Archaeology as a Public Good: the Summer Field School Program at Clarion University of Pennsylvania

Author(s): Susan Prezzano

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Archaeology as a Public Good: Why Studying Archaeology Creates Good Careers and Good Citizens" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

During the past twenty years, the anthropology program at Clarion University, a small public university in rural western Pennsylvania, participated in a partnership with the Heritage Program of the Allegheny National Forest focused on the excavation of archaeological sites within the boundaries of the National Forest. This partnership linked undergraduates participating in summer archaeological field schools to high school students enrolled in an outreach program. It formed a collaboration of these students with county, state, and federal officials in a shared project to retrieve and preserve knowledge of past lives. Besides learning basic excavation techniques, undergraduates, many of whom were first generation in college, learned leadership skills, techniques for public outreach, mentoring practices, and a variety of critical thinking skills. Paired with extensive laboratory experience, graduates pursued careers in CRM, museum studies, and heritage programs with state and federal governments. The project exposed landowners to the field of archaeology and created an avenue for them to claim the heritage of their communities. It provided the federal government with knowledge of its cultural resources and a means to connect to both the university and surrounding communities.

Cite this Record

Archaeology as a Public Good: the Summer Field School Program at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Susan Prezzano. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450379)

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 24677