Adult Programs and Tours

The Center’s Speaker Bureau offers presentations to community groups at the Center or your location. Each 45-minute lecture includes a slide show and a question and answer period. Learn about the history under your feet and the recent research conducted at the Center.

Topics include the following:

12,000 Years: The Prehistory of San Diego

People have lived in San Diego for over 12,000 years. Over 40,000 recorded archaeological sites have been discovered in San Diego County. These sites contain artifacts that provide a window to the past, including what people ate, how they hunted and how they lived. This presentation reveals what we know about the lifestyles of the ancient people who called San Diego home.

Block 112: The Untold Story of San Diego’s Working Class in the 1880s

The urban development offered a unique opportunity to examine the lives of the working class in Late Victorian San Diego. This is a group, including ethnic minorities, whose voice is hardly heard or misrepresented in the historical record. Their contribution to development of San Diego is often underappreciated. The inner-city working class survived the challenges of harsh living conditions, which lacked the infrastructure that we take for granted today. In a search for prosperity, they settled into a new life on Block 112, yet they maintained vital connections to their own heritage.

Hunting and Gathering: Shared Beginnings

For 99% of human history, we lived as hunter-gatherers. For more than two million years, all humans lived in small-scale societies, moving frequently and relying on wild food resources. It was not until about 12,000 years ago (less than 1% of human history) that plants and animals were domesticated in some parts of the world, allowing a more settled lifestyle based on farming and greater population densities. Fundamentally, our biological and cultural make-up remains rooted in this shared hunting and gathering lifestyle. This presentation explores the hunter-gatherers who lived in the San Diego Region for over 10,000 years in the context of world history.

The Science of Archaeology: How We Know What We Know

Archaeology is more than just digging stuff up. Understanding what occurred at a site requires the application of several sciences, even that math that you said you would never use. Archaeology is a branch of Anthropology, the study of human culture. Archaeology focuses on artifacts and sites to learn how people lived in the past. Archaeology reinforces the concept of a shared human heritage and provides modern people with perspectives on their own place and time in history. Archaeology has been going on in San Diego since the early 1900s. People who lived in the past weren’t “primitive” or less smart than we are today; they simply made tools using the materials and technology that were available to them at the time. This presentation discusses the scientific principles and techniques archaeologists use to learn more about ancient cultures.

For questions regarding the Center’s Adult Education Programs, or to book a presentation, please contact Executive Director Stephanie Sandoval at


Exhibitions Volunteers assist with the design, construction, and installation of Center Museum exhibits.

Volunteers work in the Center’s Research Library, cataloguing materials and organizing on a computer-based system.

Marketing and Administrative Volunteers assist the Development Office or Administration Office with data entry, updating marketing materials and clerical tasks. Computer experience is a plus.

Docents welcome visitors and answer general questions regarding the Center and exhibits. Docents staff the gift shop and help out with administrative and curatorial tasks.

Volunteers support event activities at the Center, such as the Annual BBQ, lectures, workshops, and fundraising events. Be a part of the party!

Volunteer provide support for K-12 programs offered at the Center. These are fun, hands-on programs that kids really enjoy. Teaching experience is a plus, but not required. Background checks are required.


With the assistance of Center staff, the intern will use photogrammetry to prepare one or more archaeological collections for digital preservation, as well as create a virtual museum exhibit for our Public Archaeology department. Per approval, special projects of the intern’s choosing are also available. During the research and planning, the intern will receive guidance as appropriate to their selected project. Prospective interns should already be familiar with photogrammetric procedures, and Agisoft Metashape.

Collections Management

With the assistance of Center staff, the intern will prepare one or more archaeological collections for curation. During the course of the internship, the intern will learn to identify artifacts and ecofacts common to the San Diego region, including lithics, ceramics, historical objects, and faunal, botanical, and mineral specimens. Center staff will instruct the intern on archaeological laboratory procedures such as basic artifact analysis, manual and computer cataloguing, storage requirements, and preventative conservation. In addition, the intern will become familiar with historical trends in archaeological practice in the San Diego area and will be introduced to current legal and ethical issues in archaeological curation as well as the concerns and rights of culturally affiliated groups with regard to archaeological materials.

Development and Marketing

Under the direction of Center staff, the intern will support the department in various activities, including, but not limited to, fundraising and grant research; e-newsletter development; social media marketing; and website maintenance. This internship will give the intern valuable, real-world experience in non-profit fundraising and marketing.

Geographical Information Systems in Archaeology

Prospective Interns must have completed three courses: Introduction to GIS, GIS Database Management, and Intermediate/Advanced Methods in GIS. The intern will be assigned a project where they will create shapefiles and maps for curated archaeological collections, museum exhibits, and/or public outreach using ArcGIS 10.6. Center staff will instruct the intern on archaeological GIS laboratory procedures such as computer cataloguing, storage requirements, and database management.

Library Science

With the assistance of Center staff, the intern will arrange and catalog materials in the Center’s library. During the course of the internship, the intern will take a leading role in the cataloging, sorting and storing of research files and creating user guides for these collections. Center staff will instruct the intern on archival procedures, computer cataloging, storage requirements, and preventative conservation.

Public Archaeology

Harness your passion for Public Archaeology and gain hands-on experience with K-12 museum field trips, lectures, and public outreach. Additional projects may include creating virtual museum exhibits and activities, assisting in the development and implementation of K-12 curricula programs, planning and presenting public facing content, or educational field trip content of your own design. Must be able to pass a Live Scan.