Buffalo Soldiers Cultural Resources Intern

The need for preserving all of our nation’s history has never been greater, we’re counting on you! HBCUI (Historically Black Colleges and Universities Internship) Program is a 10-week summer experience brought to you by Greening Youth Foundation in partnership with the U.S. National Park Service. As a part of HBCUI, students from schools around the country are putting their unique skills and talents to work in preserving the contributions of African Americans to our nation’s history and culture. Participants gain real world, on-the-job experience as they explore federal careers in the U.S. National Park Service.

Position Title: Buffalo Soldiers Cultural Resources Intern
NPS Unit Name: Guadalupe Mountains National Park – Salt Flat, TX
Position Dates: May 28 – August 3, 2018
Position Description:
The Buffalo Soldiers Cultural Resources (CR) Specialist will work directly with visiting research archeologists, park cultural resources and interpretation staff, and possibly tribal members on an ongoing Buffalo Soldiers archeological and interpretation project. The project began in 2004 with the last major research completed through an archeological field school with Howard University in 2006-2007. The park will resume research on Buffalo Soldiers camp locations, artifact distributions, and interaction with the Mescalero Apache. This research will be led by Douglas Scott, RPA and will engage students from Colorado Mesa University in a summer field school, 2018. Through exposure to ongoing park research and interaction with field school leaders and participants, the CR Specialist will create a core lesson and curriculum plan on the history of the Buffalo Soldiers in the park and region. The lesson and curriculum will be repeatable and form the foundation of a Buffalo Soldiers Interpretation Development Plan for the park. Further, the research and data collected will provide a framework to begin deeper discussions of contested landscapes and the intersection of diverse ethnographic groups and histories centered on park sites.
With the end of the Civil War, U.S. Army troops resumed patrol and reconnaissance in the Guadalupe Mountains. Following the Civil Rights Act of 1866, African American men were allowed to serve in the U. S. Army leading to the establishment of several African American Army units. Given the title Buffalo Soldiers, possibly by plains Indians comparing their courage to that of the buffalo, the name was quickly adopted by troops. Typically led by European American officers, the majority of African American units were placed along the western frontier at outposts like Fort Davis in West Texas and saw most of the fighting during the Indian Wars. This placement was strategic, segregating African American troops from European American settlements and communities by locating them on the remote and less-populated frontier. Facing isolated and dangerous environments, the Buffalo Soldiers contributed heavily
to the cause of western expansion, and made up the front line of defense as the Apache Wars of Texas and New Mexico escalated in the late-nineteenth century. The primary Buffalo Soldier Pine Springs sub-post (from Fort Davis) was established in the Guadalupe Mountains in 1878. Sub-posts commands were generally smaller and adept, allowing soldiers to fan out over the terrain to monitor trails, roads, and water sources. This was critical to tracking Mescalero Apache movement through the mountains and specifically to watering holes and springs. The sub-post at Pine Springs likely saw some of the last activity during the Victorio Campaign (Victorio’s War) before Apache defeat in 1880.
The Guadalupe Mountains National Park seeks a HBCU Intern with the following skills and experiences:

  • Completed intensive social sciences or humanities coursework at the undergraduate or graduate level in fields such as anthropology (linguistics, physical anthropology, archaeology, or cultural anthropology), sociology, economics, political science, human geography, demography, psychology, sociology, and history.
  • Strong writing skills
  • Strong analytic skills with historical and/or archeological data
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office
  • Proficiency and/or interest in learning ArcGIS and Adobe Creative Suites
  • Ability to work with diverse groups of people and to adapt research goals and project outcomes to new information revealed during an ongoing project.
  • Interest in working with Mescalero Apache Tribe in better understanding diverse views on history and contested landscapes.
 Additional qualifications:
  • Must be currently enrolled or recent graduate of an accredited HBCU institution
  • Must be between 16 and 35 years of age
  • Must be U.S. citizen, U.S. permanent resident or U.S. national
  • Must be able to pass a federal background check
Work Environment:
Work environment would be office based, however, field work is required. The archeological field school is reachable by a short hike from the visitor center. Terrain at the site is rugged and the intern should be prepared with appropriate clothing/footwear (hiking clothes, long pants, hiking boots, hat, gloves)

Vehicle/License Requirement:
A valid driver’s license is required. The student may operate government vehicles. Students that are in this position must carry a valid state issued ID with them at all times.
Compensation and Benefits:     

  • Compensation is at a rate of $400 per week
  • On-site housing will be provided at no cost to the intern. Housing will be provided in a dormitory. The dormitory is occupied by up to 4 people of the same sex. Two people share a single room. The dorms have a kitchen, bathrooms, and common living space. Laundry facilities and recreation hall with satellite TV, DVD, Wi-Fi, ping pong, pool table, foosball table, and large gas grill are available.
  • Attend the all-expense paid Leadership & Careers Workshop in Washington, D.C. in August
  • Qualify for federal non-compete hiring after meeting service requirements
  • Make a difference in your local community and beyond
Application Instructions:
Interested students should apply directly to this position via the SERVE job portal at: www.serve.gyfoundation.org
 For more information about HBCUI visit www.hbcui.gyfoundation.org. QUESTIONS? Contact us at hbcui@gyfoundation.org. 
Greening Youth Foundation (GYF, www.gyfoundation.org) is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization whose mission is to nurture environmental stewardship among diverse youth and young adults, while exposing them to conservation careers.
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