Interpretation for Archeologists   8. Archeologists and Interpreters Working Together   Distance Learning


The objectives of teamwork between archeologists and interpreters:

  • Create well-balanced, holistic interpretive plans that accurately reflect management concerns, attention to all resources, and address major park themes
  • Integrate current archeological information into interpretive services
  • Work toward mutual understanding of interpretive themes, techniques, and opportunities
  • Actively contribute or solicit input from other experts to produce or present well balanced interpretations
  • Frequently interact and discuss the status of archeological projects, programs, actions, and how they might be relevant to interpretive programs
  • Create training opportunities (formal or informal) for park interpreters, keeping them apprised of current research, new theories, and possible conflicting explanations about the park's archeological record

Case Study

Public Archeology Program at Petersburg National Battlefield
This web site illustrates the interpretive elements created to interpret the Federal picket line excavation at Petersburg National Battlefield.

Partnerships with non-NPS Entities

Archeologists and interpreters may create opportunities to work with non-NPS entities to enhance public understanding and stewardship of archeological resources. Effective partnerships often deliver better products and services than each partner could independently. Each partner can better achieve their individual visions in keeping with their missions. Partnerships enable each participant to contribute in an area of their strength and receive in an area of deficit. Each partner can contribute new perspectives that result in enhanced interpretation programs and services. Usually partnerships are born out of the inability of either entity to fully carry out a mission; sometimes they arise from the realization that a vision could be more closely approached through combining forces. Sometimes they are required, such as in a concession contract. It is essential to be able to analyze unit needs to determine when or if partnerships are warranted (NPS Interpretive Training Module 320).

National Park Service units maintain a vast range of partnerships with non-NPS entities. Partnerships exist between parks and educational institutions and organizations, Native American groups, federal, state and local governmental agencies, private-sector businesses, and non-profit organizations, to name a few.

Try it Yourself

Module 320: Partners in Interpretation
This NPS training module enables NPS units to establish successful partnerships in interpretation with non-NPS entities that produce or enhance interpretive products or services that help each partner achieve their vision consistent with their mission.

Case Study

From Philadelphia: Archeology for Parks and Partners
This web site describes the Stewardship and Partnerships Team in the Philadelphia Support Office, which provides archeological assistance to a wide variety of agencies and organizations throughout the Northeast Region of the National Park Service.

This web site lists and lists the many federal, state, and local organizations collaborating with the National Park Service to develop and accomplish the goals of the Mississippi Delta Outreach programs and the Lower Mississippi Delta Region Initiative.