Hello! For this, my first entry on the OCLP Designing the Parks Blog, I want to introduce myself and talk about a few of the experiences and skills I hope to gain during my 26 week internship. I was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona and the Sonoran Desert is still my favorite place to hike and explore. I first moved to the Northeast for graduate school at PennDesign in Philadelphia, where I earned degrees in landscape architecture and historic preservation. I just graduated in May and am thrilled to have the opportunity to learn more about how landscape preservation works in practice. I look forward to the myriad of tasks that we’ll be tackling as interns including fieldwork, planning, tours, site visits, brown bag talks, and of course – design!
In just this first week I’ve already learned a lot. I arrived on Friday evening from Philly with a few boxes and a lot of enthusiasm and began work on Monday morning. It was great to meet the other interns and we all received a warm welcome from OCLP Director Bob Page and the rest of the OCLP staff. We had a chance to tour the Longfellow House and Gardens in Cambridge and started prepping for next week’s fieldwork out on Cape Cod.
We also helped out with OCLP’s ongoing work to convert their project data from Cultural Landscape Inventories (CLIs) into GIS compatible files that will be shared with all of the National Park Service. I was focused on Fairsted, the historic home of Frederick Law Olmsted and the spiritual home of the Olmsted Center. This was my first time using 3D Map, which is an AutoCAD program. I’ve really enjoyed getting to use this program, which has some really cool capabilities. I’m able to project all of my linework and images in a coordinate system, which means everything drawn in the program is georeferenced to real world space. It can also attach information to specified parts of the drawing that can then be exported in a format that GIS programs can read. I always enjoy learning to use new programs and I especially like learning new ways to make programs play nicely together, in this case AutoCAD and ArcGIS.
This project not only introduced me to the process of how data is assembled and stored at the OCLP, it also helped me and the other interns prepare to go out into the field for the first time next week. By starting with data collected and drawn by others, we had a chance to see what sort of data we’ll be collecting at Cape Cod and to set expectations regarding thoroughness and accuracy. For most of this summer I will be working on Fairsted related projects, so this was also my first chance to orient myself to a site that I expect will be very familiar to me by the end of my internship at OCLP.
Until next week,