people in the lab

The ASM conservation lab is a hub of research, teaching, and outreach.

A center of research and professional training, Arizona State Museum’s conservation laboratory is where science and culture connect. Established in the late 1970s, it was the first, and remains the only, museum conservation laboratory in the state dedicated to the preservation of, and technical research on, anthropological collections. In addition to providing preventive and interventive care of ASM's vast collections, conservation professionals instruct scores of students in the field and in classroom settings, conduct cutting-edge research, and lecture extensively.  

ASM conservation professionals collaborate with colleagues within the museum, with faculty in other University of Arizona units, and with colleagues across the nation and around the globe. Research findings are shared with the world through books, chapters, journal articles, videos, presentations, and posters.

 The lab’s national funding sources have included:

  • the Bay and Paul, Kress, Stockman, Gutmann, and Getty Foundations
  • the National Science Foundation
  • the National Endowment for the Humanities
  • the National Endowment for the Arts
  • the National Center for Preservation Training and Technology
  • the Institute of Museum and Library Services
  • the National Park Service

Research conducted in the lab includes:

  • Characterization tests for objects of art, archaeology, and architecture.
  • Testing for mitigation of and educational outreach regarding pesticide residues on museum objects.
  • Development of new protocols for the care of ceramics; integrated pest management systems for museums; curricula development for conservation scientists; and curricula for the care of anthropology collections.
  • Protocols for the care of human remains in academic institutions; protocols for analysis, cleaning, stabilization, and exhibition of basketry; and protocols for emergency preparedness and recovery in museums.

Gina Watkinson
Conservation Laboratory Manager
Arizona State Museum / University of Arizona
P.O. Box 210026
Tucson, AZ  85721-0026

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