• Dry Tortugas

    Dry Tortugas

    National Park Florida

Parks Curator, Nancy Russell, Recognized for Excellence

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS
Date: August 17, 2011
Contact: General Park Information, 305-242-7714
Contact: Media Contact Linda Friar, 305-242-7714

Nancy-Russell Parks Curator
Parks Curator, Nancy J Russell
National Park Service

Thanks to the 2010 recipients of the Appleman-Judd-Lewis Awards for Excellence in Cultural Resource Stewardship and Management, the conservation of five Florida parks’ museum collections has improved, disadvantaged youths have received an introduction to historic preservation, and visitors to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park can immerse themselves in that place by staying overnight in a historic lockhouse. Yesterday evening in Washington, National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis presented the Appleman-Judd-Lewis Awards to their 2010 winners. Nancy J. Russell, Museum Curator at Everglades National Park, received the award for Excellence in Cultural Resource Management. Woodcrafter Doug Law of Salem Maritime National Historic Site received the award for Excellence in Cultural Resource Stewardship through Maintenance. Kevin D. Brandt, Superintendent of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, received the award for Excellence in Cultural Resource Stewardship for Superintendents.

“These awards do not honor the winners as much as the winners honor the National Park Service,” Jarvis said. “Nancy, Doug, and Kevin have set a standard against which many will measure their own accomplishments in the years ahead. On behalf of the National Park Service, I am grateful for your commitment and your outstanding work. You make us all proud.”

Given annually, the Director’s Appleman-Judd-Lewis Awards recognize three permanent, full-time employees – a cultural resource specialist, a facility maintenance specialist, and a park superintendent – for their expertise and significant contributions in the fields of cultural resource stewardship and management. This year’s winners received an engraved crystal award and $2,500.

When Nancy J. Russell came to Everglades National Park in 2002, she was the only museum professional assigned to four parks (Everglades, Biscayne National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, and Dry Tortugas National Park). Under her leadership, the South Florida Collections Management Center has become a museum management program for those parks, plus De Soto National Memorial. The program serves as a model within the National Park Service. Staffing has increased, and the number of objects, specimens, and archival documents in the center’s collection has doubled, from nearly 3 million items to more than 6 million. In addition to augmenting the collection, Nancy has seen to the proper care of its wet specimens by writing and implementing a cooperative agreement between Everglades National Park and the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Nancy has matched her dedication to the museum program with her commitment to a multi-year project of conserving and exhibiting historic cannons at Fort Jefferson in Dry Tortugas National Park. She successfully applied for funding for projects, has participated in the conservation treatment of cannons, and oversaw in detail the mounting of a cannon on a full reproduction carriage – a project that she conceived and spearheaded.

At Salem Maritime National Historic Site, Doug Law almost singlehandedly developed a plan to bring disadvantaged youth into the park, teach them valuable job skills, and complete a number of historic preservation projects. He worked with the Massachusetts North Shore Youth Career Center to reach disadvantaged young people, a segment of the population usually not attracted to national parks. He involved the North Shore Workforce Investment Board to obtain funds to pay the youth, who in many cases used their pay to help support their families. Finally, Doug reached out to the Essex National Heritage Area, which provided the mechanism for hiring and paying the young workers, who maintained many of the park’s 1938 landscape features, repainted trim on the 1819 Custom House, and repainted the entire exterior of the 1675 Narbonne House, thus better protecting one of the oldest residential buildings in the United States.

Kevin D. Brandt, recipient of the Appleman-Judd-Lewis Award for Excellence in Cultural Resource Stewardship for Superintendents, envisioned and led the development of a new paradigm for adaptive reuse of historic buildings in the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park. Kevin imagined a point-to-point program that would allow visitors an overnight interpretive stay in the park’s buildings while they traveled along the C&O Canal Towpath. His idea evolved into the C&O Canal Quarters Program. In November 2009, after less than a year of initial planning, three lockhouses opened to the public for overnight registrations after extensive preservation maintenance greatly improved their condition. Word is spreading, and visitors are registering for the program via the C&O Canal Quarters website.

For photographs of the winners and more information, please see www.nps.gov/aboutus/appleman-judd-lewis-awards.htm.

Did You Know?

Fish on Coral Reef

Dry Tortugas National Park protects the southwest tip of South Florida's coral reef tract. This represents the third-largest barrier reef system outside of Australia and Belize!