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avatar for Catharine Hawks

Catharine Hawks

Smithsonian Institution/National Museum of Natural History
Collections Program Conservator
District of Columbia, Washington DC
Catharine Hawks is an objects conservator with a focus on natural history collections. Before becoming the museum conservator for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), she was in private practice for 20 years, working with over 100 institutional clients in the U.S. and abroad. She has overseen or coordinated the work of numerous museum studies and conservation interns, other conservators, and museum staff; treated hundreds of objects and specimens; worked on exhibitions; conducted various risk assessments; developed emergency management plans and aided in emergency salvage and response; consulted on construction/renovation projects; developed collection storage designs; taught workshops and courses; negotiated with suppliers on development and testing of products; served on boards and committees of professional organizations; and wrote or edited papers and texts on conservation and related topics. At the NMNH, she coordinates conservation services throughout the museum, working with buildings management, collections, and exhibitions staff as well as health and safety professionals. Ms. Hawks is a member of the George Washington University Museum Studies faculty, teaching two courses in preventive conservation. She has taught similar courses in Iraq, Taiwan, South Africa, and other countries as well as elsewhere in the U.S. She is a Fellow of the International Institute for Conservation, a Professional Associate and former member of the Board of Directors of the American Institute for Conservation, and lead editor for the text, Health and Safety for Museum Professionals.