National Endowment for the Humanities
A Summer Institute for K-12 Teachers
Exploring the Past: Archaeology in the Upper
Mississippi River Valley
Dates: July 9 to July 27, 2012 (3 weeks)
Location: University of Wisconsin - La Crosse,
Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center
Introduction to the Institute
NEH Application Information and Instructions
PDF Version of Web Site Information:
NEH Application Information and Instructions,
beside thousand-year-old burial mounds, flaking raw stone into usable tools,
learning how archaeologists move from broken potsherds to human behavior, and
understanding how humans adapt to complex, ever-changing environments—our 2012
Summer Institute features all this and more. We’ll provide three weeks of
intense, guided exploration into how Native American and Euro-American cultures
have adapted to the Upper Mississippi River Valley over nearly fourteen
millennia, and how we learn about such cultures through archaeology, the study
of past human cultures from the remains they left behind.
is an essential topic for K-12 teachers. It links the humanities and the
sciences and offers an appealing way to engage students’ interest and enhance
their content knowledge in a wide range of subject areas. The unglaciated area
of the Upper Mississippi Valley, with its rich resources and rugged terrain, is a perfect laboratory for applying the process and concepts of
archaeology to explore how human cultures have changed and adapted through time.
The region’s archaeological record reveals a remarkable history of adaptation
and growth. When Europeans arrived, the area was home to complex Native American
cultures that had adapted to the region’s environment over thousands of years.
By extending the historic record back through time, archaeology offers a window
through which we can see how those cultures lived and evolved. The influx of
Europeans into the region led to massive changes and new adaptations for both
Native peoples and immigrants, and the resulting cultures continue to evolve
today. The common thread linking these disparate cultures, from the earliest
mammoth-hunters to today’s technology-dependent Web-surfers, is adaptation to
the region’s rich but challenging environment.
Left: Teachers excavate at the Cade site during
the 2011 NEH Summer Institute.
Right: Teachers clean artifacts from their 2011 Cade site excavation.
different adaptations to the same locale is a fascinating way to study the human
experience. All societies make choices about how to meet their basic survival
needs, and these choices are linked to every other facet of their culture.
Through inquiry-based case studies, you’ll look at the environment and
technological know-how available to the region’s residents at different times,
think about the choices particular groups might have made to meet their basic
needs, and test your interpretations by looking at actual archaeological
evidence. This real-world approach will ensure a rich, authentic experience in
how archaeology works and give you new insights into the dynamic nature of all
human cultures, past and present.
We’ll use a
variety of learning approaches throughout the Institute, including classroom
presentations and lively discussions, hands-on laboratory and workshop
activities, demonstrations, field trips, and readings. The readings range from
required selections that address Institute core concepts to supplemental
readings that encourage and support more in depth exploration of a topic. Highlights include a
one-day excavation experience; a hands-on lab day where you’ll learn how
artifacts are cleaned, processed, and cataloged; and a technology field day
where you’ll fashion a stone arrowhead and a wooden arrow and try a
spear-thrower. Field trip destinations range from an Amish farm to Effigy Mounds
National Monument, a battle location from the Black Hawk War of 1832, and other
sites that complement the course content. Individual projects will encourage you
to create ways to bring your experiences and your new perspective on human
cultures back to the classroom, no matter what your teaching area.
Left: 2011 NEH Summer Institute teacher learns how
stone tools are made.
Middle: Teachers learn how arrow shafts were straightened.
Right: A teacher learns how to use an atlatl (spearthrower).
ADDITIONAL INSTITUTE INFORMATION
Click below for a pdf file with -
The core Institute staff come
from the University of Wisconsin's (UW-L) Archaeological Studies Program (Theler,
Arzigian) and Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center (MVAC), a nonprofit research
and education center at UW-L (Jancik, Stevenson). The Institute will be led by
staff with complementary areas of expertise and extensive experience working
together on education-related projects. The staff, Jim Theler, Kathy
Stevenson, Bonnie Jancik and Connie Arzigian, have been active in teacher professional
development activities that focus on using archaeology as a vehicle for teaching
a variety of subject areas. Theler, Stevenson and Arzigian’s knowledge and
experiences as archaeologists are complemented by Jancik’s background in precollegiate education. Guest presenters will share their own special expertise
and viewpoints. All of the staff have broad experience in conveying the
excitement and fascination of archaeology to students, teachers, and the general
Dr. James Theler has over thirty years of research and teaching experience in
archaeology and is known for his dynamic teaching style and his extensive
knowledge of human cultures. His specialties include reconstructing and studying
past environments, analyzing animal remains, and understanding pre-European
cultures of the Midwest. Jim is currently studying the archaeology of the Bad
Axe River Valley, a scenic valley in southwestern Wisconsin that will be a focus
for Institute case studies and field experiences.
