Monday, May 03, 2010

Karson Winslow, 2010 Intern
A gentleman asked me the other day why I was interning with the National Park Service on St John. He thought that with the bad economy, that had to be the reason why I didn’t have a “real job.” Either that or I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life. I responded with the exact opposite. I know exactly what I want to do in my life and right now, this is it. I joined on as an intern and volunteer because I purely have a desire to be in the field of archaeology. In the field now for a little over five years, I have had the ability to work in some really great places and with very knowledgeable and amazing people. This destination has been no exception.
I went to school in California and attended UC Santa Cruz, receiving a BA in Anthropology (2005). I continued with my education and moved to South Australia to attend Flinders University for graduate studies focusing in Maritime Archaeology (2007). After University, working in a number of places including Tasmania, St. Augustine, Florida, Galveston, Texas and terrestrial work throughout California, I decided to focus on a region I believed would most apply to my studies and experiences.
Being an archaeologist, the system is similar and relatively universal in the different locations where one works, but each individual area brings its own cultural identity. For this reason I choose to explore the past as well as explore these unique entities most people might not even know exist.
For now, I will only be on St. John for a short while, though I intend to return and continue working and volunteering on island in the near future. With the Caribbean being such a “Colonial Melting Pot” if you will, with so many European powers utilizing these waters and these islands, there is a very important history here that belongs to all of these nations, including those who inhabited the islands before.
Days are spent at Cinnamon Bay working in the Archaeology Lab. Work out there consists of informing visitors about the history of the area and explaining the purpose and focus of the work we do. We are also working on cataloguing artifacts from the excavation at Cinnamon Bay that was completed at the Ceremonial grounds of the site, as well as washing and sorting artifacts from a current re-burial project the VINP is presently undertaking. If not in the lab, we are in the field recording the remains of known sites on and around the island or gathering historic data on field artifacts. Such as recording the exact measurements of the one surviving historic marine iron bollard at Creque Marine so that identical ones can be reproduced as part of a park funded project that is aimed at providing safe docking for visitors while maintaining the historic scene.
I would just like to say a quick thank you to the supporters and Friends of the National Parks, without whom it would not be possible for the interns and myself to be here. I very much appreciate the support and generous donations towards the park.
Karson Winslow

Ken giving an educational tour to a St Thomas school group at Creque Marine. While we interns recorded artifact data.

Marlise recording Bollard data for reproduction.

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