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    Fort Vancouver

    National Historic Site OR,WA

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2013 Speaker Series: "Planes, Mills, Factories, and Forts: Exploring Technological Heritage in the 21st Century"

dry tortugas
Members of the National Park Service's Submerged Resources Unit assess a shipwreck site in Dry Tortugas National Park

Technological heritage is found at industrial and military sites and forms an important part of many communities' local identity and history. The preservation of technological heritage occurs in many forms, including museum objects and archives, antique and replica aircraft, ships and equipment, industrial structures, and archaeological sites. Together, these tell the story of industrial experiments and undertakings and the people and communities associated with them. Experts in the field of archaeology will speak during the annual Public Archaeology Field School at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, a program of the Northwest Cultural Resources Institute. Lectures in the series will address topics of technological heritage, including the recording and preservation of aviation crash sites in National Parks, the Kaiser Shipyards, the Brimstone Hill Fortress on St. Kitts, and the underwater archaeology of the World War II Midway battlefield.

The lectures are open to the public and free of charge. The field school is a joint undertaking of the Northwest Cultural Resources Institute at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site (National Park Service), Portland State University, and Washington State University Vancouver. The Northwest Cultural Resources Institute is dedicated to facilitating cultural resource education and research activities in the region through cooperative partnerships at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site and at other Northwest National Parks. Fort Vancouver, the premier historical archaeological site in the Pacific Northwest, provides a dynamic, place-based learning environment for public and academic programs.


All talks will be held at the Tex Rankin Theater at Pearson Air Museum, located at 1115 E 5th Street, Vancouver, WA 98661. From I-5, take the Mill Plain Blvd. exit going east. Turn right onto Fort Vancouver Way, then left onto East 5th Street.


The 2013 Speaker Series poster is available as a free PDF download here (PDF, 816 KB)



Adrian Hunt
  • Thursday, June 27, 2013, 7:00 PM - Adrian Hunt: World War II Military Aircraft Accidents in National Park Service Areas and Their Archaeology

Adrian Hunt has a Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico in Earth and Planetary Sciences. He has done scientific research in national parks, principally in the Southwest and West, for over 20 years. He has been a curator and director at several institutions and is now Executive Director of the Flying Heritage Collection in Everett, Washington. Most of his research has been in the geosciences, but in the last few years he has become interested in the archaeology of WWII aircraft wrecks. He recently published a short review of WWII aircraft incidents in National Park Service areas.

About the talk: During WWII, more than 7,000 military aircraft crashed in the United States, resulting in the loss of more than 15,000 lives. Some of these tragedies occurred in 20 areas administered by the National Park Service. This lecture will explore the stories behind these accidents and the subsequent preservation of these wreck sites.

Bill Roulette
  • Thursday, July 11, 2013, 7:00 PM - Bill R. Roulette, Life in War Time: Archaeological Investigations at Site 45CL927, Located at the WWII Kaiser Shipyard

Bill R. Roulette, M.A., RPA, is the President and founder of Applied Archaeological Research, Inc. He trained as a prehistoric archaeologist at Western Washington University in Bellingham, but following a six-year sojourn to the East Coast, where he was exposed to the delights of historical archaeology, he has spent much of the last 20 years specializing in studying archaeological sites dating to the historic era. Mr. Roulette was born and raised in Southwest Washington, and now lives in Portland, Oregon.

About the talk: Between February and April 2010, Applied Archaeological Research, Inc. (AAR) conducted a very unusual archaeological investigation that was performed in conjunction with an environmental remediation project. The remediation project centered on a World War II landfill located at the former site of the Kaiser Vancouver Shipyard. The landfill was designated an historical archaeological resource and given the archaeological site number 45CL927. The archaeological fieldwork involved monitoring, a technique that in this case basically amounted to watching the excavation of the landfill by large pieces of heavy equipment and collecting artifacts. Despite the crudeness of the archaeological technique, when the results of the monitoring are combined with the analysis of the shipyard-related artifacts and in-depth historical research, the results provide compelling insight into the lives of people that labored in the shipyard, and at the same time provides a much more nuanced version of historical events that run counter to the master narratives developed to explain and interpret America's WWII experience.

Gerald Schroedl
  • Thursday, July 18, 2013, 7:00 PM - Gerald F. Schroedl: Enslaved Africans and the British Military at the Brimstone Hill Fortress, St. Kitts, West Indies

Gerald F. Schroedl is a professor of anthropology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He received his doctorate degree from Washington State University (1972). His research interests in the Southeast are the late prehistoric Mississippian and historic Cherokee cultures of eastern Tennessee and adjacent areas. He had primary responsibility for directing and analyzing historic Cherokee sites in the Little Tennessee River valley in the 1970s and 1980s. Subsequently, he conducted research at the Chattooga site in South Carolina, and has directed geophysical studies at the Cherokee town of Kituwha in North Carolina. Since 1996, he has worked at the Brimstone Hill Fortress on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts, with the goal of documenting archaeological evidence for enslaved Africans and making comparative studies of contexts relating British army officers and enlisted men. He has many publications on his research.