Stevenson has been active in
regional research for over thirty years. Her specialties include the history of
regional archaeology, the study of animal remains, archival research, mound and
burial sites, and regional caves and rock art. She’s also an author and editor
of K-6 educational nonfiction, with an interest in how archaeology and Native
cultures are portrayed in children’s books.
Bonnie Jancik has been involved in
formal elementary education and informal K-12 education for over thirty years.
She’s widely known for her work in archaeology education and professional
development for practicing teachers, including teaching numerous undergraduate
and graduate classes and workshops for K-12 teachers. She’s particularly
interested in exploring how archaeology can be used as a vehicle for teaching a
wide range of subjects.
Dr. Constance Arzigian
has been at UW-L since 1988, combining archaeology, public education and
college instruction. Her research interests include human subsistence and
settlement, burial practices, past environments, and the archaeological study of
plants, including the origins of agriculture in the eastern Woodlands and how
humans have adapted to the changing environments of the upper Midwest.
Loren Cade is a lifelong resident of
the Bad Axe River Valley, and his farmland includes important archaeological
sites. Loren has a long-term interest in regional archaeology and ancient
technology, and he’s an expert at making wooden arrows and hunting with
traditional bows. He’ll host an excavation experience at his farm, lead
activities involving ancient technology, discuss the ethics of artifact
collecting, and provide insights on evolving adaptations for local farmers.
Robert Keiper has been a flintknapper
for over forty years. He has taught people of all ages the art of making stone
tools. Robert has been involved with MVAC for many years, participating in
archaeological activities and presenting at public events. In 2009 Keiper
received MVAC’s Regional Archaeology Award to acknowledge his long-term
commitment to sharing his knowledge of ancient technologies. Robert will provide
flintknapping workshops at the Institute’s technology day.
Left: 2011 NEH Summer Institute teachers at Effigy
Mounds National Monument.
Middle: Teachers hiking our to Fire Point at Effigy Mounds National
Right: Teachers view Native American burial mounds within a
NEH Summer Scholars
will receive a stipend of $2,700 for attending all meetings (Monday–Friday, July
9–27, 2012) and engaging fully in the work of the project. Stipends are intended
to help cover travel expenses to and from the project location, books and other
research expenses, and living expenses for the duration of the period spent in
residence. Stipends are taxable. Applicants should note that supplements will
not be given in cases where the stipend is insufficient to cover all expenses.
NEH Summer Scholars will receive a check for 1/2 of the stipend ($1,350) when they
arrive. Participants will receive the remaining 1/2 of the stipend ($1,350) on
the final day of the Institute. Payments for the dorms will be due at the end of
the Institute. NEH Summer Scholars who, for any reason, do not complete the full
tenure of the Institute must refund a pro-rata portion of the stipend.
CONTINUING EDUCATION UNITS
Ten Continuing Education Units
(CEU) are available for those participating fully in the work of the Institute.
Those interested in receiving CEUs must sign the daily sign-in sheet and provide
a check for $15.00. The certificate will be sent (by the University of
Wisconsin–La Crosse Continuing Education) to NEH Summer Scholars approximately two
weeks after completion of the Institute.
Three graduate credits are
available for participants in the Institute, although participants are
responsible for their own registration and all payments. NEH Summer Scholars
seeking credit will design and complete an appropriate project as part of the
course. These will be developed in conjunction with project staff and will
depend on the interests and needs of the participants but might include
curriculum development, a research paper, or other projects.
