Monday, March 14, 2016

While many students and faculty were off the week of March 14, 2016 for Spring Break, Drachman Institute Director, Professor, and Chair of the Heritage Conservation Program, R. Brooks Jeffery was busy organizing the annual TICRAT (Taller Internacional de Conservación y Restauración de Arquitectura de Tierra) Adobe Preservation Workshop which was attended by 56 participants of which 13 were students from 6 universities; 5 of those students call CAPLA home. 

The annual, multidisciplinary workshop has been conducted for over 20 years, but this year marks a special occasion for Brooks as he was recognized by the National Park Service for his tenure of service by receiving the prestigious Director's Partnership Award. This award recognizes his 14-year partnership with the NPS, the Desert Southwest Cooperative Ecosystems Study Unit (DS-CESU), and facilitation support of the TICRAT workshops.  “I am honored by this award and the recognition of such a unique partnership” said Jeffery. “Our students are the real winners by engaging with NPS, developing professional skills, and becoming the next generation stewards of our cultural resources.” 


Director R. Brooks Jeffery receiving the Director's Partnership Award from National Park Service representitives Robert Love (Superintendent, Tumacacori National Historical Park), Stephanie Toothman (Associate Director, National Park Service) and Tom Lincoln (Assistant Regional Director, National Park Service)

TICRATs have become an effective grass-roots effort to counter the disappearance of traditional building practices. The programs consist of a pre-workshop review of technical content and videos that are available on the Missions Initiative website, workshop presentations, tours, and most importantly, hands-on field sessions. The field sessions cover the technical areas of building assessment and stabilization, adobe brick making, lime production, as well as plaster and pigment application. In addition to the rich discussions during the field sessions and over meals, TICRATs usually include roundtable discussions of current issues facing adobe conservation and the preservation of mission communities, as well as the commonalities, differences, and future trends of cultural resource management in both countries.

The hands-on workshop format is designed to address preservation problems at particular sites, and enhance general adobe preservation skills. A variety of workshop locations were selected in order to expose participants to the many facets of adobe and plaster conservation. By the close of the workshop, the goal is for participants to come away with the ability to address adobe conservation problems in a proactive and informed way. “The TICRAT is a premier example of how partnerships can be used to erase borders, share preservation approaches and ethics, enhance resource preservation, and ensure the survival of traditional building skills and techniques,” said NPS Vanishing Treasures Program Manager Lauren Meyer. “For the NPS, the benefits of connections made and skills learned at the TICRAT go far beyond Tumacácori.

Participants will take with them skills and knowledge that will greatly enhance resource preservation in their home parks, and throughout their agencies. They will also have the opportunity to see, first-hand, the strength and diversity of the far-reaching preservation community of which they are a part.”

The Arizona Daily Star has written about the workshop. Don't miss their article!


A multidisciplinary group of participants at the 2016 TICRAT workshop. Participants assess earthen architecture buildings across southern Arizona and work to restore clay and adobe structures.

R. Brooks Jeffery