Dr. Stan Rule is Cape Lookout National Seashore’s 2023 Volunteer of the Year.
National Park Service officials announced Monday that Rule, over the course of the last year, had been instrumental in researching and documenting cultural history tied to the southern Outer Banks.
“He has opened doors into community homes and made a permanent record of historic content that is incredibly important to the park’s cultural history timeline,” officials said in the announcement. “In particular, Dr. Rule was responsible for in-depth research on the history of cabin culture inside the park. Dr. Rule interviewed first-hand sources, scanned documents and family photographs, and recorded oral interviews. In addition to collecting this material, he organized it into a public-facing website that serves as a living document for his research.”
Rule is a pediatric physician with a practice in Morehead City.
In addition to his research into cabin culture, Rule also served as a consultant on a variety of historic topics, officials said. He assisted with verifying the accuracy of interpretive and educational material and served as a reviewer on several interpretive panels for structures such as Casablanca and the Battle Brothers Hunt Club.
His research, knowledge and experience proved invaluable through his feedback on the display panels currently in development for an update to the seashore’s Harkers Island visitor center.
Rule directly assisted in ongoing park research by working closely with a cultural anthropology research intern, according to the announcement. He shared relevant information he found during the course of his own research, and provided the intern with leads that might assist in her own research. He continues to work closely with the Interpretation and Education Division to review and provide historic feedback on all matters of historic relevance.
“On top of his outstanding work in research, documentation and consulting, Dr. Rule has also done a fantastic job of sharing his information with the public,” officials said. “In addition to his publicly accessible website, he has also presented his research at public gatherings on several occasions. Dr. Rule’s passion for Cape Lookout’s history, and his willingness to collect it and accurately present it to the public make him stand out amongst his peers.”