AAA Internship Program Partnerships
The Naval History & Heritage Command (NHHC), located on the historic Washington Navy Yard in Washington, DC is the official program of the Depart of the Navy. The NHHC is home to the Underwater Archaeology Branch (UAB) which serves to manage, research, conserve, and interpret the Navy’s collection of sunken and terrestrial military craft. This includes over 2,500 shipwrecks and 17,000 aircraft wrecks dispersed around the globe.
The NHHC Underwater Archaeology Branch serves four main functions:
- Public Education & Outreach – Public education and outreach is a fundamental component of NHHC’s mission to promote the Navy’s heritage and preserve its sunken military craft. UAB accomplishes this through disseminating information through social media, publications, reports, presentations, lectures, and tours. Additionally, the Branch maintains a robust internship program for undergraduate and graduate students interested in submerged cultural heritage.
- Artifact Conservation & Curation – All historic artifacts recovered from an underwater environment require some form of conservation and a proper curation environment to remain in a stable condition. UAB’s Archaeology & Conservation Laboratory is directly responsible for NHHC’s artifact collections that originate from sunken military craft. In addition to treating and curating artifacts, the Laboratory manages a loan program of over 11,000 artifacts.
- Archaeological & Historical Research – Archaeologists at UAB oversee, collaborate, and conduct archaeological and historical research on sunken and terrestrial military craft. Research projects include remote sensing surveys, site identification assessments, excavations, and scientific data analyses. This research extends from the earliest beginnings of the Navy, during the American Revolution to losses from World War II and beyond. Through archaeology, UAB can interpret naval history and further convey the story of the American sailor.
- Cultural Resource Management & Policy Development – The Navy’s ship and aircraft wrecks represent a fragile collection of non-renewable resources that, in addition to their historical value, are often considered war graves may contain unexploded ordnance or environmental hazards. To ensure preservation of these sites, UAB develops, coordinates, reviews, and implements related policy on behalf of the NHHC. This includes the maintenance of an archaeological permitting program through the Sunken Military Craft Act, coordination with federal, state, local, and international agencies regarding sites and projects, and formation of a sunken military craft inventory.
Interns can expect to work on tasks such as: Preparing, undertaking, or following up on field investigations; Conducting extensive archaeological and historical research at local and national archives; Preparing, reviewing, editing or preparing reports; Conserving and cataloging artifacts; Assisting with artifact inventory, management, and loan programs; Developing a photo database of past field projects; Participating in public outreach and education initiatives such as tours, lectures, and presentations; Creating public outreach and education materials such as blogs and brochures.