Meet Our Staff

We have several new faces at the Natural History Museum that we would like to welcome as well as some continuing staff.  We hope you will drop by to say hello in person, but in the meantime here’s a bit about our team and what they each like about the NHM: 
Ash profile

Ash Murdock

Museum Assistant 
Major: Art History
Minor: Anthropology
Junior Standing

It has been a pleasure to be working at the Natural History Museum since the beginning of this Summer 2022. While working here I have really enjoyed being a part of a space that is open to educate the community. Additionally, while at work I enjoy interacting with children about our exhibits, frequently learning something new and getting more experience in the museum field. I am looking forward to being involved with the museum and helping with projects for the betterment of the museum and the community.

My professional goal is to work in Historic and Art Conservation. I love learning about history, art, science and museums. Some of my hobbies include photography, gardening, painting, hiking, foraging and kayaking. 


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Ginger Grass

Museum Assistant 
Major: Marine Biology 

I am very happy to be working at the museum as education is a big part of my life! There are always new things to learn and see and you can do that here. I love that the museum is not only part of the school but also the community. 

Outside of school I enjoy spending time with my friends thrifting, outside or just walking around. I love to read! I am a big music lover, of all genres, I also collect vinyls. 



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Maddy Hobart

Museum Assistant 
Major: Ecology
Minor: Zoology & Applied Statistics 
Senior Standing 

I’m super excited to get involved in the museum with a focus on science! Education should belong to everyone and I love what the museum provides to the community! 

My hobbies include reading and making comics, illustration, tabletop games, exploring the forest, and discussing film! I have an aesthetic fascination with pumpkins and my house is full of them.


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Mariah Tofanelli

Museum Assistant and Education Intern 
Major: ESM, Env, Education & Interpretation
Minor: ASL & Special Populations
Senior Standing

I'm excited to experience environmental education in a museum setting and spend more time connecting with the community through this opportunity.

I enjoy hiking, reading, thirfting, foraging, camping, exploring the outdoors, rock hunting and species identification.


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Molly Taylor 

Museum Assistant 
Major: Environmental science and management
Class Standing: Sophomore 
From Martinez, California

I am very passionate about all things science, especially science programs that are accessible to the community and get young kids excited by all the wonders of the natural world. The Natural History Museum does all of these things, which is why I am so excited to be a part of the staff! 

Outside of school, I love to bake, make jewelry, and play the guitar and banjo!



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Nick Consedine

Museum Assistant 
Major: ESM, Env Education & Interpretation
Minor: Geography
Sophomore Standing

I love all things science education. Museums and zoos are two of my favorite places in the world. I love talking about all things science and the museum is the perfect place to do just that. 

Outside of my academics, I am a huge reader. I particularly enjoy science fiction but will read almost anything recommended to me. I love being outdoors, the rain, and card games.




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Za Zazueta

Museum Assistant 
Major: Business Admin (Accounting Focus)

I have lately been interested in history due to the different theories of behaviors, evolution, and interactions. Working in the museum has been a joy and very educational to my knowledge.  

The other parts of my life include going to the beaches a lot, taking part in the school’s volleyball club. I also like to journal my experiences and watch a lot of series on Netflix or Hulu. I used to be a very big gamer person, but priorities have changed and now I am just a casual gamer. I also love the Harry Potter movies.


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Cj Copper

Lead Museum Assistant 
B.S. Botany; Minors in Philosophy and Ecological Restoration.

I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to work at the Natural History Museum. We have an excellent collection of fossils, specimens and graphics that inspire the minds of everyone who walks in. I learn something new every day I show up for work.

My academic interests include forest and woodland  ecophysiology, canopy ecology and epiphyte biogeography.

When I’m not at school or work I enjoy spending time in my garden, fishing, reading, playing music and exploring outdoors. 


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Melinda Bailey

Retired Science Teacher
Assistant Manager of the NHM
California Naturalist

Working at the Natural History Museum has been an amazing experience. It combines so much of what I enjoy doing such as educating others about our natural world, working with amazing specimens, and helping my community.

I love working with motivated college students and seeing young kids eager to learn about the world.

Some of my favorite hobbies are being a nature nerd, gardening, hiking, bird watching, and playing with my indoor cats.


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Julie Van Sickle

Director of the Natural History Museum 
Faculty Cal Poly Humbldt
Credentialed Teacher  

I have been part of the Natural History Museum Team since 2010.  I love the intersection of campus and community united in a passion of learning, natural history, and nature.  The museum is such a gem in our community as a place of exploration and learning for people of all ages.  It is an honor to work with our museum team, our campus collaborators and our community to continue to grow and shape the future directions of the Natural History Museum of Cal Poly Humboldt.  

In addition to teaching I also enjoy gardening, cooking, crafting, hiking, and spending time at the beach and in the forest.


In addition to new staff we also have a new team of interns working on our education programs at the museum.  We hope to see you at the NHM soon!