Instagram photos and videos
The old dissection auditorium at Institut für Anatomie in Bern. Reminded me of @medicalmuseion 🔪 Mentally trying to prepare for another visit to the University of the Arts and being away from my son again 🇨🇭
My last post today (can't remember the last time I posted three times in one day 😱 is it 2012 or something!?). I wanted to post something botanical, seeing as that has been my main interest the past 3-4 years. It's an interest that took me to Washington DC a few summers ago and it's what I'm focusing on in my master's thesis on the degradation of birch bark, but I realised I don't have that many really nice photos of botanical specimens (I'll have to change that!). I didn't think I was going to be doing research, that I would fall in love with microscopic images of cells or that I would be writing grant proposals every other week. I guess it's all still open, though, and maybe I'll be crouching over museum specimens again before I know it! Okay, so I'm still handling specimens every week at my job, but you know what I mean... right!? When I first shared this photo I told the story of the bat I found in kindergarten and how soft it was. It surprised and amazed me. These nostalgic feelings, or really any kinds of feelings, are what natural history collections can evoke. That childhood feeling of wonder and fascination about the world. I wonder why that feeling subsides in so many of us? Thanks for listening and commenting ✌🏼 #konserveringensdag #askaconservator #dayofconservation
Note: This vole died of natural causes. I was probably naive, but I never thought sharing this photo would be a problem at all. But I got some "murderer!" and very outraged comments, implying I was not a very good person. I won't say dissection came naturally to me, but it didn't gross me out and I found beauty in the things I saw (blood and guts and all). Anatomical studies is important for many things (pathology, forensics and so on) and to clarify: as a conservator my day to day work does not consist of meticulously dissecting animals. But to understand a subject or material, you need a basic understanding of it and knowledge of anatomy is important when you work with animal specimens (or even human remains) - be it skeletons, skins or taxidermy. I got my bachelor's degree in Natural History Conservation in 2016 and have done next to no professional work on dead animals, apart from cleaning that polar bear skin at my student job at @rosenborg_amalienborg that had been attacked by pests 😝 This photo ended up on a postcard for the application campaign for my school (@konservatorskolen) so if anything, I made that vole faaamous (sorry, I had to). Jokes aside, I thought there was a kind of serenity in this slightly gory death scenario and I wanted to portray and share that ☺️#dayofconservation #askaconservator #konserveringensdag
Today is the #dayofconservation (or #askaconservator or #konserveringensdag), and in light of that, I wanted to bring back some of my favourite earlier, and perhaps more controversial, Instagram posts. When I started studying natural history conservation in 2013 I started the hashtag #konservatorliv (roughly translated "conservator life") to document my studies. Many of my photos back then were of dead animals, as there was lots of zoology, dissecting and basic material study (bones, teeth, skins). One of the first field trips I got to go on was in 2014 with @statensnaturhistoriskemuseum to western jutland where two sperm whales had beached themselves. In the dead of winter a team of conservators and biologists helped cut away all the meat right there on the beach for the skeletons to be prepared and preserved in the museum's collections for future research. Cutting up a whale as big as this is no easy task, and it was a great learning experience. Posting the photo on Instagram was also quite a learning experience! But more about posting dead animals in my next post 😱 I will be sharing some more posts and stories today, so please feel free to ask any questions you may have about my studies as a natural history conservation student! To be continued...