Since her internship at the National Museum of the American Indian, Özge Gençay Üstün has been intrigued by the testing of heavy metals pesticides especially on organic artifacts. This has led her master’s thesis at UCLA/Getty Conservation of Cultural Heritage program and later on as her profession at the Autry Museum of the American West. One of many hats Özge wore there was safety handling of cultural heritage materials possibly contaminated with these nasty chemicals. Aside from testing she felt responsible for informing handlers of these cultural materials, especially the communities that some items would be repatriated to. For this she held in-museum workshops to inform professionals and created some protocols of safety handling and housing of these artifacts. Özge is very excited to be presenting this information to the Registrars Committee -Western Region, this time online.
The Pandemic has changed so much in her professional life, but she never stopped being an advocate for cultural heritage and conservation. Since 2013 she has been in the team for the Alalakh/Tell Atchana excavation, a middle Bronze Age archaeological site and loves to share her conservation and preservation skills in a multidisciplinary setting. She is interested in preventive conservation, specifically Oddy testing for creating safe enclosures for housed/exhibited objects, environmental monitoring and Integrated Pest Management. Özge is always curious solving conservation related problems using analytical tools. Be it self-improvement or sharing her expertise, education is always her passion. She is always happy to provide workshops and tutorials on conservation matters to the public at any age as well as professionals.
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