Cultural Resource Internship

Expected Dates
October 2, 2017 to September 30, 2018
Vicksburg National Military Park
Position ID

Vicksburg National Military Park (VNMP) is seeking a cultural resources intern to assist with museum collection preservation, cultural resource mapping, and park library inventory.  VNMP has almost 400,000 items in its museum collection which are spread throughout the park on display and in storage.  It is critical for these items to be kept in proper environmental conditions and carefully documented.  VNMP also has over 1,340 regimental monuments, markers, and tablets documented throughout the park, many of which are on the National Park Service (NPS) List of Classified Structures (LCS).  It is important that park managers and field staff have accurate documented locations and accessible maps of all of these monuments. Additionally, the park is required to conduct updated condition assessments on its historic structures regularly in order to identify current damage, monitor for potential threats, and plan for necessary maintenance.  The recently relocated park library requires organization and inventory digitization.
The goals of the proposed internship are clear and easily measurable.  The intern will follow NPS Museum Handbook to assist with proper monitoring, maintenance, and documentation of museum collections.  The intern will use existing park data and maps to locate each of the park’s documented regimental monuments, markers, and tablets.  A sub-meter Global Positioning System (GPS) unit will be used to collect location data, which will then be uploaded to a Geographic Information System (GIS) to create accurate maps for distribution to park staff and visitors.  Condition assessments will be conducted for each monument and recorded using photographic and written documentation.  Photographs will be compiled in a database organized for easy access by park staff.  A condition assessment report will be produced and presented to park managers and the regional NPS cultural resource team.  The resulting products will aid senior park staff in management decisions aimed at long-term preservation of its historic properties, thus having a strong, tangible impact on the future of the park.  In addition, the intern will organize the park library and complete a digital inventory of library items.
This intern will be supervised by and work closely with the Natural Resources Program Manager who currently works in Cultural Resources as a collateral duty.  She will provide the intern with all necessary training on museum collection management, GPS, GIS, and conducting condition assessments. Additional training and orientation will be provided in the following areas: park history, historic preservation, monumentation, NPS management policies, natural resources, and cultural resources.
This internship will involve working in an office setting in addition to significant amounts of time outside.  Time in the office will be spent using ArcGIS and other softwares to document museum collections, analyze and store data collected from the field, and upload and organize photographs of cultural resources. Time outside will be spent collecting GPS coordinates of monuments, photographing monuments, and conducting condition assessments. Some monuments are in the woods or more difficult to reach locations and the intern should be prepared to hike to these with GPS equipment and other supplies, potentially in high heat and humidity. The intern should be comfortable working outside for longer periods of time and must be able to work well independently and as a member of the team. The intern may have park volunteers to assist them in their work.
This intern will have the opportunity to gain important skills and knowledge in a variety of park program areas by working with a variety of park divisions, including Natural/Cultural Resource Management, Interpretation, and Facilities Maintenance. The intern will gain experience in curatorial practices, including use of collection management software.  The intern will become proficient with GPS and GIS technologies by the end of the program, acquiring the skills necessary to collect GPS locational data, create maps, and analyze that information to be used in decision making processes. These skill sets will be valuable to the intern in a variety of future career paths.  Additionally, the intern will learn how to conduct condition assessments, gain photography experience, and be exposed to process of historic preservation. The intern will complete a park orientation and training to learn about the campaign and siege of Vicksburg, the park, and the city. Additionally the intern will learn about the monuments and the art of monumentation. Working with employees from several divisions, the intern will gain a broad view of the park and the NPS mission. The Intern will receive an interdisciplinary introduction to the park service and be exposed to a variety of divisions, providing them with a greater understanding of the National Park Service. This variety of experiences will prove helpful for the intern in determining potential career paths.

  • Vicksburg National Military Park is located in central west Mississippi in the city of Vicksburg. The park is located on a high elevation bluff above the Mississippi River. In the summer the weather is very hot and humid. The park is over 1,800 acres and has a 16 mile tour road open to pedestrians, cyclists, and cars. The park is also home to a 12-mile wooded hiking trail. Walking, hiking, running, and bicycling are common park activities. Vicksburg has a diverse population of 23,000 and provides the necessary amenities. There are several options for grocery stores, restaurants, and entertainment all within a 20 minute drive of the park. There are countless opportunities to learn about history and music throughout the area. While Vicksburg is a small community, it is an active one with frequent running and cycling races, farmer’s markets, festivals, concerts, and other community events.
  • -interdivisional training and experience (Natural/Cultural Resources, Interpretation, Historic Preservation)
    -museum collection management practices
    -GPS/GIS skills
    -conducting condition assessments
    -understanding of NPS mission and policies
  • -Walking, hiking, running, and bicycling in park
    -park events and volunteer projects
    -running and cycling races, farmer’s markets, festivals, concerts, and other community events
    -local gyms which offer fitness classes and communities
  • No
Main Area of Focus
Cultural/Historical Resource Mgmt
Education, Training & Skills Expected
Resource Management
some coursework or experience
some coursework or experience
competent with supervision
competent with supervision