Meeting Minutes

Preservation technology and Training Board
National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
National Park Service

 

November 16 – 18, 2011
Lee H. Nelson Hall
Natchitoches, LA

 

ATTENDEES

 

BOARD                               STAFF                                    ABSENT

Jim Garrison, Chair          Kirk Cordell, DFO               Suzanne Turner

Horace Foxall                     Kevin Ammons                    Frank Preusser

Robert Silman                    Andy Ferrell                         Roy Graham

Jonathan Spodek               Mary Striegel                       Rob Pahl

Norman Weiss                    Debbie Smith

Norman Koonce                 Ed Fitzgerald

Sean Clifford

Jason Church

Mary Bistodeau

Derek Linn

 

Thursday, November 17

CALL TO ORDER

Call to Order, Opening Remarks, and Certification of Meeting

 

Jim Garrison, Retiring Chair

Kirk Cordell, Executive Director & Designated Federal Officer (DFO)

 

Jim Garrison calls the meeting to order at 8:57 AM.  Roy Graham and Rob Pahl will not be able to attend the board meeting due to illness. Suzanne Turner and Frank Preusser will also not be here. Kirk Cordell, the Designated Federal Officer, certifies the meeting.

 

Kirk Cordell discusses the board report and thanks Ed FitzGerald for overseeing production of the board report, which will become this year’s annual report.

 

Minutes of the last meeting were distributed.  Horace Foxall moves to approve the minutes and Norman Weiss seconds.  The minutes are approved unanimously.

 

Cordell reviews the agenda.  The meeting will adjourn today at 5:00 PM after which the Friends of NCPTT will hold a reception for the Board at  Cherokee Plantation. Dinner will be at Mariners Restaurant.  The meeting will continue tomorrow until noon.

 

The board will need to elect a vice-chair at the meeting.

 

 

STATE OF THE NATIONAL CENTER

 

Budget Briefing Overview

 

Kirk Cordell, Executive Director

Kevin Ammons, Administrative Officer

 

Mr. Cordell opens with greetings from NPS Associate Director Stephanie Toothman.

The budget is essentially flat, but in these days of fiscal challenge NCPTT (the Center) is fortunate to continue to be in the budget.

 

The fall board meeting is working out well.  Next year is the scheduled away year with the possibility of meeting in Charleston, SC in conjunction with the APT meeting. By going from two meetings to one meeting, the Board and the Center may not be as engaged as in past years. Need to think about other ways to engage in meaningful communications. Frank Preusser and Norman Weiss have been active with the Materials Conservation Program.  Bob Silman has been involved with the sustainability initiatives.

 

The Board Report was posted on the web site two weeks in advance.  It is hoped that is working out satisfactorily for all.

 

Rob Pahl sent his thoughts as he prepared for this meeting.  He believes there is a need to take a fresh look at the Center’s programs.  Need to wrap up projects that have played out.  Need to identify new activities that will appeal to a broader audience.

 

The Center had an office retreat in June. Topics for discussion at the board meeting today have grown out of the retreat.

 

The Center is approaching its 20th anniversary. It was suggested to hold some type of retrospective meeting.

 

Grants

 

There is a desire to rethink the grants programs.  Funding for the grants program is a challenge.  Is this sustainable over time?  Awarded grants to 13 recipients for a total of $285,000 this year. Since the allotment is so small, should there be consideration to eliminate the program and instead support project agreements with universities.

 

Technical Services:

 

There are plans to offer technical services to the parks themselves.  The NPS needs analytical services for small projects.  The Center is considering a formal technical services program for small projects. However, this should not overtake the core mission.

 

Preservation Trades:

 

The Preservation Trades are critical to preserving cultural heritage.  NPS Director has a new call to action program without adding any new money.  This calls for a preservation trades program within the National Park Service. There may be an important role for the Center to take the lead for this task.

 

Friends Group:

 

The Friends Group needs new members.  Perhaps there are some PTT board members who may wish to rotate to the Friends Group.

 

PTT Board Members:

 

Need to consider new PTT board members. Suggested to consider the approach to new members on the board in terms of professional disciplines, who should be considered for participating on the board.

 

Budget Issues:

 

There is strong management support for the Center in upper levels of NPS.  However, there does not appear to be support in OMB.

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE BOARD REPORT:

 

Kirk Cordell was on a team to make recommendations to the Associate Director for reorganization of the Cultural Resources Division.  The implementation of the plan will go in place at the first of the year.  New management procedures in WASO have been a challenge.  The Center doesn’t operate in the same way as other CR programs.  More similar to a park unit.

