For the better part of this week I’ve been tackling two big projects. First, I’m actively testing potential databases for use, a much harder task than I expected! Familiarity with various natural history and herbaria databases is extremely helpful in conceptualizing what functionality I want, but executing these desires on the back end is a real challenge. Second, I’ve been taking time to think about living collections mission statements. National parks and historic sites don’t fit neatly into many of the typical living collections policies, such as an arboretum’s, and I’m looking forward to working through these peculiarities with our Living Collections Management team throughout the summer. Stand by for updates, because today I’d like to highlight the brown bag lunch series organized by April Antonellis for all the NPS interns.


OCLP Dream Team on the way to our first brown bag lunch in Charlestown Navy Yard.

Following a great visit with Museum Services in Charlestown Navy Yard last week, Tim Layton (of our own Olmsted Center!) and Ellen Carson with Congressional and Legislative Affairs spoke with us about their career paths and current responsibilities within NPS. Tim is a landscape architect and resident AutoCAD wizard and Ellen works as a liaison between the agency and Congress to help advance park related legislature. The interdisciplinary nature of NPS and individual experiences has stood out to me at all the lunches. While everyone works in extremely different fields, they apply their unique backgrounds to further and enrich the mission of NPS. Previous experience in everything from archaeology to music to planning has a place here; there is no one clear path to becoming a park service employee. We have many more brown bag lunches scheduled for the summer, and I’m excited to learn more about the programs and people who keep our parks open! Happy long weekend, don’t forget to take the opportunity to find your park 🙂

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