A Legacy in Education

The Gault School of Archaeological Research

"When I first encountered Dr. Collins in the classroom, it was a revelation, shaping my aspirations for the future. Meeting Dr. Wernecke and experiencing the Gault laboratory environment provided a moment of clarity, and I instantly knew I couldn't walk away. In an introductory talk, Dr. Wernecke enlightened me about the state of archaeology and GSAR's mission to empower young scholars, making them competitive and successful in the archaeological field. The message was not only compelling but resonated authentically. Subsequently, I had the privilege of witnessing several years of incredible learning experiences, observing numerous young individuals and scholars finding inspiration and dedicated support to propel them forward in their academic journeys."

Today, this is the legacy that all at GSAR aim to keep and build upon. GSAR’s education aims go beyond higher education; we are also in front of hundreds of K-12 kids each year. We are in the classroom giving presentations, hosting classroom tours of the Gault site, and arranging large field trips for various schools. It is truly a unique institution in the Texas education landscape.

How It All Began

This journey couldn't be understood without hearing from one of our institutional pioneers, Dr. Wernecke.

“Mike and I believed very strongly that archaeology programs at universities were not teaching the skills that students would need to get a job and function as archaeologists. Universities tend to teach lots of theory and history aimed toward turning out teachers/professors rather than practicing archaeologists. We felt that we could help, in some small way, to fill that gap and help prepare students for life after college. This meant learning about practical skills, CVs, meeting other archaeologists, and getting field and lab experience. When I started in anthropology, most graduates still worked in academia, and now something like 85% work outside of education. When you apply for a job, they don't ask you what theory classes you took - they want to know what you can DO. Archaeology is an apprenticeship discipline, but often we have waited until students get graduate degrees before exposing them to this reality. Mike was doing this long before me when he set up the CRM program at the University of Kentucky. When we first talked about this (probably around 2000), we found that we shared this belief in what the mission of an organization like the GSAR should be. And not just education for college students but also telling the public what we do and why it should be important to them. Also talking to schoolchildren of all ages to not only acquaint them with archaeology but also to encourage those who might have an interest in pursuing the field.”
- Dr. Clark Wernecke

Successes In Higher Education

As a result of the founding vision, GSAR has played a crucial role in helping numerous young scholars accomplish advanced degrees. The following is a short list, and we will be adding more GSAR alumni, praising their accomplishments and thanking them for their interest and involvement at Gault and GSAR!

Our 2024 Interns:

To Learn More about GSAR and our Education mission: