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FAQs for MVZ Members

MVZ Handbook

Who do I contact about MVZ facilities issues?
For non-emergency, business hours facilities issues, email Leleña at

For after-hours building maintenance, call the Facilities Services: 642-1032
Please also notify Leleña.

What are the rules about live animals in the Museum?
It is against VLSB rules to keep live animals in the Museum (including pets). Live animals must be kept either in an animal use facility on campus or at home.

What are the rules about food in the museum?
Food should not be eaten in any of the collections or lab spaces. This is for your own safety (exposure to pesticide residues/chemicals) as well as for the safety of the specimens (pest control/splash protection). Food should only be kept and eaten in offices, the Grinnell-Miller Library, or the Herpetology reprint room/lunchroom (aka ‘Herp Lounge’, where the microwave ovens are). Avoid keeping food for long term in your office. If you do have products stored in your desk, keep them in sealed hard-sided plastic boxes or glass jars. This includes coffee, tea, chocolate, sugar, creamer, etc.  Many museum pests can easily chew through plastic bags and cardboard -- do not assume your food is safe in these.

Important: Be especially wary of storing oatmeal, cereal, sugar, and chocolate in your area for more than 6 months.   

Also see Garbage and Recycling to learn about acceptable disposal of food, drink, and recyclables within the MVZ.

How can I arrange for a tour of the Museum?
The MVZ is not a public museum. However, tours can be arranged for UC Berkeley labs, classes, and for special events on a case-by-case basis. All tours are arranged through the staff, Leleña is the coordinator and all tour requests should be initiated through her. All specimens or archival material of interest should be coneyed well in advance (several weeks) prior to the tour date. Please give at least one month’s notice of your tour request (requests made less than 2 weeks prior to tour date will be denied).

What are the rules about bringing visitors into the MVZ?
Generally speaking, we ask that visitors in the museum be kept to a minimum. If you do bring visitors into the MVZ, it is crucial that you introduce them to the person at the front desk. This is especially important when student workers are at the desk because they are not necessarily familiar with the entire MVZ community. The receptionist’s job is to protect the collections by screening for unauthorized guests. If you are expecting visitors, let Leleña know in advance. If you do not plan to be at the front desk when they arrive, leave a phone number where you can be reached. And, just because you bring a visitor in does not mean you automatically have authorization to show visitors the entire collection, open cases, etc. Please check with MVZ curators for each collection before giving any tours.

How can I reserve a room in the Museum?
The Grinnell-Miller Library and the Herp Lounge can be reserved in advance for a meeting by anyone in the Museum. To reserve the room, sign up with Leleña in the front office or ask to be added to the Google Calendar to reserve rooms online. See Front Office Miscellaneous for details.

Keep in mind, if you are a GSI for a class, office hours are NOT to be held in the MVZ.

Is it okay to take books, journals, reprints, or field notes from the library?
The MVZ library is for general use, but not for general abuse. We would like all materials to remain in good condition and available to the whole community for many years.  To ensure that, please do not take books, journals, reprints nor fieldnotes to your office as loans. Books, journals, and reprints may only be removed from the shelf if signed out on the available sign-out sheets in the library. No field notes are to be removed from the Library without express permission from the Archivist and Staff Curators. Return books and reprints to the original spot once done.

Please talk to Carla, Michelle, or Christina if you want to copy or otherwise scan any material including field notes.

What field or curatorial supplies are available, and how can I get them?
The MVZ provides certain supplies for field work and collection of specimens that will be deposited in the Museum. We have limited supplies for loans, and some items are first-come, first-serve, so the earlier you reserve the items, the better. There are certain things that we do not provide, and you don't want to be left without needed supplies at the last minute. It is important to PLAN AHEAD, because some supplies are custom-ordered and others may be back ordered (e.g., it recently took 3 months for a back order of tissue vials!). If you are planning a long field trip, or a field trip that requires specific equipment and chemicals (e.g., tape recorder/microphone, LN2 tank, nitrogen - which you must purchase yourself), we recommend at least one month's notice.

Can I use the MVZ field vehicle?
The MVZ Field vehicle is available for use by MVZ faculty, staff, students, and official UC volunteers with prior arrangement and for work-related use only. It is owned and insured through the UC campus. Keep in mind that if you check out the vehicle, you are responsible for any tickets you receive and damage you incur on the vehicle that is not covered by the insurance (ask Terri for details).  The vehicle is available for short (e.g., weekend) field trips, or for longer MVZ trips upon authorization by the Director. If you want to use the vehicle, see Terri Barclay. You must complete both the Driving Record Request Form and Release Form and submit to Terri. Terri is in charge of vehicle maintenance.

Where can I get a parking pass the loading dock?
The Museum has two permits for temporary parking (30 minute limit) at the loading dock. Permits are available through Leleña.

What office supplies/machines are available at the front office?
The front office has a print/copy/scan/fax machine available for your use. General office supplies such as pens, pencils, tape, highlighters, post-its, and copy paper are also available at the front office (see the Front Office Miscellaneous page for details). See Leleña if you have questions about office supplies and machines.

Can I send outgoing mail and packages from the front office?
Work-related mail can be sent from the front office and is charged to the museum ’s general operating fund. Work-related packages can be shipped from the front office, but shipping costs must be charged to your research fund. If you want to send mail or packages from the front office, see Leleña (see Front Office Mail and Shipping Guidelines for details).

If you have specimens or tissues to mail, speak to one of the Staff Curators (Carla, Chris, or Carol), it is not legal to send these without proper labeling, especially outside the US.

What is the situation with undergraduates working in the MVZ?
The MVZ has an award-winning undergraduate program, with over 100 undergraduates working as volunteers, research apprentices, and paid assistants each semester. If you are seeking undergraduate help, inquire with Leleña ( If you already have an undergraduate working with you in the museum, make sure they complete an Undergraduate Application and Weekly Timesheets (if they are unpaid). All undergraduates working in the MVZ must complete one Undergraduate Application while at the MVZ (enters them into the MVZ database). See Leleña for more information.

What is CSS Team 9 (formerly RES)?
CSS (Campus Shared Services) Team 9 (formerly RES, Research Enterprise Services) is the MVZ's administrative services provider. CSS Team 9 handles purchasing, reimbursements, human resources (and more) for the MVZ. They also serve several other departments on campus. If you have questions pertaining to CSS services, it's a good idea to check with one of our in-house CSS contacts first (see Who's Who Front Office). Also check out the CSS Team 9 website for information on CSS procedures/policies at the following link:

Who are our in-house CSS contacts?
See Who's Who Front Office for this information!

Who do I contact about MVZ purchasing and reimbursements?
If you need to place an order or get reimbursed with UC funds, first inquire with the PI or your advisor - whomever is authorized to oversee the funds. Then log into Bearbuy, UCB’s online purchasing system. If you are a first time user, it is recommended you take the online tutorial and speak with John Stenske, who is the CSS purchasing specialist for the MVZ and can set you up with the proper authorities, or contact Jadine Palapaz, the CSS Team 9 Purchasing and Reimbursements Supervisor.

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