Volunteering in Natural History at Te Papa

Anyone from undergrad students to senior citizens can become a volunteer at Te Papa. All you need to do is ask us!

Collection Care

In our Botany, Vertebrates and Invertebrates collections, there are always objects or samples that need special attention. That typically involves activities like sorting specimens, preparation, databasing and labelling, so we can fully integrate the objects into our collections.

You can take part in that process! If you do, you will not only be helping the national Natural History collections, but also acquiring museological skills and learning about the biology of your favourite group of plants or animals.

We have some ongoing projects listed here, but you can always ask us about any particular biological group or geographic region that you’re interested in and that is not covered below.

  • Mosquito management: sort, curate and database samples from the National Mosquito Monitoring Project

  • Snails from far and wide: help curating and databasing our historical collection of land snails

  • Sorting pitfall trap samples from New Zealand and New Caledonia: identification and documentation of invertebrates.


Undergrad, Honours, and Masters students can join our researchers in their ongoing projects to gain experience in collections-based research and/or fulfil internship requirements.

Estranged relations: a phylogenetic analysis of three South American land snail genera (Jess Shute, VUW) is an example of a past project. To have a better idea of what our researchers are doing, check out our current projects and contact the researcher directly. If you’re looking for a full-blown master’s or PhD project, see Do your Master’s or PhD research at Te Papa.