Ways to Get Involved

In order to understand the type of projects that the volunteers do, let's look at a hypothetical situation — an agent finds a partial carcass that he believes is a goose, but all that is left are several feathers.  He would send those feathers to the Lab where a scientist would compare them to the specimens in the Morphology standards collection and make an identification.

On the other hand, if all that was left was a piece of tissue, the agent would send it to the Lab where a scientist would compare the sample to the 20,000 entries in the Lab's freezer data base to determine what type of animal it came from.  Every animal that we deal with at the Lab, we have to compare with a set of known standards to identify.  Creating this set of known standards, whether as a computer data base or as a mounted specimen, is what the volunteers do for the Lab.  Volunteers never have access to evidence or deal with law enforcement cases.