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Do Not Migrate

Conservation Scientist for a Day
by Catherine Hartwell Lobre and Curtis Desselles


What is the purpose of the “Conservation Scientist for a Day” program?

Conservation Scientist

Conservation Scientist

This online workbook is designed to give students an introduction into the field of conservation from the viewpoint of a conservation scientist.

Students visiting the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT) will be prepared to engage in hands-on learning in the NCPTT conservation laboratory after reviewing this online workbook.

For students unable to visit NCPTT in person, this workbook will help students to gain a better understanding of the important role the conservation scientist plays in the preservation of cultural heritage.

What will students learn from the “Conservation Scientist for a Day” program?

Students will learn about:

  1. The role of the conservation scientist,
  2. The Scientific Method,
  3. Conservation,
  4. Cultural heritage,
  5. X-ray fluorescence (XRF) theory,
  6. The Metric System,
  7. Chemical analysis testing, and
  8. Safety in the laboratory setting.

Students will learn how to:

  1. Identify chemical elements within the glaze and body of pottery,
  2. Document observations using a scientific report,
  3. Use a stereo microscope,
  4. Use a digital camera,
  5. Perform chemical spot tests, and
  6. Perform XRF spectroscopy analysis using the Tracer III-V.

Students will utilize the following skills:

  1. Reading comprehension,
  2. Writing,
  3. Math,
  4. Science,
  5. Laboratory techiniques,
  6. History,
  7. Geography, and
  8. Art/Drawing.

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

Email: ncptt[at]nps.gov
Phone: (318) 356-7444
Fax: (318) 356-9119