VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

In addition to the obvious FOSA activities of participating in field work, the Join Us membership application lists a number of interest areas where participation is available. A brief discussion of each of these follows.

FOSA MEMBERS: HELP WANTED

FOSA Event Photographer(s) Provide photographic documentation of FOSA events (i.e., workshops, outreach efforts, annual meeting, etc.).

FOSA Field Photographer(s) Provide photographic documentation of FOSA excavations and other field activities. Responsibilities include photographing the site, excavation units, features and artifacts. No experience required as we will assist in training volunteers.

FOSA Field Assistant(s) Provide organizational and administrative support of FOSA excavations and other field activities. Responsibilities include ensuring proper documentation of the site, units, and features, organizing collected artifacts and additional documentation and organizational tasks as required. No experience needed as we will assist in training volunteers. This position will be less physically demanding that most fieldwork and does not require extended kneeling or standing.

For additional information on any of these items, or if you're interested in one of these opportunities, please e-mail FOSA Volunteer Coordinator Tom Burns, by clicking Volunteer Coordinator.



Archaeological Field Work involves any archaeological activity not done in the office:
• Excavating a particular site
• Mapping a site by a walk-over, placing flags at artifact sites; creating a pattern
• Underwater surveys
• Assisting ground penetrating radar (GPR) projects
• Conducting educational digs for school children.


Education, Public Outreach and Events
Volunteers are needed to inform the public about the Office of State Archaeology (OSA) as it identifies, manages, and preserves Connecticut's archaeological resources. FOSA Outreach shares the exciting work OSA does, while communicating the benefits of archaeology to the public through educational displays and hands-on exhibits at events throughout the region. All interested in FOSA Outreach will receive training to provide current interpretation of archaeological information and preservation of Connecticut's rich historical heritage. For more information and images from some of these, please click Outreach Page.


The FOSA Newsletter is published twice a year (in the Spring and Fall) and is printed through a commercial printer; tasks involve:
• Investigating archaeological news and events throughout Connecticut, with an "awareness" of the archaeological environment
• Contacting associated organizations and individuals for news, submissions and follow-up
• Writing, typing, editing and proofreading skills helpful
• Formatting newsletter in Microsoft Publisher
• Folding printed newsletters and mailing them to FOSA members
• Doing other duties that may arise in the Newsletter Committee.


Laboratory Analysis, Cataloging, Curation involves examining, analyzing and processing a wide range of historical and archaeological artifacts that come to the attention of the State Archaeologist, many of which are uncovered during OSA digs superivsed by the State Archaeologist. These activities take place at the laboratory at Beach Hall, University of Connecticut campus (for directions, please click Beach Hall).

All laboratory work is monitored by designated supervisors.

All volunteers are taught how to use resource materials:
• Projectile point catalogues
• Ceramic catalogues
• Animal bone directories, etc.

Volunteers learn to identify the various artifacts and to process the item. This process might include:
• Sorting the artifacts
• Cleaning the artifact
• Identifying the artifact
• Placing the artifact in a plastic bag
• Writing the location of the site, date of excavation, site number on the bag
• Listing chronologically the artifact number
• Taking measurements if appropriate
• Preparation for storage.

Volunteers assist in Permanent Collections creation and maintenance through:
• Artifact inventory confirmation
• Artifact conservation suggestions
• Artifact catalogue creation.

Volunteers should have experience in:
• Artifact identification
• Knowledge of physical descriptive properties
• The more general management of museum activities.

The software used for permanent records is Microsoft Access. Volunteers will be instructed in the software's use.


Historical Research and Report Writing involves:
• Writing a report following the completion of work at a particular site, describing the purpose for the project and the results. It contains the following:
> Introduction covering the purpose and scope of the project
> Background material covering the location/site of the project
> A description of the historical background and environmental aspects
> Methodology
> Conclusions and Findings/Results
> References.

• Volunteer help would focus on the:
> Introduction
> Background material
> References.
> The State Archaeologist completes the remaining areas. The Site Report is filled out and signed by the State Archaeologist.


Digital Archaeological Maps and Illustrations involves preparation of graphics for use in reports or exhibits, based on map or photographic data from FOSA or other OSA field work. Familiarity with Geographic Information System (GIS) and/or illustration software such as Photoshop is needed, and some instruction may be provided.


Photography of Sites, Artifacts, and Use of Aerial Drones involves:
• Photographing an archaeological site as the work progresses, including specific artifacts in situ and cultural features
• Printing a sample of the pictures for educational purposes
• Providing the Office of State Archaeology with a CD or DVD of all the images for reference in writing and illustrating reports.
• Familiarity with the use of aerial drones for overhead coverage of the site is desirable, though hands-on instruction will be available.


Web Site and Social Media involves:
• Web Site
> Adding and designing additional requested pages/site content
> Updating content
> Keeping a calendar and contact lists current
> Screening potential
Selected YouTube Videos for appropriateness and content.
> Doing other duties that may arise in the Website Committee.

• Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr)
> Adding and designing additional pages / displays / site content
> Examining viewer commentary and modifying or deleting any offensive or inaccurate material periodically.


Committees and Board of Directors
• The FOSA Board can have up to 15 Directors including the President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. The State Archaeologist serves as advisor.
• Member terms are two years; half the Board is elected each year.
• The Board meets four times a year to approve annual budgets and expenditures, discuss FOSA objectives and policies with the State Archaeologist and coordinate committee work as needed.
• Nearly all Directors serve on at least one of the permanent committees:
  > Membership
  > Nominations
  > Annual Meeting
  > Outreach
  > Website
  > Newsletter.
• Most committees are headed by a Director with other FOSA members often playing key roles.
• One Director serves as the Volunteer Coordinator whose work includes helping members becoming involved in FOSA activities and committees.