The Hub Researcher helps teens discover careers in archaeology

Researcher helps teens discover careers in archaeology

By: Bryan Alary

Open educational resource helps high school students uncover career pathways

Athabasca University (AU) archaeologist and researcher Dr. Meaghan Peuramaki-Brown has made a lot of discoveries about historic settlements and peoples. Now, she’s helping teens uncover pathways to a career in archaeology.

Peuramaki-Brown and graduate student Matthew Longstaffe worked with U.K.-based Futurum Careers to develop open educational resources (OER) for teens. The resources introduce youth to the Stann Creek Regional Archaeology Project in Belize, explaining what it’s like to study ancient sites, how to become an archaeologist, and skills needed to succeed.

“There are so many jobs happening in archaeology right now,” said Peuramaki-Brown, an associate professor in AU’s Anthropology program.

“There are so many jobs happening in archaeology right now.”

– Dr. Meaghan Peuramaki-Brown, associate professor and archaeologist

How to become an archaeologist

Futurum Careers worked with Peuramaki-Brown and Longstaffe to develop online articles for junior high and high school students. The material can also be used for free by educators or anyone with an interest in archaeology through a Creative Commons license.

Longstaffe is a doctoral student in anthropology at the University of Calgary. His fieldwork has been supervised by Peuramaki-Brown, who has an adjunct appointment at the school.

In the OER, the duo describes their work on the Stann Creek Regional Archaeology Project to study an ancestral Maya town in Belize known today as Alabama. Peuramaki-Brown leads the project and works with local villagers to help the community understand and uncover the area’s history.

Peuramaki-Brown said she makes public engagement a priority in her projects. Working with Fulcrum Careers on OERs seemed like a natural fit, she said.

“It turned out really well. I’m very happy with it.”

Introducing youth to archaeology

Peuramaki-Brown said she wished she had similar resources at her disposal when she first explored the idea of an archaeology career many years ago.

“When I was going into this, the internet wasn’t a huge thing, so I had to rely a lot on talking to teachers. And most teachers had no clue about archaeology.”

screenshot of text about pathways to become an archaeologist
Screen capture of a portion of the archaeology open educational resource.

Peuramaki-Brown said the current demand for archaeologists has never been greater due in large part to development requirements for sites to undergo environmental and archaeological assessments.

“I have never seen a time when I’ve seen so many job advertisements from archaeology companies, to the point where they are taking on people with no field experience whatsoever.”

As she said in the online article, “archaeology is an amazing career.”

“The best thing about archaeology is that it’s a team sport. I don’t consider myself a ‘people person,’ so this can be challenging for me, but it’s very rewarding to invest time and energy into building relationships with others and to share the experience of telling human stories.”

Check out the archaeology open educational resource. Learn more about AU’s Bachelor of Arts, Major in Anthropology program.

  • April 5, 2024
Guest Blog from:
Bryan Alary