 

NPS is developing training for mid career employees.  Cultural Resources  will be a major element of the new system.  Funding for web design services for the training programs has been approved, and NCPTT will carry out the work.

 

Kirk Cordell was a subject matter expert for hire of the new chief of Technical Preservation Services.  NPS hired Brian Goeken for the position. Recently, Goeken visited NCPTT for several days.  As a result, it is hoped that the Center will have better cooperation with TPS.

 

The Center received special youth initiative funds and hired local youth to inventory cultural properties relevant to the African American community in Natchitoches Parish.

 

The Center held a disaster recovery session at the George Wright Society.  Five papers were presented.

 

The Center hosted listening sessions in Washington, DC, for sustainability issues in preservation and also held several LEED training events nationally.

 

The Center hosted the Southeastern Conference Academic Consortium.  Roy Graham helped organize this meeting.  Discussed possibility of creating a joint certificate program in preservation along with an architecture degree.  The Center hosted the NPS-wide cultural resource training for NPS facilities managers at Lee Nelson Hall in September.

 

The Materials Conservation Program presented recommendations and the final report for headstone cleaning to the Department of Veteran Affairs. They also completed work on rust converters for ornamental iron.

 

Derek Linn, an intern in Historic Landscapes, has been using Hodges Gardens as a case study and is having a positive influence on the state park.  This will ultimately result in a manual for documenting historic landscapes.

 

Historic Landscapes also held a historic tree workshop at the NPS George Washington Birthplace.

 

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation published a new issue of itsTerra Firma series that focuses on historic landscapes, with funding and written articles by NCPTT staff.

 

The Historic Landscapes intern developed a template for adding landscape content to Preservapedia.

 

Information Technology is developing an iPhone application for emergency response in partnership with Heritage Preservation.  They want to continue to develop this app so they can charge for it.

 

The Center held a robotics camp for middle school students and a conservation scientist for a day program for high school students.

 

At the APT meeting in Victoria the Center sponsored a two day meeting to beta test a sustainability matrix that was developed by the APT technical committee on sustainable preservation.  The matrix is performance based.

 

Budget administration continues to be excellent with Kevin Ammons’ skills and efforts. We have seen a smaller increase in the fixed costs – no salary increases. The Center anticipates additional travel budget cuts. Kevin presented an overview of the budget (pg 28-30 of the board report).

 

University of Vermont Cooperative Agreement:  the Center wanted to stimulate more research on sustainability and energy efficiency and costs of greening technologies.  In another matter, issues between developers in Vermont and the NPS Technical Preservation Services evolved over solar hot water heaters. NPS wants to address this issue – maybe this CA could assist with this matter.  The work has become complex as a result.

 

Jonathan Spodek asks if the Center is involved with other professional organizations such as;

APT

AIC

US/ICOMOS

NTHP

SAA

SHA

Waterborne Symposium

 

Jim Garrison says Mike Jackson, a reviewer, has referenced a very good technical study on window repair options.

 

Norman Weiss comments that getting information into professional conferences is critical yet is a modest investment.

 

Horace Foxall says that the NTHP meeting in Spokane Washington will have an emphasis on displays and hands-on activities. He would like Materials Conservation to do a cemetery session at the Spokane meeting.

 

Spodek wonders if the Center can respond to other agency RFPs.  He discussed a HUD call.  The Center has not been involved in these types of things in the past.  He suggested reviewing FED BIZ OPS on a regular basis.

 

The archeology position should be advertised this week. There have been two 2-year term positions created for work and support of the programs.  Funding comes from the internship pool that was once used during the school year. As a result those positions have been filled by Ed Fitzgerald and Curtis Desselles. Additionally, Jeffery Guin has resigned and moved to Philadelphia.  Not sure that this position will be filled.

 

The Center has negotiated additional lab space on NSU’s campus.

 

The Center currently has board vacancies.

 

MORNING BREAK

 

Partners Reports

 

Steve Horton, NSU Vice Provost and Dean

Catherine Johnson, Assistant to the Director, Cane River National Heritage Area

 

Horton reports about the state of Northwestern State University of Louisiana.  With the elimination of the chemistry and physics staff, the Center has stepped up to help fill in the gaps.  University and local community members regularly use the Center meeting facilities for their events.  NSU expects that the Center will help with the 300th anniversary of Natchitoches.  This year is the tenth year of the Center in Lee Nelson Hall – they are an integral part of the campus.

