For the 16th year, eighteen energetic teenagers from local pueblos and the nearby community, committed themselves to two weeks working with the Annual Summer Youth Intern Program on Mesa Prieta. Four adult mentors worked along side the interns in the field as they discovered and recorded hundreds of petroglyphs and other archaeological features on the mesa.
MPPP Project Director, Janet MacKenzie, a MS prepared archaeologist, and Project Administrator, Jennifer Goyette, Environmental Scientist, organized and led the two-week program.
The first day training of interns and adults took place at the Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Center, thanks to the Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area. Interns participated in a powerpoint presentation and two new active learning programs: GPS use and petroglyph recording practice. One Team Leader conducted the sessions on metric measurement, safety and compass work.
Dixon geologist Scott Aby described and explained the geology and geomorphology of Mesa Prieta on the first day.
Archaeologist Chuck Hannaford, Research Assistant with the state Office of Archaeological Services, brought his large collection of artifacts and reproductions representing 10,000 years of New Mexico prehistoric and historic lifeways.
Joaquin Gallegos, Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences at Northern New Mexico College trained the interns in GPS and compass use and in entering their recording data into a GIS database.
Jana Comstock, Assistant Zone Archaeologist, Forest Service, Santa Fe National Forest, Española and Coyote Ranger Districts, and MPPP volunteer recorder, addressed the interns to describe how to become an archaeologist and what she does daily in her job.
Intern gifts this year included insulated steel water bottles and cooling neckerchiefs that the interns were expected to use in the field. Lunch was provided.
This year the Summer Youth Intern Program completed the recording of about 60 acres of very rugged terrain and started two areas at the very top of the mesa.
More climbing was necessary to reach proveniences above those done in 2016: the teams are now working 1000 feet above the river. Features from four time periods were identified: Archaic, Ancestral Puebloan, Historic and Anglo-American periods.
Because of the emphasis on working in teams, the interns develop interactive skills through learning and cooperation with their teammates and adult mentors. The process of documentation includes taking metric measurements of the petroglyphs, using a GPS to record their location on a boulder, taking a photograph of each image, drawing the image and image categorization. Safety procedures were upgraded this year: interns were required to carry water, wear hats, use high visibility safety vests. New whistles were provided for each pack.
A great deal of smoke from forest fires at the beginning of the program caused some physical stress to adults and interns. The interns were kept out of the field for the last two field days due to dangerously high temperatures.
On the last two days, teams received a tour of the Wells Petroglyph Preserve, an area rich in petroglyphs produced during all time periods.
Project Administrator, Jennifer Goyette, oversaw the implementation of the Environmental Education component of the Youth Program. Interns were instructed in the methodology of nature journaling in the field and spent the first quarter hour of each day observing, contemplating and writing and drawing their surroundings and expressing their thoughts about that and the activities they were doing in the program.
Scott Aby, area geologist, accompanied each of the four teams in the field to continue the geology instruction. For some interns, this was a highlight of the program.
Angelina's Restaurant in Española donated food for the closing ceremonies. Northern New Mexico College donated the use of a computer lab for the final day's instruction by GIS/CAD professor Joaquin Gallegos in entering and managing recording data in a GIS database. The experience in the computer lab provides an introduction to a marketable skill for the interns. Certificates of Appreciation, intern stipends and photo discs were presented by the Project Director and Administrator.
On the post-program evaluation
90% of the interns indicated they wanted to pursue post-secondary education
68% wanted to obtain a science degree.
Summary of Summer Youth Intern Program, Years 2002-2017
Number of Youth Interns: 206, average 12.9 annually
Number of Young Leaders: 33, average 3.6 annually since 2009
Number of Adult Volunteers: 221, average 13.8 annually
Number of proveniences recorded, incl. partial: 45
Total number of petroglyphs recorded: 10,300
Total number of Cultural Landscape features recorded: 1,020
Average number of petroglyphs recorded per intern/leader: 43
A big THANK YOU to all our
Summer Youth Intern Program Participants!
Program Director: Janet MacKenzie, Alcalde
Project Administrator: Jennifer Goyette, Dixon
Katherine Wells, Lyden- food, drawing instruction
Joaquin Gallegos, NNMC- GPS, GIS instruction
Robin Gibbs, Santa Fe- adult mentor in field
Dana Abrums, Chimayo- food and 1st day set up
Cathy Benthagen, Ojo Caliente- food/1st day setup
Alison Youngs, Chimayo- adult mentor in field
Kirk Adams, Santa Fe- adult mentor in field
Miri Stewart-Tengco- adult mentor in field
Esta Gutierrez, Ancon- education
Chuck Hannaford, Santa Fe- archaeology educ.
Jana Comstock, Santa Fe- archaeology education
Cole Hughes, 14, Chimayo
Lorenzo Roybal, 16, Velarde
Hallie Vigil, 15, Cundiyo
Adrian Vigil, 13, Cundiyo
Matthew Quintana, 17, Española
Michael Pacheco, 15, Los Alamos
Keenan Greywolf, Taos
Gailene Morgan, Tesquque Pueblo
Diego Torrez, 14, Española
Jon Garcia, 15, Medanales
Lauren Maestas-Chavez, Ohkay Owingeh
Franki Maestas-Chavez, Ohkay Owingeh
Diego Jaramillo, Fairview
Joaquin Suazo, 13, Española
Adan Casados, 18, Santa Cruz
Katelyn Maestas, 15, Hernandez
Bernardo Jaramillo, 15, Fairview
Jordyn Atencio, 17, Ohkay Owingeh