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SAA’s Online Seminar Series

SAA’s Online Seminar Series offers free and fee-based professional development opportunities designed for students and archaeologists seeking to enhance their skill sets or knowledge base.

Why take an online seminar from SAA?

  • Keep up to date on developments in the field with the help of a leading  expert.
  • Enhance your skill set and knowledge base quickly and easily in just an hour or two.
  • Advance in your job or career: Most SAA Online Seminars are RPA Certified and RPAs can receive Continuing Education Credit on the certified seminars.
  • Receive a certificate of completion from SAA .

Online Seminar Series FAQ

Have questions? Visit our Online Seminar FAQ page!

Upcoming Courses

Registration for fee-based online seminars opens when the course description is posted. Registration for free online seminars opens approximately 12 days prior to the course date.

Check back often. Our list of online seminars will be growing soon.        

Recent Seminars

Working With Metal Detectorists:  Citizen Science at historic Montpelier and
Engaging a New Constituency


November 10, 2016   3:00-4:00 p.m. ET


Historical Archaeologists have a long and tumultuous history with metal detectorists (aka relic hunters, looters, etc).  This seminar will discuss how to practically engage with this group through hands-on surveys and the benefits to bringing this group to our way of seeing sites.  Using public programs run at James Madison’s Montpelier as an example, the methods of incorporating metal detectorists into surveys will be presented.  Key to these programs is using and presenting metal detectors as a remote sensing device—a concept with not only practical benefits for finding sites, but is an extremely powerful tool to present the value of site preservation to a group that traditionally views sites solely from an artifact-centered approach.

This course will be of interest to archaeologists who run field programs and have a need to find and define historic sites (phase I and II surveys).  This includes contract firms, university researchers, historic property managers, cultural resource managers for large land holdings (state and federal).


The goals of this one hour, online seminar are to discuss the practical and conceptual benefits of working with the metal detecting community.  The practical include the use of metal detectorists in efficiently locating sites, obtaining site information from folks that have metal detected in areas, and using the local metal detecting community to spread the word about site protection of a particular area or set of sites.  The conceptual include engaging a constituency that is an easy and useful target for understanding the benefits of site preservation.

After taking the online seminar, participants will: 1) Understand the benefits of metal detector survey using experienced detectorists; 2) know how to practically engage with metal detectorists; and 3) will know the pros and cons of such interactions.


 Dr. Matthew Reeves has been the Director of Archaeology at James Madison’s Montpelier since 2000. The projects he had developed at Montpelier include the archaeological research and restoration of the mansion grounds, most especially the homes of the enslaved community at Montpelier.  He is responsible for ensuring that the well-preserved archaeological complex at Montpelier not only is tapped for an accurate restoration of the Madison-era landscape, but also that is it preserved for future generations.Matt has a deep interest in community-based archaeology--and this ranges from working with descendant communities, metal detectorists, and the public in general.  The week-long experiential programs he has established at Montpelier are a prime example of public engagement and how archaeology can be a transformative study of the past.  


Free to individual SAA members/Not available to individual non-SAA members

Yes you CAN do that! Creative Mitigation and Section 106 Undertakings


November 15, 2016, 2:00-4:00  ET. Click Here to register!


This two-hour online seminar is designed for current and potential future cultural resource managers, private sector cultural resource firms, and agency personnel.  The goals of the online seminar are:

 a. To encourage current and potential future cultural resource managers, consultants, and regulators to think outside the “dig, document, and destroy” box that currently constitutes standard practice for mitigating adverse effects to historic properties as a result of development activities.

b. To explore good examples of more creative approaches to mitigation.

c. To provide guidance on what constitutes appropriate creative approaches.


Participants will learn:

a. That the Section 106 process, as defined in regulation, allows great flexibility in designing the measures to mitigate adverse effects on historic properties.

b. That the determining factors in designing good, creative mitigation are:  the needs of the affected resources, the needs of the undertaking, and the relative public benefits.

c. That creative mitigation need not be more costly, more time-consuming, or more complicated than “business as usual,” and indeed may be less costly, time-consuming, and/or complicated.


Lynne Sebastian Ph.D., RPA and Terry Klein M.A., RPA, have a combined total of nearly 70 years working in the field of cultural resource management. They have experience as CRM consultants, in a State Historic Preservation Office, in a federal agency, and since 2002 have been principals in a nonprofit foundation with a historic preservation mission.  They have developed and taught courses on Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act.   They have taught these classes for State Departments of Transportation, various federal land-managing agencies, Indian tribes, private sector consulting firms, development industries, and the universities of New Mexico and Maryland.


Individual Registrations: $99 for SAA members and $139 for SAA nonmembers Group Registrations: $139 for SAA members and $159 for SAA nonmembers

Tribal Consultation Basics


December 1, 2016   2:00-4:00 p.m. ET Click Here to register!


