HOW TO RECEIVE ACADEMIC CREDIT FOR AN INTERNSHIP/CO-OP College of Humanities & Social Sciences
STEP 1: Obtain an Internship or Co-op position. Students are encouraged to use Handshake, Career fairs, networking etc.to secure a position that will allow them to learn skills relevant to their academic major. Each department provides specific guidelines to gain academic credit, please check out our page http://careers.kennesaw.edu/hss/ to see summarized requirements for your specific major before continuing onto Step 2.
STEP 2: Completion of the Internship/Co-op Application on Handshake by the Application Deadline of 1/04/21. Log on to Handshake : https://kennesaw.joinhandshake.com Select “Experiences” from the “Career Center” tab, then select “Request an Experience” to create a new application “Experience Type” refers to your actual major listed in Owl Express, not the nature of your work. Be sure to select SPRING 2021 from the drop-down menu Enter your position’s SUPERVISOR as the “Work Site Supervisor” in the Approver section and include contact information Upload an “Offer Letter” to ensure processing, if no offer letter is listed, we will contact your supervisor through Handshake for approval Note: You may request an Offer Letter from your supervisor: It should contain position, start date, hours/week and salary Be sure to click “Request Experience” at the bottom of the page to finalize and submit your application
STEP 3 Processing and Approving your Application: Your application will be reviewed on Handshake by an Internship Advisor to ensure you meet the minimum requirements for your academic program. Each department provides specific guidelines, check out our page http://careers.kennesaw.edu/hss/ to see summarized requirements for your specific major Once your application has been APPROVED by your supervisor and Faculty Internship/Co-op Liaison, an Internship Advisor will provide you with a course “override” and email you the CRN & instructions on how to register that you need to follow step-by-step
STEP 4 Registration Some Internship/Co-op courses are “Variable Credit” which means you must register for the amount of credits you have been approved for. Instructions will be provided in your approval email. You need to register yourself by the last day of Drop/Add (1/15/21 at 11:45 PM)
IMPORTANT DATES FOR SPRING 2021 1/04/21 Application Submission Deadline 1/15/21 at 11:45 PM: FINAL DEADLINE when you MUST BE REGISTERED
Lauren Mitchell, Annaleise Schneider, and Caitlin Hobbs
While the summer semester came with additional challenges because of the coronavirus, these challenges did not put a damper on academic curiosity and endeavors. Throughout the summer I had the opportunity to take a directed applied research course with Dr. Gooding. Through this course I was able to establish a deeper appreciation for the research process. I conducted literature searches and paraphrased research studies and books. Additionally, I learned new methods behind age estimation techniques in forensic anthropology using various skeletal markers. All the while, care was taken to ensure that academic rigor was on par with what we as students would experience in person. Dr. Gooding had online team meetings with us every few weeks to discuss our progress and was always available on our team chat. I also worked on an outreach project for the anthropology open house in order to introduce students to opportunities in biological anthropology within the department. All in all, I learned many valuable new skills with my experience as a research assistant with Dr. Gooding for the summer. From gathering information to aid in the research process and collecting information to synthesizing the information from the source articles concisely. These things will be valuable for my future in graduate school. – Mitchell
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our group research work was shifted to a virtual classroom. While a virtual classroom might seem like a difficult place to conduct group research, our group found we were able to communicate and cooperate from a distance, both effectively and efficiently. Our group conducted meetings intermittently via MS teams, allowing us to chat and collaborate on our research while also providing the unique opportunity to get to know each other and meet one another’s pets. We gained experience in graduate level applications of research skills through intensive research and review, and we were each able to focus on our personal areas of interest. Personally, I was able to explore methods and practices used in the field of forensic anthropology, and to take a detailed look into trauma interpretation, pathological conditions and anomalies, forensic scene recovery, taphonomy, and methods used to estimate the postmortem interval. Towards the end of the semester, we were able to return to campus for a few days for in-person teamwork, cultivating and organizing the skeletal collection for the Department of Geography and Anthropology. Throughout the semester, I gained valuable insight into methods and applications relevant to my field of interest, experience compiling and succinctly annotating articles, and an understanding of team research. This knowledge proved to be exceedingly valuable for my current and future academic endeavors, and subsequently, for my career aspirations. – Schneider
