Wisconsin Historical Society

Employment Information

Field Archaeologist (LTE)

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Field Archaeologist (LTE) | Wisconsin Historical Society

Field Archaeologist (LTE)


Location(s)      WHS Museum Archaeology Program (MAP), WHS Archaeology Laboratory, 523 Atlas Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin


Division           Division of Museums and Historic Sites (DMHS)


Employment:   40 hours per week.  Work hours are between 7:00 am and 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday.


Salary              $15.000 to 16.000 per hour depending on prior work experience and qualifications


Contact           kent.dickerson@wisconsinhistory.org


Deadline to Apply      Applications will be accepted until the needs of the Program have been met.  Top candidates will be contacted for the next steps in the interview process.



The Wisconsin Historical Society is seeking nine (5) full-time Field Archaeologists to participate in archaeological field research.  The Museum Archeology Program is an active field research branch of the Wisconsin Historical Society.  The Program conducts all phases of archaeological research in compliance with federal and state historic preservation legislation.  These site identification surveys and site excavations are conducted throughout the state on behalf of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  The Program operates with a year-round staff of twenty, and a seasonal staff of between thirty to fifty archaeologists.  During its 59 year history, over 1,600 student and professional archaeologists have participated in the completion of over 6,000 field research projects within the state of Wisconsin.


To learn more about the WHS Division of Museums and Historic Sites, http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/Museums and Historic Sites


Job Duties


The Field Archaeologist position will average 40 hours per week, Monday-Friday, with the potential for additional hours based on project need and availability.  These positions classified by the State as LTE (limited term employment).  The 2018 field season will extend from April to mid-December, although shorter periods of employment may be available. 


The Field Archaeologist carries out archaeological site identification survey, site evaluation, and site excavation under the direction of an archaeology crew leader or assistant crew leader.  These duties may include: archaeological monitor of construction, survey and manual excavation using standard archaeological techniques; recording data on prepared forms; and making field maps of sites and excavation units.  A field crew may consist of two to twenty people.  The archaeology crew leader or assistant crew leader conducts this research under the direction of the Program Director and Field Coordinator.


In addition, the Field Archaeologist may work on specific tasks depending upon their interests, background, and areas of expertise.  These may include:

  • Interviews with land owners, artifact collectors and other informants.
  • Conducting research using archaeological literature, historical documents and public records.
  • Identification of lithic, ceramic or faunal artifacts
  • Tabulation of object collection data
  • Photography, illustration and mapping
  • Assist in the analysis and interpretation of archaeological materials and data, and to prepare technical reports required for compliance with state and federal legislation.




A well-qualified applicant will have the following Job Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Prior successful completion of an archaeological field school or its equivalent in experience under the supervision of a qualified archaeologist with professional field and laboratory techniques appropriate to archaeological survey and excavation.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills
  • Ability to recognize most common North American archaeological artifacts.
  • Ability to walk up to 15 miles per day over uneven terrain. 
  • Ability to repeatedly lift and carry 40 pounds.
  • Ability to routinely be away from home for up to two weeks and to independently travel throughout the state on short notice.
  • Must be a Wisconsin resident at the time of hire.


The following Job Knowledge, Skills and Abilities are also preferred

  • Experience using Microsoft Office Suite
  • Experience using Adobe Creative Suite
  • Experience using ESRI GIS software.
  • Experience using Trimlbe GPS and/or a Total station to record field data

     and to create maps

  • Experience in the excavation of human remains
  • Experience in the identification of lithic, ceramic or faunal artifacts



Special Notes

A criminal background check will be conducted prior to offer of employment to determine if the circumstances of any conviction may be related to the job.


How to Apply

Submit a cover letter and current resume by email to:

Kent Dickerson, MAP Field Coordinator

WHS Museum Archaeology Program, Room 39

816 State Street

Madison, Wi 53706-1488

608-221-5904 (M,W,F) or 608-264-6562 (T, Th)

608-221-5902 FAX

Email: kent.dickerson@wisconsinhistory.org


Application materials may also be submitted by standard mail and by fax.  Application materials will be accepted until the needs of the Program have been met.  Top candidates will be contacted for the next steps in the interview process.