Special Access: The Entomology Collection at The Academy of Natural Sciences - Atlas Obscura Experiences
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Special Access: The Entomology Collection at The Academy of Natural Sciences

$20 per device Online Experience
1 hour
See Dates
$20 per device
$20 per person
See Dates
What We’ll Do

Atlas Obscura's Special Access is an online experience that brings audiences into some of the world's most fascinating, hidden, and under-appreciated spaces. 

This hour-long event will stream live from the Entomology Collection of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in Philadelphia. 

You’ll get to join in on the wondrous exploration of their collection of four million insects from around the world, representing about 100,000 species.  While you won’t see all 19 million specimens in the museum's collection, you’ll be sure to get an insider look at America’s oldest natural history museum and one of the oldest and most scientifically valuable collections of North American insects in any natural history museum. 

Join Senior Director of Exhibits and Public Spaces, Jennifer Sontchi, and Curator of Entomology, Jon Gelhaus, on a Special Access tour of the Academy of Natural Sciences!



Jennifer Sontchi is Senior Director of Exhibits and Public Spaces at the Academy of Natural Sciences. Jennifer was raised by two Anthropology professors in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She found her true calling as a student at the University of Michigan where she learned the pleasures of cleaning fossils and making molds, casts, and models for museum exhibits. She has gone on to work at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the American Museum of Natural History, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the Delaware Museum of Natural History. She began working at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in 2008. Jennifer lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband, son, two dogs, and a cat. If she had a band it would be called Charismatic Megafauna.

Jon Gelhaus is Curator of Entomology at the Academy of Natural Sciences (since 1990), where he chairs the 4 million specimen insect collection and its staff, and where he conducts his research on biodiversity of insects, particularly the megadiverse group called crane flies. He is also a Professor at Drexel University since 2012 in the Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science department, where he supervises the research of three Ph.D. students, and teaches courses in Conservation Biology, Entomology, and Plant and Animal Identification. Jon has traveled worldwide in pursuit of research questions, particularly extensive time exploring in Mongolia, and constantly makes new discoveries of insects to him (and sometimes to the wider world), often even from his own yard and neighborhood in south Jersey.

Where We’ll Be


What Else You Should Know

Once registered, you can access the Zoom room for this experience through your confirmation email or Eventbrite account. Atlas Obscura online experiences are recommended for attendees age 13+.

This online experience will be recorded. A temporary link to the recording will be provided in a follow-up email to all ticket holders within 72 hours after the event. Access to this recording will be available for seven days.

This event is one of Atlas Obscura’s Online Experiences. At Atlas Obscura, our mission has always been to inspire wonder and curiosity about the incredible world we all share. Now, more than ever, there’s a need to stay connected—not only to our sense of wonder, but to each other.

We encourage you to follow and share the hashtag #AOExperiences for more incredible online experiences and our newest addition of Online Courses with Atlas Obscura and our friends. And check out AtlasObscura.com, the definitive guide to the world’s hidden wonders, to keep virtually exploring the world through the website’s atlas of amazing places, unique stories, and videos.

Dates and Availability

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