Richard Gilder Graduate School

Richard Gilder Graduate School

Graduate Students Call the American Museum of Natural History Their Classroom

The fifth floor of the American Museum of NaturalĀ  History is prohibited to visitors. However, for Dawn Roje, Edward Stanley, Phil Barden, and several other graduate students, this rule does not apply. Why? Because they are all graduate students at Richard Gilder Graduate School, which is housed in the American Museum of Natural History, where they study the specialized field of comparative biology. This school is quite prestigious and, in 2009, it became the first school in the USA to be accredited to offer a doctorate in its own name.

What do these students do a daily basis? They spend their days analyzing millions of specimens, including everything from ants that have been encased in natural amber to birds that have been dry-mounted. They are examining these specimens to determine what fossils, leeches, frogs, and various other creatures can tell us about evolution and life on Earth.

Although the American Museum of Natural History is one of the first museums to also serve as a graduate school, it will not be the last.

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