Citizen Science ProjectEnvironmental Archaeology at SERC

Get Involved

To learn more about upcoming events in the archaeology lab, click here.

The SERC Archaeology Lab is staffed entirely by volunteers and college students. Without them, archaeology research at SERC would be impossible. We encourage anyone who is interested to get in touch with us to find out how to become an archaeology citizen scientist. Before signing up, however, you probably want to know what you’re getting into. Citizen scientists...

  • Excavate areas scientists think contain artifacts that speak to the lifestyle of the lands inhabitants.
  • Sift soil from the units in giant sieves to “pan for artifacts,” such as tobacco pipes, nails, ceramic sherds, and Indian artifacts.
  • Trowel the bottom and sides of the units to reveal color and texture patterns that provide evidence of how the land was used.
  • Wash and identify recovered artifacts.

If you are interested in regularly volunteering, consider creating your own research project. You can...

  • Develop original research questions.
  • Create procedures to answer those questions.
  • Implement procedures, with support from assistant citizen scientists.
  • Write reports discussing their methods and findings.

Eligibility and time commitment

  • Minimum age is 16. 
  • Minimum time commitment is one 3-hour visit, but repeat visits are common and encouraged.

Location and days/times

The archaeology lab and excavation sites are located on the SERC campus in Edgewater, MD.
The lab is active on Wednesdays from 9a.m.-3p.m., but citizen scientists don’t need to stay the entire day.

To sign up or for more information

Contact Alison Cawood, SERC Citizen Science Coordinator, at or 443-482-2271.