SAA PEC Biographies

Andrea P. Murray

Coordinator of Archaeology, Orange County Curation Project (Grant), Department of Anthropology, California State University, Fullerton, 800 N. State College Blvd., Fullerton, CA 92834, 714-278-3976
amurray@fullerton.edu

Description of Past & Current Involvement in Public Outreach and Education

I have had numerous experiences in both the public outreach and education spheres. Following is a detailed list of these experiences. Coordinator of Archaeology, Orange County Curation Project, California State University, Fullerton. Primary duties involve the day-to-day operations of an archaeological curation grant. Also responsible for the development and implementation of an education program that brings archaeologists and artifacts into the classrooms of local schools; and the conceptualization of archaeology-related lessons, activities, and outreach programs. Currently involved in developing an outreach program with the Orange County Department of Education. After-School Program Instructor, Science Dept., Star Education, Inc. Los Angeles, California. Responsible for the instruction of an after-school archaeology course at two local elementary schools. Primary duties included the development and implementation of archaeological lesson plans.  Education Intern, Crow Canyon Archaeology Center, Cortez, Colorado. Internship focused on teaching adults and children about archaeology and the chronology of the American Southwest. General duties included the instruction of archaeological concepts, methods, excavation techniques, and regional chronologies; the instruction of traditional puebloan skills; the creation and development of a replica pit house teaching module; and the guidance of tours to Crow Canyon’s site of excavation and other Ancestral Puebloan sites within the Mesa Verde region. Collection Technician, San Diego Archaeology Center, San Diego. Primary duties focused on the curation, stabilization, and preservation of archaeological collections from the region. Also responsible for the organization of occasional workshops, public outreach events, and exhibits.  Teacher’s Assistant , San Diego Unified School District, San Diego, California. Assisted in the development, preparation, and implementation of classroom material; instructed elementary school-aged children in English, Science, and Art; coordinated and administered group activities; corrected coursework; and tutored ‘at risk’ students.

Interest in PEC Membership 

As the list above indicates, I have had numerous experiences in both the public outreach and education spheres. As an undergraduate student at San Diego State University I initially planned to major in Liberal Arts before discovering the discipline of anthropology. As a result I took numerous courses in education, and worked as a Teachers Aid for the San Diego Unified School District. These experiences have provided me with a solid foundation of skills and knowledge with which I have continuously drawn from throughout my career as an archaeologist. I still have a strong interest in education, and have made an effort to use my background in a way that benefits both archaeology and the public. Consequently, I have been involved in the development, implementation, and instruction of several archaeological education programs with target audiences ranging in age from first graders to adults. These experiences, along with my background in education, will enable me to contribute to the PEC. Serving on the Public Education Committee appeals to me because it will provide an environment in which I can utilize my educational background in a way that increases public awareness of, and appreciation for the past.

Area of Interest: Currently, my outreach & education efforts are focused on exposing the residents of Orange County, California to the archaeological heritage that exists in their own ‘backyard’. The area has a dynamic history, however many residents are unaware of the fact that humans have been inhabiting the Southern California coastline for so long. The human past is easily forgotten in an area that focuses its attention on population growth and urban expansion. For this reason, I have been concentrating on exposing the public to the history of the area they live in -- Southern California. This is not my only area of interest, however. I’m primarily interested in educating people in archaeology and the human past in general. For education brings awareness, and awareness tends to bring respect. I am particularly interested in encouraging people to value the human past.

Target audience:  I have had the opportunity to work with a variety of people in the public education and outreach sectors, including professional and advocational archaeologists, academicians, teachers, children, senior citizens, and people of differing ethnic backgrounds. At this time, I am not solely interested in working with one target audience over another. I am primarily interested in contributing to the committee in any area that I am needed.