Moving online during the COVID-19 pandemic was definitely a challenge, and with a different group of people it would have posed an issue. Fortunately, everyone involved with our project were the kind of people who could make sure they got their part done with just a few Microsoft Team meetings or reaching out for help if needed in the team chat. The occasional guest appearance of everyone’s pets was just an added bonus. The subject field was wide enough that all of us were able to choose specific topics within the field of forensics. For instance, I don’t have much interest in the medico-legal side of the field and don’t plan on going into the law enforcement field, but I have interest in ancient cultures and grave retrievals so I chose topics relevant to identification of sex, ancestry, and age in skeletons, personal identification, and comingling issues. Unfortunately, unlike the others in my group, I was unable to make it to campus for any extra in-person projects. Regardless, I was still able to gain valuable experience and knowledge working at a graduate level through collecting the necessary studies and annotating them. This experience will be incredibly important moving forward with attending graduate school and later, a career in the field of anthropology. – Hobbs
There’s a saying, that I’ve heard before, that, “Life is like looking both ways before you cross a street, and then getting hit by an airplane.” Now, with a chuckle and a smile on my face, I have to say that sometimes there is a smidge of truth in these sayings. For me, and I’m sure for many others, one very fine example of said saying was the summer of 2020. After working every semester (including summers) for the last 4 years, all that was needed was an internship or practicum in my final summer semester, and I would graduate with a degree in anthropology! Dreaming of becoming an archaeologist, I was poised to join a field school in Italy, but as COVID-19 spread further, borders were then closed, and field schools cancelled. As I worried for the status of my graduation, and panic threatened to set in, I thankfully kept a line of communication open with my professors who started offering remote practicum opportunities! After much deliberation and communication, I happily ended up taking the opportunity underneath Dr. Gooding, a professor of anthropology at KSU.
I started off the summer by simply editing websites for KSU’s anthropology department, while brainstorming ideas for an engagement video for archaeology at KSU. This practicum challenged me to be flexible, to think outside of the box, to get out of my comfort zone, and come up with ways to get people engaged and excited about archaeology remotely. I learned new skills in video design, editing, and voice overs through the length of this course that I will be able to take into any career I go into. I enjoy being creative, so once got the ball rolling, then there was no stopping the ideas that kept coming! After finishing the archaeology engagement video, I was then able to take my interest in physical anthropology and the human skeleton and create an engagement video for prospective students. I then was able to create an advice video of tips and tricks for students who have enrolled in “The Human Skeleton” course. In the end, I was able to take my love of anthropology and archaeology and make videos that will help KSU and students for years to come.
Overall, this practicum taught me to be flexible, roll with what comes my way, and to think outside of the box. From student to student, don’t ever let any obstacle get in your way of pursuing your degree or your dreams! Whether you decide on (or life throws you onto the path of) an internship or a practicum, always keep an open line of communication with the people you are working with and put your best foot forward!
I wanted to do this project for my Directed Applied Research because I had never even heard of anthropology before coming to college. I chose to do Anthropology 1101 to satisfy a core requirement and immediately fell in love with the discipline. I changed my major to anthropology in the same semester.
Starting this project, I identified key concepts of biological anthropology and created three main categories: primatology, paleoanthropology, and microevolution. I created more subcategories for each larger category by further identifying specific themes and topics like primate adaptations, Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, and misconceptions. By using these, it allowed me to “code” and to analyze qualitative data. I gathered high school biology textbooks from the Teacher Resource and Activity Center in the education building. I only ended up getting five, but I transcribed each section (microevolution, primates, and human evolution) into an Excel spreadsheet. I also took pictures of each figure or diagram in the sections to compare information. Then I used NVivo software to code all of the text and to analyze the themes and concepts that were most commonly used.
After doing this project, I found that neither Cobb County nor the Georgia Department of Education require schools to teach biological anthropology in high school. The concepts of microevolution, primatology, and paleoanthropology were available in the high school textbooks, but the primate and human evolution sections were not required to be taught. Four out of the five textbooks were co-authored by the same person which made the content and pictures similar, if not identical. Finding out that anthropology in general wasn’t taught at any level before collegiate, but psychology and sociology are, was a little frustrating because anthropology seems to not get enough attention as a social science. But I’m hopeful that as more disciplines emerge and gain popularity, it will raise more awareness for younger students looking for paths in life that may not be introduced in the public-school system.
