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Contact: Dr. Doug Wilson, 360-816-6251
VANCOUVER, WA - At a special ceremony on May 14, 2013, the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP) awarded the State Historic Preservation Officer's Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Media & Historic Preservation to Dr. Brett Oppegaard, Washington State University Vancouver, and Greg Shine, Chief Ranger & Historian, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, for the partnership Fort Vancouver Mobile App Project.
The mobile app, available as a free download for Apple iOS and Android devices, brings to life the experience of Hudson's Bay Company working-class employees living and working at the early nineteenth century fort. The new app uses re-enactors plus audio and video images to interpret life at the Kanaka Village, the culturally diverse settlement of Company workers that is being faithfully re-created just west of the Fort's stockade walls, through historic residents including Hawaiian educator William Kaulehelehe.
The award is one of 10 State Historic Preservation Officer's Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Historic Preservation in 2013. The awards program, in its 23rd year, recognizes persons, organizations, and projects that have achieved distinction in the field of historic preservation. Each year, the awards are presented to the recipients by Washington State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) Dr. Allyson Brooks, at a ceremony held during the annual National Historic Preservation Month celebration in May.
Recognized as an international model, the Fort Vancouver Mobile App Project has received numerous professional awards for its innovative use of technology, history, archaeology, interpretation, and storytelling to connect visitors to the history of Fort Vancouver and its resources. Most recently, Oppegaard and Shine were awarded, as representatives of the Fort Vancouver Mobile Project, the 2013 John Wesley Powell Prize for Historic Preservation from the Society for History in the Federal Government at the National Archives and Records Administration in College Park, Maryland.
Dr. Oppegaard has also been honored this year by the National Park Service as the recipient of its 2012 George and Helen Hartzog Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service in the category of Individual Volunteer Service.
Background: Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park Service, is the heart of the Vancouver National Historic Reserve. The Vancouver National Historic Reserve brings together a national park, a premier archaeological site, the region's first military post, an international fur trade emporium, one of the oldest operating airfields, the first national historic site west of the Mississippi River, and a waterfront trail and environmental center on the banks of the Columbia River. The partners of the Reserve teach visitors about the fur trade, early military life, natural history, and pioneers in aviation, all within the context of Vancouver's role in regional and national development. The Reserve's vast array of public programs -- including living history events, cultural demonstrations, exhibits, active archaeology, and other special activities -- create a dynamic, fun, and unique tourist destination for people of all ages.