 

NSU is building a new building on campus.  It is a nice student services building. The old Caspari Hall is going to be restored and will be the central administration building for the university.  They will be adding a third story to the building.

 

NSU is one of many schools in the middle of a review of roles, scopes, and missions within the state.  NSU students are first generation graduates that are widely blue collar.  They cannot afford an education elsewhere.

 

Has the relationship between NSU and NCPTT been affected by program cuts? Yes and no.  Some areas are strengthened, but some areas have been lost.  There has been more integration of the Center into NSU’s campus, but it no longer has a prospective student pool they can draw from to fill its summer and academic year internship programs.

 

Can NSU help the Center with finding funding?  Forty percent of their funding is coming from external sources.  The NSU office of sponsored research may be able to help. The Friends group could be the lead funder for some external funds for the Center.  In other places NSU could be able to help. The Center needs to think creatively.

 

NSU grew out of the Louisiana State Normal School. It is a teaching institution.  There are currently 5,000 full-time students on campus and about 9,500 students enrolled altogether.  There are four colleges, and a very large general studies program.  There are no Doctoral Programs, but NSU wants a Doctorate of Nursing Practice.  They do award a Specialist degree (a Master’s + program).

 

Catherine Johnson, Assistant Director of Cane River National Heritage Area, reported that there

are 49 national heritage areas across the country. Cane River National Heritage Area has been in existence since 1994. Their mission is to assist the community with preservation projects in the area. They are looking at the economic development of preservation projects in the area.

 

The Heritage area is looking at a 50% budget cut for this fiscal year.  The program isn’t quite positioned within NPS.  The CRNHA is being managed by a board of directors rather than a federal commission.  They are developing a business plan so that they can be self-sustaining and have a bigger impact on the community.

 

CRNHA has entered into a cooperative agreement with the city of Natchitoches to develop the Natchitoches Train depot.  They are considering developing an interpretative center on railway history and a transportation hub.  They are hoping to develop businesses around the depot.

 

CRNHA is also working toward developing the old courthouse.  There are lots of challenging issues associated with this building. Other projects include a bridge down river and some work at Oakland Plantation. CRNHA is consulting with the Center on these projects.

 

CRNHA is inventorying the national historic landmark district in order to update it. They have a competitive grants program which is a major vehicle to engage historic organizations and academic research in the community.

 

The Center helps the heritage area in many ways and is a valuable partner.

 

The CRNHA has the opportunity to use these cultural resources as a way to teach others about care of similar cultural resources elsewhere.

 

There are less bricks and mortar projects in the area and consequently not as much job creation. However, CRNHA is a tourism benefit to the city and the state.

 

Has there been an economic impact study for the CRNHA? NSU may be able to assist with this.

 

PTT Grants in a Budget Decline: Current Status, New Directions

 

Bob Silman, PTT Board

Norman Weiss, PTT Board

Andy Ferrell, Chief of Architecture & Engineering

Mary Striegel, Chief of Materials Conservation

 

Some considerations are;

 

Should we try to continue the grants program in the way that it is currently formatted? Should we let staff lapse to fund grants or should we pull away from grants to increase staffing? Should we pull away from the 10% rule? Are grants useful at the $25,000 level?

 

a.  Products of the grants program are terrific information.
b.  Are we offering enough money to pursue research in a meaningful way.

c.  Maybe the Center could fund students to come and do research at Lee Nelson Hall with the Center’s professionals.  Visiting scholars at a 6-9 month or a 1 year program.  This could help build an understanding of NCPTT and its mission.

i.     What is the mandate? See 16 USC 470X-4(c).

ii.     Jonathan has concerns with student scholars.  He feels they would need really good supervision. What is the staff capacity for the Center? Interns are our best advertisers.  Are these successes anecdotal or systemic?

iii.     What about guest scholars instead of students?  Post-docs, a person to come for a summer.  Are there existing preservation scholars programs elsewhere?  This is a scholars-in-residence program. They should come here because the resources that we have meet their research ideas. What if they come from other federal agencies with cost sharing?  This is a logistical question.

iv.     The Center builds its constituency through these grants. Cooperation with other academics develops new projects.

v.     The Natural Resources division uses CESU’s to garner natural resource research.

vi.     There are ways to generate research ideas and determine state of the art science through retreat conferences similar to the Gordon Conference.  This is a good way to establish research priorities.  Also, through retreat type conferences, collaborative research efforts can be established and research tasks shared.

vii.     But some of the research products that are listed in the board report cannot be produced here.

viii.     Building better relationships with the NPS, could work in a park.

ix.     Other than funding issues, what are other issues faced by the grants?

x.     What is the best thing about the grants program and what is the worst thing about the grants program?

            1. The Center has impact and creates good studies all the time.  It builds relationships with good researchers that want to work with the Center in the future.  It serves to develop new partners.
            2. It is a struggle to find the grants the Center wants to fund.  There needs to be more control of the types of proposals that are received into the program.

xi.     Is the Center mandated to do competitive grants?  Federal funding should be competitive.  Could RFP’s be sent out to a select group of researchers to insure quality research in specific areas? The research priorities should be reconsidered.

 

12:00 PM – LUNCH

 

xii.     Grants discussion continues.

xiii.     The board feels that there should be a grants program.

xiv.     Does the budgeting system allow the Center to offer grants every other year?  No, the Center’s funds are only one year appropriations. This is because the grants must fit into the federal budgeting system — currently only one year funding.

xv.     There are about 40 proposals annually with about 30 of them relevant.  Approximately 12 proposals are awarded annually. Applicants have a 1 in 4 chance of getting funded.

xvi.     Garrison wants 1% of HPF funds to come to the Center.  NCSHPO is not in favor of this.  The federal government is probably going to be on a continuing resolution for the rest of this year.  Asking for new funding sources is moot. Can HPF funds be used by the Center?  That is a legal question.  The Friends Group should request that NCPTT be somewhere in the full funding of the HPF funds.

xvii.     If someone puts in to change the legislation of the Historic Preservation Act, language can be put in re: HPF funds.

xviii.     We don’t want to abandon science – how can we enhance our research? The board could ask for science funds.  The budget needs to be increased.  Garrison will work on a generic letter.  The board is the advisor to the Secretary of Interior.

xix.     Need to grow the pie rather than try to do with the shrinking pot.

xx.     Need to continue the grants program but explore the visiting scholar’s idea.

xxi.     Suggested to choose a specific problem and try to identify a research topic.

xxii.     Grant fewer grants on a higher level.

 

 

Web and Mobile Development: A Progress Report

 

Sean Clifford, Web Developer

 

Work continues to improve content management.  Substantial progress has been made in that area. Efforts are being made to fulfill the mandate of being a clearing house for preservation. The focus now is to make rapid improvements and roll things out quickly.

 

Currently working on two major projects with the NPS Career Academies. They are looking for online learning as well, which is a strength of NSU. Also, work is being done with the NHL database via a contractor to make content available online.

 

IOS development:

 

xxiii.     Working on Heritage Preservation Emergency Response and Salvage Application for iPhone. Hopefully ready to launch on the Apple App Store by the end of the year.

xxiv.     Developed and adapted a phone application for inventorying historic landscapes. In progress. This is for condition assessments and treatment recommendations of features in historic landscapes.

xxv.     There is a third application under development for archeological site inventories and condition assessments. It is called Sites with an expected launch of FY2012.

xxvi.     Have completed work on the rapid documentation for historic structures in Filemaker Pro which can be used with Filemaker Go! on iPad and iPhone.

 

NSU will be offering iOS development starting Spring 2013.  An intern may be hired from the course.

 

Questions/comments from the board?

 

Is the Center looking to develop iPhone app for National Register properties so that it will be online and searchable on the iPhone or iPad? Yes.

 

Also, another idea is working with Teaching with Historic Places. One project may include geo referenced tourism or education lessons on an iPhone app. The National Trust is very interested in this type of project.

 

A landscape inventory app is being developed in-house and will be distributed to the public.  Foxall considers this a valuable resource and could generate funds.  This could be useful to the Army Corps, the VA, and others.

 

Has there been consideration about versions of this that are simpler than the landscapes?  Examples are cemeteries, trees only, etc.  There could be different versions or different types of collections.  Field test it and get it out to end users.  Is it relatively simple to figure out where the point of marketability is? Maybe sell some service associated with the app?  When?  Months? Are there any mechanisms by which to charge for these applications? The Center has legislative authority to accept donations but not to sell these things.

 

Materials Research

 

Research Results: Graffiti Removal, Oil Washing Agents, Rust Converters

Dr. Mary Striegel

Carol Chin, Joint Faculty

Jason Church, Materials Conservator

 

Three projects were completed this year and the work and results were presented at several national conferences.

 

The Rust Converter study was a result of three workshops conducted on ornamental iron. Did not have a recent assessment on the products that were used. Looked at commonly available acids and tested four. Determined that Rustoleum’s Rust Reformer out performed the other rust converters tested. Rust Reformer is a tannic acid base with a polymer co-binder.

 

Completed a comparison of cleaning methods for graffiti removal. Some of the issues were:Is it graffiti or is it art? What is the gentlest means for removal? What are the weathering factors?  Studied what types of products professionals were using to remove graffiti and looked at the choice of cleaning systems.  The results were that poultice type products, such as Peel Away, performed best for removing red and black paint.

 

Lastly, studied the most efficient method for the removal of crude oil on cultural materials. Studied surface washing agents on materials. The results were that there were varying degrees of success. Solvent worked well but left a residue. Poultices seem to work the best.

 

Technical Services for NPS: Planning and Strategy

 

Kirk Cordell, Executive Director

Jason Church, Materials Conservator

Ed FitzGerald, Research Assistant

 

Kirk Cordell put together a team to look at what services the Center could offer with the goal of having a formal technical services package. Ed FitzGerald offered the following:

 

  1. Formalize the things that are already being done and bring them to the parks.
  2. Engage and expand the skills of the staff.
  3. Make the Center more relevant to internal NPS units.
  4. Provide training to NPS personnel in the field
  5. Generate revenue for the Center.
  6. Increase the overall visibility of the Center in NPS units.

 

The Center looked at which services are already offered within NPS and also looked at developing a needs survey of NPS resource managers.

 

There is the need  to reorganize laboratory space and the way work is organized. Will this impact other activities at the Center? Would this be a good use of resources? Should this be done at all?

  1. The Center could become a contracting agent for the NPS unit as well.
  2. Foxall suggests that the Center put contracts out and assist in these services.  Write scopes and task orders to send out to the contractor.  Set up as IDIQ’s. Compensation could be captured by taking a percentage off the top.
  3. Bob Silman states that this model exists in the private sector. Forget the survey.  Find five small parks and medium parks and ask them directly what do you need in face-to-face meetings.  Figure out how you can help these parks then grow incrementally.
  4. Weiss: should be offering a service because of available expertise.  Example; offer a course on sampling and packaging paint samples in NPS.
  5. Silman: Start somewhere and see what the Center wants to do.
  6. Requests are more than can be handled and are currently doing things pro-bono.
  7. Find the lab that has the expertise and farm out the other stuff to labs that do have the expertise.
  8. The Center will come out and take the sample and do the analysis.
  9. Garrison asks about the Park reorganization for the Cultural Resource division? Park and Federal Programs are one division and another will be external programs that transfer funds.  Believe that the Center will be on the Parks side and include science in the name.  This is a good time to go after this.  A possible name for the program might be: Technical and Scientific Assistance Program. Could be similar to the Vanishing Treasures Program.
  10. Can have two products to sell, services and training.
  11. HPTC works under a construction model which may be different. The main goal is to complete the construction project with training as an added benefit.

 

AFTERNOON BREAK

 

Preservation Trades & Crafts: Developing a Plan for NPS                                   

Horace Foxall, PTT Board

Jonathan Spodek, PTT Board

Andy Ferrell. Chief of Architecture and Engineering

 

Discussion led by Horace Foxall.

 

USACE is developing and implementing a new training program to be held in Washington state with a university.  It will consist of a week-long training with rotating groups learning and doing trade work on existing buildings.  It will also include working with Peninsula College to get youth, the underemployed, and veterans into the training program.  What programs will be taught that lead to a certificate and jobs? The logistics would include 25 students. The anticipated cost would be approximately $2,300 per week to include room & board, and instructors. This would be held in Port Townsend. Participants will fill out a form to determine if they have minimum skills to attend the workshop. USACE is using the model developed by Jim Turner in Detroit. Jim was involved in a Center-funded trades training project with Michigan Heritage Preservation Network.

 

What should be taught?  The Center could set the national training model on the courses that can be taught. Goodwill gets involved in construction trades and is involved in youth programs and could be a source of potential participants. Who else should be targeted? Maintenance crews and facilities managers that are skilled but not up to par on historic preservation training.

 

This is a lot of time to do the type of things that Foxall is doing. It becomes a big task to generate the standard curriculum. What is the motivation for the Center to do preservation trades training? Director of NPS wants the Center to be part of the piece of the Call to Action.

 

So, who should the Center be talking to? Need to convene a group to discuss how the NPS can affect preservation trades.  Who is the target audience? Look for people with a basic understanding of small repairs like NPS park maintenance crews and facilities managers.

 

There are really good models from work-release programs. Would the career academies be a good place for this?  This should be worked through the maintenance academy. The career academies are still developing an idea of what they are going to be and the content that they need. There should be some sort of certificate for historic structures.

