Biological Sciences, Santa Barbara City College

The Robert J. Profant Teaching Museum

Santa Barbara City College
Department of Biological Sciences

Teaching museums provide a rich source of specimens for both instructors and students. At Santa Barbara City College the Robert J. Profant Teaching Museum has done just that for over 50 years. Specimens in this museum are used for classroom presentations rather than scientific collections or public viewing. Students in the biology majors classes, as well as general education classes, have benefited during regular laboratory exercises as well as 'rainy day' back up exercises when a scheduled field trip is cancelled. This museum has also provided a working experience for students who are interested in museum work. Organizing, accessioning, and caring for the specimens is always a 'work in progress' with continual changes and updates.

The teaching museum in the Biological Sciences Department at Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) was dedicated to Robert J. Profant in 1992. Dr. Profant was both a founding member of the SBCC Biological Sciences Department, starting in the 1950s, as well as a major force in beginning (and maintaining) a teaching museum for the department.

A major renovation project has involved collaboration with the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and selected SBCC students through the college's Maxwell Scholar Internship program, starting in 2004. Winslow Maxwell was a generous donor of student scholarships and a member of the board of directors of the Foundation for SBCC. Before his death in 1999, Maxwell established the Winslow Maxwell Charitable Trust which provides $100,000 annually for student scholarships, book awards, emergency assistance and department internships. The Biological Sciences Department has been awarded several of these internships, six of which have focused on the Robert J. Profant Teaching Museum (see below). It is through these Maxwell Scholars that this renovation project has brought new order and accessibility to the teaching museum's approximately three thousand specimens.

'Specify' is the computer database used in the teaching museum. It is a project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and used by many museums including the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History (SBMNH). It has been through a wonderful collaboration with the SBMNH that the SBCC teaching museum has moved into the twenty-first century with the accessioning of all of the teaching museum specimens into 'Specify.' This has allowed the printing of new (archival) museum labels (thanks to the SBMNH). All of the Maxwell Scholar Interns have benefitted from their museum experience by becoming acquainted with 'Specify' as a unique museum database.

A new collaboration project between SBCC and the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History has brought online access to the teaching collection in the Robert J. Profant Teaching Museum. All of the SBCC specimens, and their data, can now be publicly viewed online at SBCC Teaching Museum Online Database thanks to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. Up to six images (many of the specimens in their natural habitats) are being added to the local species common near Santa Barbara.

Robert J. Profant Teaching Museum
Robert J. Profant Teaching Museum

Maxwell Scholar Student Interns (and Professional Volunteers) in SBCC Robert Profant Teaching Museum:

Sayward Halling
Sayward Halling
Maxwell Scholar Intern

Supervisor = Larry Friesen
· Work with Paul Scott to learn and set up 'Specify' at SBCC
· Accession of a third of SBCC museum specimens (about 1,000)
· Locate prototypes for new boxes
Jodi Brown
Jodi Brown
Maxwell Scholar Intern

Supervisor = Genny Anderson
· Finish accessioning SBCC museum specimens (about 1,500)
· Work with Paul Scott to print new labels with Phylum and Class
· Begin boxing and labeling of SBCC specimens

Julie Cargile
Julie Cargile
Maxwell Scholar Intern

Supervisor = Genny Anderson
· Continuation of boxing and labeling of SBCC specimens
· Accession new specimens
· Mentor summer volunteer (2006) to work on Aves collection
Stephen Tavoni
Stephen Tavoni
Maxwell Scholar Intern
(spring 2007)

Supervisor = Genny Anderson
· Replace fluids in all wet specimens (mostly ethanol)
· Replace jar lids to remove old bakelite lids

Oscar Johnson
Corinne Chubb
Professional Volunteer
(summers 2006, 2007)

Supervisor = Genny Anderson
· Organize and accession Aves collection
Oscar Johnson
Oscar Johnson
Maxwell Scholar Intern

Supervisor = Blake Barron/Genny Anderson
· Review Aves collection
· Organize and accession osteology and mammals in green cabinets

Ryan Woltz
Ryan Woltz
Maxwell Scholar Intern

Supervisor = Genny Anderson
· Organize and accession marine mammals in green cabinets
· Work with Paul Scott to print new labels with Phylum, Class and scientific name
· Put new labels on specimens with scientific names

Robert Profant Robert Profant
Doctor Robert J. Profant, summer 1965 (compliments of SBMNH).

