Archaeological Research Institute

Public Archaeologist

ARI Public Archaeology Program

Spend your “gap year” with ARI by advancing your career in archaeology!

What is the ARI Public Archaeologist (PA) Program?

The ARI Public Archaeologist Program has been designed to help recently graduated students advance their skills in archaeology and prepare them for graduate archaeology and anthropology programs. This program is designed for motivated students who have a bachelor’s degree (in archaeology, anthropology, or a related field) and who are seeking additional preparation for anthropology-oriented graduate programs and/or careers.

Position Title: Public Archaeologist

Position Description: The purpose of this position is to bring the mission of ARI to life through responsible, ethical, methodical attention to procedure and detail in our archaeological research and through public education. The Public Archaeologist’s (PA) primary responsibilities are to educate the public and assist in archaeological research. Helping to monitor and teach field and lab work performed by interns, students, volunteers, and visitors in public archaeology programs, and assisting research and reports. The position will consist of a combination of public interpretation, fieldwork, and lab work. ARI is dedicated to public archaeology, as such, the PA will be required to act as an ambassador of the organization to the public. All tasks and duties described below will involve working alongside, and the education of, interested members of the public.

Additionally, program participants will have research and presentation exposure and will be provided opportunities for networking and professional growth. We challenge our PAs to do their own outreach within the tri-state area to build programs and research. We work with students on developing public speaking skills, educational programming, completing applications, and writing skills. A year as an ARI PA will make your graduate school application stand out.

Why apply for the ARI PA Program?

  • Gaining on-site training and experience is a strong step toward a career in archaeology/anthropology.
  • The program offers practical hands-on experience and the opportunity to grow your skills and resume.
  • Admissions directors indicated that having taken additional structured instructional programs, having research experience, having anthropology-oriented work or internship experience, and having strong letters of recommendation were all important factors in admissions decisions. If you are weak in any of these areas, post-bac programs may be able to help you strengthen your application, in so much as structured certifications/trainings, research opportunities, internship opportunities, networking opportunities and/or individualized advising.
  • Our program is also designed to benefit individuals who are seeking a career change or advancement in a career that values archaeology-related knowledge and public communication skills.
  • Prepares you for the rigors of grad school or professional career.

What are the Learning Outcomes?

By the end of the program a participant will be able to:

  • Engage the public through outreach or educational opportunities
  • Conduct fieldwork including survey, excavation, mapping, and maintaining corresponding records
  • Process, stabilize, analyze, and access artifacts
  • Write technical archaeological reports
  • Present research to the professional archaeological community
  • Write grant applications for program funding

What is the Program Length?

One-year, full time, with possibility of continuing the contract after evaluation at the end of that year.

What are the Benefits?

  • Career and Educational Advising
  • Professional Development
  • Experience
  • Skill Building
  • Research
  • Publications
  • Connections with professional archaeologists from Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky
  • Certifications
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Networking Opportunities
  • Compensation: Pay/Scholarships

Who should apply?

The ARI PA position is ideal for recent college graduates looking to take time to hone their skills and explore the possibilities of a career in archaeology before applying to graduate school. Special consideration will be given to candidates with one (but not necessarily all) of the following skills or experience:

  • A senior thesis
  • GIS Certificate
  • Botanical or naturalist certifications
  • Classes or experiences in North American Archaeology
  • Proficiency in Illustrator or other graphics programs
  • Classes or experience in artifact curation/museum studies

What are the Requirements?

  • Must have completed an archaeological field school
    • Need an archeology field school? Apply & Enroll in the ARI Public Archaeology Field School this summer!
  • Must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited University
  • Be available Tuesday-Saturday 9am-5pm
  • Pass Federal and state Background Check
  • Passion for bringing the past to life and encouraging the public to become stewards of the past

Physical Demands: Archaeological field work is physical labor, which requires a certain level of physical fitness; Public Archaeologists must:

  • Be able to occasionally lift and/or move up to 50lbs
  • Be able to regularly lift and/or move up to 30lbs
  • Be able to work in adverse weather conditions (including heat, cold, and rain)
  • Be able to walk briskly and over uneven terrain
  • Be able to stoop, kneel, reach, crouch, or crawl to perform essential job duties
  • Be able to sit or stand for a prolonged period

*Reasonable accommodation may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform their essential duties.


  • 30% Public Interpretation: The PA will be expected to conduct tours, lead educational activities, and assist public volunteers in learning the skills of archaeology. As part of this role the PA will be expected to assist in the development of the ARI Base Camp as a learning center and museum.
  • 20% Program Management: Day-to-day management of, and participation in, ARI archaeological Programming of all types and sizes.
  • 12.5% Field Work: The PA will be expected to assist in ARI excavations, including shovel tests, unit and feature excavation, and surface collection.
  • 12.5% Lab Work: The PA will be expected to assist in the cleaning, sorting, and analysis of artifacts at the ARI Base Camp. This will include creating and maintaining an artifact inventory and assisting in writing reports, as necessary.
  • 13% Outreach/Program Development: Assist in the creation of content for ARI, Inc’s website, programs, pamphlets, educational signage in the center, and at excavation sites
  • 12% Writing & Research: Research and report on new concepts in Public Archaeology relevant to ARI, Inc and its programming and assist in writing program hand-outs, website content, blogs, newsletter content that relates to ARI research, programming for public audiences


  • Living Stipend: $20,000-$30,000 Annually 
  • Education Award: $3500-$5000


To apply for one of the compensated Americorps Volunteer positions, please click the button below to download the application form and submit to Be sure to indicate which position you are applying to in the email. 


The Archaeological Research Institute (ARI) recognizes that the land we study and steward is the homeland of many peoples. We acknowledge the myaamia (Miami), Shawanwa (Shawnee), Peewaalia (Peoria), Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo) and the multitude of nations who call this their homelands.  

ARI recognizes the violence inflicted upon the indigenous Nations of the Ohio Valley, including their forced removal following treaties such as Fort Finney and Greenville. ARI condemns the intentional destruction of their languages and cultures. ARI condemns the continuous discrimination against the living Native peoples throughout the United States.  

ARI recognizes that these peoples are not of the past, but are vibrant living nations. ARI recognizes that Native Americans are a diverse, resilient people with a deep enduring history worth knowing.  In that light ARI extends our respect to all Native peoples both past and present.  

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