Volunteer Program

The Gault School of Archaeological Research (GSAR) was founded in 2006 with the goal of acquiring and excavating the Gault Site near Florence, Texas. Known to archaeologists since the 1920s, the Gault Site is famous for its concentration of artifacts from 11 archaeological cultures dating back 15,000 years. For decades, the site was the focus of a great deal of artifact collecting and looting, but deep layers of the site remained intact, and excavations by the University of Texas at Austin began in 1999. Upon acquiring the site, GSAR continued excavations with the help of a large force of volunteers. More than 2,000 people have volunteered for GSAR over the years, and the essential work of volunteers continues.

Volunteers help to conserve and analyze artifacts in the lab and put in more than 2,300 hours of volunteer time in the lab in 2015. At the Gault Site "Maintenance Day" 60-80 volunteers help to keep the property clean and safe for workers and visitors. Volunteers also help with the GSAR outreach program to school children and the general public. In addition to work at the Gault Site, volunteers have helped GSAR in the testing and survey of other Central Texas sites that may shed light on the earliest people of the region. The monetary value of volunteer labor to GSAR projects and programs often exceeds $100,000, which is comparable to 25 percent of the organization’s annual budget.

Designated a Preserve America Steward in August 2016.