The Presidio Trust manages over 30 archaeological areas within the Presidio National Historic Landmark District (NHLD). While these areas offer a long-term history from Native Ohlone settlement through the occupation of the United States Army, the Presidio Archaeology Lab’s primary research focus is the Spanish-colonial and Mexican periods (1776-1846).
Research in summer of 2012 will kick off a multi-year project to investigate MacArthur Meadow, the location of a Mexican-era settlement (1820s-1840s) situated just east of the fortified quadrangle of El Presidio de San Francisco. The 2012 season will focus on identifying archaeological remains associated with this Mexican settlement and potential earlier Native Ohlone sites within the study area. Later phases will focus on assessing the archaeological deposits for their value in answering a host of research questions through targeted excavations. The broadest long-term goal of the project is to use archaeological research to reveal the history of human use and modification of MacArthur Meadow in support of a watershed revitalization project.
The Summer 2012 internship is a career development opportunity designed to give advanced undergraduates and recent graduates a venue for improving skills in field archaeology, laboratory analysis, and public interpretation. Interns are responsible for:
- interacting with park visitors and residents by answering questions and actively helping them engage with history through archaeological discovery
- completing stratigraphic excavation and maintaining detailed records (notes, forms, journals)
- identifying and describing cultural and natural strata and completing stratigraphic sequences (Harris Matrices) and stratigraphic profiles (sections)
- mapping including hand-drawn plan maps and some use of a total station
- participating in artifact and ecofact recovery including screening and flotation
- maintaining strict provenience control for artifacts and records in the field and laboratory
- washing, sorting, identifying and describing archaeological artifacts and ecofacts, including ceramics, metal, glass, bone, shell, and stone
- using a relational database to enter and manipulate archaeological data
- instructing and supervising drop-in volunteers in basic tasks including screening, artifact washing, and sorting
Interns are expected to participate in all aspects of the investigations but should consider the internship an opportunity to refine interests and develop specialized skills. Interns will be given time to develop and work on a project that they will be expected to present to the team at the end of the field and lab season.
We are seeking up to four interns who have experience in archaeological field and laboratory work and are looking for an opportunity to refine their skills and make a contribution to the Presidio Archaeology Lab’s research program. Ideal candidates will be advanced undergraduates or recent graduates. Specific requirements are:
- previous archaeological field school or equivalent training with a minimum of 4 weeks of previous excavation and laboratory experience
- proven ability to work as part of a team
- an understanding of how field and lab processes articulate with broad research goals
- strong desire to work with the general public, many of whom have little to no previous exposure to archaeology
- ability to focus on repetitive tasks while maintaining enthusiasm
- capacity for independent judgment
- research interests that overlap with some aspect of the Presidio Archaeology Lab’s program
For further information about the Presidio Archaeology Lab and our program please visit
Logistics and Additional Details
All work will be conducted at the Presidio of San Francisco, in San Francisco, California. Interns will be expected to make a commitment for the full term of the internship.
- The internship is full-time (5 days a week) and will run for 6 weeks from July 13-August 31, 2012
- Interns will be paid $12.00 per hour.
- Interns are responsible for their own food and lodging.
- The Presidio Archaeology Lab does not provide academic credit. If you need credit hours, please check the rules established by your academic institution. We are happy to provide evaluation or certification of work completed during the internship.
How to Apply
Presidio Archaeology Lab
Presidio of San Francisco
PO Box 29052
San Francisco CA 94129
All applications must be received by May 23, 2012. Applicants will be informed of a decision by June 5, 2012.