"In May 2012, representatives of the National Park Service history and interpretation programs met at Harper's Ferry to discuss the state of history within the agency. One of the stars of the show was Greg Shine and his description of the unique and valued partnership with Washington State University-Vancouver. One aspect that was highlighted was the Public History Field School offered at Fort Vancouver in conjunction with the University. Participants learned at the park, and we were told that the adjunct salary was forwarded to the Park.
Over the last seven years I have taught an introductory historic preservation class at several local institutions (on my own time) at both the graduate and undergraduate level. Greg's description of the educational partnership inspired me to try a similar approach here in Washington. I pitched the idea to Robert Sutton, the NPS Chief Historian, and in the fall 2012 I taught a graduate seminar at George Mason University and team-taught a course at the University of Maryland, College Park. This spring I am teaching at the Northern Virginia Community College. What would have been my adjunct salary was transferred to the National Preservation Institute, held in a fund for use by the Park History program. I am scheduled to again teach at UMCP in the fall.
I endeavored to reach out to the academic community because of recommendations in the recent OAH study, Imperiled Promise, that suggested closer ties between NPS and academic historians would be of value to both groups of scholars. It is my hope that we might continue this experiment for a few years--perhaps until the NPS centennial to develop a measure of its potential impact. ... Thanks for leading the way with a very creative partnership."
Thank you for the inspiring story, Dr. Sprinkle, and for your service to the country! ...