Caven Clark, NPS ESP Enrollee

Caven Clark, NPS ESP Enrollee

Caven Clark joined NEW Solutions as an enrollee with the National Park Service after a long career as an ARPA practitioner in the same agency. The Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) was enacted in 1979 to “secure, for the present and future benefit of the American people, the protection of archaeological resources and sites which are on public lands and Indian lands, and to foster increased cooperation and exchange of information between governmental authorities, the professional archaeological community, and private individuals”. (From <>)

It’s a large sphere of practice that encompasses archaeology/cultural resources, law enforcement, and litigation. The Act provides more effective law enforcement to protect public archaeological sites, describing prohibited activities (like defacing, damaging, theft, arson) and implementing tougher penalties for violations. Teams who work on cases include people practicing in all these specialties.

Before he retired at the end of 2018, Caven was teaching for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. After retirement he continued developed an ARPA training program for  the NPS Mather Training Center which he subsequently took across the country to many federal agencies’ locations. During Covid, he switched to conducting this training virtually. He continues to teach independently in addition to being an ESP enrollee.

As an NPS ESP enrollee, Caven is helping to train the next generation of ARPA practitioners and instructors in the NPS and other federal agencies. He has created two learning modules, one introductory and one for advanced practitioners. He conducts these classes virtually through the NPS Common Learning Portal every month. Daily, he’s developing course materials like presentations and guidebooks, preparing for class, getting homework assignments to students, reviewing the assignments, and then revising the course based on feedback from students. Or he’s assisting the NPS with long-term strategic planning in the area of cultural resources instruction.

During these courses, students learn how to conduct resource damage assessments in a thorough manner that will support a solid court case against the accused perpetrator. They learn how to work with the other subject matter experts to integrate the many elements of ARPA.

On top of this, Caven is working on a Train the Trainer course for the next generation of ARPA instructors to ensure that institutional knowledge is passed down.

Caven is grateful for the opportunity to continue working, and for the intellectual stimulation inherent in collaboration, teaching, and strategic planning. He is working to ensure that the future of his profession is in good hands.