Yellowstone is the world’s first National Park, and is the crown jewel of the National Park Service. It is the core of one of the last nearly intact natural ecosystems in the Earth’s temperate zone with 2.2 million acres of highly diverse environments and terrain, including high altitude lakes, plateaus, and mountains ranges, river valleys, canyons, lodge pole pine forests, and active tectonic and thermal areas. Cultural resources at the park include one of the West’s most pristine archaeological records, documenting the 12,000 year presence of prehistoric and historic period Native Americans, and historic period explorers, trappers, U.S. military personnel, and tourists. The park has documented over 2,200 archaeological sites, with only 3% of its area investigated. The Archeology Program manages the park’s archaeological heritage and provides technical guidance on its preservation and protection.
The archaeology intern will work as part of a team responsible for inventory, monitoring, and evaluation of archaeological resources within the park. Field survey is among the most important duties, involving archaeological reconnaissance with the archaeology team. While the intern will be based at the Heritage Research Center (HRC) in Gardiner, MT for office work, overnight stays involving backcountry camping or use of cabins or dorms in the park’s interior are anticipated. Survey areas can be as close as one mile or as far as 75 miles from the HRC, and often significant time is spent hiking and/or driving in a government vehicle.
- The intern will have various field duties, such as taking field notes, creating field maps, taking photos, operating a GPS unit, and assisting with site condition assessments
- Field duties may also include excavating shovel test pits or larger excavation units, screening material, recording/collecting artifacts, and recording soils data
- Pre-fieldwork preparatory duties include collecting information for planning new fieldwork using maps and site files housed onsite in the lab
- Additional duties include preparing archaeological site forms, drafting site maps using ArcMap GIS, working with the park’s Spatial Analysis Center, and entering photos and associated data into the archaeology lab’s databases
- Lab duties also include analyzing and cataloguing artifacts, as well as preparing those collected for final curation at the HRC
- The intern must be able to work both independently and as a member of a team
- The intern must be able to hike up to fifteen miles daily at high elevations (between 5,500 and 12,000 feet AMSL), carrying loads up to 30 lbs. on a routine basis
Completion of at least one archaeology course is required, with a preference for applicants who have also completed an archaeological field school. Knowledge of the prehistory and/or history of North America is preferred.