Summer 2018 Archaeological Fieldwork and Educational Opportunities

We are excited to announce the following calls for volunteers and participants:

  • Emergency Field Crew Volunteers
  • 2018 Excavations at the Galick Site
  • 2018 New Hampshire SCRAP Field School
  • Learning from the Lake
  • Valcour at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
  • Presenting Abenaki Culture in the Classroom

Call for Emergency Field Crew Volunteers

The VAS is organizing a crew of volunteers who can assist the Vermont Division of Historic Preservation with emergency fieldwork.

Interested in serving? Click here to complete the questionnaire.

2018 Excavations at the Galick Site

The Galick Farmstead and South Bay from the north (Photo by M.Moriarty).

The Galick Farmstead and South Bay from the north (Photo by M.Moriarty).

Call for Volunteers!

The South Champlain Historical Ecology Project (SCHEP) is seeking volunteers to participate in archaeological excavations this summer between June 4th – June 30th.  SCHEP is a collaboration between Castleton University, the Vermont Archaeological Society, The Nature Conservancy, and the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation designed to document long-term human-environment interaction in the southern portion of the Lake Champlain Basin. This summer, SCHEP will be conducting its third season of excavations at the Galick Site (VT-RU-71), a large Precontact campsite and Historical farmstead in West Haven, VT.

The Galick Site

Map of the Galick Site

Map of the Galick Site

The Galick Site is located on the historic Galick Farm property within The Nature Conservancy’s Helen W. Buckner Preserve at Bald Mountain. The Buckner Preserve is one of the most biologically diverse settings in Vermont and is home to many of the state’s rare or endangered species, including the timber rattlesnake and the five-lined skink.  The southern end of Lake Champlain is also an important crossroads for long-distance transportation, with the northern terminus of a historical portage and later canal route to the Hudson River located just to the south at Whitehall, NY.  This constellation of features made the Galick Farm area an important location in the early history of Vermont and a rich setting for a wide range of settlement and subsistence activities throughout the Precontact and Historical eras.

SCHEP’s investigations at the Galick Site are designed to delineate the site’s spatial and chronological extent, with the long-term goals of enhancing our understanding of local ecology, increasing awareness of cultural resources, and evaluating the Galick Site’s potential nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.  Investigations in 2016–2017 included the excavation of 96 Phase I shovel test pits across an area of approximately 6,500 m2 and the analysis of several thousand artifacts.  SCHEP also cataloged and documented more than 1,000 artifacts collected by William Galick and family while living and working at the site.


Student participants during the 2016 field season (Photo by M.Battey).

Student participants during the 2016 field season (Photo by M.Battey).

Although artifact analyses are ongoing, SCHEP’s 2016–2017 seasons demonstrated that the Galick Site was a major campsite during the Precontact era.  All test pits were positive for Precontact Native American artifacts, and the site likely covers an area of at least 4 acres.  Diagnostic artifacts from both SCHEP investigations and the Galick Collection indicate multiple occupations stretching out over the interval from Late Paleoindian (ca. 11,600 Cal BP) times to the Middle-to-Late Woodland interval (ca. 100 BCE–1,600 CE), with additional activity during the Colonial and Historical eras.

SCHEP’s investigations have been made possible by generous funding from the Lake Champlain Basin Program, the Vermont Community Foundation’s South Lake Champlain Fund, the Vermont Archaeological Society, and Castleton University, along with diverse assistance and support from The Nature Conservancy, the Green Mountain National Forest, and the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation.  Participants have included 60 local undergraduates, more than 150 volunteers, and 200+ K–12 students from local schools.


Volunteers from The Nature Conservancy’s LEAF Internship program in 2016 (photo by M.Moriarty).

Volunteers from The Nature Conservancy’s LEAF Internship program in 2016 (photo by M.Moriarty).

Volunteer Opportunities in 2018

In 2018, SCHEP will be continuing its investigations at the Galick Site with the goal of completing Phase I test pitting and limited Phase II excavations.  Volunteers are invited to participate on the following dates:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
June 4 June 5 June 6 June 7 June 8
June 11 June 12 June 13 June 14 June 15
June 18 June 19 June 20 June 21 June 22
June 25 June 26 June 27 June 28 June 29 June 30

To sign up, please send an email to moc.l1553302753iamg@1553302753reetn1553302753ulov.1553302753pehcs1553302753.  In your email, please include the following information:

  • NAME (and age if under 18) for each volunteer in your group.
  • CONTACT INFO (email and cell number) for weather-related cancellations.
  • DATES REQUESTED (space is limited)
  • MEETING LOCATION (where we should expect to meet you; see below)

Please allow us 1-2 days to respond and confirm.  Space is limited so please sign up early to secure your preferred dates. School and camp groups are welcome, but large groups must reserve space well in advance.


