Indiana Department of Transportation
Tell me a bit about your career?
After graduation I went to work for the Delaware Department of Transportation as a planner coordinating Section 106 compliance. Since 2006 I have been with the Indiana DOT engaged in shepherding projects through the Section 106 process by identifying and evaluating properties for the National Register of Historic Places, consulting with the State Historic Preservation Office, statewide and location preservation groups, property owners and the general public, assessing a project’s affects on historic properties, and developing minimization and mitigation measures if there is an adverse effect. On a day to day basis, I have a mix of tasks which may consist of research, field visits, correspondence, documentation preparation and attending meetings.
Working in Section 106 is both challenging and exciting, requiring a good amount of consultation, negotiation and outreach with diverse peoples. Especially since I work on a statewide level with transportation related projects, I deal with a variety of resources. For instance, currently, I am preparing a National Register assessment for a 1957 contemporary style ranch and an early 20th century stone arch culvert.
How has folklore prepared you for your career?
The education and guidance I received in the Folk Studies program helps me provide a unique perspective to conducting Section 106 compliance. As a direct influence of the Folk Studies program, I have utilized and advocated talking and learning from the people who actually live in and among the properties I study. When feasible, I incorporate oral history as a major component of my research and this has been especially useful in connecting with disenfranchised communities that are often largely absent in local historical accounts. Ultimately, learning about the history and relationship between a resource and the people who made, lived or experience it is that perspective that comes from folklore and in particular the Folk Studies program.