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Elden Pueblo program manager receives Governor's Heritage Award

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Lisa Deem of Flagstaff has been awarded a 2021 Governor's Heritage Honor Preservation Award for her work with the Elden Pueblo Project in Flagstaff, a nonprofit educational partner of the Arizona Natural History Association and the Coconino National Forest, along with other educational initiatives that focus on the science of archaeology, regional history and cultural resource stewardship.

Deem first became involved with the Elden Pueblo Project in 2001 and has served as the project’s program manager since 2003, according to a press release.

Deem has substantially expanded the educational initiatives offered at Elden Pueblo, according to Coconino Forest archaeologist Peter Pilles, who nominated her for the award. She developed a Scout workshop, earning badges in archaeology for both Boy and Girl Scouts. During COVID-19 closures from March 2020 through July 2021, he added, Deem developed several online programs to aid teachers and conducted online, interactive Zoom programs for classes. In 2007, Lisa enrolled Elden Pueblo as the first Arizona site in the "Hands on the Land" program, a national consortium of public lands agencies supporting outdoor classrooms for schools and teachers across the country. About 2,000 students from Boy and Girl Scouts and public, private and charter schools, annually attend Elden Pueblo programs.

Deem annually writes grants to provide opportunities for local students to attend Elden Pueblo programs. Grants also help fund training and employment of interns, primarily Northern Arizona University anthropology students. Elden Pueblo recently received a grant from Arizona Community Foundation’s Venture Education Fund to provide practical experience for student interns in site stabilization, maintenance, education programs and interpretive trail guides, including an ethnobotany walk focused on native plants along the existing trail system.

Since 2001, Deem has also volunteered on numerous archaeological survey projects, artifact analysis, mapping, documentation and the development of programs for the Arizona Archaeological Society. Deem's volunteer contributions are in addition to her full-time job as management analyst for the City of Flagstaff Water Services. She has also worked as a grant specialist for the City of Flagstaff.

"Lisa's contributions have made an enormous difference in educational programs attended by students from all over Arizona," said Pilles and Peter Wisniewski, district archaeologist for the Flagstaff Ranger District. "She developed the curriculum that connects students with the science of archaeology, and especially honors the cultural heritage of the Hopi and other descendant Native communities with ties to Elden Pueblo."

Since 1982, the Arizona Preservation Foundation and the State Historic Preservation Office have recognized the achievements of not-for-profit organizations, public lands agencies, businesses and individuals in the field of historic preservation. In 40 years, seven volunteers from the Coconino National Forest have received a Governor's Award for their service.

The award will be presented Oct. 29 at the annual Arizona Historic Preservation Conference set to take place in Tempe.

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