 

Is this a road show or is this already being done at the Center? Not sure yet. While the park service is the motivation for this work, the Center has been involved in preservation trades training from the beginning. An example of this is timber framing.  Would like to work with buildings nearby and experiment at preservation trades workshops and field schools.  Could be used to do eco-rehabs similar to what Spodek is doing at Ball State University.

  1. Need training goals
  2. Good lesson plans
  3. Team training

 

PTN is interested in doing a field school with the Center.  They haven’t been as successful because of costs. For the NPS piece, who should be trainers?  Belmont Tech, PTN, Junior College programs, etc.  There is the need to create a larger network.

 

What is the service-wide impact?  Development of  a proposal is needed. Who are the partners, what are the costs, and how should it be implemented?

 

Training programs abroad are other resources, such as Historic Scotland. Timber Framers guild is doing a certificate program for their apprentices.

 

Is it about building trades or will it include landscapes?  Probably both, but will want to hold separate meetings.

 

Is this to be done at national centers or do it in regional locations?  There are regional differences, materials, and other things.

 

Growing the Friends, Growing the Board

Kirk Cordell, Executive Director

 

The PTT Board currently has three vacancies.  The Secretary’s representative will be chosen by Stephanie Toothman.  That leaves two vacancies that can be recommended.  Also, there is an issue of one member not attending the board meetings in recent times. There is a basic policy of removing a board member after three absences.

 

A motion was made by Bob Silman to send a letter to Suzanne Turner asking her to step down from the board.  Jonathan Spodek seconded the motion. The motion passed with 5 in favor and 1 opposed.

 

Recommendations for candidates for the board vacancies were solicited. Norman Weiss recommended John Stubbs who has recently moved to Tulane. He chairs the Fitch award.  He is an educator.  He is much more of a historian and brings international experience.

 

Silman recommended Ron Staley, a contractor in Washington, DC but is out of Lansing, Michigan.  He was just made a fellow of APT.  He brings expertise from the construction side of things. Other possibilities are:

 

  1. Nancy Odegaard, Arizona State Museum and the University of Arizona.
  2. Pamela Jerome,  an international perspective, architect, also teaches at Columbia.
  3. Jon Lesak, Los Angeles, strong sustainability credentials.
  4. John Fiddler, but he may be going to ICCROM.
  5. Lisa Sasser, preservation trades.
  6. Andrew Potts, attorney.
  7. John Oxendorff, MIT.
  8. Lucy Lawliss, Landscape architecture.
  9. Joan Calambokidis, head of the International Masonry Institute.
  10. Bill Dupont, chair at UT San Antonio.
  11. John Stubbs, preservation director at Tulane.

 

The Friends Group needs someone with the time and energy to put into it. Tommy Whitehead, who currently oversees it, is very good but is concerned about moving forward because of his lack of familiarity with the Federal Government.

 

The Friends Group should collect funds and provide funds to the Center. Kirk Cordell has prepared several models as examples for them to use in setting up, however there still appears to be little progress.  Norman Koonce, who is also on the board of the Friends Group, would like copies of those documents to discuss with Pat Tiller when they meet on Saturday night and get some feedback.

 

Would Stubbs be better for this? The Friends Group board needs to take the lead on developing the group. They need facilitators and advisors.  We need to establish a business relationship to get started.  Suggestions for potential candidates for the Friends Group board are Jim Huhta, Liz Lyons, Jim Judge and Max Anderson at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

 

 

MEETING ADJOURNED FOR THE DAY

 

Friday, November 18, 2011

 

NCPTT Training Program: 3 Years Out

 

Debbie Smith, Chief of Historic Landscapes

 

Training Program discussion led by Debbie Smith.  Eight workshops and 19 presentations were done this year.  Over 1,600 participants were reached through these events.  The following schedule shows the next two years for the training program.

 

The Center is offering a Conservation of Outsider Art Symposium which is a departure from what is usually done.  It will be offered in Natchitoches.  A call for papers is still coming in with the bulk of them looking at conservation and preservation issues.

 

There is training in Massachusetts that is going on as we speak.  The workshop is on cemetery conservation, with more than 200 participants.

 

The 3D digital documentation summit comes out of a PTT Grant to CyArk to document Mesa Verde.  The NPS Intermountain Region is interested in setting standards. There is so much going on in the field that this is a great time for the Center to host a Summit.  Richard O’Connor with HABS will be involved with the work.

