Thursday, 20 June 2019 12:45


Hello, Welcome back to my blog!


The past four weeks have been very fun and exciting over here in Washington DC. I've been learning so much about how to do proper documentation and using programs to process different kinds of data. The truth is nobody can ruin the hype or the fun that I'm having while I'm doing my work. This week I'll talk to you about what the documentation process involves and how its conducted, as well as all the software that I'm learning to use and how my experience has been so far.


Like I mentioned in my previous publication, our site is located in Washington, DC in the Woodley Park neighborhood. The original owner, C. H. Smalls took out a building permit for ten row houses in 1922. Later, they were designed by architect George T. Santmyers, who was the most prolific designer of row houses in Washington.(footnote 1.) By September the construction was mostly done. So our house is almost 100 years old. Wow!


The House is a pretty small structure measuring approximately 20ft by 54ft including the front porch but excluding the garage and back patio. Its two stories and it includes an attic and basement. It has very interesting features since it was designed to take advantage of natural light as much as possible. Some skylights were included on the designs that you will see in a section at the end of the summer. So I can say that it's a fairly small house that is very comfortable but a little bit challenging to document.


 How does the documentation process take place? You might ask.


First, we visit our site and review the spaces and which drawings are necessary. For this project we will be drawing 2 floor plans a section (think that you are slicing a piece of cake, same thing but a building) and elevation. Each team member has a task, we each get to hand sketch a part of the floor plan. We do these sketches in grid paper with pencil and the goal is to do it as proportionally as possible. After the sketching is done we work together to hand measure with a tape-measure each part of the house. We use a methodology for this specifically for HABS drawings. We use this method so everything is uniform and if someone in 50 years looks them up they can understand what they are reading. You can find the guidelines if you click here:


On another visit, we arrived with a laser scanner and camera. The laser scanner literally scans its surroundings creating a digital three dimensional point cloud (Yes imagine a cloud composed of many, many points) that is the shape of what was scanned. I'm not gonna lie, this was super useful to learn how to use since it helped us produce the base geometry of the elevation drawing since we couldn’t reach the highest parts to measure them. This scanning process involves so many things, but you would take several scans of the same place but in different locations to grab as much data as possible, then in another program they are all stitched together to form one point cloud. At the same location of the scanner we also took images to create panorama photos that are later also going to be stitched to the point-cloud.


After we have all the measurement and scanning data the computer work begins. We start by using AutoCad to draw digitally the plans with the measurement we used; and HABS has guidelines for that too. Now the juicy part starts… processing the scanning data. For this part, our trusty instructor Jason taught us how to use PTGui, Cyclone and Cloudworks. It's my first experience using any of these programs, and although at first it was daunting and challenging it was very rewarding to see the results and gain this experience (something new for the resume! Thanks Jason!). With PTGui we eliminate information that we don’t want from the Panorama images, and this is where the panorama is stitched together. Also, from PTGui we cut up the panoramas into six square images that are later stitched to the point-cloud. The purpose of the images to the point cloud is to give it real color and texture to the scan, an example can be seen in the image above. Cyclone is the program that stitches the Laser scan and images together. After all of that is processed, it's uploaded and through a plug-in in Cad (Cloudworks) we open the cloud and can do slices through the cloud and draw over it.


The laser scanning can have other uses apart from a reference to do drawings, but virtual tours can be created. For examples about this you can click here:


The past few weeks have been filled with work, but very rich in experience. It has all been fun so far and I have high hopes it will continue so. It makes it even better to have supervisors and instructors that make the job fun and entertaining (That is for Robert and Jason that are always making us laugh).


See you in two weeks,

- Mónica



More Link to explore:


HABS Guidelines

Heritage Documentation Program

Want to see more of what HDP and HABS does? Look it up in Facebook


  1. Information provided by project historian Kim Hoagland. 
Published in HAF intern blog
Saturday, 01 June 2019 00:25

See you soon Hopewell!

Hi Everyone, my name is Jhulian Gutierrez! This summer, I will be participating in the 2019 Latino Heritage Program as a Visitor Services Intern at Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site. I was born in Miami, FL and was raised in both Florida and Texas. although I spent most of my childhood in the small town of Katy, TX. I am a Freshman at Lonestar college, where I am pursuing my AA to then transfer to a 4 year University to earn a degree in Marine Zoology. Growing up, I was always drawn to nature, animals, history and all things science! My parents always told me I was a hyperactive child with such eagerness to learn. Now, in my early adulthood, I can say I have chilled out a bit, yet I still possess the same keenness to learn.

