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College of Environment and Design

MHP Summer 2021 internship Highlights

Megan McPherson

Megan McPherson

Megan McPherson, 2nd year UGA MHP student, received a highly competitive NCPE summer 2021 internship at Redwood National Park in northern California. Redwood National Park is home to the world’s tallest trees, the coast redwood (Sequioa sempervirens). Targeted by loggers as early as the 1850s, by 1852 California legislator, Henry A. Crabb, advocated to establish a redwood national park. Early preservation efforts focused on saving the tall, impressive trees, while later conservation efforts called for a more wholistic approach to save the redwood ecological system. Today, the park focuses on protecting not only the magnificent trees, but also the Pacific shore, rivers, streams, estuaries, meadows, and prairies nearby.

Megan worked for the Cultural Resources Branch that is responsible for monitoring and documenting cultural landscapes, historic architecture, pre-historic resources, curation of park collections, as well as managing tribal relations. Megan assisted the historical landscape architect by completing Cultural Landscape Inventories (CLIs) for 2 areas in the park: Tall Trees Grove and Lady Bird Johnson Grove. The CLI work consisted of writing, field documentation through photographs, GPS mapping, creation of illustrations, research of the relevant history, and oversight of historic maintenance by park partners. Megan also got the chance to work a few times with HistoriCorps who was restoring Homeplace Barn on the Lyons Ranch Historic District.  

Congrats on a great experience Megan!


Sarah Owen

Sarah Owen
Second year UGA MHP student, Sarah Owen, received a highly competitive NCPE summer 2021 internship at Fort Scott National Historic Site in Kansas. Fort Scott National Historic Site was created “to preserve, commemorate, and interpret for present and future generations Fort Scott and its role in a sequence of pivotal events that transformed the nation—the permanent Indian Frontier, the Opening of the West, Bleeding Kansas, and the Civil War.”  

Under the direction of the park Cultural Resource Manager, Sarah updated the Fort Scott Historic Structures Preservation Guide (HSPG). The purpose of the HSPG is to guide compliance efforts, specifically identifying the level and extent of work that can be included in determining the categorical exclusions for the site’s routine operations and maintenance practices and procedures. Activities/projects beyond the HSPG may require additional or more detailed compliance such as Environmental Assessments or Environmental Impact Statements.  

Never having worked in a national park before Sarah states, “This internship has been a unique chance to explore preservation in practice, and it has given me meaningful insight into the challenges and opportunities in managing national historic sites in the NPS.” 

Congrats on a great experience Sarah!


Sierra Beighey

Sierra Beighey

Sierra Beighey, 2nd year MHP student, interned for Preservation Pittsburgh during summer 2021. A non-profit advocacy organization focused on preserving the city’s historic, architectural, cultural, and environmental heritage, Preservation Pittsburgh assists to identify resources and opportunities for preservation in the region, develop incentives and educational opportunities, and advance public planning and development policies that recognize preservation as an integral part of healthy sustainable communities.  

Sierra worked on several projects including developing a Historic Resource Survey Form for the Brown African Methodist Episcopal Chapel located on Pittsburgh’s North Side in preparation for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places; undertaking historic research on Pittsburgh’s first female architect, Elise Mercur Wagner; and developing a potential Underground Railroad site, the Morning Glory Inn located in South Pittsburgh.  

Sierra notes that while working with Preservation Pittsburgh, it was evident that the graduate Historic Preservation Program at the University of Georgia has equipped its students with the proper tools to benefit regions and communities throughout the country. “I felt prepared and confident to tackle the challenges that were to come, and I am thankful for the opportunity to learn from the members of Preservation Pittsburgh as an intern. I have truly enjoyed taking what I learned from UGA’s Historic Preservation Program and applying my knowledge to better my hometown.”  

Congrats on a great experience Sierra!


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