The goal of this two-hour online seminar is to offer participants insights into the processes of tribal consultation, as well as a broader picture of the ways that culture influences interactions between individuals engaged in those consultations.


 After completing the course, participants will be able to define “consultation’; will understand both the role and the legal basis for consultation within the federal Historic Preservation and NEPA processes; will understand both the role and responsibilities of the parties involved in the consultation; and will be able to define the types, styles and characteristics of communication and how these impact and influence the consultation process.


Joe Watkins has been involved in archaeology for more than 45 years, and has seen it grow from one of more scientific imperialism to one that is more engaged with concerns of descendant communities worldwide. He has taught workshops on tribal consultation at the national, regional, and local levels, with emphasis on both the federal side and the tribal side depending on the audience. As a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Watkins also brings a cultural perspective to the topic that few others can bring. He has published widely on the topic of consultation in the broader sense.


Individual Registrations: $99 for SAA members and $139 for SAA nonmembers Group Registrations: $139 for SAA members and $159 for SAA nonmembers

The Native American Graves and Repatriation Act: NAGPRA Fundamentals


January 25, 2017 2:00-4:00pm ET Click Here to register!


All archaeologists need a basic understanding of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), the federal legislation that was passed in 1990. This two-hour online seminar will provide participants with a brief overview of the legislative history of NAGPRA and its historical context; a comprehensive guide to who must comply with the law, who has standing, and what items are covered; and an overview of the compliance processes.


The objectives of this seminar are for participants to:

a. understand that NAGPRA did not create new rights, but instead codified for Native Americans, Native Hawaiians, and lineal descendants the same rights everyone else in the US was already afforded;

b. comfortably refer to the law and regulations whenever questions arise; and

c. have a basic understanding of who must comply, what is covered, and what “standing” means and who has it.


Jan Bernstein, M.S., is the Managing Director of Bernstein & Associates, LLC, which she founded in 2003. Since the passage of NAGPRA, Jan has worked together with Indian tribes throughout the lower 48, Alaska Native villages, Native Hawaiian organizations, museums, and federal agencies on all aspects of NAGPRA implementation.


Individual Registrations: $99 for SAA members and $139 for SAA nonmembers Group Registrations: $139 for SAA members and $179 for SAA nonmembers

Addressing Orphaned Collections: A Practical Approach


February 2, 2017 2:00-4:00pm ET Click Here to register!


Orphaned collections affect every sector of archaeology. This seminar will provide guidance for working through the process of remedying orphaned collections by offering a framework by which to understand what they are and how they became orphaned, so as to prevent similar circumstances in the future. A resource guide is offered to participants, outlining specific criteria and procedures for determining appropriate methods to resolve issues associated with orphaned collections. This seminar will be beneficial for students nearing graduation, CRM employees, academics, and government personnel.


The three main goals of the seminar are to:

a. Provide attendees with a framework by which to understand, discuss, and remedy problems associated with orphaned archaeological collections.

b. Teach participants about their roles, responsibilities, and rights as they relate to orphaned collections.

c. Offer solutions and resources to those who would like to resolve issues and concerns associated with orphaned collections.
Instructor Danielle Benden is the Senior Curator in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition to managing and providing access to the anthropological collections, she teaches Archaeological Curation and Field Methods courses to undergraduates, and conducts her own archaeological research in southwestern Wisconsin. She received a Bachelor of Science in Archaeology from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and a Master of Science in Museum and Field Studies with an archaeology emphasis from the University of Colorado-Boulder.

Ms. Benden is actively involved in the entire process of archaeology, from pre-field planning, to fieldwork, and curation of collections. She currently serves as Chair of SAA’s Committee on Museums, Collections, and Curation and co-Chair of the Task Force on Data Access and Archiving. This work puts her at the forefront of the current issues involving archaeological curation, including how to address orphaned collections.
Pricing Individual Registrations: $99 for SAA members and $139 for SAA nonmembers Group Registrations: $139 for SAA members and $179 for SAA nonmembers

Additional Information and Requirements  

General Information

  • Cancellations are allowed up to 14 days before the online seminar. All cancellations are subject to a $25 processing fee.
  • Each member-ony SAA online seminar will accommodate 50 computer connections or "seats." All fee-based seminars will accomodate 35 "seats".

  • Registration for individual seminars closes 24 hours prior to the start time or when the limit of  "seats" is filled.

  • Participants must have an internet connection and a computer with speakers to participate.

  • Member-only online seminars may be recorded for future broadcast to SAA members.

Group Registration

  • Two or more individuals sharing a single computer connection or "seat" may qualify for the group rate. Only the primary registrant is required to be an SAA member to receive SAA group-member pricing.
  • When registering groups, the primary registrant must submit the name and email address of each group participant in an Excel file 7 days before the course date. We regret that we cannot add group participant names after the course had concluded. Only registered participants will receive certificates of completion once their participation had been verified by the primary registrant.

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