This summer I got accepted to attend a Mortuary Archaeology Field school located in Ryczyn, Poland. The school is well known as The Slavia Project (http://www.slavia.org/), and the objective is to teach students from around the world the studies of Adult and Juvenile Osteology, Human Burial Excavation, Bio-archaeology in Practice, Early Medieval Funerary Practices in Poland, Archaeological Field Research Techniques, as well as Archaeological Material Processing and Curation. The other goal is to rescue the excavations at the endangered archaeological site of Drawsko (the main site for ‘deviant’ burials!)
For several weeks’ students are in both the field honing their excavation skills as well as the lab to analyze the bones and cultural material, and in turn making science look exceptionally cool! Needless to say, this is an AMAZING opportunity and one would be insane to not go for an international trip across the world to dig up bones in a Medieval Cemetery!
Unfortunately, the Summer of 2020 proved to be a very hard one for many, due to the COVID19 pandemic, so this trip, like many others I’m sure, was cancelled. But I will sit here and encourage you that with passion comes determination. So instead of physically travelling to Poland, I took a “Cyber-trip” to Poland’s Medieval Era and discovered a world of Myths, Superstitions, Archaeological finds and Scientific Debate.
Internship to Practicum: What I Did Instead
The first and most important task that I had to ensure, was to establish and maintain my communication with the lead supervisor for the trip. Dr. Polcyn and I communicated via email throughout the entire process. Even after the trip was cancelled and transformed from an internship to a practicum, she was willing to send me references, suggestions for reading material and would answer any and all my questions that I had during my research.
Since my internship had been turned into a practicum, you can guess that a lot of the work was done by digging through Research Articles, Academic Journals and Thesis’ of other researchers. All relevant material had to then be annotated and the final product is, in my opinion, an amazing paper that covers the topic of ‘deviant’ burials and the connection they have to past and modern claims to ‘vampires’! I told you I found a world of Myths and Superstition along-side Archaeological finds! If I am being honest, as fun as it would have been to travel to Poland, I don’t think that I would have discovered the deep connection that the Slavic folkloric culture and today’s modern subculture has with these deviant graves. Yes, I have discovered a modern subculture of individuals who have taken the discoveries made by archaeologist and melded it with Slavic folklore to make the claim that vampires are real and that they themselves are in fact…vampires.
In the end, I have managed to form a connection with someone who is willing to guide me through my future endeavors within the field of Mortuary Archaeology, that has international experience. I am honored to say that Dr. Polcyn has invited me back to join them for the next session, given the hopes that COVID19 will be a thing of the past.
I have also learned so much and this research has peaked my interest in deviant graves. I would like to learn more about deviant graves from around the world and what cultural connections they may have. Are they as strong as the ones in Europe during the Middle Ages? I am going to work hard to find the answer to that question!
As a final note, I will encourage anyone who has a desire to travel for an internship, please, go for it. I will also encourage you to form strong connections with the individuals that are guiding you through your internship, don’t drop the ball on maintaining a connection with them, even after the internship is over. These individuals can help you in so many ways and who doesn’t want help in forming a successful career or just reaching a certain goal in life?
Slavia Project. 2012. “Grave 6/2012.” Slavia Foundation. Buried with sickles: early modern interments from Drawsko, Poland. Drawsko.
When I think back to when I began at KSU as a Anthropology major, I really did not know what to expect or how the internship process worked. I knew what the word “intern” meant but at this point in my life I just couldn’t see myself doing it. I knew I was going to probably end up doing it at the end of my senior year so I really did not worry or put too much thought into the whole thing. I knew I had plenty of time before I had to worry about it.
Eventually my internship caught up with me and before I knew it I was registering for summer semester internship 2020 which was also my very last course I needed to complete to graduate from KSU with my bachelors degree. I felt very nervous about what was to come of this internship experience and felt that I was not prepared at all. I realized later on that my personal anxiety about my internship was lack of knowledge of even knowing how the whole process worked or how much work was involved. Its natural to be scared of the unknown but for me personally there were other concerns that may not plague the regular college age student.
My worry was not just what I was going to do for my internship but how will this mix in with my personal home life and my real job. I’m not your traditional college age. I am in my early 40’s with a family and a job. Supporting my family is the number one responsibility in my life and is the main reason why I am completing my bachelors degree right now. I knew that there were some internships that may pay some small amount but most of them do not pay anything so the thought of having to work somewhere for my internship without pay was terrifying to me. Plus the thought that I would have to do this around my real job full time schedule drove me insane.
