Opportunities through the CW CESU

RSOI: Untold and Underrepresented Chesapeake Watershed Stories

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Opportunity Type: Requests for Statements of Interest (RSOIs)
Submission Deadline: March 15, 2024

Interpretive Content Report: Untold and Underrepresented Chesapeake Watershed Stories

Project Title: Interpretive Content Report for Untold and Underrepresented Chesapeake Watershed Stories: African American Descendant Communities, Indigenous Descendant Communities, and Food Origins

Opportunity: Open to any CESU Member Anticipated Budget: ~$62,000 Anticipated Start Date: June 2024 Timeline for Completion: December 2024

Questions: Please email Brent Everitt at brent_everitt@nps.gov

Reponses: Email to brent_everitt@nps.gov and brittany_omoleye-hall@nps.gov by March 15.

Response Requirements: Draft scope, budget, previous experience (if applicable), and resume for any staff identified to take on active roles in the scope.

Project Goals

Cooperator and qualified team of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) will research and write an Interpretive Content Report on the Interpretive Focus Areas of African American Descendant Communities, Indigenous Descendant Communities, and Food Origins and Foodways within the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The report will be composed of three sections, each addressing on one of the Interpretive Focus Areas. Each section will consist of an interpretive approach for the Focus Area, [four] brief written scholarly discourses on related topics, and an organized, tagged, and annotated bibliography. The report will inform all current and future related interpretive programming and media.

Project Background and Scope of Work

The purpose of this agreement is to produce an Interpretive Content Report that will advise NPS on appropriate tone, style, perspective, and general treatment of interpretation. The report will address the Interpretive Focus Areas topics, which reflect community needs and questions of interest and were identified through descendant community engagement and state historic preservation reports.

Interpretive Focus Areas

  • African American Cultural Heritage: [topics a, b, c, d]
    • Centers the needs, perspectives, knowledge, experiences of descendants for interpretation of African heritage and culture, enslavement, freedom seekers, civil rights activists, contemporary lives at existing and potential Chesapeake Gateways Places and Communities.
  • Indigenous Cultural Heritage: [topics a, b, c, d]
    • Centers the needs, perspectives, knowledge, experiences of descendants and utilizes Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Landscapes to inform interpretive experiences at existing and potential Chesapeake Gateways Places and Communities.
  • Food Origins and Foodways: [topics a, b, c, d]
    • Brings together culture, history, environment to tell the story of where food has come from across time. Primarily focused on the cultivation, harvesting, gathering, hunting, and preparation of food within the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The report will include [twelve] SME topic narratives. The narratives are not expected to be comprehensive; each SME will develop a unique evidence-based narrative from their specific expertise. The narratives may also address appropriate use of collection items, naming of historical figures or geographic locations, sensitive language, balanced perspectives, appropriate interpretation of scientific data, nuance, political sensitivity, complex systems, and others. Narratives fully cite all evidence used to support claims.

Scope of Work and Deliverables

Manage work with subject-matter experts

  • Collaborate with NPS to engage twelve SMEs ([four] per Interpretive Focus Area), with a preference for SMEs who identify as descendant community members
  • Sub-contract with SMEs for research, workshops, one 500-word narrative per topic with cited sources, review of all SME narratives

Compile SME narratives and write report

  • Review and compilation of all SME topic narratives
  • Interpretive Content Report in three sections — not exceeding three pages of general content per Interpretive Focus Area — synthesizes the SME topic narratives, SME presentations, and SME workshop reports to describe interpretive themes, essential questions, appropriate interpretive treatment options, and avenues for additional primary source content.
  • The report includes visual diagrams that suggest appropriate live programs and media to deliver the content, limited by the [Roving Ranger 2.0 Operations Plan] (Attachment X).
  • Preliminary Primary Source List, which names all, or a curated selection of, extant primary sources with strong interpretive connections to the Interpretive Focus Areas for those items’ display in actuality or in replica. “Strong interpretive connection” is a subjective measure that requires additional discussion, edition, and final decision among the NPS team. Catalog numbers must accompany all listed items. Sources may also address fundamental resources stated in the 2021 Chesapeake Gateways Updated Framework and 2021 NPS Chesapeake Gateways Strategic Plan as appropriate. Catalog numbers must accompany all listed items.
  • The report identifies living members (without disclosure of personally identifiable information) of traditionally associated groups who are likely to provide their own interpretation of site resources.
  • The report recommends additional research that is likely to supply primary source interpretive content or guidance for future reference.

Technical Requirements

The following overview details the major sections that must comprise the Interpretive Content Report:

  1. The report has a cover page and table of contents
  2. The report must not exceed three pages of synthesis for each Interpretive Focus Area. Additional pages include the related topic narratives and list the identified primary sources.
  3. Editable text format (MS Word or equivalent)
  4. Pages to be standard letter-size.

The cooperator and the National Park Service will work collaboratively to finalize the deliverables of this agreement for the purpose of improving subjective measures of quality and maximize usability by Chesapeake Gateways places and partners.

Proposed Timeline of Work

The Interpretive Content Report will be reviewed in iterations. The Cooperator will submit a proposed timeline, which will be approved by NPS. The following schedule is a suggested timeline:


Cooperator Kick-off Meeting Meeting with NPS Staff and cooperator to finalize projecttimeline and SME selection criteria.
SME List Collaborating with the National Park Service, the cooperator secures commitments from SMEs for the project.
Kick-off meeting with SMEs Orientation meeting with NPS staff and SMEs to discuss the research plan, goals, and schedule, locations and access tosource materials.
Collaborative engagement/work shop During a block of time specifically dedicated to the purpose, the cooperator’s SMEs shall engage one another, park staff, and partners in an on-site workshop and discussion that will inform their individual narratives
Workshop Report On-site workshop report which describes the structure of the workshop, the names and roles of the participants, and salient points of direction for development of deliverables. The report will also include an appendix of all unstructured (raw) notes from the workshop and any recordings made during the workshop.
Detailed Outline Prior to writing their narratives, the SMEs shall submit outlines that briefly describe the intended content and organization of the final narratives.

In the outline, SMEs state their intent to address their own specific areas of expertise. The outlines consist of the intended topics and a sampling of sources that may inform the topics.

Editable text format (MS Word or equivalent)

Following NPS review, a meeting or conference call should be scheduled to discuss.

Workshop presentation During the on-site workshop or a dedicated online workshop, the cooperator’s SMEs shall present their findings to date.
Narrative draft SME narratives are limited to 500 words each of body text.
SME narrative review All SMEs on the project shall review all narratives prior to submission.
Cooperator narrative review The cooperator shall coordinate, collect, and review SME narratives prior to delivery. The cooperator shall ensure SME narratives are complete per the terms of this contract.
Cooperator report draft The cooperator shall synthesize topic narratives and draft report.
Revisions NPS and cooperator collaboratively finalize the report for the purpose of improving subjective measures of quality and maximize usability by Chesapeake Gateways places and partners.
RSOI in downloadable PDF Format