Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Funded Summer Research Internship

The Department of Archaeology and Landscapes at Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest is offering one funded research position for June 1 through July 16. This internship is intended for early-phase graduate students and advanced undergraduates who have previous field training and are looking for more experience conducting fieldwork and supervising field school students in a research-oriented setting.

Poplar Forest is the former retreat home and working plantation of Thomas Jefferson, and is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains near Lynchburg, Virginia. Over the past twenty-five years, archaeologists have uncovered evidence of Jefferson’s time on the property and the lives of the enslaved laborers who lived and worked on the plantation during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

This year’s fieldwork will focus on Sites A and B, a fascinating portion of Poplar Forest that has connections to both the plantation’s enslaved community and Jefferson’s ornamental landscape. The successful applicant will work alongside the Poplar Forest staff to assist in all phases of field excavation, including working with and teaching field school students, during the five week field school beginning June 6. This will involve strenuous, outdoor labor in the hot Virginia sun, so good physical health is a must. In addition, the intern will need to be comfortable interacting with the public and explaining the archaeological process to museum visitors. While in residence, the successful applicant will also be granted access to the collections and research facilities of Poplar Forest. This includes a collection of several hundred thousand artifacts, a database system containing both archaeological artifact and context records, and a complete inventory containing over 1,000 historical documents relating to Poplar Forest. By partnering with the Poplar Forest staff, these collections may then be drawn upon in the future to support the student’s own research, the products of which could include professional conference papers, journal articles, Masters theses, and PhD dissertations.

The intern will be housed at Lynchburg College in a furnished room with access to kitchen facilities, located about a fifteen minute drive from Poplar Forest. Additionally, a stipend of $625 will be provided and the intern will be responsible for their own meals and transportation. Successful applicants should have at least one field school and more field experience is a definite plus. Knowledge of historical material culture is required.

By April 7, 2010, send the following information to Jack Gary, Director of Archaeology and Landscapes, Poplar Forest, P.O. Box 419, Forest, VA 24551.
  1. Personal information: Include your full name, home address, home and work/school telephone numbers, occupation, and e-mail address.
  2. A resume or curriculum vitae.
  3. A two-page statement of personal and professional reasons for participating.
  4. Two letters of recommendation from others addressing your academic and professional ability and performance, and your personality and ability to work well with others.
Selections will be made by the Poplar Forest Archaeology Department by April 14, 2010.

For more information on Poplar Forest’s ongoing archaeological research, visit: www.poplarforest.org. Any questions can be directed to Jack Gary at jack@poplarforest.org or 434-534-8105.

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