Once I was in the position where I had to finally do my internship, I spoke to my department internship advisor about my options and explained my own personal position. That conversation let a big weight off my shoulders. All those past few years of wondering and worrying ended right there for me. I was advised that my actual job could possibly be my internship if my supervisor would approve. The business I was in which is elderly in-home care can work out as a cultural anthropology internship. This totally made me look at what I do every day in a completely different light and I immediately realized that there is all sorts of cultural anthropological things going on in the in-home care world. Needless to say, I was not worried anymore about what I was going to do for my internship.
Before the internship began I thought about how I would relate my internship to my major. I knew there was a lot of cultural anthropology type stuff going on at my internship site but I didn’t really know what or how I was going to focus on any of it. I tried hard to put it all into perspective. I also did not know yet what was going to be asked of me from the curriculum. Once the internship officially began and I saw what was on the syllabus it became much clearer on how I was going to get through this. Now I just needed to put on my anthropology hat on while at work rather than just another day to day employee going through the same day to day motions.
When the internship began, I made sure that I read all the assignments on the syllabus. I wanted to have a clear idea of what was asked of me while I was at the site. I had to make sure that I was thinking in a different way while there at work and how I would relate it to my assignments. I learned this was very important to do because I never thought of what I do for work daily, I never viewed it in a cultural anthropological light. I had to stop thinking as an employee and start thinking as an anthropologist while working. I had to view things from a different lens which, at times, was not as easy as it sounds.
I am certain that if I had done my internship way back in my younger college years, I would have done a more traditional internship. I think it was a little difficult for me to really get into the way of thinking in an anthropological way because a majority of my work is in an office atmosphere. There was not much hands on type stuff going on in my situation so for my internship, I had gotten involved with other areas of my workplace to gain proper information for my assignments, and that made it easier for me to gather information. Gaining the proper amount of information for my assignments was also difficult but I eventually got through it by referring to my readings.
Viewing my workplace internship site from a different lens was the single most important thing for my internship. I had to really try hard to view and analyze things as an anthropologist which can prove hard when you get stuck into day to day activities. It was very easy to get back into an employee state of mind which showed in my first initial paper and journals I wrote. I had to write as an anthropologist rather than tell the story of my job and day to day tasks. I had to delve deep into the reasons why certain issues were happening and how they tie into the anthropology world. Tying the readings together with what I do really helped open the doors for a lot of every day issues I deal with and made me think of them from an anthropological angle which I had never done before.
I feel that many Anthropology courses at KSU I completed definitely helped me with doing my internship, especially the cultural anthropology classes. While I was doing my internship I often thought about certain classes, papers and assignments I completed that directly correlated with my internship. I can honestly say they helped me with my focus and view of what I was doing at my internship and without having completed those classes, my internship assignments would have been difficult to complete. Those classes helped shape the understanding of what exactly was being asked of me while doing my internship as an Anthropology major.
In the end I feel that my experience with my internship was a good one. It really made me open my eyes in a different way and focus on things I never really thought about before. I learned there is so much cultural anthropology involved in what I do every day. Anthropology courses I have taken at KSU really prepared me for my internship and I am happy that I had them to refer back to. I feel it is important to understand what the internship experience is about early on in college so that it isn’t such a shock when you finally have to do it. I am happy to have had this experience with my internship and workplace and I feel that it has made me a better employee as well as opened up my anthropological mind to other areas I may not have thought about before.
I started this year with a complete plan leading to my graduation. My practicum requirements were going to be fulfilled this Summer 2020. I was accepted to be a Research Assistant for Dr. Smith’s Greek Osteology Research Project. But four weeks in Greece turned to eight weeks at home in Connecticut with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
As the research trip was cancelled and more internships became unavailable, I was unsure as to if I would be able to meet my graduation goal. Luckily, I received an email from Dr. Gooding that contained a virtual internship opportunity that I could complete from home. The internship would be volunteering to transcribe online materials for the institution of my choice. I chose to be a Library of Congress volunteer. Virtually transcribing materials was not how I had expected my internship to be. I had expected my internship to be more hands-on and interacting with multiple people. Though it was not what I had expected, I was glad that I would still be able to graduate when I planned.