This summer it will be full of many firsts for me! This will be my first road trip on my own, my first time being in Pennsylvania, and my first internship ever! As I count down the days to the beginning of my program, you can imagine the excitement and nervousness that I am feeling. I am beyond honored to have the opportunity to work at Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site. I will not only get to learn, but teach visitors about the park and its many amazing recreational opportunities, park facilities, and  interpretive services. I will get to research for the park and learn about the large diverse group of people who used to work there and the many jobs they had, to run an iron plantation.

As I approach the day where I will begin this new adventure, reality is starting to hit. I am realizing how truly blessed I am to have this opportunity to work with the amazing program LHIP and the NPS. I would like to say thank you to everyone who has helped me get here! In addition, I would like to wish my fellow interns good luck to all the other interns and hope everyone has a great summer!

Stay tuned for the upcoming blogs I will be posting this summer detailing the many exciting experiences I will have with the Hopewell Team.

Until next time!

Published in EFTA intern blog

Beginning later this summer, I will be working as the resource monitoring and communications LHIP intern at Dinosaur National Monument. Dinosaur is 200,000 acres spanning Eastern Utah and Western Colorado. It is of course named for its abundant dinosaur fossils from the late Jurassic period. While visitors will certainly be attracted to the 1,500 fossils present in the Carnegie Dinosaur Quarry, Dinosaur also has diverse wildlife and abundant outdoor recreation opportunities. I grew up in Northcentral Montana hiking, camping, fishing, watching wildlife, biking, and canoeing. I look forward to the chance to do all of this while working and while enjoying in my free time at Dinosaur.

In my resource monitoring role, I will focus on conservation biology field research on monarch butterflies. My internship runs from late July to mid-October so that it coincides with the expected migration of Western monarchs through Dinosaur and surrounding areas. I will survey the abundances of eggs, adult monarchs, and the milkweed plants that caterpillar monarchs eat. When catching adults, I will also apply small tags to help track the butterflies’ migration and I’ll take swabs of their abdomens for analysis for parasitic infection. My work will be important because Western monarch butterflies’ migration patterns have not been studied as well as Eastern monarch migrations. The research I do this summer and fall will improve our understanding of the fascinating monarch butterfly ecology and migration. Additionally, monarch butterflies are currently under review for listing under the Endangered Species Act. The data I produce will be important to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as it makes a decision on whether to list Western monarchs as threatened or endangered.

In previous summer experiences, I have performed other types of field work. As a high school student, I interned one summer with Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Parks. During that summer, I worked at a trout hatchery and I surveyed wild fish around the state. During college at Princeton University, I studied ecology and evolutionary biology and performed lots of field research for courses and my independent research. For my research, I spent two summers in Kenya studying parasitic infection in two species of zebras. Working at Dinosaur will be a completely different experience in a totally new place, but I hope that the skills I have built working in the field and my knowledge of ecology and conservation biology will aide me this summer. Ultimately, my goal is to work in wildlife conservation. This summer, I think I will be doing just that, so I very grateful for this opportunity.

To learn more about monarch butterfly ecology and conservation, I would recommend checking out the online sites of the Monarch Joint Ventureor the Southwest Monarch Study. I will be studying the abundant resources created by these organizations and others to prepare myself for my work at Dinosaur. Armed with a good background on monarchs, I aim to be the best butterfly researcher and educator I can be. The second aspect of my internship – science communication – will be vital for educating Dinosaur’s visitors, some of who will work as “citizen scientists” that help with monarch research. I will be excited to discuss these roles in my next blog post.


Published in EFTA intern blog
Thursday, 29 November 2018 14:43

Loreto Lopez 

Loreto largely identifies with her Hispanic heritage and especially takes pride in her culture. She was raised in Montebello - a predominantly Mexican community. Loreto is a part of the first generation in her family to attend college in the United States. She has an Art History major and an Archaeology minor Loyola Marymount University. Loreto admires how art objects have the ability to tell so much about a culture, such as the technology a society used, what that society valued most, and if there were any interactions with neighboring societies. For these reasons she is passionate about art conservation and hopes to educate people about art’s influence and power through museum-work. Loreto’s parents attended college in Mexico and earned their degrees, but decided to move to the U.S. to provide better opportunities for Loreto and her siblings even though it meant their degrees would not be valid anymore. Their sacrifice is what influences her to put my best effort in everything she does, especially in her academics. 

Published in Intern Bios