The Department of Archaeology offers a number of professional courses and workshops to CRM firms, local Indigenous nations, and other professionals. Please inquire to Merrill Farmer at to request a particular course delivery form the list below. We would be happy to provide you with more information and a cost estimate based on your needs.

Introduction to Zooarchaeological Methods

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of zooarchaeological analysis. Over two half-day workshops students will learn about the principles of identification, taphonomy, basic quantification methods, and presentation of analytic results. Instruction is supported by hands-on, practical exercises. Note that osteology is not covered by this course.

Zooarchaeology: The Mammalian Skeleton

This workshop introduces students to the osteology of the mammalian skeleton. Working hands-on with skeletal materials, students will learn to identify elements, take note of landmarks and diagnostic features, orient and determine the laterality (left or right side) of bones. Basic techniques for distinguishing mammalian from non-mammalian bone will also be presented. Instruction is supported by practical exercises and is delivered over two half-day classes.

Soils & Sediments

Arguably, understanding soils and sediments, and the corresponding horizons and strata, are the foundations of archaeological field interpretations. This is because such an understanding is linked to understanding both the landscape with which people interacted and the physical processes that alter the archaeological record through time. However, many archaeologists grapple with what level of geological and geomorphological detail to record, how to distinguish human from natural processes, and more generally how to interpret this part of the physical record and its relationship to people. Furthermore, many practitioners make the mistake that interpretations can “happen later in the lab”, when in fact, interpretations at the macro-level are best done in the field.

In this short course, we will examine the fundamentals of field recording and interpretation of sediments and soils as they relate to the archaeological record. 


Increasingly, archaeologists worldwide have expanded their understanding of “material record” to encompass legacy ecosystems resulting from people living on and with land and seascapes over the millennia. On the Northwest Coast, for instance, such legacy ecosystems include cleared beaches, crabapple orchards, camas fields, and forest gardens. While many archaeologists recognize the importance of documenting these ecosystems as another avenue for understanding past lives lived, they are unsure how to do so.

In this short course, we will explore what some of these legacy landscapes look like and how we might record them in the field. Becoming conversant in recording these ecosystems is a step towards better honoring the breadth of Indigenous Peoples' interactions with their biological worlds.

Museum curation for archaeological collections

[Two weekends (4 days), 4 hours each]

Archaeological collections contain a wide variety of prehistoric and historic materials all gained through excavation and archaeological survey. Due to the nature of the materials and the means by which they are obtained, the methods by which museums curate them differ from other types of collections. In this workshop you will explore what an archaeological collection is and how to care, document, and share such collections.

Exhibit design and development for small museums

[2 days, 5 hours each]

Explore different ways to create engaging, affordable exhibits for unique spaces through this new workshop on exhibit design and development for small museums. You will learn practical skills for creating exhibit panels, interactive displays, and object cases while keeping to a small budget. In this workshop you will also be provided with tips for developing exhibits in historic and non-traditional museum spaces.

Introduction to Stone Tools (Lithics) Workshop

This course is designed to introduce people with little or no background in stone tools to the major components of this area of archaeological research: Rocks and Lithic Raw Materials; Flake Formation and Fracture Mechanics; Anthropogenic vs Natural Fracture; and Lithic Reduction Strategies. The goal of the workshop is to provide people doing archaeological fieldwork with a basic knowledge of prehistoric stone tool technology so they can better identify and analyze lithic artifacts recovered from archaeological sites. Lessons will include hands-on examination of example artifacts and samples. The workshop can be modified in length and content to suit individual group needs and could include a flintknapping session where participants spend some time learning how to make stone tools.

Half-day, Full-day and Multi-day options available.


To make informed decisions for archaeological testing and surveying, practitioners need to be aware of current and past landforms and earth's surfaces and the processes that shape them. This is crucial information particularly when considering older archaeological sites and deposits.

Such information can be gleaned from the discipline of geomorphology which can be described as the history of landforms including what is happening now and will later become part of the landscape's history. Geomorphological processes include erosion, sedimentation, landslides, etc, resulting from various processes such as sea-level change, earthquakes, volcanism and glaciation among others.

Human Osteology

The human osteology workshop/short course is designed to provide an hands-on introduction or refreshment in human skeletal anatomy, that is suitable for professionals working in cultural/heritage resource management and field archaeologists; coroners, polices officers or other medicolegal death investigators; museums professionals and curators; or individuals that have an interest in learning more about the subject. Over a 3-day intensive period, this workshop will focus on the identification of individual bones from the human skeleton, but it will also cover differences between human and non-human remains, sex and age variation, field recovery and curation of human remains, and brief references to taphonomy and paleopathology.

HRM Business & Project Management Workshop (Online only)

This module-based course can be completed online over 10 weeks, or each module can be taken over a 2-week period. This course contextualizes the business of heritage resource management by targeting five clusters of essential concepts and tools in business management: accounting and finance; marketing, sales, and contracting; human resources, labour, economics, corporate governance, and risk management; and business models, innovation, and globalization.