Aislinn Pentecost-Farren | Ramapough Lenape Nation Turtle Clan
I worked with PennPraxis Director Ellen Neises and two UPenn Landscape Architecture students on two projects for the Ramapough Lenape Nation Turtle Clan in northern New Jersey. We spent part of the summer developing a draft design for an interpretive trail based on traditional Lenape trail wayfinding and ceremonial design. The bulk of our summer was spent surveying an area near Newton, NJ of many stone formations with possible Lenape ceremonial and historic significance. The internship culminated in a three-day overnight trip to New Jersey with the team. Using annotated DSLR photography, drone photography, elevation drawings, GIS, and text description we sampled three clusters of stone formations and created a preliminary report on their significance for the Ramapough Lenape to use for advocacy and further research.
I drew heavily on recording techniques I learned in HSPV 601, especially the photography lessons and final deliverable design. I even contacted my professors in that class for additional resources and guidance. Research techniques learned in HSPV 600 also guided some of my recommendations for the project, as well as photo management skills from Digital Media.
I learned about client relationships and project management and design, especially as applies to clients who we are learning from and building trust with as much as they are learning from our work. Working across disciplines with Landscape Architecture students was a fantastic learning experience and so gratifying to integrate our diverse skill sets. I became much more comfortable with my DSLR camera and post-production techniques. I improved my skills in Adobe Illustrator with help from my colleagues and got a taste of how to use GIS.
It was transformative to my professional practice to consult closely with Indigenous leaders. The project also gave me the opportunity to connect with various academics at UPenn and regionally who are working on similar subject matter.