Professional Development Committee

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The Professional Development Committee facilitates development needs for audiences of museum professionals, from those starting in the field to established professionals seeking continuing educational opportunities. When appropriate, it supports the planning, organization and delivery of workshops, democamps and mentorship activities. It also contributes to the publishing of “How-to” white papers.

Professional Development Committee Description from the Leadership Manual

Committee Members

Co-Chair: Jeff Stephenson, Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Co-Chair: Nicholas Drew, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Up-to-date membership for committee.

If you have a question or would like to see something on this page that will be useful to the broader natural history community, please contact Jeff or Nick by clicking the links above.

Travel Grants

The Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC) has a Travel Grant program designed to assist members with the costs of attending the Society’s annual meetings. The 2021 annual meeting/conference is a joint meeting of the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC) and the American Institute for Conservation (AIC).

Any SPNHC member who works in fields related to the management and preservation/conservation of natural history collections may apply; we especially encourage students and emerging professionals.


Applicants must be members of the Society. Applicants from the institution(s) hosting the meeting are not eligible. Members who have received a Travel Grant within the last five (5) years are not eligible. Receipt of a grant is contingent on the acceptance of the applicant’s abstract by the SPNHC conference local organizing committee, and recipients are required to make either an oral or poster presentation at the meeting and to be first author on the presentation.

For additional information, contact Elise V. LeCompte, Chair, SPNHC Travel Grants Program,


Have an idea for a workshop? Let us know!

While Workshops are under the direction of the host institutions conference committee, the Professional Development committee is always looking new ideas for workshops at our next annual meeting. Reach out to any of the committee chairs and we can assist in connecting you with the local organizers to submit your proposal.

For a list of workshops available at the next annual meeting, visit the host conference site.


Please watch this space for information on DemoCamp opportunities.


Please watch this space for information on becoming a mentor or participating in a mentorship.

White Papers and Relevant Sites

Looking for Best Practices on a variety of topics? Check out the ongoing list assembled by the Best Practices Committee.

Storage Solutions for Every Instance

Check Out StashC

This website provides a great resource for new and existing museum professionals to get information on the creating the safe and secure storage solutions for artifacts and institutions of all sizes.

Looking for even more Collection Storage Information?

Preventive Conservation: Collection Storage is a new book collaboration between the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, the American Institute for Conservation, the Smithsonian Institution, and the George Washington University Museum Studies Program. It will be useful to anyone in the field of collection care looking for an overview of collection storage-be it an established specialist, an emerging professional, or a student. Pick up a copy here, or check out for excerpts and updates.

Please watch this space for new resources available