Alabama Museum of Natural History

Museum Expedition

The Museum Expedition, sponsored by the Alabama Museum of Natural History, offers a unique summer field experience for middle and high school students as well as the general public. In an effort to provide hands-on scientific field research in the areas of paleontology, archaeology, and practical ecology the Museum Expedition was designed to offer the participant an opportunity to work side by side with professional researchers on an actual field project.

Founded in 1979, the Expedition has gone to many different sites in Alabama and Mississippi, from the fossil-rich black belt region to the bluff shelters of the Tennessee River Valley, from historic archaeology at the ghost town of Old Cahawba to Native American mounds near the mighty Mississippi River.

Operating from a large tent camp in remote settings, the Expedition offers participants a chance to experience scientific research in much the same way it would have been carried out 60 years ago. With only a generator for electricity at night and a water tank to provide the only running water in camp, the participants learn to experience a way of life from a much simpler era.

a cabin in the woods with a sign on the front that reads Old Saint Stephens Where Alabama Began Archaeology Trail
Archaeology at Old Cahawba Archeological Park

Museum Expedition 40: St. Stephens Historical Park — Archaeology at the First Capital of the Alabama Territory

This is not your ordinary summer camp!

Discover Alabama’s diverse natural history by participating in the 40th Annual Museum Expedition Camp!  Participants will have the fun and unique opportunity to work with scientists in the field of archaeology as part of an actual scientific research project to explore the history of Alabama.  Students, teachers, and adults will spend a week at the Expedition field camp working with scientists to learn excavation techniques, laboratory procedures, and artifact identification. The Museum Expedition combines real exploration, with real science to create a unique experience and lasting friendships.

Summer 2018!

This is a big year for the Museum Expedition program! We are celebrating 40 years of this unique and adventurous field camp, pioneered by the late John Hall. We are excited to announce our return to St. Stephen’s Historical Park, the first time since 2009. Expedition participants will be working to excavate new parts of the territorial capital of Alabama. We look forward to working with archaeologist George Shorter, the staff at Old St. Stephens Historical Park, and the Alabama Historical Commission.

We will be offering three sessions this summer and like last year each camp will start on a Monday and will end on Saturday.

Middle School Camp (6, 7 & 8th Grade): June 4-9
High School Camp (9, 10, 11, & 12th Grade): June 11-16
Public Archeology Camp (age 14 and up or accompanied by parent if younger): June 18-24

We hope you’ll plan to join us for a fun, action-packed week at camp.  So, act now and reserve your place to participate in the 40th Annual Museum Expedition.

Course Credit

Students can earn elective high school credit through advance arrangements with their school and the Expedition staff.  Teachers can earn University of Alabama continuing education units or professional development hours.


Space is limited to 20 participants per week, so contact us soon to reserve your spot.  To register for the program, please complete a registration form (click and print the document below) and return it along with a $50 deposit to reserve a space to participate in the Museum Expedition 40. Download the Museum Expedition 40 Application.


Program tuition is $385 per week ($360 for UA Museums Members).  Accommodations, food, free t-shirt, and scientific equipment will be provided; a detailed list of what to bring is included in the registration packet.  For more information or to become a member of the Museum, call 205-348-7550.

More Information

Email us at museum.expedition@ua.edu for information about the next Museum Expedition.