Get focused on a Summer Internship at NCPTT. Here’s your chance to get hands-on experience in: archeology and collections, architecture and engineering, historic landscapes, materials conservation, and IT and marketing.

NCPTT intern Anna Muto applies rust conversion treatment to corroded iron samples.

NCPTT intern Anna Muto applies rust conversion treatment to corroded iron samples.

Who we are

The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training is an inter- disciplinary research facility serving the historic preservation community nationwide. NCPTT is an office of the National Park Service located on the campus of Northwestern State Univer- sity in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

What it’s about

Internships will be filled pending availability of funding. Opportunities may include curriculum development, teaching opportunities, hands-on research, data collection, materials and product testing, or testing new technologies.

What you need

Applications are invited from qualified candidates for a limited number of undergraduate and graduate internships at the NCPTT.

Applicants should demonstrate skills and knowledge in preservation technology. This may include but not be limited to:

  • documentation
  • condition assessments
  • laboratory or field research
  • materials testing
  • hands-on preservation treatments.
Mortar repair

Mortar repair

All undergraduate applicants must be accepted to or currently enrolled at a four-year accredited university or college program. All graduate applicants must be accepted to or currently enrolled in a Master’s or Doctoral degree program in a related discipline.

To apply, send a letter of interest that includes the dates that the candidate would be available for work at NCPTT (between June 6, 2011 and August 12, 2011), resume with three references, and a current unofficial transcript to:

Jason Church
National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
645 University Parkway
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Jason Church may be contacted via email at jason_church@contractor.nps.gov or via phone at (318) 356-7444.

Applications will be accepted through March 7, 2011 and positions will be announced April 4, 2011.

Possible Summer Projects;

New Polymers for Conservation

Polymeric coatings play a significant role in the protection of cultural heritage from a variety of environments, from acid rain to accidental contamination. This project allows the intern to evaluate new polymers for adhesives, stone consolidants, outdoor bronze coatings, or masonry oil repellents.  NCPTT, Hybrid Plastics, and the University of Southern Mississippi are partners looking into innovative treatments with funding from the National Science Foundation.  In particular, we are designing new polyhedral oligomeric silsequioxanes (POSS) polymers that display properties similar to both ceramics and plastics.  The project is well suited to a senior undergraduate or a graduate student in chemistry or polymer science.  Work may require some portion of the summer spent in Hattiesburg, Miss.

Removal of Crude Oil from Cultural Heritage

Crude oil contamination of cultural heritage can result from releases of crude oil in the marine environment from oil tankers, drilling rigs, wells, or offshore platforms as well as from terrestrial pipeline breaks or failures.  Removal of this contamination is important not only from an aesthetic standpoint, but also for the conservation of material culture.  Crude oil can penetrate porous materials, causing staining and disfigurement; and oil residues and their degradation products can promote microbial activity that is damaging to materials.  Some cleaning methods can also damage sensitive cultural materials.  This project will allow the intern to test and evaluate cleaning methods to determine which techniques are effective in the removal of crude oil, yet cause no harm to cultural heritage.  The project is well suited to a senior undergraduate or a graduate student in conservation or chemistry.

Development of Outdoor Weathering System Comparative studies and conservation research commonly involves accelerated weathering.  For years there has been debate over the differences between laboratory artificial accelerated weathering and outdoor accelerated weathering. Many believe that the best results for weathering research are to compare laboratory accelerated with outdoor accelerated weathering together. This project is to build and test a Fresnel style solar tracking sample rack that will be used to test accelerated outdoor weathering. Once completed the recent comparative study of rust convertors will be repeated using outdoor weathering. The results of the two studies will be compared and correlated.  For this project an intern will help construct and test the weathering system and begin the new phase of testing rust convertors on iron samples. The project is well suited to a senior undergraduate or a graduate student in conservation, physics, or engineering.

Innovative Methods for Removal of Invasive Plants from Cultural Sites

Invasive plants can damage cultural sites by mechanical and chemical processes. The Mayan ruins are prime examples of this type of weathering. The physical removal of invasive plants from structures can often do more harm than the invasive plants themselves. One removal method that might prove useful is the use of microwaves or electromagnetic fields to kill the plant. The microwave method uses a filtered wave that has less heat than the standard microwave. The water in the plant cells is slowly heated and thus the plant walls lose its integrity. Electromagnetic waves can accomplish the same thing, but they impart less heat to the structure. This may be an alternate method that does not heat the structure itself. This project will allow the intern to select a number of common invasive plants and compare using microwaves versus electromagnetic waves in order to destroy the plant. Both methods are non-destructive and will not cause harm to the cultural materials or the intern. The project is well suited to a senior undergraduate or a graduate student in physics, biology, or engineering.

Landscape Preservation Content Writer for Preservapedia.org

The selected applicant will add content to Preservapedia.org, a free-content wiki-style encyclopedia focused specifically on technical material for cultural resource managers.  The project involves authoring articles and case studies pertaining to historic landscape research, planning, analysis, treatment, maintenance, and management. The preferred candidate will be thoroughly acquainted with the field of historic landscape preservation and able to identify key issues relevant to practitioners. Strong writing and Internet research skills are a must. The candidate need not be familiar with wiki markup, but this is a plus.

The National Park Service and Northwestern State University are Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employers. Women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

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