Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


Folk Studies and Anthropology

Additional Departmental Affiliation


Document Type



This research examines younger generational interest in historic preservation (HP) and the preservation trades (PT). Utilizing an ethnographic approach, industry professionals were interviewed about their knowledge and perspectives on issues facing their respective fields (HP and PT). Historic preservation and the preservation trades were both identified to be experiencing a decline in interest and participation from younger individuals, thus negatively impacting incoming supply of future labor. Given the intensive nature of the field, traditionally the preservation trades have required a larger number of specialists. Currently, both fields are facing workforce shortages. High school level career and technical education was examined as a potential avenue to remedy this issue with little evidence to suggest extensive implementation of programs at the national level. However, my research shows that independent workshops organized through various government and non-profit funds, which target current trade professionals, have emerged as a viable approach to increasing preservation trades laborers. Sustainability and diversity within historic preservation and preservation trade were also identified as areas in which the fields could demonstrate their desirability to young peoples.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Ashley Stinnett, Ph.D.


Anthropology | Other Anthropology