Bandelier National Monument: Develop Baseline Climate Change Data for Highly Significant Archeological Resources at Tsankawi

NPS Unit: Bandelier National Monument
Location: Los Alamos, New Mexico
Project Title:   Develop Baseline Climate Change Data for Highly Significant Archeological Resources at Tsankawi
Pay: Interns will be paid $12/hour for a total of 480 hours.
Position Description: This internship will involve developing baseline data for a vulnerability assessment associated with the nationally significant archeological resources at Tsankawi Unit.  This unit of Bandelier National Monument is an 828 acre discontiguous portion of the park with concentrated and varied well –preserved Ancestral Pueblo archeological sites. The project will focus on the potential effects of climate change on archeological sites by establishing baseline conditions from which changes and impacts can be monitored, including establishing variables indicative of climate change impacts. Visible changes in vegetation and drainage patterns can be seen when comparing current and historic conditions at the site. It remains undetermined if these changes can be attributed to natural environmental processes, unrestricted visitor access, climate change, or a combination of all three factors. Due to the high number of archeological sites at this unit, the project will focus only on the most significant resources. The project will include the following: archival research, field work to establish baseline monitoring, compilation of relevant geospatial datasets within GIS, mapping different variables, and developing management recommendations. The project will involve working with park staff in different disciplines, including cultural resources, natural resources, and cartography. The internship will involve the following:

  • Archival research and background research including literature review, current and past environmental data, and archeological records at the park.
  • Coordination with park and climate change program staff to assess, and as appropriate include, baseline data collection techniques and variables used by other park units with similar classes of archeological resources.
  • Obtain spatial data available for this project, including Lidar, orthoimagery, climate data, and soils information.
  • Review of cultural resource documentation for this location to aid in selection of sites for monitoring.
  • Field work to select representative sample of cultural resources found at Tsankawi Unit (e.g. cavates, pueblos, trails, petroglyphs), develop monitoring protocols, and collect baseline data.
  • Compile and analyze spatial datasets within GIS to provide baseline of available soils, topography, vegetation, and climate data in support of monitoring effort.
  • Final written report including written and digital documentation and assessments.
Learning goals: The intern will learn about how climate change is impacting archeological sites and how to apply available climate change data in analyzing the nationally significant cultural resources at Tsankawi Unit. The main climate change parameters affecting cultural heritage are temperature change, atmospheric moisture change, fire, wind, desertification, and biological infestation (World Heritage Convention 2006). All of these parameters are seen in the southwest region of the United States and in Bandelier National Monument. Some of these parameters are impacting the cultural resources at Bandelier National Monument more significantly than others. This internship will help determine which climate change variables apply to the archeological resources at Tsankawi Unit and establish baseline conditions for future monitoring.The intern will learn these various topics related to climate change and cultural resources through a literature review, background research, working with various divisions in the park, conducting documentation and condition assessments of the resources, analyzing the data, and synthesizing the information in a final report. The park staff have been documenting and analyzing the impacts of climate change to the park’s natural resources on a continuous basis for at least the last twenty years. This internship will provide an opportunity for an intern to apply this data to our cultural resources and assist the park in developing a strategy for responding to the impacts of climate change on cultural resources under NPS stewardship.
Mentoring: The park supervisor will be involved in orienting the intern to the park, the park’s resources, and the project. The park supervisor will provide training in the office and in the field in order for the intern to complete the assigned tasks. The park supervisor will talk to the intern on a daily basis to determine project needs and to provide necessary information. The park supervisor will allow the intern to participate in park meetings and/or training pertinent to the project or the intern’s professional and educational goals.The intern will receive additional guidance on this project from National Park Service regional and park archeologists and the park’s botanist.
Qualifications: The selected candidate must have 1) a minimum of 12 credit hours in anthropology; 2) completed an archeology field school, preferably in the southwest; 3) experience and/or course work in GIS; and 4) proficiency in using Microsoft Access/Word. Preferred candidate will have strong written and verbal communication skills, prior experience using film and digital cameras, operating a GPS device (Trimble), and knowledge of Southwest archaeology.
Position Dates: June 3 – August 23, 2013; dates are flexible.
Housing Available: Bandelier National Monument will provide housing for the intern. Housing will be in the headquarters area of the park near the Visitor Center and the administrative area. Housing will consist of a room (possibly a shared room) with a shared kitchen and bathroom facilities in a 2 – 3 bedroom house.
Vehicle/License Required: A privately owned vehicle is not required for this project but the intern is responsible for commuting to and from the park. The park is approximately 12 miles from Los Alamos and 45 miles from Santa Fe. There is no public transportation available between Los Alamos or Santa Fe and the park. All work-related travel between the park and Tsankawi Unit will be in a government vehicle, therefore the applicant must possess a valid driver’s license.
Work Environment: The position involves 60% field work and 40% office work. The intern will be based at Bandelier National Monument in the headquarters area. The elevation at the park ranges from 5,300 to 10,199 feet with headquarters located at 6,000 feet. Field work location (Tsankawi Unit) is in a Piñon-Juniper woodlands environment, with temperatures exceeding 90 degrees in the summer and with little to no shade.  Moderate to high physical effort is required to complete assigned tasks. Hiking 4 – 5 miles a day may be required with the field work often in rugged terrain or on steep slopes.