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Public Outreach

Another of our core values is meaningful public outreach, through which we disseminate our research and ensure that our work serves the public good here at home and throughout the world—anywhere you can find a UMMAA archaeologist.

Below you can learn more about the outreach activities and events our students and faculty have organized and participated in.





The peaks of the Andes rise over Chile’s Aysén region in Patagonia, the southern quarter of South America and one of the last places on Earth to be settled by humans. Photo courtesy Raven Garvey.

UMMAA Curators in the News


Date: January 2024 

UMMAA student Brendan Nash and curator Henry T. Wright were featured on the PBS show Great Lakes Now. Watch here: Read more here:


Date: October 2023 

Michael L. Galaty was featured in the annual newsletter of the Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Prishtina “Hasan Prishtina,” Kosova (page 35). Read more here:


Date: July/August 2023

UMMAA curator Raven Garvey was featured in Archaeology magazine twice in 2023. Read more here: 


Date: April 27, 2023

UMMAA curator Raven Garvey was featured in Archaeology magazine. Read more here:


Date: March 14, 2020 

UMMAA curator Brian Stewart was featured on NPR Weekend Edition. Read more here:    



UMMAA co-sponsors SAPIENS Talk Back: 


The Archaeology Centers Coalition and RadioCIAMS present “SAPIENS Talks Back”:
eight conversations with students and scholars that expand upon the insights of Season 4 of the SAPIENS podcast. In extended discussions, we explore new perspectives on how Black and Indigenous voices are changing how archaeology tells its stories, and just as importantly, who tells them.

Season 4 releases new episodes every other week, starting January 12, 2022. Find the SAPIENS podcast at or click here for a direct link to the podcasts.



What can you do with an Anthro Degree?

Date: Nov-Dec 2021

Through the months of October-December, UMMAA shared short clips from interviews conducted last year by Anthropology undergraduate students Eloise Janssen and Sara Borsodias they talked to friends and members of the UMMAA community about their careers in anthropology. 

The interviews were conducted through the work of the UMMAA Diversity and Undergraduate recruitment working group. The interviews are meant to highlight the multiple and fulfilling careers one can pursue with a degree in anthropology and shed light  on navigating college as an undergrad with tidbits and advice from our interviewees.

Career paths covered in these interviews include Museums and Curations, Park Services, Education and Academia, Cultural Resource Management, Public Education, Social Media and TV.

Interviews include:Jim Moss and Andrea Blaser, Collections Managers at UMMAADaniel Agudelo, Park Ranger (and UMMAA Alum)Dr. Brittany Brown, Assistant Professor at Bard College and Underwater ArchaeologistNatasha Billson, CRM Senior Archaeologist, Founder of Behind the Trowel and TV presenter on The Great British Dig.Leah Burgin, Manager of museum programs and outreach at the Haffenreffer Museum, Brown University (and UMMAA Alum)Taylour Boboltz, Associate at Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker (and UMMAA Alum)

Kara Larson and her colleague Dr. Geoffry Ludvick (University of Wisconsin) with their poster at ASOR, 2021.


ASOR Take over 

Date: 11/19/2021

Graduate student Kara Larson took over UMMAA’s instagram to bring us behind the scenes at this year's annual ASOR Conference.
The takeover is a part of a series of “behind the scene” segments aimed at demystifying and making archaeology more accessible by sharing what it is that we do as archaeologists day to day, whether in the field, classroom or at a conference!


River Raisin Battlefield National Park Feature

Date: October 30th, 2021

On October 30th, in collaboration with Dr. John Chenoweth at the University of Michigan, Dearborn Campus, we featured the River Raisin National Battlefield Park Site in Monroe, MI. The site is directed by Dr. Chenoweth, with assistance from UMMAA candidate Nicholas Trudeau.

The site is located on the traditional lands  of the Ojibwe, Odawa, Potawatomi, and archaeology has suggested their regular use of the area before the colonial era. The settlement known Rivière aux Raisins was started by primarily French-descended farmers and traders from Detroit in the 1780s, who applied for permission and were granted a deed by local Potawatami leaders. This was perhaps the last settlement in the New World founded on the French “Ribbon Farm” model.

