Archaeological services are now available closer to home with the creation of The Center for Wisconsin Archaeology (CWA), which opened its doors on the UW-BSC campus in early May. CWA provides archaeological consulting and outreach programs, while giving UW-BSC students real-world archaeology experience.
Services include archival research, phase I surveys, phase II evaluations and phase III mitigations. The Center can also assist clients in complying with Wisconsin's burial sites law. Customers include organizations as diverse as MSA, UW-Madison, the Lakeshore Nature Preserve and local governments.
CWA staff also provide a variety of educational programs on Wisconsin archaeology, including civic or school group presentations, keynote speakers for conferences and tours of regional archaeological sites. Programs can be tailored to fit a customer's specific needs.
The Center, which is self-funded, was created in response to local demand for archaeological services, which in the past could be provided by UW-BSC faculty and staff only as time permitted. Baraboo's central location makes it an ideal location for serving all of Wisconsin and adjacent states.
UW-BSC CEO and Dean Thomas Pleger (a Registered Professional Archaeologist: RPA) anticipates the Center will help economic development in the area. "Archaeological services are often needed for construction and development projects when earth is moved, whether for building or road improvements," he said. "The CWA will give project managers immediate access to responsive and cost-effective consulting services."
CWA is advised by Principal Investigator Robert "Ernie" Boszhardt, who comes to the Center with over three decades of archaeology and Cultural Resource Management experience. Boszhardt also runs the popular UW-BSC Archaeology Field School.
Assistant Researcher Seth Taft is no stranger to campus, having solidified his interest in archaeology while a student at UW-Baraboo/Sauk County. Originally from Oxford, Wisconsin, he credits Dean Pleger and UW-BSC Professor George Christiansen, as well as the Field School, with his career choice. Taft returns to campus following completion of his BS in Archaeology at UW-La Crosse. He hopes to follow in his mentors’ footsteps and teach one day.