Project Management

Case study- 'Once in a Whale' Conservation of Historic Cetacea at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History

In 2013-2014, I acted as conservation project manager for the 'Once in a Whale' project undertaken at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. The project encompassed the complete conservation treatment of several whale skeletons suspended from the museum roof. This role included:

  • Writing and securing grant funding.

  • The management of additional staff and organising workflow

  • Researching and experimenting with conservation techniques & developing treatment methods.

  • Undertaking condition assessments and treatment of specimens.

  • Liaising with contractors and project share-holders.

  • Managing budget and purchases.

  • Outreach and promoting publicity through online media and publication.

This project was awarded ‘Highly Commended’ at the 2014 Museum and Heritage Awards and the specimens featured on the BBC Four series' Secrets of Bones'. More information and images from this project, can be found at the project blog 'https://onceinawhale.com/'.

Other associated links:

http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/science-blog/chemistry-conservation

https://www.iiconservation.org/node/5317

Figure 2- Orca Whale before (above) and after treatment (below). Specimens were cleaned with solvents, consolidated for strength and re-articulated to improve scientific accuracy.

Figure 1- Section of Beluga Whale vertebrae before (above) and after cleaning treatment (below).

© 2023 Palumbo Conservation.