Cultural Resource Management Archaeology

The historical and cultural foundations of the Nation should be preserved as a living part of our community life and development in order to give a sense of orientation to the American people

—National Historic Preservation Act

Cultural Resources Management Archaeology

Cultural resources management is about people and the places they consider to be important for preserving their culture and learning about the history of humankind.  Of the many disciplines that are involved in CRM, archaeology is unique in that it addresses the cultural remains of past societies, whether prehistoric or historic.  CRM archaeologists make essential contributions to the preservation, conservation, and stewardship of the finite and quickly disappearing record of the human past.

As anthropologists, archaeologists are well suited to be CRM professionals because we apply our broad understanding of human culture to bridge the past with the present.  Not only is it important to record and study lifeways that no longer exist, but it is also imperative that our efforts have meaning for modern people because modern society uses the past to construct contemporary culture. CRM archaeologists are often at the forefront of identifying and helping to preserve the record of the past that is ultimately interpreted to give meaning to the present.

Mission Statement

The SCSU Anthropology Program seeks to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the role archaeology plays in modern cultural resources management in order to be leaders in the field for the 21st century.  The M.S. in CRM archaeology is founded on a broad, four-field anthropology education that instills a basic respect for the diversity of human culture and that prepares students with the theoretical knowledge, legal and ethical background, technical skills, and practical experience necessary to be successful professionals or continue on for a doctoral degree.  

The Program

Students will take seminars in archaeology and biological anthropology or cultural anthropology and will complete courses in technical writing, regional culture history, and a two-semester CRM sequence that focuses on: the history of historic preservation in the U.S.; federal legislation; American Indian perspectives; professional ethics; the infrastructure of CRM; research design development; project logistics; and management skills. An internship and a culminating project are also required. See a listing of our core courses and electives for more information. Students without adequate field and lab experience will be required to take appropriate additional courework.

Arch labThe Anthropology program has a large and well provisioned archaeology lab, a collections lab, a reference library, a lithic comparative collection, and up to date field equipment including a Sokkia 630R reflectorless total station, a Carlson Explorer data recorder, Garmin GPS equipment, Canon digital cameras, and the standard range of field survey and excavation equipment.  In addition to standard Microsoft and Adobe software, the archaeology lab Bioanth labcomputers have access to ArcGIS.

The program also has a biological anthropology lab with comparative skeletal samples illustrating human and primate evolution as well as a modest faunal comparative collection.

 

Research opportunities for students are available as independent projects or in conjunction with the Anthropology program faculty.  Current faculty research includes ongoing projects in Minnesota and Nebraska.  Excavation at historic Lowertown on the SCSU campus has explored early European-American society in St. Cloud.  Public excavations co-sponsored by SCSU during the 2007 Minnesota Archaeology Week at the 1870s Keefe farmstead helped evaluate the NRHP eligibility of the site and raised questions about early Irish-American settlement in Benton County.  Ongoing excavation at the Hudson-Meng site in Nebraska is focused on better defining three Paleoindian components that date between 10,200—11,500 years old and exploring the role of bison hunting in explaining how the site was used and why it was repeatedly occupied.

Student Research

To see what current students are doing, click here

The Profession

While completing the SCSU CRM Archaeology program, students will develop the experience, confidence, and credentials required to work as principal investigators or managers for federal, state, or tribal historic preservation agencies, non-profit organizations and museums, private contracting firms, or as private consultants. This degree also will thoroughly prepare students to continue their graduate education elsewhere at the Ph.D. level.

Employers

The Masters degree meets the US Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualifications Standards for working as a professional archaeologist and allows the recipient to work for:

  • Federal agencies such as the US National Park Service, US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Natural Resource Conservation Service, and many others
  • State agencies such as the State Historic Preservation Office, State Archaeologist Office, State Historical Society, Department of Transportation, Department of Natural Resources, and others
  • Tribal agencies such as the Tribal Historic Preservation Office, Heritage Programs, and others
  • Non-profit organizations and museums
  • Private contracting firms that specialize in CRM archaeology, archaeology divisions of larger environmental engineering firms, or as a private consultant

Coursework

All students are required to take the six core classes and elective/s and complete an internship and a culminating project.  The number of required electives and the length of the internship depend on which culminating project is selected.  If a student selects a Plan A culminating project, they must also register for thesis credits.  The six core courses are: CRM I (ANTH 631), CRM II (ANTH 632), Archaeology Proseminar (ANTH 630), Technical Writing (ANTH 652), and a regional culture history course that focuses on either North America (ANTH 532) or the northern Great Plains and Upper Midwest (ANTH 533).  In addition, students take either the Biological Anthropology Proseminar (ANTH 640) or the Cultural Anthropology Proseminar (ANTH 650).  The internship (ANTH 644) ranges from 6-9 credits depending on degree plan option.  The internship, recommended additional coursework, and electives are discussed below. 

Each student is required to take a minimum of between 3-9 credits of elective coursework depending on the degree plan.  Elective courses must be taken at the 500 or 600 level.  The nature of CRM archaeology is inherently multidisciplinary and students are encouraged to take more than the minimum number of electives if additional coursework will improve their abilities as a CRM professional.

Internships are required for all degree plans (options A, B, and C).  The goal of the internship is to provide the student with the opportunity to develop professional skills that will broaden their experience and range of knowledge.  Current agreements are in place for students to intern with the Minnesota Historical Society, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, various local Minnesota county historical societies, the Sanborn Museum in northwest Iowa, and several CRM contracting firms ranging in size from large environmental engineering and land development companies to small contract archaeology firms.

