PAST is a non-profit educational and research team that puts together partnerships on compelling projects in Anthropology and makes the work available to students and the public through field schools, documentary film and interactive web access. Based in Columbus, Ohio, PAST started as a non-profit organization in 2000 founded by an international Board of Trustees who have devoted volumes of time to seeing that the mission of PAST is achievable. Working with the Board of Trustees are professionals from around the world. Added to our trustees and volunteer staff are a handful of research associates – the everyday archaeologists and research scientists who join with PAST to take their work to the public. Together we pride ourselves on offering Summer Study Programs covering topics such as Cultural Landscapes; Cave Ecology; Urban Gardening & Distribution; Shipwrecks and Maritime Archaeology; Marine Ecosystems; Forensic Anthropology.
Summer Programs & Projects:
Chesapeake Bay: The Cultural Landscapes of a New Beginning at Newport News Park, Vancouver:
Cultural landscapes are platforms, which present the past before us in a unique way and allow us to find attachment and a sense of place. In 1929, Saur, an American Geographer, stated that “culture is the agent, the natural area is the medium, the cultural landscape is the result”(Saur 1929). The systematic interpretation of a cultural landscape is essential to the appreciation, understanding and ultimately, the protection, of our cultural and natural heritage.
Life in Transition: Cave Ecology at the Carter Caves, Kentucky:
The purpose of this program is to introduce students to field research, natural resource management and protection, environmental science, and population dynamics through the field of cave ecology. Students will be immersed in the process of scientific study, analysis, and interpretation to produce tangible results that can be shared among the scientific community. During the program students will work in teams on individual projects covering a diverse spectrum of topics, work on a collaborative class project, keep daily scientific journals, and present their findings to state park officials and members of the scientific caving community.
Growing America: Urban Gardening & Distribution in Columbus, Ohio:
The purpose of this program is to introduce students to farm planning and design, farm management and operations, plant growth and development, and produce marketing through a small-scale farm. For the first year the student farm will be planed and initiated through Ohio State University Horticulture and Crop Sciences department in the spring of 2009 through a graduate level course. The summer program students will then take over the duties of farm care and maintenance as well as produce distribution. The options of produce distribution will include a farm stand the first year and a full farmer’s market the second located at Metro High School’s parking lot on Friday’s each week of the program.
The Clarksburg Shipwreck Maritime Archaeology Field School in Sacramento, California:
The Clarksburg Shipwreck field school, an introduction to Maritime Archaeology is a combination of lectures and hands-on experience relating to all the facets of an archaeological investigation. This field school is a joint project of California State Parks and the PAST Foundation. The course covers hands-on experience with Gold Rush material culture, historical research, mapping maritime landscapes and underwater documentation techniques. Students will learn while working on this new and exciting Gold Rush shipwreck site. The reports from the field school will be delivered to the project partner California State Parks and published online.
Marine Ecosystems of the Florida Keys:
This program explores the low lying, barrier islands that protect the extreme southern tip of Florida and the fragile ecosystems located within the Keys both in the water and onshore. The waters around the Florida Keys are rich in natural and cultural resources. Students will explore the ecosystems of this diverse aquatic area applying gained knowledge to help in the Great Annual Fish Count, the Mammal Conservancy and the ongoing assessment of shipwrecks in the shallow waters.
Forensic Anthropology at the Smith Lab at The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio:
An intensive, hands-on, Forensic Science survey course that incorporates a wide range of processing crime scenes including collecting evidence and developing expert testimony. This course incorporates chemistry, biology, physics, earth and social sciences and features lectures by experts in the field. Prerequisites include: permission from the professor.
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