Technology and training grant deadline may have archaeologists, preservationists dashing to the finish line

Ah, the rush of a grant application deadline: The adrenaline. The anxiety. The sweet, sweet relief when it’s over.

If you’re an archaeologist or historic preservationist in the Portland area, you might still be in the thick of it if you’re applying for the National Park Service’s 2017 Preservation Technology and Training Grants.

In case you didn’t already know or needed a reminder: Deadline for those grants is 11:59 p.m. Eastern time Nov. 3.

Yeah, grant application deadlines can feel like that. Freeimages.com

Yeah, grant application deadlines can feel like that. Freeimages.com

And in case you’re not an archaeologist or preservationist in the midst of the grant deadline rush, these grants aim to help researchers develop better tools, materials and techniques for conserving buildings, historic landscapes, historic and prehistoric archaeological sites, artifact collections, and other cultural resources. The grants are administered by the innovation center for the preservation community: the park service’s National Center for Preservation Technology and Training.

For 2017, the center has allocated $300,000 for the technology and training grant program, pending availability of funding (ahem, Congress, you better fund it).

Here's a hint as to why I love the topic of zooarchaeology. These are the bones of a single deer from an archaeology site that I analyzed as part of my master's thesis, which dealt with zooarchaeology topics. Susannah L. Bodman | Science In Portland

These are the bones of a single deer from an archaeology site on the Oregon Coast associated with the Coquille Indian Tribe. Susannah L. Bodman | Science In Portland

Grants from the program typically go to applicants from federal agencies, states, tribes, local governments, universities and nonprofit organizations (e.g. museums, professional societies and research labs) and can fund projects in the following areas:

  • Innovative research that develops or adapts technologies to preserve cultural resources. Typically, grants in this category range from $25,000 to $40,000.
  • Workshops or symposia that address national preservation needs. Grant range: $15,000 to $25,000.
  • Educational videos, mobile apps, podcasts, webinars and publications that share information about preservation methods and tools. Grant range: $5,000 to $15,000.

Projects within those areas can fall under several disciplines: archaeology, architecture, collections management, engineering, historic landscapes and materials conservation.

This year, the center is particularly hoping to see proposals for funding in which science and technology are applied to historic preservation that touches on climate change impacts, disaster planning and response, modeling and managing big data, innovative techniques for documentation, and protective coatings and treatments for artifacts and other cultural resources.

A guide is dressed in period costume, ready to answer visitor questions, at Albany's Monteith House Museum. The 1849 pioneer home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is part of Oregon's cultural and historical heritage. Susannah L. Bodman | Science In Portland

A guide is dressed in period costume, ready to answer visitor questions, at Albany’s Monteith House Museum. The 1849 pioneer home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is part of Oregon’s cultural and historical heritage. Similar historic homes and museum abound in the Portland-Vancouver area. Susannah L. Bodman | Science In Portland

The Portland-Vancouver area — with its long record of tribal occupation beginning in prehistory, Hudson’s Bay Co./Fort Vancouver presence since the 18th century, and other historical elements — is loaded with cultural resources worth preserving. It’s also home to a number of local  companies, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, museums, and other entities concerned with archaeology and historic preservation. Some of these groups may be pursuing these grants.

And for those that are, remember that applications must be submitted using Grants.gov, under Funding Opportunity No. P16AS00579, Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number 15.923 or 2017 Preservation Technology and Training Grants.

Applicants who receive grant funding will be able to begin their proposed work no sooner than July 2017.

And don’t fret if you’re a prospective applicant who’s going to miss out on this year’s opportunity: Check with the center and NPS about grants for 2018 and beyond.

Susannah L. Bodman
Twitter: @Sciwhat
Facebook: Sciwhat.Science

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