SCHEP’s investigations are taking place within The Nature Conservancy’s Helen W. Buckner Preserve at Bald Mountain.  The preserve is located approximately a half hour west of Rutland off of Rt. 4, just north of Whitehall, NY.

You have two options for meeting up with us.  First, we will rendezvous at 8:30 AM in the parking lot behind Leavenworth Hall on the Castleton University campus and caravan out to the site.  Directions to Castleton can be found here.  The Leavenworth parking lot is #38 on the campus map located here.

You may also choose to meet us in the preserve.  If so, we will be arriving at the parking lot for the Susan Bacher Trail at approximately 9:00 AM.  Directions to the preserve are available here.  If you are using your GPS, follow Galick Road to where it ends at a gate.  If you arrive late, park and continue on foot past the gate, and then follow the first tractor trail you see on the left.  You will find us in the large field west of the large historical barns.

What to Bring?

  • Sturdy, comfortable shoes.The site is a short walk from the parking area, but you will be working around sharpened shovels and other heavy gear.
  • Comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty.Pants are highly recommended as protection against ticks and poison parsnip.
  • Rain gear. A poncho to cover yourself and your pack is ideal.
  • Hat and sunglasses.It can be very sunny out at the site.
  • Plenty of water.
  • Lunch and snacks.Treats that can be shared are always welcome!
  • Sunscreen and insect repellent.
  • Gloves are not necessary, but might protect your hands while working a screen.
  • All tools will be provided by the project.

Other Vital Points

  • The Buckner Preserve is owned and protected by The Nature Conservancy. Visitors must follow all Preserve Visitor Guidelines.
  • No prior experience is necessary to participate.All are welcome.Anyone with special considerations, however, should contact us well in advance.
  • There are no indoor restrooms in the preserve, though there are numerous facilities in Whitehall, NY, approximately 10 minutes away by car.
  • You will be asked to sign a release form prior to participation in the project.
  • Volunteers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Service animals are welcome.Please leave all other pets at home.
  • There is no camping in the preserve and fires are prohibited.
  • Visitors to the preserve are prohibited from removing any plants, animals, or rocks. All artifacts will be collected by the project.
  • The preserve is home to a small and highly endangered population of timber rattlesnakes.Although they do not prefer the grassy field we are working in, you should still take care to look where you put your hands and feet.In the unlikely event that you see a rattlesnake, do not approach it!For more information on Vermont rattlesnakes, check out the VT Fish and Wildlife information page.
  • If you have any allergies or potential health concerns, please make sure you bring the appropriate medicines and treatments.
  • We will be providing a contact number for weather related cancellations with your confirmation email.

Check us out on Facebook! We post photos and other information throughout the field season.

Other questions?  Contact Dr. Matthew Moriarty at moc.l1553302753iamg@1553302753hcrae1553302753ser.p1553302753ehcs1553302753.

We look forward to seeing you out there!!!

NH SCRAP Field School

July 9 – August 3, 2018

The 2018 NH State Conservation and Rescue Archaeology Program Archaeology field school will take place at “the Hollow” located at Livermore Falls, on the Pemigewasset River, in the towns of Plymouth, Holderness and Campton, NH. A preliminary survey was conducted during the 2016 SCRAP program at Livermore Falls that identified numerous archaeological features associated with the occupation at the “Hollow.”A 2017 survey identified intact features from a Native American occupation. Both components will be studied in 2018. Students and volunteers are welcome!!

Learning from the Lake

June 25 – June 29, 2018

Castleton University Professor Dr. Harry Chaucer explores an innovative method for working with Lake Champlain Maritime Museum and other Expanded Learning Providers to make learning more empirical, inductive and personal for students.

Valcour at LCCM

July 5 – July 7, 2018

Get an introduction to local archaeology using the Battle of Valcour Island as a case study to learn about the use of archaeological evidence in understanding and interpreting history. This course will culminate in the creation of an archaeological lesson plan.

Presenting Abenaki Culture in the Classroom

August 2 – August 4, 2018

Immerse yourself in archaeology, history, current issues, and cultural concepts relating to the Abenaki people. A team of indigenous experts introduce newly developed resources for educators, and criteria with which to evaluate resources and apply them to the development and implementation of lesson plans inclusive of the anthropologic present.

The best way to stay updated about fieldwork opportunities is to subscribe to our email newsletter!

The following are unaffiliated organizations that may have fieldwork opportunities available:

Northeast Archaeological Research Center (NE ARC)
University of Vermont Consulting Archaeology Program
Vermont Agency of Transportation Archaeological and Historic Resources

To list a project open to volunteers or students please contact us.