Event Details

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Archaeological Collections Careers: A Guide for Developing the Skills to Land the Job You Want [Deeper Digs]

When: September 17, 2024 2:00-4:00 PM ET

Duration: 2 hours

Certification: RPA-certified


Individual Registration: Individual Registration: $99 for SAA members; $149 for non-members

Group Registration: Group Registration: $139 for SAA members; $189 for non-members

Danielle M. Benden, M.S., RPA, Driftless Pathways, LLC 

Danielle M. Benden is owner of Driftless Pathways, LLC, a small museum consulting firm near Madison, WI. She designs new curatorial facilities and renovates existing ones; consults with museum personnel to improve collections care and management; facilitates consultation between Native Nations and other stakeholders on the development of interpretive content and exhibits; and provides professional development training in curation and collections management. Prior to starting Driftless Pathways, Ms. Benden served as the Senior Curator of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she taught museum courses, designed and managed collections facility upgrades, oversaw NAGPRA compliance, and carried out fieldwork in the Cahokian Hinterlands. She has published scholarly articles, book chapters, and reports, conducted preservation assessments of archaeological sites and collections, and enjoys educating the public about the past through presentations and archaeological tours.

Ms. Benden received her B.S. in Archaeology from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and an M.S. in Museum and Field Studies (with an Archaeology emphasis) from the University of Colorado-Boulder. She has served on national committees and task forces including as chair of SAA’s Committee on Museums, Collections, and Curation (2016-2019), co-chair of SAA’s Task Force on Data Access and Archiving (2015-2016), co-chair of the Archaeological Collections Consortium (2014-2016), and member of the SAA Archive Committee (2021-present). Her practical and professional experience puts her at the forefront of the national curation discussion.
Are you interested in a career working with archaeological collections? Perhaps you’re drawn to preserving and organizing artifacts and associated records in a repository. Maybe conservation in the field most intrigues you. It could be broadening access to digital data, creating custom object mounts to meet the needs of Indigenous communities, or countless other tasks that collections personnel undertake daily. Whatever the case, this two-hour seminar will introduce participants to the types of collections jobs across archaeological sectors (cultural resource management, academic, government, and tribal) and provide a
framework to develop the necessary skills for different positions. It will offer guidance for selecting a training program(s) and finding professional development course(s) that are right for you.

Participants will learn how to develop practical skills and gain meaningful experience that will prepare them for archaeological collections jobs in the contemporary workforce. The session includes tips for preparing a resume and interviewing for a job. Whether you’re a student nearing graduation or considering enrolling in a graduate museum studies program, an emerging professional, or contemplating a new career path, this Deeper Digs seminar is for you. Participants will receive an electronic resource guide containing further information on the range of topics explored during the seminar.
  1. Provide attendees with a framework to understand the range of archaeological collections jobs across sectors, and ways to develop necessary skill sets.
  2. Teach participants how to find and select the “right fit” training program(s), workshop(s), or other professional development opportunities to refine skills and gain practical experience.
  3. Offer tips and resources to create a standout resume and prepare for job interviews.