Intern Log : Alessia Isolani : September 2019

Since my last post, things on St. John have stayed as busy as ever. Although the recent storms have slowed our operations a little bit, there have still been plenty of Archeology projects going on. I have been spending most of my time out at Cinnamon Bay monitoring the digging that has been going on in preparation of reopening the Cinnamon Bay Campground. I have been able to learn a lot about the monitoring process and construction methods, and everyone working on the construction project has been really helpful. It has opened my eyes to the different eras of prehistoric and historic occupation periods out at Cinnamon, and the role that the campgrounds have played in the St. John community over time. The monitoring responsibilities include specifying which portions of the land can be dug up, collecting samples and GPS points for any cultural materials that are found, and taking photographs and field notes for the parks project records. I have also been able to spend some time at Annaberg monitoring the construction of a new garden shed as part of a Friend’s project that will be making some improvements to Annaberg’s cultural landscape.

In addition to my work in the field, I have been making sure that we have all equipment necessary to be ready for our upcoming field season, and assisting in gathering information about the Park’s cultural resources as a part of the work that has been going on with the Hurricane Irma and Maria response team. I have also had the opportunity to learn a lot more about the park Archives and the amount of maintenance, work, and care that goes into keeping important information about our National Park safely stored. This month especially, I have learned a lot from Anne Finney who has been working in Cultural Resource Management, funded by the Friends, for the past four years. She has shown me how everything runs in the Cultural Resources side of the Park and helped me begin to catch up on the many ongoing projects in the park, which I really appreciate! I would also like to express my gratitude towards Ken Wild for this opportunity to be here, and to the Friends of Virgin Islands National Park for funding this Archeology Internship.

Photo:  Historic mother of pearl button found during excavations, a reminder of the many people who lived at Annaberg.  

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