Public involvement is the heart of the archaeology program at UWF. Archaeologists from the Institute and Anthropology Department strive to include the public every step of the way in all archaeology endeavors, large or small. This reputation of archaeological outreach brings the community and university closer together through the shared experience of uncovering the past of Pensacola and northwest Florida. Discovering and exploring sites is an exciting part of archaeology and help is always welcome! Volunteers work side-by-side with UWF students, staff and professors, sharing ideas and new insights into the past.
UWF archaeology involves the public in many ways...
Members of the public are welcomed as volunteers in the field and in the lab. The Pensacola Archaeological Society also provides an opportunity for interested citizens to learn more about and become more involved in local archaeology.
Pensacola and the surrounding area brim with indoor and outdoor museums and exhibits, many of them related to UWF excavations, that illuminate the history of the region. Free exhibits on Florida's archaeological history can be found at the Archaeology Institute on UWF's campus and the Florida Public Archaeology Network headquarters in downtown Pensacola. More information on these indoor exhibits and additional outdoor ones is available on the Museums, Exhibits and Parks page.
While not affiliated with UWF, there are many other places in and around Pensacola where the public can learn more about the region's archaeology and history:
- Indian Temple Mound Museum (Fort Walton Beach)
- Gulf Islands National Seashore (National Parks Service), which includes Fort Barrancas, the Advanced Redoubt, the second Pensacola Lighthouse, Fort Pickens, and Naval Live Oaks Reserve. All sites are free to the public.
- Historic Pensacola Village (downtown Pensacola). Admission charged.
- National Museum of Naval Aviation (NAS Pensacola). Free to the public.
- USS Massachusetts (Pensacola Bay). Free to the public.
UWF archaeologists often provide free talks on archaeological topics and tours of archaeological sites to civic clubs, special interest groups and local schools. Many UWF excavations are conducted in places that are accessible to the community. When this is not possible, special tours or archaeology days are arranged to bring the public to the digs, whether maritime or terrestrial.
Since the early 1980s, archaeology in Pensacola has been covered many times by the local, national and international media. News coverage not only exposes more people to the area's archaeology, but also increases awareness of the need to act as stewards of the irreplaceable remains of the past.
The Archaeology Institute, with its sleek and informative exhibits on Pensacola history, provides an ideal venue for large receptions or small gatherings.