The NAGPRA and Applied Sciences (NAS) division manages and directs the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) program of the Southeast Region of the National Park Service and provides leadership, expert guidance and professional staff to assist the SER, parks and partners in complying with NAGPRA, tribal consultation, identification of human remains, and management recommendations on cemeteries and burial policies. The NAS division provides professional staff, leadership, assistance, training and coordination of partnerships to assist parks with assessing, documenting, evaluating, interpreting, protecting, stabilizing, and mitigating threatened cultural resources using cutting-edge scientific and archeological methods, digital documentation technologies, citizen science, and public outreach.
Program and Duties
The NAGPRA and Applied Sciences division manages and directs the NAGPRA program of the Southeast Region of the National Park Service and also conducts applied archeological research to assist parks with planning, assessment, stabilization, and mitigation of threatened cultural resources.
The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) mandates that each museum or federal agency complete detailed and accurate summaries of NAGPRA-related items and publish Notices of Inventory Completion for human remains and associated funerary objects. The NAGPRA and Applied Science program provides legal guidance, expertise, and assistance to parks throughout the NAGPRA process from responding to inadvertent discoveries, tribal inquiries and claims, initiating and completing government-to-government consultations with Federally Recognized Native American Tribes, drafting legal notices, and repatriation and reburial of NAGPRA remains and objects.
The NAGPRA and Applied Science program conducts extensive work documenting, evaluating and stabilizing threatened archeological sites throughout the southeast United States and the Caribbean. These projects use state-of-the-art digital documentation techniques and work with cultural and natural resource specialists to develop and integrate the most effective documentation, evaluation, stabilization and mitigation strategies.
We conduct archeological excavations, scientific research, and stabilization of archeological sites through the restoration of ecosystems, employing digital technologies such as:
- Reflective and thermographic scanning
- Three-dimensional laser scanning
- Airborne drones
- Remote sensing
- LiDAR data
We extensively engage the public to participate in citizen science, and actively collaborate with a wide network of universities, non-profits and CESU partners. Our work has resulted in the evaluation, stabilization and protection of many dozens of threatened archeological sites in the southeast region of the United States while engaging youth and partners to participate in citizen science.
We have broadly distributed outreach and educational materials including park signage, books, brochures, posters, presentations, and interpretive artwork. We also routinely provide trained staff in lead positions for disaster response, and assist parks with National Register of Historic Places & National Historic Landmark surveys and evaluation studies.