Michigan State University

Hours: The museum is currently closed due to COVID-19

Laura Abraczinskas

Laura Abraczinskas
Collections Manager, Vertebrate Collections
(517) 355-1290

Collections Manager, Vertebrate Collections, MSU Museum
Editorial Board Member, Storage Techniques for Art, Science, and History Collections (STASH) resource

Museum Interests/Experience

Laura Abraczinskas is the Collections Manager for Natural Science Collections at the Michigan State University Museum. She is responsible for overseeing database work and coordinating collections care activities for over 117,000 preserved specimens as well as facilitating collections stewardship training opportunities for MSU students. Laura works with the Museum's Natural Science Faculty Curators to steward and manage the vertebrate collections, develop collections-related policies, procedures, and documents, and ensure access to the collections for scholarship and learning. She has extensive experience in working with vertebrate specimens and their data. Laura has co-developed (or developed) and directed work on 14 collections stewardship grant projects funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Her interests include preventive conservation, digitization, standards and best practices, museum ethics, health and safety, and student training. Laura is an active member of the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections. She also serves on the STASH editorial committee and the Michigan State University Collections Council.

Conference Presentations

  • 2019 Poster Presentation, General Session, Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC), Chicago. Getting the Hang of It: Storage and Display Improvements for Suspended Vertebrate Specimens at the Michigan State University Museum. SPNHC 2019 Abstracts, p. 68, with A. Brohman and B. Lundrigan
  • 2019 "Specimen Spotlight" Presentation, SPNHC, Chicago. The Dying Robins of Michigan State University. SPNHC 2019, highlighting specimens from the world's collections
  • 2018 Poster Presentation, Disaster Planning/Managing Risk, SPNHC Dunedin, New Zealand. Improving Security for Natural Science Collections at the Michigan State University Museum. Biodiversity Information Science & Standards 2:e26336 2018 Abstract, with B. Lundrigan
  • 2017 Poster Presentation, New Solutions and Collections Management, SPNHC Denver. Storage Improvements for Paper Records and Documents at the Michigan State University Museum. Denver Museum of Nature & Science Reports No. 6, June 15, 2017 Abstract p. 106 with B. Lundrigan
  • 2016 Poster Presentation, Preventive Conservation and Material Science Session, SPNHC, Berlin. Re-Housing Bird Eggs and Nests at the Michigan State University Museum. SPNHC 2016 Abstracts, p. 74 with B. Lundrigan
  • 2016 Oral Presentation with Cody Thompson and Diego Barroso, Issues in Data Preservation for Biodiversity Collections. iDigBio Vertebrate Digitization Workshop, University of California, Berkeley
  • 2015 Oral Presentation, Small Collections Symposium, SPNHC, Gainesville. Strategies for Digitizing Small Vertebrate Collections. SPNHC 2015 Abstracts, p. 31
  • 2015 Poster Presentation, SPNHC, Gainesville. Re-Housing Fluid-Preserved Vertebrate Specimens at the Michigan State University Museum. SPNHC 2015 Abstracts, p. 31 with B. Lundrigan
  • 2012 Poster Presentation, SPNHC, New Haven. Detecting arsenic in vertebrate specimens at the Michigan State University Museum using a handheld X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyzer. SPNHC 2012 Abstracts, p. 43 with L. Siciliano and B. Lundrigan

Selected Exhibits Highlighting Collections Stewardship

  • Care and Preservation of Collections: Specimens and Digital Images of Rehoused Collections, Kellogg Center, East Lansing
  • Collections Care and Preservation: Vertebrate Specimen Rehousing Activities and Digital Images of Rehoused Collections, Kellogg Center, East Lansing (with L. Swanson and P. Wong)
  • MSU Museum Natural Science Specimens and Historical Records; Digital Images of Rehoused Collections, Kellogg Center, East Lansing (with L. Swanson, and P. Wong)
  • Cabinet of Curiosities: MSU Museum Natural Science Specimens, Kellogg Center, East Lansing
  • MSU Museum Natural Science Specimens: fishes, amphibians, reptiles, and vertebrate fossils. Kellogg Center, East Lansing
  • Preventive Conservation Resource Center, MSU Museum Collections-Connections Gallery (Co-developed with L. Swanson and funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services)
  • Collections-Connections Gallery, MSU Museum (Co-developed with L. Swanson and funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services)

Honors

Varibatrachus abraczinskasae described in Parmley, D., R. Chandler, and L. Chandler. 2015. Fossil Frogs of the Late Clarendonian (Late Miocene) Pratt Slide Local Fauna of Nebraska, with the Description of a New Genus. Journal of Herpetology 49(1):143-149.

Degree

M.S., Zoology, Michigan State University

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