My experience as a recent Fort Lewis anthropology graduate (2012) working for the National Park Service has been rewarding in many aspects. I have had the opportunity to work in cultural resources for two years as an archaeological technician, and have now worked in natural resources for over a year, I am now a biological technician. In both positions, all of the skills developed as a student have been utilized. The opportunity to apply many anthropological concepts and research topics that are valuable to me is part of my daily routine at work. In addition to benefits to my career path, I feel confident that the skills necessary to succeed in other endeavors like graduate school are with me as well.
Much of what I do working in natural resources includes restoring disturbed land to native plant species and communities, assisting in maintaining cultural landscapes connected to the site, compliance, facilitating stewardship of cultural and natural resources with the public, and leading a demonstration garden for two years. The garden has been a great creative force that involves working with volunteers, middle and high school students, scouts, local schools, and interns. The concepts of experimental archaeology and ethnobotany are brought to the public by engaging them with data collected from the site, and creating a living representation of types of crops that become a living experiment at so many levels. Continuously learning about, interacting with and sharing knowledge of valuable cultural and natural resources within the monument and the region has become my expression of anthropology.