The Ethnography Experiment in the National Park Service

Thirty-five years ago the National Park Service (NPS) embarked on a bold experiment by creating a formal Ethnography Program to serve as a complement and counterpart to the agency’s well-established Archeology Program. The fledgling program’s mission was to bring people with cultural and historical connections to parks into the management decision-making matrix for federally protected […]

Paths Not Taken

Ethnographic Terminalia and Career Choices There is something about the AAA meetings that lends itself to reflection, which also seems fitting as we kick off a new year. It could be the timing. Typically held in the run-up to Thanksgiving, this year AAA was held between the major holidays, and there was a sense that […]

Public Sector Anthropology and the Annual Meeting

  As the annual meeting of our organization approaches, my e-mail inbox fills up with messages about exciting sessions and calls for papers, notes from friends and colleagues inquiring about coffee dates and committee meetings.  And yet, despite longstanding investment in “the AAAs,” I’m not going this year.  Many constituent groups within AAA have been […]

A Literature of Practice

As I have read this column over the last several months, I’ve been heartened to see many familiar themes. Contributors have covered the partialness and compromises involved in influencing decisions and policy, the complexities of implementation in large institutions, the importance of anthropologists as representatives of perspectives that are sometimes scarce in government, the need […]