Client Spotlight:

Teaching Archaeological Mapping at the Home of FDR

Dr. April Beisaw, Vassar College

Students practicing total station measurements, with one student leaning over to use the station, another writing notes, and one in the distance holding a reflective prism      Two students adjusting the legs of the total station in preparation for mapping

Since 2016, I have assisted Dr. Beisaw in training student workers in archaeological mapping, and supervised the setup of geospatial data collection protocols for sites they are assessing at the Home of Franklin Delano Roosevelt National Historical Site. For this project, we utilized a Total Station, differential GPS, and digital data collection forms on tablets.

Kate using digital tablet to collect data in the field, boxes of excavation and remote sensing equipment in the background
Dr. Kate of Heritech supervising students and equipment in the field at the Home of FDR

As part of our contract, Dr. Beisaw agreed to let me share the  custom Total Station training lesson and field guide I created for her in 2016. This guide has transformed each year as the research objectives and staff have developed. For example, I have expanded the scope of the document to include information on how to properly set up a grid system and suggestions about how to make decisions in the field when staff face unexpected circumstances.

Four crew members sitting around lab table having a discussion
The training documents and my teaching strategy have developed over time in consultation with the entire crew of workers.

To check out the Total Station training document, click here: Total Station Lesson (Beisaw)

For more examples of my digital and public outreach experience, visit my personal website, and read more about me here.