To volunteer for the Library of Congress, began with creating a personal account in By the People. By the People is the application by which volunteers can keep track of the materials they transcribe and review. Transcription was needed so that the materials could be preserved and available for search engines and the public. Before I could register for the internship, I had to show that I would be able to complete the work required. I transcribed one of the documents and submitted proof that it was accepted. That was the beginning of my virtual internship.
The materials were in different campaigns that the Library of Congress posted. Materials included handwritten and typed papers, legal documents, letters, and even diary entries. Some documents were even from people during the Revolutionary War. Most of my work was self-guided. The Library of Congress provided a How to Transcribe guide, but other than that I was mostly on my own. It was different from other types of internships, as I mostly supervised myself.
I was able to set what times I would transcribe, and review, and I was able to fit time in with my other summer classes. The internship requirement of 150 hours was still in place, so I had to be on top of the time that I needed to work. I was able to break my time up into shifts. Though most of the material was interesting, such as, the drafts of Mary Church Terrell, an African American and Women’s rights activist, it could become tedious to be sitting and transcribing for five hours a day.
Breaking up the time I worked and taking breaks helped me stay focused and not feel as though it was dull. Transcribing every day for eight weeks can definitely feel tiresome. There were some days that I dreaded going back to the computer and looking at more papers. I had to be extremely dedicated and manage my time well.
Over the coming weeks I became better at transcribing and understanding different styles of writing and script. There were stories of different interactions that were enjoyable to read. Creativity was needed to complete the required internship assignments and papers. Since this was a virtual internship, I had to find ways that it could apply to anthropology and what I was learning from it.
I gained access to stories that are not often available in history books or websites. In addition, I could read individuals’ personal writings and thoughts that provided a more complete view of the culture and ideas of that time. Working as a virtual volunteer, I was able to provide completed materials for future research purposes and community access. I gained a better understanding of how historical materials are preserved. It was an interesting look into archival work and public institutions.
By completing this virtual internship, I became better at analyzing and connecting materials to anthropology. I was able to learn methods for transcribing and I can now list transcribing as a skill on my resume. I was able to gain better time management and complete the hours at my own pace. I gained experience with transcribing and found out that I do not want to focus on similar work in the future. I learned more about my work preferences and that I want to work in an environment with opportunities to be active and have more hands-on projects.
There are many benefits to transcribing for the Library of Congress. The ability to set a schedule is great for anyone that has other responsibilities or classes. Transcribing is also a transferable skill and is a notable contribution to a resume or CV. Access to historical materials can enhance cultural understanding and give context to past stories, as well as be more readily available for the public and community use. Though the work can be tedious at times, volunteering virtually is a great option for anyone looking for an internship that they can complete at home.
I was originally planning to intern with a funeral home during the summer, however due to COVID-19 restrictions, they told me they could no longer employ me. Dr. Gooding was kind enough to send me a link to an Atlanta Journal Constitution article about how you can combat boredom at home with volunteering to transcribe with different organizations. After going through Handshake and applying to several different places and not finding anything, I decided to look at the Smithsonian’s and the National Archive’s websites. I chose the Smithsonian because it seemed easier to understand, they provided instructions, and a way to track your time. I was optimistic about the internship after doing an hour trial run of the site and decided that I would do this as my Summer 2020 internship. This type of internship is not what I had in mind initially, but in order to graduate on time, I needed the credit.
One thing I learned quickly is that to perform well in an online internship, you need to understand how you work best. If you have trouble scheduling your time, managing yourself, or motivating yourself, then an online internship might not work for you. For an online internship like this, I had no direct supervisor or anyone telling me to do x number of hours a day for x many weeks. I would like to say that I am disciplined but I had a hard time consistently working. I had a four-week summer course all throughout June, which took up a lot of my time and energy. And once I was done with reading, writing, and doing homework for my class, I did not really want to sit at my computer for another few hours transcribing.
I think this internship would be the most enjoyable for people who are interested in linguistic anthropology, a specific collection of documents, or a certain time period in history. If you are interested or passionate about what you are transcribing, that would help the time pass quicker. For the most part, once I got over the hurdle of two or three hours, I could find a productive energy and work for long periods of eight to ten hours. There were still days where I struggled to focus and stay motivated, but what helped me the most was adhering to the schedule I had made. Seeing my days mapped out with the hours I would need to transcribe along with other things like meetings, chores, homework, etc. helped me to visualize the amount of work that I was doing and how it was all adding up in the end.