The University will allow
registration as a “special non-degree seeking student”
Institute staff will then enroll NEH Summer Scholars in ARC
598 – Seminar in Archaeology. For fee information visit:
http://www.uwlax.edu/CASHIERS/tuitionfeeschedule.htm. Questions regarding
fees can be directed to the UW-L Cashiers Office at: 608-785-8719 or
UW-L VISITING SCHOLARS
Participants will have the
status of “visiting scholars” at UW-L, entitling them to access the library,
ability to log-on to campus computers, and other campus-based services. A
classroom library of resources (books, teacher guides, DVDs, videos) will
provide convenient access to relevant materials to assist NEH Summer Scholars in
their individual research.
Portions of the Institute will
be offered through Desire2Learn (D2L), an online, Web-based course framework
that provides a secure location for posting and downloading class information,
conducting discussions, and contacting classmates and instructors. Access is
through a standard Web browser.
THE LA CROSSE AREA AND THE
La Crosse is a great place to
spend the summer. Located on the Great River Road, which winds north and south
through 10 states, La Crosse (http://explorelacrosse.com,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Crosse,_Wisconsin) is the hub of the
geographic area known as the 7 Rivers Region. The area offers densely wooded
valleys, scenic bluffs, the famous Mississippi River and its tributaries, lush
marshes, and native prairies. La Crosse is known for its historic downtown
district (adapted from
UW-L DORM FACILITIES
UW-L is a residential campus
with dormitories, classrooms, and support for over 9,500 students and adult
learners. The project
staff is encouraging NEH Summer Scholars to stay in the UW-L dorms for a
number of reasons, including easy access, opportunity for informal interactions,
and fostering a sense of community. Arrangements have been made for NEH Summer
Scholars to stay in Reuter Hall, a new residence hall that opened in September
2006 and has a convenient campus location. Reuter Hall provides comfortable
suites that meet the demands of students. Each suite has four private bedrooms,
a semi-private bathroom, a kitchen area, and a living room. General-use spaces
in Reuter Hall include a group kitchen facility, a lounge/game room area, a
small-group study area, a mailroom, a recycling room, and multipurpose areas.
This new hall provides ADA-compliant living accommodations.
Reuter Hall rates:
Motel style (includes once each
week: 2 sheets, pillowcase, blanket, towel, washcloth, pillow): $33 per day
or $199 per week (7 overnights).
OFF-CAMPUS HOUSING OPTIONS
We realize that some NEH
Summer Scholars may decide to stay elsewhere. Numerous off-campus housing
opportunities are available in the La Crosse area.
A variety of meal options are
available. For those staying in Reuter Hall, the kitchens in the individual
suites allow convenient meal preparation in the dorm. Campus Food Services and
area restaurants are also available.
NEH SUMMER SCHOLAR SELECTION
In alignment with the
selection criteria outlined by NEH, the selection committee will be looking for
evidence of the following qualities as they select the 25 Institute
More important than the
subject or grade level the applicant teaches is that the applicant is a
lifelong learner who is enthusiastic about learning and eager to experience
will be looking for a personal interest or a passion for the topic because
this translates to excitement and motivation in the classroom.
Applicants do not need to
teach lessons on the process of archaeology or the region’s earliest people;
however, they do need to show creativity in adapting the Institute’s content
to their unique teaching situations. The process of archaeology and the
results of archaeological research can be an effective vehicle for hands-on
activities that employ an interdisciplinary (science, social studies,
language arts, math, visual arts, etc.) approach that engages students in
In addition to this document,
you must also read the NEH Application Information and Instructions
document included with this letter. A checklist for application materials is
included in that document. Your completed application packet should be
postmarked no later than March 1, 2012, and should be addressed as
follows: Bonnie Jancik, MVAC UW-L, 1725 State St., La Crosse, WI 54601.
Successful applicants will be notified of their selection on Monday, April 2 and
will have until Friday, April 6 to accept or decline the offer. Applicants who
will not be home during the notification period should provide an address and
phone number where they can be reached.
The most important part of
your application to "Exploring the Past" is your essay. This essay should include your reasons for
applying to the specific project; your relevant personal and academic
information; your qualifications to do the work of the project and make a
contribution to it; what you hope to accomplish; and the relationship
of the study to your teaching.
