From High School Field School to Internship
Kate Ellenberger Follows Steadfast Path to Archaeology Career
“I do everything for a reason; I don’t do anything just because I feel like it,” said Kate Ellenberger, a former Crow Canyon High School Field School student and present-day lab intern—she’s about as grounded and thoughtful about her intended career as a young woman can be. Since her participation in High School Field School, she has pursued an advanced degree in archaeology, worked on archaeological projects in the United States and Rome, and furthered her interest in collaborating with indigenous people.
Kate, the daughter of John Ellenberger and Patti Thompson, attended Crow Canyon’s High School Field School in 2004 with her parents’ encouragement. It turned out to be a growing experience, both personally and academically. “Before I came to High School Field School, I thought I knew everything,” she explained. “I was sixteen and at that state that I wanted to push myself out of the nest. I’d never been to an interest-based camp. Once I got to Crow Canyon, I learned to form my personality on my own terms.”
|In the Crow Canyon laboratory, Kate|
Ellenberger analyzes artifacts and
After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in anthropology and geographic information systems from Western Washington University in 2009, Kate went on to pursue graduate studies at Binghamton University in New York. She will earn her master’s degree in archaeology from Binghamton this fall and is enrolled in a Ph.D. program at the same university.
Kate cites a student project with the Lummi people in Washington state as an inspiration to go to graduate school and continue meaningful work with indigenous people. “The students didn’t know how to speak with the tribal members, and the tribal members didn’t know if they wanted to speak with archaeologists. It was a way to familiarize ourselves with one another.”
As an intern at Crow Canyon, Kate has also appreciated the opportunity to interact with the Center’s Native American Advisory Group. “At Crow Canyon, the assumption is that you’re going to respect indigenous values, but that’s not always the case in academia,” she noted. “Respecting indigenous values is not something we can be passive about—but it’s not how American archaeology is always done.”
Crow Canyon invites energetic and outstanding upper division undergraduate or graduate students in archaeology, anthropology, Native American studies, environmental studies, or other related fields to serve as interns at the Center. Two summer sessions are available—exact dates will be announced in early 2012. If you are interested in a Crow Canyon internship, check out our research internship page for more information.
Kate’s experience working with American Indians has led her to some present-day reflection on her future. “I’m thinking about what I need to do and what I want to do,” she said. “It’s not just about archaeology, but the people who are affected by it and how it affects me.”
[PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION]