Before they begin monitoring sites, volunteers for the California Archaeological Site Stewardship Program (CASSP) take a two-day training workshop over one weekend. The Saturday classroom session consists of lectures, small group discussions, and question-and-answer periods. Presenters usually include archaeologists, law-enforcement officials, and representatives of Native American communities, and may include other experts in natural sciences and history. Lunch is provided at the workshop on Saturday. The Sunday session consists of a field trip to archaeological and historical sites, lead by the archaeologist who will be coordinating the local team of volunteers.
Who can join. Everyone with a sincere interest in preserving California heritage is welcome to join CASSP. Site stewards must be over the age of 18.
A typical workshop agenda. The classroom session on Saturday includes:
- 9:00 welcoming remarks, introductions, and program overview,
- 10:30 presentations on local cultural resources,
- 12:00 lunch (provided at the classroom),
- 1:00 safety concerns, legal issues, how to be a witness,
- 3:00 small-group role-playing and discussion,
- 4:30 complete application form and confidentiality agreement; program concludes.
Workshop fee. There is a fee of $25 per person, which is paid to the Society for California Archaeology. Grants and contributions, not registration fees, pay most of the workshop costs. CASSP volunteers may attend the volunteer training workshop again for a refresher, if space permits; if you have paid the $25 registration fee before, then you do not pay it a second time for the refresher.