Meet the Membership Team (Part 1)

Members’ Night is just around the corner! On October 13 only, our researchers, scientists, and staff will welcome members behind the scenes for fun, unique activities that showcase what the Academy’s experts do every day! Meet our staff, see our collections, and experience the breadth and depth of the Academy’s work.

On Members’ Night, you might meet an ornithologist, a biogeochemist, or a live animal handler. You might even meet one of the people responsible for the membership program and Members’ Night itself–Membership Coordinator Katie Marquardt!

Like many of our members, Katie is a busy mom who is excited to share the Academy with her family. She joined our Membership Department just a few months ago and is already wow-ing us with her many talents! We asked her a few questions so you can get to know her.

Membership Team at the Academy of Natural SciencesANS: What do you do at the Academy?

KM: I have the honor of assisting Lindsay [Fiesthumel] in overseeing our general membership operations. That means I process new and renewing members, and send the membership cards, emails and other communications. When members call our membership phone number or send an email for help, I’m there to assist as I can!

ANS: What were you doing before you came to the Academy?

KM: I lived and worked in Columbus, Ohio as the Assistant Director of Membership at the Sportsmen’s Alliance. I enjoyed four years of growing and caring for their membership, which primarily consists of passionate outdoorsmen and women. I’m not particularly an outdoorswoman myself, so working with so many sportsmen was an adventure – learning to shoot and fish, and everything in between.

My family and I moved to Philadelphia this summer. While visiting the city (for the first time!) this past spring, the Academy of Natural Sciences was my first stop because my daughter is obsessed with dinosaurs and I wanted to help foster that love of science in a young girl.

Membership team at the Academy of Natural Sciences
Director of Membership Lindsay Fiesthumel (at left) and Membership Coordinator Katie Marquardt

ANS: Why do you like working in the museum membership field?

KM: I love being in the museum every day; it’s just as fun as one might imagine when they visit a museum. But I also enjoy interacting with the patrons of the museum, and especially our members. These are the people that are making a huge impact on our museum and the work we do. I’m proud to help members find the most value in their membership by sending the communications about our events and member benefits – I hope every member takes advantage of all membership has to offer.

ANS: Why should someone become an Academy member?

KM: Beyond the cool member benefits (I particularly can’t wait for everyone to see this year’s Members’ Night activities!), I think the support of our scientists is so important. They are making an incredible impact on our world, and by extension, so are the members and donors who support their work.

ANS: What kinds of places have you joined as a member, and why?

KM: I am, and always will be, a member of the Columbus Zoo. Beyond being an amazing place to visit and see happy animals from all over the world, the Columbus Zoo does amazing work with animal conservation efforts. Even though I’m no longer living in Columbus, I will continue my support of their important mission (and visit as often as I can!).

ANS: Can you tell us about any notable membership experiences of your own?

KM: Every visit to the zoo is unique because the animals are always doing adorable things. But I love visiting when Jack Hannah is there to present the animals. This man is so passionate about what he does, but does it with such humor, it’s so much fun. At one of Jack’s talks he presented a baby zebra. Seeing it up close was probably my favorite experience as a member of the zoo. It was so precious!

ANS: What’s the coolest thing you’ve learned about the Academy so far?

KM: The long list of amazingly brilliant past members (from Charles Darwin to Marie Curie) is really fascinating. But there are amazing scientists of our own time working here right now. They are doing incredible things every day!

ANS: What else should we know about you?

KM: I grew up in Kentucky, graduated from Western Kentucky University with a degree in Advertising. I’m married and have a 2.5 y/o daughter, Aurora. I also live with three rescues, two cats and one dog.

Do you want to join Katie and our other members on Members’ Night so you can see scientific experiments and live animals up close? Join the Academy today! Or, if you’re already a member, then what are you waiting for? Sign up for Members’ Night today!

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