Diana Marsh

PhD Candidate
University of British Columbia
USA

I am a third year PhD Candidate in Museum Anthropology at the University of British Columbia and currently a Researcher at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (NMNH). My dissertation research investigates the ways that public museums bring knowledge to the public sphere, and the ways this process is shaped by particular museums� institutional histories and cultures. To pursue this research, I am studying the history of paleontology exhibits at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) as a case-study, including ethnographically documenting the formative first year of exhibit planning for the upcoming large-scale exhibit �Deep Time.� During my year at NMNH I am also working as a researcher for the Deep Time team part time, researching and helping to implement creative ways to engage the public as participants in the exhibition process (Simon 2009), by documenting its process, moderating online blog and other social media content, researching other similar institutions� initiatives, and and attempting to find ways to incorporate public feedback into the content of the exhibit. It is this element of the project in particular that has gotten me interested in the amazing potential of the web.