Bio + Contact

Katie_BowellThe Big Picture

Katie Bowell, M.S. (pronunciations get creative, but I go with “bowl”)

I’m a museologist specializing in the spaces where people, stories, and objects intersect. I’ve done everything from organizing and cataloging 12,000 lots of snails to developing the interpretation for a 12,000 year-old archaeological site.

I have bachelors degrees in Zoology and English Literature, a master of science in Museum & Field Studies, and I know that, when it comes to creating amazing museum experiences, my ability to dissect a 19th-century novel is just as important as my ability to dissect a 9-banded armadillo.

I’ve crossed disciplines multiple times within the museum field, working for biological, archaeological, and historical organizations and specializing in interpretative design, exhibit development, and audience evaluation. I’ve also worked as an educator, curriculum developer, writer, and instructor. The driving force behind all my work, whatever the discipline or department, is connection. I’m passionate about how museums connect to audiences, how audiences connect to stories, and how museums and their experiences can connect people to each other.

I’m currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Edinburgh, focusing on the use of exhibition labels as historical resources to explore the creation and presentation of scientific knowledge at the National Museum of Scotland. I still don’t like haggis.

The Important Details

My ultimate goal is to keep making museums more awesome. See my resume for all the details, but here are some of the highlights:

In the pursuit of museum awesome-ness, I’ve:

  • Helped create and launch two new museums
  • Conducted trainings and consultations in English and German
  • Dissected 40+ squids
  • Been charming (and maybe slightly awkward) on cable access television. Three times.
  • Written hundreds of blog posts
  • Been featured featured on’s “Freshly Pressed”
  • Managed 150+ species of living butterflies
  • Assessed and de-installed 200+ stuffed birds
  • Stuffed one bird
  • Found myself trapped between two rattlesnakes while walking artifact transect lines
  • Survived the rattlesnakes and found artifacts
  • Examined the role of fine art installations in zoo and aquarium exhibits
  • Dressed up in a giant rubber shark costume
  • Co-authored an awesome book
  • Created the Butterfly Lifecycle Interpretive Dance
  • Taught that dance to 10,000+ school children
  • Been the developer or co-developer of seven exhibits
  • Written label text for three exhibits
  • Spent 200+ hours observing visitors
  • Designed a popular Greek and Latin taxonomy scavenger hunt
  • Gotten people to actually be excited about taxonomy

I’ve currently suspended my consultation work, but you can still reach me:

Email me at: museumsaskew [at] gmail [dot] com

Tweet me at: @museumsaskew

Connect with me on Linkedin

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