Internships for CSUF Anthropology Students at the South Central Coastal Information Center

Who we are.

The South Central Coastal Information Center, located at the Cal State University, Fullerton Department of Anthropology, is the regional repository for the California State Office of Historic Preservation.

There are 12 information centers throughout the State of California.

  • 10 are housed at universities.
  • l is located at a museum.
  • l is run by the Yurok tribe of Native Americans.

What we do.

The Information Center at C.S.U.F. is responsible for maintaining prehistoric and historic information for Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties.

These records are maintained according to guidelines established for the California Historical Resources Information System (C.H.R.I.S.)

The C.H.R.I.S. system of historical resource management is under the authority and direction of:

  • The Office of Historic Preservation (OHP)
  • The State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO)
  • The State Historical Resources Commission (SHRC)

There are currently over 12,000 reports and studies on file for the three counties, as well as over 7,000 records documenting cultural resources within these three counties.

A listing of the Information Center records inventory includes:

  • All recorded historic and pre-historic archaeology sites.
  • All known cultural resource survey and excavation reports.
  • An extensive file of historic maps.
  • The National Register of Historic Places Records.
  • The California State Historical Resources Inventory.
  • The California Points of Historical Interest Records.
  • The listing of California Historical Landmarks Records.
  • The City of Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monuments.
  • The California Register of Historical Places

Who uses the Information Center?

The Information Center supplies data to both private and public sectors in order to assist them in compliance with regulations set forth by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), NHPA and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Our clients not only use the Information Center to comply with state and federal regulations, but also for conducting research for academic and professional conferences, papers, projects, and masters theses.

Access to the Information Center is limited to:

Historical resource consultants, landowners, and scholars, per the access policy in the Information Center Procedural Manual.

Those who are granted access to the Information Center archives are required to sign an agreement of confidentiality whereby they agree to keep site location information confidential by not disclosing it to unauthorized individuals or including it in publicly distributed documents.

The reasons that cultural resources are kept confidential are because:

  • Cultural resources are non-renewable and easily damaged.
  • Their scientific and aesthetic values can be significantly impaired by disturbance.
  • We have a responsibility to protect the privacy of landowners.
  • We have an additional responsibility to protect these resources from vandalism and artifact looting.

Duties and responsibilities of Information Center Interns

  • Conduct record searches for clients.
  • Create maps that depict the clients project area and any surveys or reports that were generated in the project area or the surrounding radius.
  • Search reports, surveys or records to provide clients with data about the area.
  • Generate bibliographies from our bibliographic database.
  • Examine historic maps for evidence of human activity and provide a description of the natural environment.
  • Record archaeological site locations and studies by quadrangle onto USGS topographic maps.
  • Process incoming reports in preparation for adding them to our database.

Professional and academic benefits for the intern.

  • Exposure to the public sphere of archaeology.
  • Become acquainted with many of the local archaeologists as they conduct record searches at the Information Center.
  • This exposure allows them to become familiar with your name, your face, and your work at the Information Center.
  • Skills you'll acquire:

    • Learn to read USGS topographic and historic maps. .Learn the terminology of the profession.
    • Learn the content of an archaeological report and how many variations there are of that kind of report.
    • Learn how an archaeological site is recorded: Forms, format, and type of information that is needed for documenting and researching a cultural resource.
    • Learn more about the prehistoric and historic resources in Los Angeles, Orange, and Ventura counties.
    • Learn to use Geographic Information Systems or GIS. We are currently in the process of changing over to a digital form of mapping that is more flexible, accurate and user-friendly.

Who would benefit from an internship at the information center?

  • Any student interested in cultural resource management.
  • Any student thinking of working in archaeology -especially in California.
  • You'll have a professional head start over other job applicants because of your familiarity with county , state and federal guidelines.
  • It looks great on your c. v.
  • The information center is often given leads on job announcements and your intern experience makes you ripe for recruitment.
  • Most archaeologists have worked at an information center at some point in their careers.

For more information regarding internship opportunities contact:

  • Stacy St. James, Information Center Coordinator 657-278-5395

Originally prepared and presented by Stacy St. James for the Anthropology Student Association Colloquium on Internships December 1, 2000.

Last modified: 25, July 2007.