Thursday, April 11, 2013

Summer Archaeology Opportunities in the Helena Area

There are basically two opportunities to get some archaeological experience in the Helena area I have heard about for this summer.

1. The field school through Carroll College. Costs seem to be $100 for the class supplies. Most field schools also require that you be a student at the college that is sponsoring it. So that would involve extra paperwork and costs. That is in a separate post.

2. The Helena National Forest is doing a joint  project with the field school, but this other route doesn't require that you be a student at Carroll and it won't cost you anything at all.

Both of these are training experiences. They don't pay you anything. But once you get done, you have this experience under your belt and you can apply to be a field technician for one of the CRM firms in Montana and the West. I used to do that sort of work, like in "Shovel Bum," before I went to grad school.

Here's the info on the Forest Service opportunity. It is hard work but it is a blast, especially if you like the outdoors and have the freedom to be away from home:

Helena NF

Deadline Extended! North Big Belts Archaeological Survey

June 10-14; 15-19, 2013 (including weekend)
Must commit to minimum of five days
Join us this summer for an archaeological adventure in the back woods of Montana! During this project, PIT volunteers and Forest staff will participate in a two-part, archaeological survey in the North Big Belt Mountains. The work will be done in conjunction with the Carroll College Archaeological Field School, which has run for several weeks each summer since 2010, and is based out of Helena and directed by Dr. Lauri Travis. Volunteers and students will work together in an "outdoor classroom" environment, learning to conduct archaeological surveys and record sites. During previous field schools, students have located and tested various prehistoric rock shelters and lithic (stone tool and debris) scatters dating to over 3,000 years B.P. (ca. Late Archaic Period). Instruction will include demonstration of proper pedestrian survey techniques, site mapping and recording, artifact identification, and use of satellite mapping systems (GPS). During Session 1, we will survey at mid-elevation ranges (5,000-6,000 feet asl) in the Gates of the Mountains Wilderness for 5 days. We will be doing primitive camping on site, and we'll be backpacking into the study area. Work, study, and other equipment will be packed in on horses. During Session 2, we will move our camp and our studies out of the Wilderness to higher elevations (6,000-7,000 feet asl) accessible only by high-clearance, 4-wheel-drive vehicles, which will entail further primitive car or tent camping. This promises to be some tough, sweaty, and dirty work at points, but participants will come away with some brand new or, at least, newly-honed skills, and will be working in some picturesque and breath-taking country! So, bring your work ethic, your eagerness to learn, and your desire to get "back to nature," and join us in June for a "hike into the past!"
Number of openings: 4
Special skills: Must be physically capable of hiking for long periods each day over rough terrain, and in a variety of weather conditions; Must be physically capable of sustained efforts at higher altitudes; Must have experience with leave-no-trace, primitive camping, and backpacking; previous archaeological survey, mapping, artifact identification, sketching, GPS, and/or photography experience helpful and welcomed, but not required
Minimum age: 18 years old
Facilities: Session 1: primitive, tent camping in project area; no potable water, no facilities; Session 2: car or primitive tent camping; no potable water, no facilities; volunteers responsible for personal camping equipment, food, water and/or water purifier, and initial transportation to designated meeting area (Ranger District Office in Helena); FS will provide transportation to project area/camp and back at beginning and end of project only; signed waivers will be required to ride in FS vehicles
Nearest towns: Helena, 25 miles
Applications due: Deadline Extended!

The info is here, along with other Montana opportunities in other Forests: