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Keck has been working in the Combat Center’s Archaeology and Paleontology Curation Center since Jan. 26 and finds interest in the Combat Center’s history.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Thomas Mudd

What I’ve Learned: Charlene Keck

21 Apr 2015 | Photo by Lance Cpl. Thomas Mudd Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

Keck has been working in the Combat Center’s Archaeology and Paleontology Curation Center since Jan. 26 and finds interest in the Combat Center’s history.

When I applied for this job, I did not think that I would get it. I met all the requirements and wanted to give it a shot, so I went for it.

I was able to work at Fort Stanwix [Rome, N.Y.], a Revolutionary War battle ground, where I had the opportunity to immerse myself in the history around that amazing place.

When an artifact is found, it is sent to a facility off-base. There, they clean it and archive it. After they study the artifact, they seal it in a container and it is brought back here, where we store the artifact until people want to study it more.

I mange where the artifacts are placed while they are stored here. If someone comes to see something we have stored I approve that they can take it and keep track of it.

I love history. I love seeing the artistic nature of the people that used to live in places like this. That is why I enjoy working here.

Ever since I was young, I was always fascinated by history. Seeing the way people made things is like looking at art.

Being able to work in a place with so much history is great. I love learning about how people lived back then and what they made.

Since I work with the NREA, I get to do more than just work at the curation center. I have gone to help save animals like a baby owl who fell in the tank yard.

Working on a military base is very different than working in a corporate environment. [In a corporate environment], they want results in a short amount of time.

Working on a military base is more structured than working for a corporation. They make sure things get done in the proper order and they make sure it is done correctly.

The people of the base come by here and are interested in what has been found. I enjoy being able to show them new things about the place [in which] they live.

This place is like its own little state. They can produce their own power and have a great recycling project in place.

I love to see how the base is able to complete its mission while taking the surrounding wildlife into account.

This place is every different than where I used to live. I was a little sad to leave New York, but coming out here is a great opportunity.

I have gone out to scout out different tortoise habitats and see the landscape. I plan on going to Joshua Tree [National Park] and experience hiking fully.

I did not do much hiking in New York, but after being out in the field on base and seeing the things like the petroglyphs and the wildlife, I am interested in what I can find while I hike.

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms