Major: Anthropology, focus in archaeology
Summer 2015, National Park Service, NPS/NCPE Internship, Archaeology Program, Washington DC Office
Last spring, I applied for and received an internship with the National Park Service’s Archeology Program, advertised through the undergraduate anthropology listserv. From June to August, I assisted with data compiling for a retrospective analysis of the Systemwide Archeological Inventory Program, “SAIP,” which was used to aid in National Historic Preservation Act Section 110 compliance, which called for systemic survey to locate, evaluate, and nominate properties to the National Register of Historic Places. SAIP provided dedicated funding for systematic archeological survey on NPS property for scientific research, preservation, and National Register activities. It ran from 1992 to 2010.
I gathered data on the number of projects that utilized SAIP funding, how much money they received, the number of acres they surveyed, the number of new sites they discovered, and the number of National Register of Historic Places evaluations and nominations they did. Analyzing SAIP turned out to be a sizable project, and to help complete it, my duties continued into the fall semester as an independent study. During this time, I wrote a paper and developed a presentation on the SAIP program, which I presented at the Society of Historic Archaeology’s annual conference, the first professional conference I’ve attended.
I experienced a great deal of professional growth during my time working with the National Park Service, ranging from my ability to work with databases and Microsoft products, to my writing, communication and presentation skills. I am thoroughly acquainted with the laws and legislations in place to protect archaeology sites, and the methods by which those needs are addressed. Perhaps most important, however, I’ve seen archaeology at a national scale. The requirements and concerns of an individual site are different than those of large scale management. This understanding is vital to any archaeologist working in the United States, and I believe I will call upon the experience throughout my career.