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Student Success

Appalachian alumnae preserve history through National Park Service internships

Anthropology majors Cala Castleberry ’17, of Tallahassee, Florida, and Hayley Wynn ’17, of Huntersville, aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty helping protect and preserve National Park Service (NPS) sites in the Southeast.

After working alongside faculty on multiple research projects as undergraduates, the two alumnae of Appalachian State University’s Anthropology (BS) – Archaeology degree program are conducting back-to-back NPS internships:

  • From May 2017 through March, they mitigated future wildfires and assessed archaeological sites in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) following the Chimney Tops 2 wildfire that killed 14 people and burned 14,000 acres around Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
  • This summer, they’re working as geographic information system (GIS) technicians at the Southeastern Archeological Center (SEAC), in Tallahassee, Florida, managing data for several NPS sites, including the Natchez Trace Parkway— a 444-mile, recreational road and scenic drive through Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama — and the Vicksburg National Military Park in Warren County, Mississippi. The pair will remain at the SEAC until August, after which, Castleberry will pursue at master’s degree at Northern Arizona University (NAU), and Wynn said she plans to gain further experience in the archaeology field before possibly pursuing a master’s degree.

Appalachian’s Office of the Liaison to the National Park Service was their conduit to the first opportunity through its partnership with the National Park Service Youth Programs Division. Anthropology alumnus Heath Bailey ’09, a staff archaeologist at the GMSNP, helped with their placement. Additional networking led to the second.

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Originally published June 13, 2018.