Blog Post

Fort Vancouver Mobile Project


The following is the report Brett Oppegaard and I prepared about the Fort Vancouver Mobile Project for the Project Managers' meeting at the National Endowment for the Humanities that took place on Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Fort Vancouver Mobile Report, 9/25/2011
by Dene Grigar and Brett Oppegaard


Promotional Information:

Brett Oppegaard's Global Website:
Dene Grigar’s Phase 2 Blog:


1.  Project Modules

Phase 1, Brett Oppegaard and Dene Grigar, PI
Stories about the Hawaiian workers who lived at The Village during the period that the fort was the hub of activity for the Hudson’s Bay Company. 

Phase 2, Dene Grigar and Brett Oppegaard, PI
Stories about the role of women at the fort during the Fur Trade Period

Phase 3, Brady Berkenmeier and Brett Oppegaard, PI
Stories provided us by artist Paul Kane who produced sketches and diaries during the period

Phase 4, Brett Oppegaard, PI
The Village opening module, which recreates the day in which The Village reopened to the public


2.  Supporting Grants

Phase 1

2010 Clark County Commissioner’s Historical Promotion Grant, Brett Oppegaard, $8900
2010 WSU Foundation Faculty Research Mini-Grant, Dene Grigar, $3000
2011 Clark County Commissioner’s Historical Promotion Grant, Brett Oppegaard and Dene Grigar, $19912


Phase 2

2011 National Endowment for the Humanities Start Up Grant, Dene Grigar and Brett Oppegaard, $50000


3.  Research Impact

  • Forthcoming Invited Talks:  Dene Grigar, “Bringing the Art of Design to the National Park Service:  The Fort Vancouver Mobile Project,” West Virginia University, October 17, 2011; "Connecting with the Past, Networked for the Future:  The Fort Vancouver Mobile Project and The Mobile Tech Research Initiative," University of Pittsburgh, October 19, 2011.
  • Forthcoming Article:  Oppegaard, Brett and Dene Grigar, “The Interrelationships of Digital Storytelling Mobile Media.” Forthcoming in Mobile Media Narratives.  Ed. Jason Farman.
  • Forthcoming Conference Presentation:  Grigar, Dene, John Barber, Will Luers. and Brett Oppegaard, “Teaching App Design and Development.” 2011 International Digital Media & Arts Association Conference, Savannah, GA, October 2011.
  • Forthcoming Course:  Grigar, Dene, Brett Oppegaard, John Barber, and Will Luers.  “App Design and Development”.  Digital Humanities Summer Institute, University of Victoria, B.C. June 2012. 
  • Student Award:  Berkenmeier, Brady. “Honorable Mention,” 2010 International Digital Media & Arts Association.

4.  Other Highlights


  • It is the only project in the National Park Service in which the local historians and scholars and other community members have worked together to build a noncommercial product.
  • It is the only project in the system that focuses on interactive stories, as opposed to traditional audio tour-like herding, and, in turn, it has become the model for the National Park Service that other sites around the country are trying to emulate.
  • It was prominently portrayed during the National Park Service’s first Digital Media Webinar in August 2011, centered at the Washington, D.C., training center and attended by more than 90 technology-focused employees from throughout national parks in the U.S. & territories (such as Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Guam).
  • PIs have contacted by the San Juan National Historic Site, the McLoughlin House, and the Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area about potential future partnerships.
  • Portland State University has been in contact about a collaboration on a public history field school in spring 2012

5.  Future Collaborations

The Fort Vancouver National Historic Site also is working with its partners in the Vancouver National Historic Reserve, such as the Pearson Air Museum and Officers Row, to start bringing mobile content, through the Fort Vancouver Mobile app, throughout the area as a long-term initiative.

The National Park Service site also has been working on ways to make the mobile content more accessible by looking for ways to improve the wireless Internet system in the area and acquiring devices for visitors to borrow.




No comments