February 27, 2024


Step Into The Technology

Student Research Week: Preserving History Through Field Work and Technology

4 min read

Alexander Nalewaik ’21 enrolled at UCF as an undergraduate with a person issue in intellect. He wanted to merge his enjoy of background, people today and the outdoor into a key that would guide to a terrific job.

Speedy ahead a couple of years and the anthropology alum is now pursuing a master’s diploma in the subject even though completing exploration that not only can help preserve heritage, but also integrates know-how into the approach. We sat down with the Fort Myers, Florida, native to chat about the investigate project he’ll be presenting at this year’s Pupil Scholar Symposium and how which is impacting his foreseeable future job path. The symposium is aspect of  University student Analysis 7 days, which is absolutely free, open to the community and ongoing in the College student Union this 7 days.

What does your investigation examine and how does it impacts the group?

My study venture title is “Historical Archaeology and Multimodal Digital Technologies to Seize and Report the Earlier.” The exploration I will be presenting during Pupil Research 7 days centers on documenting America’s very last remaining Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) watermill. This regional Central Florida historic web site, positioned within the Juniper Springs Recreational place in the Ocala National Forest, is just one of the initial internet sites manufactured by the Civilian Conservation Corps (a U.S. authorities perform relief program) in the forest. Its design was portion of an early CCC experiment checking out the efficacy of federally funded tourist web sites to stabilize regional economies through the Terrific Melancholy and the Juniper Springs Millhouse was constructed to electrify the bordering spot. Currently, it remains the past operating millhouse built by the CCC.

This challenge explores the application of photogrammetry and 3D modeling tools to assist standard HABS/HAER-design documentation. The mix of these two digital recording tactics is new to the field and presents an less complicated way of conducting HABS/HAER-fashion documentation for formal federal and point out reports. These equipment also allow for the present issue of the web-site to be recorded into the electronic globe, preserving its effects on the generations of people today who have frequented the web-site, and individuals in the Ocala place who benefited from the electrical power it supplied in the early 1930s. This challenge also delivers details for a Nationwide Sign-up of Historic Sites (NRHP) nomination to protect the mill, justify additional funding, and help the ongoing procedure of the mill for long term generations.

How did you acquire the notion for this investigation task?

Remaining a part of the UCF-USFS (United States Forest Assistance) archaeological subject school aided me to make connections to my present master’s advisor, Dr. (Edward) González-Tennant, and Ocala Countrywide Forest archaeologists, John Dysart and Rachel Thompson. By way of these connections, I was pointed at the site and, by further phrase papers in my undergraduate lessons, I figured out the value of preserving the web site.

Why is investigate vital to you?

This analysis is critical because of to the significance of the CCC. The CCC created close to 800 countrywide and condition parks around the country, labored on hundreds of civil infrastructure tasks, planted above a few billion native trees and actively fought wildfires that popped up during their time. With Juniper Springs, this web site was produced as an experiment to test the impacts of tourism on a smaller depression-period city. Mostly, the experiment worked, with Ocala and the nearby Astor remaining one of the to start with tiny cities in Central Florida to recover subsequent the close of the Great Depression. This exploration developed a digital product of the web page, providing the community a long term window into the architectural background of the CCC and the 1930s, whilst also registering the web-site to the NRHP encouraging to assure proper preservation of the web page continues for generations to come.

Why are you pursuing your important or area of examine?

Throughout my undergraduate job, I took courses and was a element of crucial internships via the division, these as the Cape Canaveral Archaeological Mitigation Challenge in 2020, and the fall and summer months UCF-USFS Ocala archaeological field educational facilities in 2020 and 2021, that helped me to narrow my field of examine to what it is today.

Why did you select UCF?

I chose UCF as an undergraduate in 2018 for the reason that of how remarkable the campus seemed. With so a lot of events occurring every single working day, the university appeared like a modest metropolis with prospects at each transform, which served to make me truly feel at household and fired up for my long term right here. I chose UCF yet again in 2021 for my graduate degree for the reason that of the many connections I designed from my time below as an undergraduate. Via UCF, I worked as an orientation staff leader in 2019, labored for the Student Union beginning in 2020, and I fulfilled and discovered from so many outstanding scientists in my division, so it was really hard to say goodbye to the university. Also, Knightro is one particular awesome mascot.

What’s up coming?

This summer season I will be continuing my research in Ocala, doing work as a crew chief for the UCF-USFS Ocala summertime discipline university, in which we will be continuing our do the job at the Yearling historic archaeological website inside of the Ocala National Forest. I will also be continuing my perform at the Juniper Springs Millhouse, functioning on photogrammetry and laser scanning 3D versions of the construction, and the site as a entire.

What is your vocation goal?

My target is to use my investigation and practical experience in the Ocala National Forest to become a USFS or Nationwide Park Assistance archaeologist, in which I can keep on guarding historic web-sites all over the nation.

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