remount its skeleton of the extinct quagga. It is the only articulated quagga in the UK, and can be considered the rarest skeleton in the world. The work is intended to secure the long-term preservation of the specimen – that no subsequent work would be necessary in the future.
The quagga would be the focus – and most involved element – of a major project of conservation of 39 large specimens, many of which have been on open display for over a century without any treatment. Interventions will range from cleaning (in the majority of cases) to remounting (quagga and dugong).
As much of the conservation as possible will be performed in the public eye in the gallery, shedding light on a crucial element of museum work which gets little public attention.
Curation of Discovery deep-sea samples at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton
The Discovery Collections are an internationally important historical collection of deep-sea marine invertebrate and fish specimens. The first samples were collected in the Southern Ocean by RRS Discovery, the ship used by Captain Robert Falcon Scott for his first Antarctic expedition in 1901. The collections are closed to the public, yet specimens are displayed and used at a variety of public engagement events (e.g. festivals, open days, school visits) by a wide spectrum of people.
This application is to support the engagement of a temporary staff member to assist in the curation and cataloguing of three large collections of deep-sea samples held in the Discovery Collections. These are the result of three major research programs: the Crozet Island collection (a 42-day cruise in 2006 on the RRS Discovery), the ECOMAR collection (a 4-year project studying the fauna of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge) and the Arabian Sea Collections (5 month-long research cruises 2002-2003). The samples are in urgent need of care and attention to ensure their future use by the scientific community.
The Bill Pettit Memorial Award
A big congratulations to the winners. If you would like to know more about the Bill Pettit Memorial Award, you can find out on our Awards and Bursaries page or read more about previous year’s winners here.