Working in The Intersection of Resources and education – Claudia García Quinones

Interpreting shipwrecks, especially ones these old, comes with specific challenges. Padre Island National Seashore is a highly recreational park, with extensive natural resources. The cultural resources of the park are often not visible, and interacting with them is not encouraged. Educational material about these resources is limited, and visitors don’t really know they exist. The shipwrecks specifically are a delicate resource that is need of protection. The Texas coast has been hit with several devastating hurricanes and tropical storms in recent years, causing agitation of the archaeological sites. The archeological expedition I assisted on in May was done to check on the sites and see how they have responded to these disturbances. Educating people about how historically valuable these wrecks are, and why they cannot visit or interact with them, is important work.

Me after helping my division recovered one of our broken-down UTVs. This was my first down-island trip (60 miles!)

Working and training in the Science and Resources Management division, there has been significant focus on protecting these resource at the park level. The Education and Interpretation division’s mission is to share and answer questions about the park. In my projects I aim to take the resource and promote their protection and conservation by educating the public about their presence and importance. One of my projects is a lesson plan proposal, which can be uploaded to the educator’s portal on the NPS website and taught in classrooms. I believe this, out of all the educational material I’ve been working on, is the biggest asset to the park because it extends the reach of this information nationally and invites people to personally engage with the information. I’ve been fortunate to work with the education team to develop this content and make sure it meets national common core curriculum standards, as well as reference for feedback for all my works. I hope to complete as much as possible, and to leave the park with a well of publicly accessible material to share their heritage with the world.

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