 

HPTC is cosponsoring a Second Century Monuments Workshop.  Materials Conservation will be heavily involved in the event.

 

The Center also hopes to hold training on the conservation of historic fountains in Kansas City, and will be part of the kick-off of the city’s year of the fountains.

 

Thoughts for additional training topics:

 

A discussion focused on cost recovery and the reproducibility of training events.  Some events like the Cemetery Preservation Summit in Nashville made money. Jonathan Spodek feels that the Center has a flourishing training program and this is an area that should be able to generate additional funds.

 

Should the Center revisit the idea of a fellows program? A certificate program exists in academia and is a stable curriculum.  Could the Center join with NSU for this type of thing? The academic institution tag with it will help; possibly through the SECAC system.

 

Folks who work in cemeteries are more willing to pay for training than architects and engineers in the workshops.  The Center has partnered with the AIA HRC with continuing education credits, but not filling these with competitively priced courses. The continuing education credits are offered, but people get their credits at conferences.  Architects are being bombarded with opportunities for course credit.

 

The Center has a great website.  How to get people to go to it? Spodek says the logo should be on AIC’s HRC website. When the Center does a training course at a conference, participants should be getting info electronically that will point them to the website.

 

Write an article for Preservation Architects newsletter for upcoming events in 2012.

 

Webinars:  They are not so exciting and may not engage you. Most of the webinars out there are sales promotions.  There is not a lot of sense that this is education.

 

The Center’s training calendar is one of real classes. Other organizations have large catalogs that include classes that may or may not be held.  Should we reconsider this?

 

Weiss says this is an impressive enough list that these courses should fly and be a good training program. The Center’s program is real partner driven.

 

Garrison thinks that four basics courses in each discipline should be a good idea.  He also feels that mid-career training should be the focus for architecture and engineering classes.

 

Weiss thinks there should be a good solid course on building conditions.  This leads to the Center’s app development of inspections, etc.  Spodek points out that the HRC at AIA is teaching a building assessment workshop in Washington, DC, this year.  The Center is not a sponsor.  This course is offered three times a year and is sponsored by the National Preservation Institute.  It’s a one day or two day workshop on building assessment for architects. Garrison points out that the next step workshop would be useful.  Could the Center bring in the landscape component or the engineers too?

 

Historic Landscape Curriculum: Completed Modules, Future Directions

Debbie Smith, Chief of Historic Landscapes

Derek Linn, Historic Landscapes Intern

 

Landscape Preservation Maintenance Education Program

 

There is currently no training program in place for maintenance people and grounds workers. There is a need for an internet based training program with a curriculum.  The Olmsted Center for Preservation is taking the lead to create three required units for a certificate of completion;

preservation concepts, preservation maintenance planning, preservation maintenance practice. The curriculum will also include optional specialization units.

 

Each unit would have an overview and the option of taking the final assessment.  If they don’t have the expertise they will go through the learning modules. Currently the Olmsted Center is developing the information for unit one.

 

The Center’s website will have online resources to support these units.  Rather than trying to create from the ground up the Center is taking what’s out there.

 

Questions:

 

Who is the optimum student for this course?  The on-the-ground maintenance worker in charge of a landscape.  This will dovetail with the landscape portion of the NPS maintenance academy.  There is an industry out there that takes care of landscapes.

 

Are there other courses out there?  No.

 

Is there much of a link with landscape maintenance people and the landscape architects?  Can the Center go to the industry side of things?  There are no preservation trade networks out there for landscapes. Part of the project agreement with Olmsted is to have a focus group for landscape training.

 

Could this certificate of completion be worth something?  Perhaps like a CEUs?  Is there a way to make the Center a vital part of the program? Perhaps down the road.  Is there a way to make it mandatory for advancement?  This could be an easy sell.  Spodek believes that there is a parallel track – link it to safety of the cultural resource and the employee.

 

Is this a profitable venture in the long term?  There could be some yearly trainings events that come out of this curriculum. Partners will have workshops as well. Need to plan to develop one of the specialty units in a face-to-face workshop. There is an opportunity to train and retrain NPS units.

 

IRMA database resource management system in NPS is moving forward.  This is a data store idea with podcasts and video places where NCPTT could put some products.

 

The world of maintenance is another niche for architects.  Maintenance planning, publications, and standards, for example, for architects are possibilities.

 

Maintenance is critical in the historic landscape discipline.

 

MORNING BREAK

 

NCPTT in an Uncertain World: Advocacy, Opportunities

Jim Garrison and the PTT Board

 

Jim Garrison will draft a letter to discuss funding for research through grants.  It will include the need to increase the overall amount.

