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Empires of the Wind: Exploration of the United States Pacific West Coast

Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops for School Teachers

Postmark Deadline: March 1, 2012

“Empires of the Wind: Exploration of the United States Pacific West Coast” consists of two one-week NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops held during summer 2012 for eighty school teachers on Pacific exploration and the colonization of the American west coast, held at sites in San Diego, California. The program uses resources at the San Diego Maritime Museum, the Cabrillo National Monument, Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, and San Diego Mission de Alcala. Sessions consider early European voyages and mapping; Spanish interactions with Native Americans in Mexico and the southwest; the role of scientific discoveries in exploration; Spanish, British, and Russian imperial rivalries; the Spanish in California; and Americans in the Pacific from the beginnings of the China trade to the Civil War. Primary sources include maps, European accounts of exploration, and native responses; secondary sources mentioned include works by J.C. Beaglehole, William Schurtz, Lynn Withey, and Richard Johnson. In addition to project director Raymond Ashley (Maritime Museum of San Diego), visiting scholar presenters include Stephen Collston (San Diego State University), Jim Cassidy (U.S. Navy Southwest Cultural Resources Program Manager), Stan Rodriguez (Kumeyaay College), Iris Engstrand (University of San Diego), David Ringrose (University of California, San Diego), and Bruce Linder (independent scholar); Maritime Museum of San Diego staff, site specialists, and curriculum experts are also on hand to assist participants. 

Dates: San Diego, CA: June 24–29 or July 15–20
Grantee Institutions: Raymond Ashley, Maritime Museum Association of San Diego
Location: Maritime Museum of San Diego, Cabrillo National Monument, Old Town State Historic Park

About NEH Landmarks of American History: Workshops for School Teachers

The National Endowment for the Humanities is an independent grant-making agency of the federal government. As part of the NEH’s We the People program, we offer the following Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops for School Teachers. NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops provide the opportunity for K-12 educators to engage in intensive study and discussion of important topics in American history and culture. These one-week programs will give participants direct experiences in the interpretation of significant historical and cultural sites and the use of archival and other primary evidence. Landmarks Workshops present the best scholarship on a specific landmark or related cluster of landmarks, enabling participants to gain a sense of the importance of historical places, to make connections between what they learn in the Workshop and what they teach, and to develop enhanced teaching or research materials.

Amount of Award

Teachers selected to participate will receive a stipend of $1,200 at the end of the residential Workshop session. Stipends are intended to help cover living expenses, books, and travel expenses to and from the Workshop location.


These projects are designed principally for classroom teachers and librarians in public, charter, independent, and religiously-affiliated schools, as well as home schooling parents. Other K-12 school personnel, including administrators, substitute teachers, and classroom professionals, are eligible to participate, subject to available space.

Teachers at schools in the United States or its territorial possessions or Americans teaching in foreign schools where at least 50 percent of the students are American nationals are eligible for this program. Applicants must be United States citizens, residents of U.S. jurisdictions, or foreign nationals who have been residing in the United States or its territories for at least the three years immediately preceding the application deadline. Foreign nationals teaching abroad at non-U.S. chartered institutions are not eligible to apply.

Applicants must complete the NEH application and provide all of the information requested to be considered eligible.

New this year: An individual may apply to up to two NEH Summer Programs in any one year (Landmarks Workshops, Summer Seminars, or Summer Institutes), but may participate in only one. Please note that eligibility criteria differ significantly between the Landmarks Workshops and the Seminars and Institutes Programs.

How to Apply

Please e-mail, telephone or send by U.S. Post a request for application information and expanded Workshop descriptions to the Landmarks directors listed here; in many cases, these materials will also be available on project Web sites. You may request information about as many Workshops as you like, and, as noted above, you may apply to up to two programs but participate in only one.