Youth and Community Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer Application (PDF)

Community and youth volunteers are recruited mainly from Lubbock and the surrounding area. This is considered a day program; housing provisions are not available. The crew is provided meals that fall within their workday schedule. Time commitment and scheduling is flexible, but it is expected that a volunteer will be able to contribute at least 60 hours during the course of the season.

Please note: This part of our program is designed for volunteers not currently involved in academic studies. Current university and college students, including recent graduates, must apply through the Field Research Program and be able to make the full-time 6-week commitment.

Youth volunteers must be at least 13 years old to participate. Younger volunteers generally are assigned lab and matrix duties. Field work (excavation) opportunities are available to youth 15 years of age or older.

Close up of a trowel in excavation unit

Opportunities for Community Field Crew in 2023:

Lubbock Lake Landmark excavation (ages 15 and older); paired with a field crew mentor. July

Quaternary Research Center Lab (ages 13 and older) June through August

Time Commitment

Time commitment and scheduling is flexible, but it is expected that a volunteer will be able to contribute a minimum of 60 hours during the course of the season.

Work day hours are from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, Tuesday through Saturday (Sundays and Mondays off).

Volunteers will participate in a general orientation session; specialized training will be conducted on-the-job.

All participants are required to attend a general orientation session.You will be notified upon acceptance of your application of the exact date. Please be prepared to stay the entire day.

Work Days | Facilities | Duties

Volunteers should plan to work a minimum of four hours on their scheduled days, either a morning or an afternoon shift. Available duties include:

Field Excavation

Participants age 15 and older may join the field crew. Excavations may take place at several locations at the Landmark. Each participant is paired with a field crew mentor.

Matrix Washing

Sediment removed from the excavation areas is placed in bags and labeled where and how deeply they were found. The bags are emptied on mesh screens nearby and sprayed with water.The dirt washes through and leaves behind tiny artifacts that were missed during the excavation. These objects are dried and put in bags along with the information about where they were found.

Field Laboratory

Preserving and cataloging excavated materials are essential to making them useful for researchers in the future. Different types of materials require different methods of preservation and repair. The purpose of cataloging is to give each item a unique identifying number which refers to a card or sheet that includes all the information for that item(s).

All crew members are responsible for sharing in cooking and kitchen duties and other camp chores if their work time encompasses the noon hour or they stay for noon meals.

Transportation to and from the site is the responsibility of the volunteer.


Dr. Eileen Johnson, Director, Lubbock Lake Landmark, governs the research work at the Landmark. She is on-site on a daily basis to observe progress, discuss problems, give instructions and guidance, notify personnel of changes, and generally oversee excavations and camp logistics. Field Manager, Crew Chiefs and Lab Manager are responsible for the day-to-day field or lab operations in their assigned excavation area or survey plot, and directly supervise the volunteer crew.


No special equipment is required to participate in lab work or matrix washing.

Field (excavation) crew members are required to have the items listed below in order to participate in field work. These items may be purchased as a kit from the Landmark Shop for $55.00, or may be purchased separately at local stores. These materials cannot be borrowed from the Landmark but must be supplied by the volunteer.

  • 1. Mason's pointed trowel (e.g. Marshalltown or W.H.S. brand), 3-5" (maximum length); a square trowel of the same brand and size can be useful at times also. Please note that a gardening-type trowel is not acceptable!
  • 2. Lufkin, or Stanley brand 3-meter retractable tape measure (only the metric system is used at the Landmark).
  • 3. 2-4 black permanent ink pens.
  • 4. 4-6 #2.5 (or HB) black lead pencils with erasers.
  • 5. Clipboard.
  • 6. 30cm ruler (12" ruler also marked in cm acceptable).
  • 7. 3-5 paint brushes of varying sizes.
  • 8. Assorted small wooden and/or bamboo tools and picks (metal picks are not used as they can damage the artifacts, particularly bone)

Health Requirements

The volunteer must carry his/her own health and accident insurance.

The volunteer must have a current tetanus shot.

Proof of these must be on file with the Landmark or you will not be permitted to participate in the Summer Research Program.

Summers are hot, and most of the facilities are not air-conditioned. Plan to dress accordingly and carry basic necessities such as sunglasses, sunscreen, hat, and insect repellent. Open-toed shoes or sandals are not allowed in the lab or in the excavation areas.

Contact Information

To find out more about the 2024 field season at Lubbock Lake Landmark for community participants, contact:

Susan Rowe
Community Volunteer Coordinator
Lubbock Lake Landmark
Museum of Texas Tech University
Box 43191
Lubbock, TX 79409-3191
phone: 806-742-1116
fax: 806-742-2048