One of the most rewarding elements of our time at the Fairfield Foundation is working alongside the many high school and college interns that join us each summer to learn about archaeology, history, and preservation. High School juniors and seniors, undergrads from community colleges and universities, graduate students, and some folks just looking to enhance their resumes and expand their horizons, spend between one and three weeks (sometimes longer) working alongside staff members learning the nuts and bolts of archaeology, non-profit management, and the day-to-day challenges of studying and preserving our past. It is a wonderful learning experience for them and extremely rewarding for us. Despite the intense heat and humidity, our ever changing mix of interns consistently impresses us with their energy and motivation to learn. With over 100 interns during our first 12 years, this is one of the Fairfield Foundation’s most successful educational outreach programs.
Internships are scheduled throughout the year, although summer is our busiest season. Whether for practical experience, or to try something they’ve always wanted to try, perhaps inspired by Indiana Jones or a lifelong fascination with history, the chance to “do” archaeology is what attracts most interns. You can design your own research project, learn how to write grants, participate in hands-on preservation, or learn the basics of archaeology in the field and lab. Interested? Take a look at the brochure and application detailing our program. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you, your teenager, or a friend might be interested in learning more about our internships! Summer internships are popular, and although we can offer help with housing, it is limited – so apply early to ensure your spot!
Don’t just take our word for it – see and hear a bit about the experience from former interns themselves:
Kimberley Givant, Intern 2012: “One thing that immediately drew me to Fairfield was the way they welcome all people to not only learn about the archaeology they do, but to also give them the opportunity of a hands-on experience. I didn’t feel like just another intern, but rather a true member of one supportive team. Everywhere I went with the Foundation I felt at home, and with everything I did for them I grew more confident because I knew everyone there wanted me to learn and succeed.”
Summer 2012 interns enjoy a field trip to see the U.S.S. Monitor at the Mariner’s Museum.
Colleen Betti, 2010-2012: “My whole experience with the Fairfield Foundation, from a volunteer, to an intern, to my current position as ‘independent scholar’ has been worth all of the long hot hours. I have gained so much experience, knowledge, opportunities, as well as wonderful friends.”
Summer 2012 interns take a break from the heat to learn how to water-screen!
Chris Godschalk, Intern 2009 and 2010: “It has been amazing how many different experiences I’ve encountered. I’ve been involved in every stage of excavation, and not just field work or lab work, but ethical questions as well.”
Bryce Vogel, Intern 2009 and 2010: “The camaraderie, combined with the fact that field archaeology gives a really unparalleled view of how history is written and cultures come to be understood, makes a Fairfield internship a very rewarding experience.”
Summer 2012 interns excavate to help answer research questions about historic slave quarters at Fairfield Plantation.
Amy Hilton, Intern 2010-2012: “I still cherish the days spent deep in the earth uncovering history, feeling pride when finding a rusty nail normal people won’t look at twice, and feeling awe at the ingenuity of the past. Virginia, the sate of sweat and sweet tea, became my quirky summer home for curiosity, adventure, and plenty of Indiana Jones.”
Summer interns experience the rich history of Virginia’s Middle Peninsula as they excavate in Middlesex County.
If you’d like to read more about internships with the Fairfield Foundation, check out our recent newsletter dedicated to interns!