Topic ID #39472 - posted 5/3/2018 1:49 PM

Field Techs for Seasonal Work in South Dakota; Archaeological Research Center in Rapid City



The South Dakota State Historical Society Archaeological Research Center in Rapid City, SD is looking for temporary (hourly) field technician(s) to assist with a variety of survey projects across the state. Position(s) will be filled immediately and will extend through the end of the field season (generally October to November in South Dakota).


The Archaeological Research Center is a program of the South Dakota State Historical Society and is the Office of the State Archaeologist. It serves as a regional collection repository, with more than 8000 collections, a large comparative collection, a research library, and the state archaeological site and report databases. Archaeologists from the Center have provided cultural resource consulting services to hundreds of clients in the region since 1973, authoring more than 2,500 project reports. The Center currently has a permanent staff of 13. South Dakota offers a diverse archaeological record including the prehistoric cultures of the Mountain West and Northern Plains, the Woodland and Plains Village traditions of the Missouri River Trench, and a broad mosaic of prehistoric cultures in the Northeast Plains periphery and Glacial Lakes area. Historic archaeology varies from early fur trading posts and mining encampments to military posts and Native American reservation allotments. Please visit for more details.


The position is located at the Archaeological Research Center in Rapid City. Rapid City is a community of about 70,000 people located at the eastern edge of the Black Hills. Many destination sites such as Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Monument, Wind Cave National Park, Badlands National Park, and Black Hills National Forest are nearby. There are multiple recreation opportunities, including hunting, fishing, boating, cycling, hiking, climbing, snow skiing, seven local golf courses open year round, and water sports. The city has numerous parks and many miles of walking/biking trails. There are also many other attractions, such as the Black Hills Symphony, Journey Museum, Museum of Geology and Paleontology, and the Dahl Fine Arts Center. More information is available at and


The field technician hired for this position will work under the supervision of a Principal Investigator, and will assist staff archaeologists in Phase I and II pedestrian survey; Phase III shovel testing and site evaluation may arise as needed. Some laboratory assistance may be required as needed. The selected applicant will assist with filling out field paperwork, digital photography of site and project areas, and transfer of digital data following fieldwork.


The applicant should have previous archaeological survey experience and have attended an accredited archaeological field school or equivalent archaeological field experience. Familiarity with ArcPad and handheld GPS technology is required. This work requires frequent extended travel. Applicants should be in physical condition for strenuous outdoor work conditions typical of archaeological survey and excavation, such as hiking long distances over rough, uneven terrain, carrying heavy equipment, hand excavation by trowel and shovel, transporting 50 lb of soil in buckets, and screening. Applicant should be prepared to work in a variety of weather conditions, including extreme heat and cold, rain, and snow. Qualified applications must be able to demonstrate the ability to closely follow instructions, work responsibly and efficiently, take detailed photographs and field notes, and collaborate closely with ARC staff, clients, and landowners. The applicant must also be able to recognize prehistoric and historic artifacts and cultural features.


A B.A. or B.S. in Anthropology, Archaeology, or a related field is preferred. Previous experience in South Dakota or the surrounding area is ideal. A familiarity of state and federal regulations governing cultural resources is preferred. The ability to be flexible and adaptable to an ever-changing schedule and weather conditions is a plus. 


ARC staff typically work a 4-day work week with 10-hour days due to long driving distances across the state, though a 5-day schedule may occur at times. Per diem and lodging is available for out-of-town projects, but please note that lodging and per diem are not available on weekends or for local projects. Hourly pay is variable based on experience. Benefits and housing are not provided to temporary staff. Please indicate in your application what your housing situation would be if hired.


To apply, please email the following materials in pdf or Word document format to David Williams (

1)     Resume or C.V.

2)     Cover letter

      3)    Name and contact information of three professional references


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