Seminars and Institutes for School Teachers
Application Information and Instructions
Summer Seminars and Institutes for School Teachers are
offered by the National Endowment for the Humanities to provide teachers an
opportunity for substantive study of significant humanities ideas and texts.
These study opportunities are especially designed for this program and are not
intended to duplicate courses normally offered by graduate programs. On
completion of an NEH Summer Seminar or Institute, participants will receive a
certificate indicating their participation. Prior to completing an application
to a specific seminar or institute, please review the message/prospectus from
the project director (available on the project’s website, or as an e-mail
attachment) and consider carefully what is expected in terms of residence and
attendance, reading and writing requirements, and general participation in the
work of the project.
A seminar for school teachers enables 16 NEH Summer
Scholars to explore a topic or set of readings with a scholar having special
interest and expertise in the field. The core material of the seminar need not
relate directly to the school curriculum; the principal goal of the seminar is
to engage teachers in the scholarly enterprise and to expand and deepen their
understanding of the humanities through reading, discussion, writing, and
An institute for school teachers, typically led by a
team of core faculty and visiting scholars, is designed to present the best
available scholarship on important humanities issues and works taught in the
nation's schools. The 25 to 30 NEH Summer Scholars compare and synthesize the
various perspectives offered by the faculty, make connections between the
institute content and classroom applications, and often develop improved
teaching materials for their classrooms.
Please note: The use of the words “seminar” or
“institute” in this document is precise and is intended to convey differences
between the two project types.
These projects are designed for full‑time teachers
including home-schooling parents, but other K-12 school personnel, such as
librarians and administrators, may also be eligible to apply, depending on the
specific seminar or institute. Substitute teachers or part-time personnel are
not eligible. Applications from teachers in public, charter, independent, and
religiously affiliated schools receive equal consideration.
Please note: Up to two seminar spaces and three
institute spaces are available for current full-time graduate students who
intend to pursue careers in K-12 teaching.
Teachers at schools in the United States or its territorial
possessions or Americans teaching in foreign schools where at least 50 percent
of the students are American nationals are eligible for this program.
Applicants must be United States citizens, residents of U.S. jurisdictions, or
foreign nationals who have been residing in the United States or its territories
for at least the three years immediately preceding the application deadline.
Foreign nationals teaching abroad at non-U.S. chartered institutions are not
eligible to apply.
Applicants must complete the NEH application
cover sheet and provide all the information requested below to be considered
eligible. Individuals may not apply to study with a director of an NEH Summer
Seminar or Institute who is a current colleague or a family member. Individuals
must not apply to seminars directed by scholars with whom they have previously
studied. Institute selection committees are advised that only under the most
compelling and exceptional circumstances may an individual participate in an
institute with a director or a lead faculty member who has previously guided
that individual’s research or in whose previous institute or seminar he or she
Please note: An individual may apply to up to two
projects in any one year (NEH Summer Seminars, Institutes or Landmarks
Workshops), but may participate in only one. Also please note that
eligibility criteria differ between the Seminars and Institutes and the
Landmarks Workshops programs.
A selection committee reads and evaluates all properly
completed applications in order to select the most promising applicants and to
identify a number of alternates. Seminar selection committees typically consist
of the seminar director, a school teacher who is usually a participant in a
previous NEH seminar, and a colleague of the director. Institute selection
committees typically consist of three to five members, usually all drawn from
the institute faculty and staff members. Recent participants are eligible to
apply, but project selection committees are directed to give first consideration
to applicants who have not participated in an NEH-supported Seminar, Institute
or Landmarks Workshop in the last three years (2009, 2010, 2011).
The most important consideration in the selection of
participants is the likelihood that an applicant will benefit professionally and
personally. Committee members consider several factors, each of which should be
addressed in the application essay. These factors include:
effectiveness and commitment as a teacher/educator;
intellectual interests, in general and as they relate
to the work of the project;
special perspectives, skills, or experiences that would
contribute to the seminar or institute;
commitment to participate fully in the formal and
informal collegial life of the project; and
the likelihood that the experience will enhance the
When choices must be made among equally qualified
candidates, several additional factors are considered. Preference is given
to applicants who have not previously participated in an NEH Summer Seminar,
Institute, or Landmarks Workshop, or who significantly contribute to the
diversity of the seminar or institute.