About the talk: Brimstone Hill Fortress (1690-1854) is a British Colonial era fortification located on the northwest coast of St. Kitts in the eastern Caribbean. The fort occupies about 40 acres atop the hill -- a 750 foot high volcanic intrusion. In the 18th century, it became the centerpiece of the island's defenses. While serving as a refuge from foreign invasion, its massive construction and garrison projected military power to foreign enemies and provided domestic security from the threat of slave revolts. A primary research goal is to show how Brimstone Hill reflects broad patterns of British Colonial hegemony that shaped the lives of African and Creole people before and after emancipation (1834). The research focus is the multiethnic dimensions and multifaceted relationships of the fort's occupants, including British officers and enlisted men, black militia, West India Regiments, and enslaved Africans. Historic records and excavations at six locations show that enslaved Africans completed construction to accommodate a white garrison by the 1820s. By the 1790s, black militia were present at the fort and soon thereafter members of the 4th West Indian Regiment were stationed there. Consistent with British colonial strategic plans in the West Indies, construction was contracted to free whites and blacks an West Indian troops replaced British soldiers from emancipation until the fort closed in 1854. Today the fort is an important tourist attraction, and is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Brett Oppegaard
  • Thursday, July 25, 2013, 7:00 PM - Brett Oppegaard: Embedded Remnants: How Mobile Technologies Can Document, Preserve, and Share Archaeological Findings in the Places They Matter Most

Brett Oppegaard, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of communication at Washington State University Vancouver, and has a research expertise in mobile place-based media. He was the individual recipient of the regional and national 2012 George and Helen Hartzog Award for his research into mobile application development and media delivery systems within the National Park Service. He was also the national 2013 John Wesley Powell Prize winner for outstanding achievement in the field of historical displays and the 2013 Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation Office's Award winner for outstanding achievement in the media. He works in the Creative Media and Digital Culture Program at WSU Vancouver, in partnership with the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at WSU Pullman, and his research specialty of mobile media has led him to expore ways in which journalism and mediated interpretation can expand into place-based forms, through locative media, augmented reality, and mixed reality.

About the talk: Once the archaeological dig is done, and the holes are filled, how is that effort documented, remembered, and talked about? Mobile technologies offer new opportunites for broad accessibility to the significant sites of our archaeological work. In the places of highest public interest, mobile media can be embedded in the ether where the excavations happened, sharing significant findings, demonstrating professional techniques, and revealing the many, amazing discoveries directly to a public open and eager to learn more about the particulars of a specific location. While the stie may quickly return to a grassy field, the archaeological efforts no longer have to be buried, too. This presentation will describe the affordances and opportunites offered by mobile media, and examples of how archaeologists, historians, and mobile media producers can work together to provide dynamic new forms of site interpretation.

Bert Ho
  • Thursday, August 1, 2013, 7:00 PM - Bert Ho: New Research in Underwater Archaeology: Sunken Aircraft, Slave Wrecks, and More From the National Park Service's Submerged Resources Center

Bert Ho studied archaeology at the University of Tennessee and underwater archaeology at Florida State University. He has been scuba diving for 12 years throughout the U.S., Caribbean, South America, the Red Sea, and recently South Africa. Bert has worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), where he worked to respond to natural and man-made disasters that compromise the ocean bottom, like Hurricane Katrina. Since 2010, Bert has worked as an underwater specialist for the National Park Service's Submerged Resources Center. Over his career, Bert has worked on many underwater projects, from mapping a Civil War-era submarine in the Pearl Islands of Panama, to searching for US Airways Flight 1549's lost engine in the Hudson River.

About the talk: The National Park Service has long had a presence in supporting the preservation of natural and cultural resources beyond the borders and coastlines of the United States. This tradition of conducting and participating in research throughout the world is essential for understanding the maritime resources within U.S. National Parks. These connection help to tell a more complete story to visitors. This lecture will explore some of the most exciting recent discoveries, including research on the unique sites created by sunken aircraft, primarily "warbirds" from WWII, including the Battle of Midway, the search for Captain Morgan's shipwrecks in Panama, and the documentation of a possible slave wreck in Cape Town, South Africa.

Did You Know?

Image of a ranger examining an excavation site

Due to its outstanding cultural resources on display and in situ, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is known as the premiere historical archaeology site in the Pacific Northwest. More...