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Webinar Wednesday March 18: Applied Anthropology in the National Parks

As the National Park Service (NPS) approaches its centennial in 2016, the NPS Cultural Anthropology and Archeology Programs continue to engage in research with deep roots in communities across America.By partnering with universities and scholars in the CESU Network (Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Units), the NPS funds applied research in ethnography and archeology.This session will introduce current, completed, and upcoming NPS-CESU research; how to submit letters of interest for research through the CESU network; and how students may become involved in applied work in parks.

Keywords: parks; applied; heritage; research; government

NPS Cultural Anthropology Program: www.nps.gov/ethnography

NPS Archeology Program: www.nps.gov/archeology

Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Units Network: www.cesu.org

Joe Watkins is the Supervisory Cultural Anthropologist and Chief of the NPS Tribal Relations and American Cultures. He oversees the Park Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) Program, the Tribal Historic Preservation Program, and the Cultural Anthropology Program from the NPS Washington Area Service Office.

Stanley Bond is the Chief Archeologist for the National Park Service and Consulting Archeologist for the Department of the Interior. He has managed a number of CESU projects as a NPS Archeologist, Resource Manager, and Superintendent. Current CESU projects sponsored by the NPS Washington Archeology Program include a Southwest mission travel itinerary, a webinar lecture series, work with Latino high school students, analysis of digital imaging practices, and training for Afghan cultural heritage professionals.

Jennifer Talken-Spaulding is the Regional Cultural Anthropologist for the NPS National Capital Region. She manages multiple applied anthropology projects and a student internship program in support of national park units in three states and the District of Columbia. Research topics include contemporary communities, heritage preservation, and urban subsistence fishing.

Tom Fish is the National Coordinator for the Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Units (CESU) Network. Tom works across government, academia, and the NGO community to facilitate collaborative research, technical assistance, and education/capacity development in support of public trust resource stewardship. Tom’s work covers a wide range of topics relating to land use planning, marine conservation, applied social science and human dimensions, and training for protected area managers in the U.S. and abroad.

Applications open for Park Break field seminar in Cultural Resource Management

Applications are now being accepted for the next installment of Park Break, a five-day, all-expenses-paid, park-based seminar for graduate students who are thinking about a career in park management or park-related research and education.  By interacting with park resource managers, researchers, administrators, interpreters, partners, and other professionals, Park Break participants will begin to understand the complexity of managing parks, protected areas, and cultural sites.  This unique program is not offered anywhere else, as it focuses on intellectual inquiry at the graduate level.

The next Park Break will be hosted by the National Park Service at three park units in the Boston area: Boston National Historical Park, Boston African American National Historic Site, and Lowell National Historical Park.  Engagement will center on the topics of making NPS sites more relevant to diverse communities and ways to attract diverse audiences to national park sites.  All aspects of cultural resource management will be involved: museum services, building preservation, interpretation, cultural landscapes, planning, compliance, and preservation outreach to communities and partners.

Topics may include the evolution of how historic parks and sites are chosen for designation and today’s emphasis on selecting sites that better reflect the diversity of our shared heritage, making collections and exhibitry more relevant to diverse audiences, and partnering with diverse community groups to increase our capacity in telling America’s story.

Park Break is open to graduate students who are currently enrolled at an institute of higher education in the USA, Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean, and are actively pursuing a degree.   For this Park Break we are especially encouraging applications from interested minority students from ethnic, racial, and cultural groups that historically have been underrepresented in fields related to cultural resource management in parks and historic sites.

For more information on Park Break, and to apply, go to: http://www.georgewright.org/parkbreak

The deadline for applications is September 6, 2012.

Evaluation and selection will take place immediately thereafter and all applicants will be notified of the outcome by September 17.

Park Break is a program of the George Wright Society, planned and carried out in concert with various partners.  If you have any questions, please contact the GWS at 1-906-487-9722, or email info@georgewright.org.

NPS Chief Archeologist Position

Daniel Odess is the Assistant Associate Director for Park Cultural Resources of the National Park Service. He forwarded along this newly released job posting. Please apply to the position in accordance to the directions of the post and direct any questions in regards to the position to the designated contact in the post. Thanks Daniel for the announcement!


I wanted to let you know that the advertisement for the Chief Archeologist position hit the street late this afternoon. It is being advertised All Sources and will close on March 9th. It is a GS-14/15.  You can find it On USAJOBS.com by putting 437181 into the keyword search window.  Please share this advertisement widely to help ensure that we attract an outstanding applicant pool.


Daniel Odess, Ph.D.
Assistant Associate Director, Park Cultural Resources National Park Service

AAA Member Honored with Distinguished Explorer Award

2011 Distinguished Explorer Award Winner

Congratulations to Steve Lekson!

Lekson is the first archaeologist to receive the Distinguished Explorer Award by the Roy Chapman Andrews Society.

A professor and curator of anthropology at the University of Colorado, Dr. Leckson has been discovering and digging ancient sites for nearly 40 years. Before moving to the University of Colorado, he served as President and CEO of the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in Cortez, Colorado, and as an archaeologist with museums in Arizona and New Mexico. His explorations have been supported by the National Science Foundation, National Geographic Society, and National Park Service.

His most recent excavations have been at Black Mountain pueblo, a huge ruin in the bleak Chihuahua Desert of southern New Mexico. The site may be a “missing link” between the famous Mimbres and Casas Grandes cultures of the Southwest.

To read more about Lekson’s award acceptance program, click here.


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