Organization: Bureau of Land Management
My internship for summer 2008 was with the Bureau of Land Management office in Billings, Montana. I worked specifically in the office of the Billings Curation Center as an archaeological curation assistant. I learned about the culture history of the Northern plains, as well as the archaeological history of the area. I visited two archaeological sites and got a close-up look at the areas where artifacts I was working with came from. I got to read different site reports from various locations in Montana, as well as attended a Native American rejuvenation ceremony with the Crow Nation. I visited the Museum of the Rockies at Montana State University in Bozeman and saw Native American artifacts. I also got a back stage tour of the museum during which I saw the storage areas and artifacts in various stages of the curation process.
The Billings Curation Center is the main repository for archaeological and ethnographic collections from BLM lands in Montana and the Dakotas. The BCC encourages archaeologists, students and the researchers to utilize the resources available to study area archaeological history.
My internship with the Billings Curation Center this summer helped me to put to use not only folklore related skills I have acquired but archaeological skills as well. I got to learn about the culture history of a region I was not at all familiar with. I feel that this internship has helped prepare me to move on in my studies, and has helped me understand more about what is expected of me once I get into the museum or archival field, which is what my ultimate goal is. The experience was helpful in developing my skills as both a folklorist and an anthropologist, which are the two academic disciplines I have studied so far.