One aspect of this internship that I appreciated the most was the portability. I could use my phone as an internet hotspot for my laptop when I did not have Wi-Fi so I could still work. For example, I used this method to transcribe while riding in the car for a few hours. The availability to do this internship whenever I felt like it or had time was another thing that I enjoyed. If I found that I had a spare hour or two, I could log on and work until I had to get off. That level of flexibility is perfect for people who are busy with classes or for those who cannot work a 9 to 5 job. Doing an online internship allows you to create your own schedule that works for you.
Transcribing aids in public understanding of historical events and everyday life. The public can open their eyes and gain a new perspective about the way our culture has changed throughout time just by reading some letters between parents and their daughter. A good example of this is the Doris Blake collection, which are letters that describe normal happenings in the parent’s lives that they are explaining to their daughter. One specific cultural detail that I remember is Doris’s mother concerned about why an Irish catholic woman moved into a house down the street. She criticized the woman and said that their neighborhood did not need a person like that. Before taking Historical Archaeology with Dr. Powis, I did not know that people in America actively hated Irish immigrants, and it is not talked about often, so it was surprising to read. This instance was very satisfying to me because I could directly connect what I have learned in school with something outside of class.
A fun thing about this internship was when I told people that my internship was transcribing historical documents for the Smithsonian, everyone was shocked and amazed. It also is fulfilling to have been a part of something that I think is important. Transcribing is essential for preserving historic documents that would be lost to time eventually. Due to the spread of COVID-19, the way people interact with museums may change forever. These institutions now have to digitize everything in order to provide the public with a way of accessing the collections. The first step to doing this, which most large institutions have already begun, is to scan documents, pictures, and digitize audio files. To be someone who promotes continued learning in the face of a pandemic is very rewarding.
The above picture is what my screen looked like as I transcribed. The document window is on the left, which you can zoom in or out or move using a mouse. The transcription box is on the right and is the larger box. Once a volunteer clicks onto the transcription box, it locks so only that volunteer can edit the transcript at a time. Inside the box, you simply type what you can read from the document. Sometimes this is nearly impossible because of really intense handwriting or fading. The Smithsonian made it a rule to simply transcribe what you can see because any amount of words that you can transcribe is more than what was there just a minute ago. The notes box is the smaller box on the right where volunteers can write comments to other volunteers, the staff at the Smithsonian, or just about the document in general.
But here are some specific tips I found to be useful in doing this internship. First, use a mouse instead of the track pad on a laptop. You have more control with zooming in on the document and it made everything so much easier once I transitioned. Second, really read the general instructions and the specific instructions for each project- some will have advanced instructions depending on the documents. Some volunteers do not seem to read any instructions and will transcribe whole paragraphs incorrectly, but when that happened to me I would put in the notes box how to transcribe something difficult or “Per Smithsonian rules, you no longer need to indicate when something is underlined.” None of the instructions are hard to find and the general instructions are shown to every new volunteer. Lastly, take notes while you are working so you can refer to them later when you have to do your journal entries and essays. Having specific examples of behavior, language, etc. can make doing the work so much easier and I wish someone would have told me that when I first started.
I do not think I will ever have a job in this field. I am more interested in biological anthropology, but for someone who is interested in linguistics, I think this internship would be interesting and give you experience. As I transcribed, I noted how differently people write and form sentences and how it changed over time. Because I was only an online volunteer, I did not receive any job offers as a result of this internship from the Smithsonian, however I now have a full time position with the same funeral home that I was going to intern with originally. And while my internship is not relevant to the funeral industry, they were very impressed and happy that I was able to get the credit I needed to graduate. So although this was not the internship I had in mind originally, I am able to graduate and feel like I made a small difference in the world.
Starting in August of 2019, I got an internship where I was tasked with performing archaeological research at Leone Hall Price Park. The purpose of this research was to establish a timeline of occupation for the park, as well as make maps showing where artifacts and features have been found in relation to the existing trail system. Throughout this blog, I will discuss what I did during my internship so that you can know what to expect when you finally get your own.
