🔗Preservation & Conservation Research Member – Valley Forge National Historical Park
Website American Conservation Experience
Summary American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS), is seeking a Preservation & Conservation Member to research and study the types of materials that were used in the early preservation of excavated materials related to the Upper Forge site at Valley Forge National Historical Park (NHP).
For more information about ACE, please visit www.usaconservation.org.
Start Date: August 14, 2023, or upon successful completion of the Department of Interior Background Investigation
Estimated End Date: 23 weeks after the start
*a 23 minimum commitment is required *
Location Details/Description: Valley Forge NHP-King of Prussia, PA & Harpers Ferry Center, WV
The NPS is responsible for protecting and managing over 420 individual “units,” including 63 National Parks, 74 National Historic Sites, and other designated areas such as battlefields, monuments, nature preserves, and more.
Valley Forge NHP is the encampment site of the Continental Army during the winter of 1777-1778. The park features 3,500 acres of monuments, meadows, and woodlands commemorating the sacrifices and perseverance of the Revolutionary War generation and honoring the power of people to pull together and overcome adversity during extraordinary times.
For more information about the park, please visit https://www.nps.gov/vafo/index.htm.
This position will travel to Harpers Ferry for three consecutive weeks during the internship. The Museum Conservation Labs at Harpers Ferry Center (HFC) support all park sites that maintain museum collections through preventive care, preservation planning, and performing conservation treatment on artifacts on loan to our facility. Although the conservation labs are a part of the NPS Harpers Ferry Center, they are located 6 miles from Harpers Ferry, WV, in Charles Town, WV. Although only 70 miles from Washington, D.C., the area is a grouping of small communities with plenty of historical and outdoor attractions but meager public transportation – your transportation is required.
For more information about the conservation labs, please visit https://www.nps.gov/subjects/hfc/museum-conservation-services.htm.
Position Overview: In the spring of 1777, following Gen. George Washington’s decision to store military supplies at Valley Forge, the British attacked and seized the supplies and burned the forge buildings. The upper forge, built in 1742, was a modest example of the finery forge that had existed since the blasted furnace was ado for smelting iron in the 15th century. Although not as significant as other examples of the 18th-century iron industry in the colonies, the upper forge at Valley Forge NHP remains unique as one of the very few charcoal finery forges ever to be excavated.
The member will assist in correctly identifying and appropriately cataloging the various excavated materials from the finishing forge site on Valley Creek. The artifacts will be re-numbered with a better identification system to identify each piece separately further and clearly. Proper identification of individual works will provide crucial data needed for a complete research study on the upper forge, along with the results of preliminary testing of collected samples. Objects directly related to the Valley Forge NHP landscape will be preserved to continue providing valuable historical information on forge activities for future research and exhibition during the upcoming Semiquincentennial commemoration.
Perform analysis & diagnostic testing on objects for analysis
Help conduct background research on the upper forge site and corresponding archeological finds
Help write portions of a technical report and prepare tables and graphs as requested
The position will include limited travel to perform lab work at Harpers Ferry Center, WV. Travel costs will be paid.
This individual placement facilitates professional development and promotes exposure to land management agencies and networking with professionals. This could include gaining experience in conservation fields and shadowing work groups.
Schedule: Mon-Fri, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Living Allowance: The ACE Member is expected to contribute ~40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $680/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly.
AmeriCorps Education Award Program: This position may be eligible for a 900-hour AmeriCorps Education Award while serving under the EAP 2022/23 grant year program, valued up to $3,172.50 upon successful completion of [a complete service term and 900 hours.
Loan Forbearance: AmeriCorps members may also be eligible for federal loan forbearance. Additional enrollment steps are required.
Qualifying Child Care Coverage: AmeriCorps members may also be eligible for qualifying child care coverage. Additional enrollment steps are required.
Public Land Corps Hiring Authority: Members serving under this agreement may be eligible for a federal hiring authority upon their term of service completion. PLC projects also include specific eligibility requirements such as age and citizenship. Please contact ACE staff with questions about eligibility or view general information online https://www.usaconservation.org/epic/#eligibility-requirements.
Housing: Housing is the member’s responsibility and is not provided by ACE or the NPS. Park housing may be offered but is not guaranteed.
Travel Assistance: This position will include limited travel to perform lab work at Harpers Ferry Center, WV. Travel costs will be covered. More information will be provided during the interview process.
Provided Training/Orientation: ACE members will receive position-specific training and an orientation outlining ACE policies and procedures, clear guidance on prohibited activities, and networks for support.