Topic ID #40831 - posted 3/25/2019 9:23 AM

PI/Burial Coordinator at Archaeological Research Center, Rapid City, SD


Job ID: 11664
Agency: Department of Education  
Salary: $20.29 per hour  
Pay Grade: GJ

For more information on the Department of Education, please visit

The archaeologist in this position will be a Principal Investigator. They would work under the State Archaeologist and focus her or his efforts on two areas. One will be as Burial Coordinator. The Burial Coordinator would lead the Archaeological Research Center's responses to inadvertent human remains discoveries and subsequent interactions with tribes, landowners, and others based on either state law or federal NAGPRA requirements. This requires skills to conduct research, identify artifacts, and prepare concise, detailed reports of findings as well as succinct summaries for publication in the Federal Register. This aspect of the position would also work with human remains and funerary objects in preparation for repatriation. The other focus will be analysis and write up of existing excavation and mitigation projects that were conducted by the Archaeological Research Center in past years and participate in current field projects and report preparation as needed. The individual must be able to prepare maps for their reports.

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, Rush professional hockey, and the Dahl Fine Arts Center. More information is available at and

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 has a permanent staff of 14 plus a varying number of seasonal assistants.

This work requires frequent travel. Applicants should also be in physical condition for strenuous outdoor work conditions typical of archaeological survey and excavation, such as hiking long distances over rough terrain, carrying equipment, hand excavation by trowel and shovel, transporting soil in buckets, and screening.

Licenses and Certifications:

Candidates must be able to meet the US Secretary of the Interior's standards for a professional archaeologist, including an applicable postgraduate degree in anthropology, archaeology, or a closely related field, and relevant experience.  Students applying must be able to meet these requirements within six months of hire.

The Ideal Candidate Will Have: 

The skills to do preliminary identification of skeletal remains and disinterment by archaeological techniques may be necessary. The candidate should also have excellent communication skills (email, letters, phone calls), since working with various clients and conducting NAGPRA consultations are a critical part of the job. Situations are typically sensitive and sometimes controversial. The position requires experience identifying human skeletal remains and knowledge of state and federal burial laws. The work includes conducting record searches using ARCmap and Access and preparing maps for technical reports.

Knowledge of: 

  • human skeletal remains, state and federal burial laws;
  • regulations that relate to mining, exploration and cultural resource management;
  • fiscal management techniques and procedures;
  • museum studies;
  • South Dakota archaeological, prehistory, history, and geography; and archaeological laboratory analysis and excavation methods and techniques. 

Ability to: 

  • communicate and negotiate with a variety of people, including Tribal representatives, local, state, and federal law enforcement, landowners, developers, and contractors;
  • conduct excavations and work independently as well as with a team;
  • conduct detailed research and reporting, use ARCmap and Access to conduct record searches and prepare maps for reports;
  • follow instructions;
  • communicate clearly and negotiate in good faith under sensitive and often controversial situations
  • interpret legal requirements;
  • determine the value of cultural resources and archaeological sites;
  • inventory archaeological sites, surveys, maps, and related information;
  • manage archaeological collections;
  • supervise, motivate, and evaluate seasonal archaeologists and volunteers;
  • maintain and establish an effective working relationship with landowners, construction project managers, seasonal or contract workers, and tribal governments.

Additional Requirements: To be considered, attach a copy of your official transcripts, two writing samples, and your CV or resume.  CV or resume must include supervisors for each job and a current phone number for that person and the reason you left the position. Your CV or resume must also include three professional references with their current phone number and who they work for. 


The State of South Dakota does not sponsor work visas for new or existing employees. All persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and complete an Employment Eligibility Verification, Form I-9. 

The State of South Dakota offers paid employee health insurance plus ten paid holidays, generous vacation leave accrual, and medical, dental, vision, and other benefits. For more information please visit This position is a member of Class A retirement under SDRS.

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