Forensic Archaeology Fieldwork as a High-Impact Practice

Author(s): Katharine Kolpan; Nicholas Passalacqua

Year: 2021


This is an abstract from the "Applying the Power of Partnerships to the Search for America's Missing in Action" session, at the 86th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

This presentation will discuss search and recovery efforts concerning an isolated, World War II-era burial from the Federal Republic of Germany. This was a project partnership between the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) and Western Carolina University (WCU), coordinated between DPAA, WCU, and various local officials. This presentation will provide a model for reimagining other, similar DPAA partnership projects as service learning and professionalization opportunities. The goal of this presentation is not only to summarize the findings of these search and recovery efforts but also to discuss the power of such collaborative projects as unique service learning, high-impact practices (HIPs). HIPs are educational practices that emphasize learning through practice and reflection, and have been demonstrated to have positive associations to student learning and retention. Service learning projects are defined by their experiential learning emphasis, combined with collaboration between community partners and participant reflection. The very nature of this collaborative partnership project provided the basis for its service learning structure. However, we argue this model also emphasized an atmosphere of professionalization not always encountered in field school contexts. This was because it allowed for student participants to take greater ownership of their work while being compensated as paid professionals.

Cite this Record

Forensic Archaeology Fieldwork as a High-Impact Practice. Katharine Kolpan, Nicholas Passalacqua. Presented at The 86th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. 2021 ( tDAR id: 467263)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -13.711; min lat: 35.747 ; max long: 8.965; max lat: 59.086 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 32649