The National Park Service has a bunch of tough tasks. In addition to protecting grizzly bears from tourists, NPS gets to preserve and protect historic objects, landmarks and infrastructure from aging bridges to the Statue of Liberty. It has to prepare objects for life in the 21st century while preserving their authenticity and historic value.
Lansing Community College in Lansing, Mich., is using a PTT Grant to develop and provide training based on modern and historic technologies to address the national need for preservation expertise in preserving historic metal truss structures. Vern Mesler/NCPTT photo. In 1992, Congress created the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training. NCPTT advances the application of science and technology to historic preservation, working in archeology, architecture, landscape architecture and materials conservation.
NCPTT training courses show participants the most advanced preservation practices through hands-on work. NCPTT also conducts in-depth research at its laboratories in Natchitoches, La., and empowers local governments and groups around the nation to use the latest knowledge to preserve their local resources.
And, it turns out, NCPTT is involved in all sorts of preservation—of landscapes, cemeteries, ancient rock art, mountain roads and more. Its Website lists scores—maybe hundreds, even—of different projects, using photos, videos, podcasts and every other modern method to demonstrate.
There's research into low-altitude aerial surveys employing high resolution thermal imaging (tried at New Philadelphia, Ill., the first town platted and legally registered by an African American in the United States). There’s a course on the plumbing, electrical, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and insulation systems in historic buildings. You can learn about computer analysis of ancient rock art, preserving stone walls along highways, and enough other projects to keep a student of American heritage occupied for an awful long time.
And thinking ahead, NCPTT also tackled disaster preparation, helipng managers protect their resources should flood or fire threaten.
So, for working hard to preserve that heritage for future generations, and for sharing its techniques, and for using the Web to explain to the public what it’s doing and why it’s important, the the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training Website is the Government Video Website of the Week.
And, check out last week's Website of the Week, InfoFarm, the blog of the National Agricultural Library.
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