STIPEND, TENURE, AND CONDITIONS OF AWARD
Teachers selected to participate in five-week projects will
receive stipend of $3,900; those in four-week projects will receive $3,300;
those in three-week projects will receive $2,700; and those in two-week projects
will receive $2,100. Stipends are intended to help cover travel expenses to and
from the project location, books and other research expenses, and living
expenses for the duration of the period spent in residence. Stipends are
taxable. Applicants to all projects, especially those held abroad, should
note that supplements will not be given in cases where the stipend is
insufficient to cover all expenses.
Seminar and institute participants are required to attend
all meetings and to engage fully as professionals in the work of the project.
During the project's tenure, they may not undertake teaching assignments or any
other professional activities unrelated to their participation in the project.
Participants who, for any reason, do not complete the full tenure of the project
must refund a pro-rata portion of the stipend.
At the end of the project's residential period,
participants will be asked to submit online evaluations in which they review
their work during the summer and assess its value to their personal and
professional development. These evaluations will become part of the project's
grant file and may become part of an application to repeat the seminar or
Before you attempt to complete an application, please
obtain and read the “Dear Colleague” message from the director(s) of the
project(s) to which you intend to apply: the message contains detailed
information about the topic under study, project requirements and expectations
of the participants, the academic and institutional setting, and specific
provisions for lodging and subsistence. In most cases, the “Dear Colleague”
message can be found on the project’s website. All application materials
must be sent to the project director at the address listed in the "Dear
Colleague” message. Application materials sent to the Endowment will not be
A complete application consists of three copies of
the following collated items:
the completed application cover sheet,
a résumé or brief biography, and
an application essay as outlined below.
In addition, it must include two letters of recommendation
as described below.
The Application Cover Sheet
cover sheet must be filled out online at this address:
Please fill it out online as directed by the prompts.
When you are finished, be sure to click the “submit” button. Print out the
cover sheet and add it to your application package. At this point you will be
asked if you want to fill out a cover sheet for another project. If you do,
follow the prompts and select another project and then print out the cover sheet
for that project as well. Note that filling out a cover sheet is not the same as
applying, so there is no penalty for changing your mind and filling out a cover
sheet for several projects. A full application consists of the items listed
above, as sent to the project director.
Please include a résumé or brief biography detailing your
educational qualifications and professional experience.
The Application Essay
The application essay should be no more than four
double‑spaced pages. It should address reasons for applying; the applicant's
interest, both academic and personal, in the subject to be studied;
qualifications and experiences that equip the applicant to do the work of the
seminar or institute and to make a contribution to a learning community; a
statement of what the applicant wants to accomplish by participating; and the
relation of the project to the applicant's professional responsibilities.
The two referees may be from inside or outside the
applicant’s home institution. They should be familiar with the applicant's
professional accomplishments or promise, teaching and/or research interests, and
ability to contribute to and benefit from participation in the seminar or
institute. Referees should be provided with the director's description of the
seminar or institute and the applicant's essay. Applicants who are current
graduate students should secure a letter from a professor or advisor. Please
ask your referees to sign across the seal on the back of the envelope containing
the letter. Enclose the letters with your application.
SUBMISSION OF APPLICATIONS AND NOTIFICATION PROCEDURE
Completed applications should be submitted to the
project director and should be postmarked no later than March 1,
Successful applicants will be notified of their selection
on Monday, April 2, 2012, and they will have until Friday, April 6 to accept or
decline the offer.
Once you have accepted an offer to attend any NEH Summer
Program (NEH Summer Seminar, Institute or Landmarks Workshop), you may not
accept an additional offer or withdraw in order to accept a different offer.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY STATEMENT: Endowment programs do
not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability,
or age. For further information, write to NEH Equal Opportunity Officer, 1100
Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20506. TDD: 202/606‑8282 (this is a
special telephone device for the Deaf).
Left: Bad Axe Valley.
Right: Amish farm.
For Additional Information Contact:
Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
1725 State St.
La Crosse, WI 54601
This Summer Institute is funded by a grant from the National Endowment
for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or
recommendations expressed in this Institute do not necessarily represent
those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.