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Wednesday, May 15 • 2:00pm - 2:30pm
(Collection Care) Remote Sensor Technology for Rodent Surveillance in Museums: Insights from Recent Trials at the AMNH

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As all those involved in collections care know, mice and rats pose significant threats to artifacts and biological specimens in museums the world over. Beginning in 2016, remote rodent monitoring technology (RRMT) emerged to substantially assist in providing early detection of common and ubiquitous rodent pests that invade museums and other sensitive operations and businesses. As of 2019, upwards of ten (and counting) sensor products are available on the market, originating from some of the largest scientific corporations as well as smaller entrepreneurs. The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City is among the first cultural heritage institutions to trial this new remote pest monitoring technology. During the past two years, the AMNH has tested several systems against the challenges of a large, structurally complex, functionally diverse institution. Outcomes of the trial program provide insights into key criteria for assessing these systems, including the nature of the networks that support sensor communication, the ease of system installation and maintenance, the adaptability of sensors to various environments and use cases, and data management and visualization. Further, these trials demonstrate the role of early detection alerts in better protecting museum artifacts from pest attacks: from increases in the efficiency of time spent monitoring traps, to opportunities for trapping more strategically to test hypotheses and solutions, and the development of more environmentally sensitive trapping methods.

avatar for Julia Sybalsky

Julia Sybalsky

Senior Associate Conservator, American Museum of Natural History
Julia received her MA with an Advanced Certificate in Conservation from The Conservation Center, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. At the AMNH, Julia was an important contributor in the recent projects concerning dioramas in the Hall of Biodiversity, the Hall of North American... Read More →

avatar for Lisa Elkin-[PA]

Lisa Elkin-[PA]

Chief Registrar and Director of Conservation, American Museum of Natural History
Lisa received her MA in art conservation from the Buffalo State College and since 1994 has been working as a conservator at the AMNH, first as assistant and associate conservator in the Anthropology Department, and since 2001 as Director of Conservation for the natural science collections... Read More →
avatar for Mike Freshour

Mike Freshour

Custodial Manager, American Museum of Natural History
Michael has been in Custodial operations since 1989. He started working in contract service managing environmental service departments in hospitals. He came to AMNH in 2004. During his time at the museum, Michael has collaborated with the conservation department to focus on the protection... Read More →
avatar for Robert Corrigan

Robert Corrigan

Urban Rodentologist/Scientist/Program Designer, RMC Pest Management Consulting
Bobby Corrigan, Ph.D., has been a consulting urban rodentologist for over 25 years. He specializes in rodent IPM designs and Bobby Corrigan, Ph.D., has been a consulting urban rodentologist for over 25 years. He specializes in rodent IPM designs and rodent -borne disease prevention... Read More →

Robert Hanson

Exterminator, American Museum of Natural History
Bob Hanson has 20 years of field experience dealing with museum pest related issues and two years’ experience working with remote monitoring systems. Prior to that he held various management positions in manufacturing over 30 years.

Wednesday May 15, 2019 2:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
Salon A2-A3, Uncas Ballroom Sky Convention Center, Mohegan Sun
  Specialty Session, Collection Care
  • Track Collection Care
  • Ticketed Included in Main Registration
  • Authors in Publication Order Julia Sybalsky, Robert Hanson, Lisa Elkin, Michael Freshour, Robert Corrigan
  • Abstract ID 19182
  • Tags pest management,rodent monitoring,rodent trapping