Students from both the Dearborn and Ann Arbor campuses are participating in this year's field school after a two year hiatus! Though reoccupied after the war,  much of the pre-1813 site was burned, making it a time capsule of late 18th and early 19th century Michigan. Finds from this year’s work are already showing that we’re in the right place to find the pre-1813 settlement: 18th century ceramics, clay pipe stems, and at least one rifle ball!

You can view all the videos and photos from the feature on our Instagram, (linked here). To find out more information about the field school and follow their discoveries on the Dearborn Archaeology Facebook Page (linked here), or by contacting Dr. Chenoweth ( 

Special thanks to Dr. Chenoweth with the amazing behind the scenes content and video editing skills!

1: Abby Rieck and Mady Miller work on screening, with the rest of the site and the River Raisin itself in the background. 2: UMMAA Grad student Nick Trudeau shows the students some flint knapping techniques after a day of excavation. 3: An overview of the 2021 excavation area, showing Mady Miller (foreground), Sara Borsodi and Colette Kramer (middle), and Mohan Karanth and Will Smith (background).




Ask an Archaeologist - International Archaeology Day

Date: October 16th, 2021

To celebrate international archaeology day, virtually, UMMAA grad students took to Instagram to answer some commonly asked archaeology questions!

These questions included:

What is archaeology and why does it matter?

What is an artifact?

What methods do archaeologists use to collect data in the field?

How do you become an archaeologist?

You can view these answers on our Instagram, pinned as a story highlight titled “Ask an Arch.”





UMMAA graduate student Julian Shultz holding the Base of an archaic Point that was found in the plow zone at the Belson site. Photo by Brendan Nash, October 2021.

Belson Site Instagram Takeover

Date: 10.09.2021

UMMAA candidate Brendan Nash took over our Instagram on October 9th, 2021 to provide a behind the scenes look at the Belson Site, where he has been excavating with Dr. Henry Wright and independent researcher Thomas Talbot. The site recently made big headlines when it was determined it was likely a Clovis camp site, making it possibly the oldest site in Michigan.

Multiple UMMAA graduate and undergraduate students as well as community members have excavated at the site since its discovery.

Throughout the day, Brendan shared videos and photos of the ongoing excavation, including explanations of archaeological methods such as screening and section drawing.

You can view all the videos and photos on our Instagram, linked here.Special thanks to Brendan for all the cool behind the scenes content! You can read more about the site here.

Brendan Nash and Museum curator Henry Wright at the Belson Site. Brendan is seen in the foreground in the process of screening. Henry Wright is seated in the background writing notes.
“Catching up in the Coffee Range.” Graphic by Erina Baci, September 2021.



Date: September - October 2021

The Coffee Range has been a meeting place for UMMAA graduates throughout the decades. It is a central place where we build community, network and share resources.  This year, we invited our community into the Coffee Range via Instagram Live, to learn what our grad has been up to this summer and get their insights as they navigate the grad school process!

Throughout the months of September and October, graduate student staff assistant Erina Baci interviewed fellow graduate students Lauren Pratt, Soren Frykholm and Kara Larson for a three part installment of Catching Up In the Coffee Range. This series was created by the UMMAA Outreach and Social Media Working Groups as a way to engage with and share information with UMMAAs social media community. 

The interviews, which have live transcripts available, can be viewed on our Instagram account, under the InstaTV Tab linked here.



During a heritage event, a Bucium community member uses a șaitroc and water to separate gold flakes from the surrounding sediment while members of many generations look on. Some community members wear traditional clothing.


Colin Quinn: Public Archaeology days and collaborative archaeology in Bucium, Romania

Date: 08/30/2021

Rackham and UMMAA alum Colin Quinn collaborated with Romanian archaeologist Horia Ciugudean and local NGOs (Acociația Speranțe sub Detunate and Asociația Culturală Ovidiu Bârlea) to create an outreach program to connect the community of Bucium with its mining heritage. Read more about Colin’s work here.