Potential electives that will satisfy the CRM Archaeology program requirements are listed below.  Students should contact the appropriate department and professor regarding course availability, appropriateness, and prerequisites before listing it as an elective on the degree plan. 

Course #

Title

Credits

ANTH 531

Lab Methods in Archaeology

3

ANTH 547

Essentials of Forensic Anthropology

3

ANTH 563

Seminar

3

ANTH 592

Field Methods in Anthropology

3

ANTH 640

Proseminar in Biological Anthropology

3

ANTH 650

Proseminar in Cultural Anthropology

3

ANTH 660

Topics

3

ACCT 591

Accounting Principles

3

CMTY 550

Community Heritage

3

ETHS 410

Contemporary American Indian Issues (must be taken at graduate level)

3

GEOG 516

Techniques in GIS

3

GEOG 572

Geomorphology

3

HIST 670

Intro to Public History

3

HURL 507

Indians and Contemporary Human Rights Issues

3

STAT 501

Regression and Analysis of Variance

3

STAT 511

Statistics and Probability for Teachers

3

CEEP 638

Intro to Graduate Statistics

3

 

SUMMARY OF DEGREE PLANS

Plan A

Plan A (i.e., thesis) includes a culminating project that results in a traditional thesis based on original research conducted by the student.  The thesis will generally include a statement of purpose or hypothesis to be examined, a research design developed specifically for the student’s research, a broad literature review to place the research in context, original data collection and analysis, summary and discussion of results, and conclusion.  A thesis may be based on field, lab, or literature analysis or any combination thereof.  A thesis will typically be between 100-200 pages.  A final oral defense is required but a written comprehensive exam is not required.

Plan A

Required Courses

Course #

Title

Credits

ANTH 532/533

Regional Culture History (North America, Minnesota, Midwest)

3

ANTH 630

Proseminar in Archaeology

3

ANTH 631

CRM I

3

ANTH 632

CRM II

3

ANTH 640/650

Proseminar in Biological or Cultural Anthropology

3

ANTH 652

Technical Writing

3

ANTH 644

Internship

6

ANTH 699 Thesis 6
Total required course credits 30
Electives from list, above  
Total minimum elective credits 3
Total required courses + minimum electives 33

 

Plan B

Plan B (i.e., starred paper) includes a culminating project that results in the development of several high quality term papers that are linked by a theme.  These papers result from developing graduate course assignments into publication quality, scholarly works.  Although the thematic link may be broad enough to include diverse topics, the theme should be apparent in the cumulative final product. There are two options for starred papers. For the first option, the student may take previously published data from multiple sources and synthesize them or integrate previous researchers’ findings in new ways to provide a more in-depth understanding of the subject matter.  For the second option, the student may use original research that does not comprise enough data to develop into a thesis, but that represents new findings for the subject.  A minimum of three papers (20-30 pages each) must be used for the starred paper option.  A final oral defense of the starred papers is required.  A comprehensive exam covering material from the core courses is required.

Plan B

Required Courses

Course #

Title

Credits

ANTH 532/533

Regional Culture History (North America, Minnesota, Midwest)

3

ANTH 630

Proseminar in Archaeology

3

ANTH 631

CRM I

3

ANTH 632

CRM II

3

ANTH 640/650

Proseminar in Biological or Cultural Anthropology

3

ANTH 652

Technical Writing

3

ANTH 644

Internship

9

Total required course credits

27

Electives from list, above  
Total minimum elective credits 6
Total required courses + minimum electives 33

Plan C

Plan C (i.e., project or portfolio) includes a culminating project that results in the student developing a portfolio of accomplishments that demonstrates their skill as an anthropologist, archaeologist, and cultural resource management professional.  Unlike the Plan B project, the components of the portfolio do not have to be thematically linked.  A minimum of three projects must be included in the portfolio and each must be approved by the student’s committee.  Projects accepted for the portfolio can only be initiated and completed after the student is enrolled in the program.  Examples of projects include, but are not limited to: 1) the completion of a National Register of Historic Places nomination; 2) the production of a CRM project report; 3) the production of a museum display or exhibit related to human culture, the archaeological record, or history; 4) the writing and submission of a CRM contract proposal; 5) the writing and submission of an article for publication.  A final oral defense of the portfolio is required.  A comprehensive exam covering material from the core courses is required. 

Plan C

Required Courses

Course #

Title

Credits

ANTH 532/533

Regional Culture History (North America, Minnesota, Midwest)

3

ANTH 630

Proseminar in Archaeology

3

ANTH 631

CRM I

3

ANTH 632

CRM II

3

ANTH 640/650

Proseminar in Biological or Cultural Anthropology

3

ANTH 652

Technical Writing

3

ANTH 644

Internship

9

Total required course credits

27

Electives from list, above

Total minimum elective credits 9
Total required courses + minimum electives 36

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance is available in the form of four half-time graduate assistantships.  The assistantships are competitive and require working 10 hours per week in the archaeology lab in exchange for eight graduate credits of tuition waived and a modest monthly stipend.

 

Enrollment Information:

Applicants will need to fill out the regular St. Cloud State University graduate application, and should provide a resume that details any prior archaeological field and lab experience and lists any authored CRM reports. Please send one copy of the resume to the Graduate School with the completed application and one copy directly to the CRM Archaeology graduate program director at either of the addresses below. Prior experience with lab or field work, or report production, is not required. Undergraduate and seasoned professionals are all ecouraged to apply. For best consideration, all application materials for Fall Semester should be received at the School of Graduate Studies by May 1. The Graduate Studies application is available online at www.stcloudstate.edu/graduatestudies/forms/prospective.asp.

Any questions or resumes can be addressed to Dr. Mark Muñiz via email or to CRM@stcloudstate.edu.

 

 

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