National Volunteer Week 2017 | Volunteer Spotlight: Jaclyn Firth

Posted: April 24, 2017 - 07:00 , by Jaclyn Qua-Hiansen
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Jaclyn is a volunteer at the Hands-on Biodiversity Gallery, and a recipient of the Ontario Service Award in 2017.

1.      What inspired you to volunteer at the ROM?

After doing museum studies and while looking for a job, I realized I wanted to keep involved in museum culture. I've always loved the ROM and how it combines science and history, so it was my first choice at which to volunteer.

2.      Tell us about your role at the ROM.

At the ROM, I work with other volunteers to talk to visitors about a large variety of specimens from live insects to skeletons, teeth and coverings to everything in between in nature and how it relates to biodiversity....  about specimens on touch tables with themes that relate to coverings, teeth, skeletons and on a larger level biodiversity.

3.      What do you love best about volunteering here?

Although I love all the artifacts, science and history right at my fingertips, my favourite part is the people. It may be a cliche, but I meet so many people, whether they're visitors or volunteers, from so many different cultures and backgrounds that I would otherwise never meet. The especially interesting days are when we get visitors who only speak a different language. Its always a fun challenge to connect and talk with them and make their experience enjoyable.

4.       Can you share a favourite memory of volunteering here?

I don't have a favourite memory so much as favourite moments. There are many of them but they range from when a child sees the jaw of a stingray and runs their hand over the hundreds of stubby teeth in wonder to when adults stare in shock at the thick wedge of walrus skin they hold in their hand.

5.      Apart from your volunteer work at the ROM, what do you like doing in your spare time?

Apart from the ROM, I like to read and research in my spare time and more often than not, I end up wandering down the rabbit hole. Just last week I was reading about Macbeth before I wandered into eighth century Scotland then leaping to eighteenth century Britain where I took a hard turn into volcanoes, the Little Ice Age and Maunder's Minimum. It's a lot of fun when that happens.