Elspeth Geiger, in the lab at the Research Museums Center, talks to an 8th grade class about the taotie “face” on a Chinese Ding (a type of bronze ritual vessel for cooked food). UMMAA 10844. Two Qing Dynasty (1644–1912) rank badges are in the foreground.


Elspeth Geiger: Archaeology guest lecture at Honey Creek Elementary, Ann Arbor MI

Date: 08/30/2020

UMMAA doctoral candidate Elspeth Geiger spoke to Joe Griffith’s 8th grade social studies class from Ann Arbor’s Honey Creek Community School. Elspeth selected a group of artifacts that included Chinese bronzes, botanical samples of millet, and a replica oracle bone to illustrate the symbols and material culture of the Shang Dynasty (1600 – 1046 BCE).

For information on how to show museum collections in the classroom, please contact Andrea Blaser and Jim Moss at learn more about Elspeth's research, click here.

Poster created by EB for panel. Permission from authors to use photos for social media content.


CAW and Brown Bag: Social Media Panel

Date: 02/23/2021

This roundtable discussion was organized by  the Collaborative Archaeology Workgroup (CAW) and the UMMAA Brown Bag committee. CAW is a Rackham Interdisciplinary Workgroup (RIW) created by IPCAA and UMMAA graduate students to create a bridge of knowledge and resource sharing between students in both departments.  The goal of the roundtable was to discuss the impact of social media and outreach in academia.

Guest speakers included CRM archaeologist and content creator Natasha Billson (@behindthetrowel); art conservator and content creator Raven Todd DaSilva (@digitwithraven); and the guys from @alifeinruinspodcast: Carlton Shield Chief Gover (@pawnee_archaeologist), Connor Johnen (@spiralout_cj), and David Ian Howe (@ethnocynology). 


The recording of the lecture can be viewed on the Museum’s Youtube Channel, linked here.

Poster created by TE for panel. Permission from authors to use photos for social media content.


Speaker series: From the ‘New Archaeology’ to Equitable Archaeologies

Date: Fall-Winter 2020-2021

The University of Michigan Museum of Anthropological Archaeology and Department of Anthropology hosted a 6-part lecture series titled From the ‘New Archaeology’ to Equitable Archaeologies: Global Lessons from Black Scholars. The series was created in response to the Black Lives Matter movement and protests in 2020 following the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Aubrey and Breonna Taylor. It was also created as a part of UMMAA's graduate students Black Lives Matter Action Plan, in collaboration between graduate students, faculty and staff.

The lecture series brought together scholars whose research focuses on the concepts of race and ethnicity, as well as the specific historical trajectories that lead to and grow out of them. Speakers included Dr. Helina Woldekiros (Washington University in St.Louis), Dr. Justin Dunnavant (University of California, Los Angeles), Dr. Ayana Flewellen (University of California, Riverside), Dr. Terrance Weik (University of South Carolina), Debora Heard (University of Chicago) and Dr. Alicia Odewale (University of Tulsa). 

The lectures were available for free via Zoom and open to the public. Recordings of the lectures can be found here.


Archaeology Days

Date: 2018-2019

UMMAA's graduate students have participated in a number of public outreach events throughout the years in celebration of International or Michigan Archaeology Day.

In 2019, graduate students Julian Schultz,  Joseph Wardle, and Soren Frykholm represented UMMAA on Michigan Archaeology Day at the Michigan History Center. In 2018,  Jennifer Larios, Laura Bosio, Iride Tomazic and Kimberly Swisher attended the event.

UMMAA has also hosted annual Public Archaeology Days at Gordon Hall, a historic nineteenth-century home, which was built in 1841 by Judge Samuel W. Dexter and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Gordon Hall is the location of UMMAA’s local field methods class. Read more here

Julian Schultz, Joseph Wardle and Soren Frykholm
Jennifer Larios, Laura Bosio, Iride Tomazic and Kimberly Swisher
U-M students Allegra Ward, Emma Greydanus, and Martin Menz excavate on the grounds of Gordon Hall in Dexter, Michigan, as part of a course in archaeological field methods. Photo by Dr. Blair Zaid