Starting the Research: Fieldwork
Starting thWorking in the field is a great, yet physically demanding opportunity. It allows you to get out and see where the people lived and find amazing artifacts first hand, it really lets you feel closer to the people who lived at the site you are studying. Always keep in mind however that all fieldwork has its difficulties. You can get caught in the rain, have to wade across a body of water, or be stuck in the cold. Even in the picture above where it looks beautiful, the temperature was in the mid-90’s and it was extremely humid. At times, discovering artifacts is as easy as walking along a riverbank. After a heavy rain, artifacts such as this could be washed downstream and left in plain sight. This is not to say that you don’t need to pay attention however, as many artifacts are small and difficult to see. Other times, finding artifacts requires you to get dirty. This fragment of a projectile point was found by climbing down into a pit near by the river created by an uprooted tree. Although more difficult to get to, artifacts like these have the advantage of being closer to where they were originally left than those found in the river.
Figuring it All Out: Labwork
Between the days working in the field, I was in the archaeology lab sorting and typing artifacts. This process is among the most time consuming, yet vital steps in understanding a site, it allows you to get a rough estimate for the age of a site, as well as gain an understanding of role of the site in trade if you find items originating form far off. Be aware however that working in the lab takes multiple hours of looking at artifacts and referencing books to make any progress. It is often said that an hour of fieldwork produces enough artifacts for a week of labwork. Some seemingly unassuming artifacts can be the most fascinating. Prior to analyzing this artifact, the oldest artifacts from Price Park were from the Early Woodland, 3000 years ago. Now the time for earliest human occupation at the site has been pushed back to 7500 years ago. At other times, the information offered by an artifact is limited. Alkaline glazed pottery such as the artifact pictured above became common in the South starting sometime in the 1800’s and is still produced today in some areas. Although this piece can tell us that the park was occupied by Americans sometime between the 1800’s and when the property was granted to Cobb County, what period it is from cannot be determined.
Last Step: Making the Maps
Although most people with an anthropology internship will not have to do any mapping, those who are also getting a certificate in GIS would be wise to combine the two internships to make the workload easier. Collecting data with ArcCollector can show where artifacts and features are concentrated. This can then be used to for a number of different things, such as where people are likely to have lived within a certain site. This will require hours of sitting at a desk and adjusting the map to make it look good, but the information you gain from it is worth it. Below is the official trail map, made by the Friends of Price Park.
I was an unpaid intern at the Root House Museum. My time there started in August, while the house was still dressed for summer. The first month at the Root House, I was given a docent manual and became acquainted with everyone that worked there at the time. I was given a lot of freedom with my time spent there. The executive director allowed me to choose what I spend my time doing as an intern at the Root House. I was provided access to resources that the museum already had, and then the rest of time was independent research. The atmosphere at the museum is very easy-going; help with projects was always requested and never pressed.
I think this the benefit that comes from working with a museum that relies somewhat heavily on volunteer work- the executive director and program coordinator avoid asking too much from their unpaid workers. Although I requested not to lead museum tours, I sat in during some of them to learn more about what a docent has to do as well as the typical visitors to the Root House Museum. Most of the visitors that I saw while I was there were either retirees or school aged children.
Aside from research and giving tours, a lot of the work at the museum involves arranging furniture and prepping for events. The room exhibits change almost every month, so furniture and décor have to be carefully moved around and arranged. The museum will host events, usually as an avenue to raise more money, and this also involves arranging tables and decorations in the garden. Otherwise, if you’re on the clock you might be asked to help sweep and dust. The Root House Museum is a good place for potential interns that want quiet, self-driven work. The other draw of the Root House is that the exhibits there touch a broad amount of subjects. The museum represents history, local history, business in 1800’s, the middle class during the 1800’s, horticulture and pharmacy, race, religion and gender. There are a lot of opportunities at the Root House for deeper studies into any of these subjects and more. The Root House Museum has connections to other local historians, other museums, and other historical societies. This museum is actually a very good place for people looking to make connections with other historical museums. It’s also a good place to learn how smaller scale museums maintain their exhibits, and turn out a profit.
The drawbacks of the museum start with the fact that internships will be unpaid. People who want more direction in their work, especially people who need consistent feedback, may not find the Root House as relaxing as I did. The days spent at the Root House are very slow, and some people need an environment where they constantly have something do and this just isn’t an environment that will keep anyone on their toes. Also research projects involve dead ends and this can be potentially frustrating for some people.