Your Friendly Neighborhood Archaeologist

by: Alicia Gonzales

It’s your friendly neighborhood archaeologist writing in from Ohio. I can’t believe it’s already the conclusion of week 3! In a nut shell my experience thus far has been nothing short of a whirlwind.

Welcome sign to Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CUVA)

CUVA is a beautiful urban park with a great diversity of cultural and natural resources. With this diversity of resources and scarcity of resources in which to address all the needs (which I feel is fairly common amongst land management agencies), inevitably I’ve seen this park attempt to meet this challenge with enthusiasm. Given the size geographically, the staff here is a relatively small and tight knit group. All the folks I have met so far, have shown me a great deal of kindness and general interest in my contributions to come. So far Bill and I (Bills my mentor here at the park, Historian, Story Teller, Planner extraordinaire, NEPA and section 106 champion and all around great guy), have hit the ground running with every new curve ball that seems to come our way. We’ve had an opportunity to survey a few properties, meet with local farmers and entrepreneurs while assessing the status of historic structures within the Historic Landscape.

Historic Lock located in CUVA

We are a team of two in the cultural resource division and although my time here is limited I hope to be as great an asset as possible. My days have varied greatly, sometimes I’m indoors crouched over a desktop computer, pouring over old maps or I’m walking up a trail in the humidity, with muddy boots.

Happy intern ensuring she has proper PPE on while working in hazardous environment

The park staff and Bill, have truly welcomed me into the fold and I am most grateful for this easy transition. As a personal goal for myself, to my new colleagues, and from the words of CUVA Superintendent, who told me to “Have some fun this summer…” I am making it my mission to do dynamic and effective work, while injecting some fun into the lives of those I come into contact here in CUVA. Cheers!

Mushrooms! Example of some natural resources

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