Chronology of Robert Profant Teaching Museum at Santa Barbara City College

2016 - 2017
Dr. Jen Maupin (Professor of Biology and Natural History at SBCC) collaborates with the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History to work on the curation of their spider collection and create a guide to local spiders as part of her sabbatical.

2014 - Dr. Larry Jon Friesen (Professor of Biology at SBCC) becomes a member of the Board of Trustees at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, by their request.

2007 - 2009
Collaborative Project to put SBCC Teaching Museum Collections online through Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History with images of local species in their natural habitats

SBCC Teaching Museum Online Database

2004 - 2009
Collaboration between SBCC and Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
to update the SBCC teaching museum and provide museum internships for students

· April 28, 2006 SBCC Teaching Museum Open House
        - in celebration of the 14th anniversary of the Robert J. Profant dedication
        - honoring the museum renovations and collaboration with the SBMNH
        - honoring the museum student Maxwell Scholar interns (Sayward Halling, Jodi Brown, Julie Cargile)

Paul Valentich-Scott (SBMNH)
· “Specify” set up and use at SBCC (plus troubleshooting) with student interns
· Designing and printing new labels for SBCC museum

Patricia Sadeghian (SBMNH)
· Museum methods consultation with student interns
· Boxes, label holders, jars

· SBCC museum moved into renovated building, now named EBS (Earth and Biological Sciences). All collections stored in one area.
· Museum specimens in dire need of attention with 20 years worth of unaccessioned specimens waiting.

2000 – 2002
SBCC museum split into two collections, in two temporary buildings (one for marine, one for animal) during remodel of the LSG Building

James Weaver helped with the organization and splitting.

· SBCC museum dedicated to Robert J. Profant
· Ceremony on 5 June 1992
· (Patricia Sadeghian SBCC Biology student 1993-1995)
· (James Weaver SBCC Biology student 1993-1996)

Fall 1989
· Krista Fahy takes Biology 3 (Natural History, now Biology 120) at SBCC from Genny Anderson
Krista will go on to get degrees at UCSB and become a Curator of Vertebrates at the SBMNH as well as an adjunct faculty member (teaching the Biology of Birds) at SBCC

· SBCC museum renovated with new Apple IIe database and new numbering system (our current SBCC 11-14 digit numbering system designed by Larry Friesen)

Lynn Straw, SBCC Division Aid
Supervisor = Larry Friesen

SBCC museum organized and numbered in a card catalogue system

Lana Rose, SBCC Division Aid

· SBCC museum used by instructors for class specimens
· Student interns work in the museum
* Mike Fuller
* Carl Simpson

· September 1970 the SBCC Biology faculty (Profant, Stiers, Jorgensen, Waughtell, Weiler, Masson, Flinck) move into new LSG (Life Science/Geology) Building, now the EBS Building.
· SBCC museum set up in new LSG Building, second floor.
· Eric Hochberg teaches Dr. Profant's class one year while Dr. Profant is away. (dates and class need clarification)
· Dr. Profant serves as a Trustee at the SBMNH and Chair of Collections and Research.
· Dr. Profant helps hire Eric Hochberg at the SBMNH Invertebrate Zoology Dept, a position that he holds to this day.
· Stephen Newswanger is student worker in the SBCC Teaching Museum.

· Science classes taught at SBCC in the Administration Building.
· 1964/1965 Shane Anderson is a student in Dr. Profant's Physical Anthropolgy class.
· 1966 Shane Anderson interns at the SBMNH (Waldo Abbott, Gayle Spawn, Nelson Baker) through SBCC.
· 1967/68 Shane and Genny (Bockus) Anderson, a UCSB student, meet at the Santa Barbara Undersea Gardens (aquarium).
Genny will later become a full-time faculty member at SBCC in marine biology.
Shane will later become Supervisor of Marine Operations at UCSB.
· Shane and Genny meet Eric Hochberg as they share interests in marine science. Shane and Mike Masson meet and work together rescuing sea birds after the 1969 Platform A oil spill.
· Dr. Profant and Mike Masson meet during a year working together in Elmer Noble’s Parasitology lab at UCSB. Eric Hochberg is also a graduate student of Dr Noble.

· Robert Profant begins his teaching career at SBCC.
· Mike Masson takes classes and works after school at the SBMNH. Mike will later become a full-time faculty member at SBCC in anatomy/physiology/general biology.

 Copyright Notice and Credits
Revised 4 March 2009