 

The Center needs to raise its visibility within the park service. One possibility is by providing analytical and research services within the park service.

 

How can the Board advance this independent of the staff?  If the Center is tasked with more training, they don’t have the staff or finances to make these increases.  How can the Board assist in increasing the marketing of the Center to NPS units?  This should be a concerted campaign.

 

Can the Board go to events to promote through contacts? Can they meet with staff to better engage the two groups?  Should there be topical conference calls.  This might be a good opportunity to make these calls.  The staff needs to make more of an effort to engage individually.

 

Examples: Foxall’s training, knowledge of partnerships on the west coast.  Spodek suggests that the Center could hold training in partnership in Indianapolis. Ferrell suggests that NCPTT staff go to Muncie to see the Eco rehab work.

 

The Board should let the Secretary of Interior know that many uncompensated hours for oil spill work was done by the staff.

 

Can the Board assist in filling the archeology position? Kirk Cordell indicates that the position to be filled is a GS-12/13 term position.

 

The Center is in a tenuous position.  NPS wants to take away the line item, believing that the Center would still be protected.  There is the need of support for continuing operation.  The OMB doesn’t believe that the Center is useful.  Most of the efforts to trim the federal budget have happened in the discretionary spending which is a minute part of the budget.

 

There are concerns over the TPS sustainability document.  The goal was focusing more on making policy versus a how-to manual.   Jim Garrison believes that the TPS sustainability document is premature, but it is responsible for the Secretary of Interiors standards.  The initiative is stalled right now, partly because of the turnover at NTHP.  The new director, Stephanie Meeks, is enthusiastic and interested, but she has a lot on her plate.  Staff turnovers at Silman’s office have also complicated forward movement.  There were four calls with the Spitfire group but partners seem to be moving in different directions.  It still seems like a good time for the Center to be moving forward with the sustainability movement.  Ferrell is sitting in on lots of conference calls regarding same.

 

Stephanie Toothman has put the Center in the lead for NPS.  There is a green parks movement in the NPS units that basically focuses on energy reduction use in the Parks. Bob Silman indicates that they were hoping that climate change would be a big issue for the current administration.  It has not turned out that way.  NPS still has climate change in the forefront and has hired a climate change director.

 

The FY 2013 budget is moving forward right now. So the Board letter to Secretary of Interior with copies to NPS Director and Associate Director could be influential especially in promoting the Center’s service opportunities to the park service and the continued efforts in research and science.

 

Rob Pahl may have ideas of his own. Rob’s letter points to developing opportunities for income with help from the Friends Group.  There need to be new programs and new audiences.

 

Jim Garrison feels that the Board has given much more advice at this meeting than ever before.  Bob Silman interjects that we have been discussing these issues in broad brush strokes, but the Board hasn’t discussed specifics.  Is there something that the Board can do regionally?  The Board can develop a marketing plan to go talk to parks about the Center’s services but the strategy needs to be uniform.

 

Norman Weiss asks what are the top three things that the Center needs to market to NPS units?  Give specific examples for these.  There needs to be a marketing plan for these three things.

i.     Training programs

ii.     Technical Services

iii.     Research capability

 

When Board members are working with professional organizations and contacts, make sure that they know that the Center exists. The Center continues to need the Board to speak as individual voices in their sphere of influence. The Center needs to create lists of parks near each board member and forward them on as potential contacts.  Indicate if the Center has worked with them in the past and what was done for them.

 

Whitegrass is using the Vanishing Treasures model (for adobe) to apply to log structures.  It is becoming a focused HPTC type of group.

 

Venue for the Fall Board Meeting 2012 could possibly coincide with the APT meeting in Charleston.  The possibility exists to have the meeting at an NPS office.  APT is September 30 – October 3. It is being held jointly with IPTW. Potentially could have the board meeting on October 4-5, 2012.

An alternative is to meet with the National Trust: October 30-November 3 in Spokane, Washington. Is this an opportunity to build another bridge with the Trust?  This audience is not interested in our agenda. Foxall will push this in the western parks.

 

Spodek suggests that the next meeting be held in Indianapolis, Indiana at the National Trust. Maybe more time is needed to consider which meeting to attend and how to advocate for the Center at a meeting.

 

Board Resolutions, Election of Vice-Chair

 

Jonathan Spodek elected as vice-chair of the Board.  Spodek offers a motion to adjourn.  Foxall seconds the motion.  The motion passes.

 

 

MEETING ADJOURNED