Participants in the July 2015 Public Archeology Project at Manzanar National Historic Site. (Photo by Jeff Burton/National Park Service)

Manzanar’s award-winning public archeology program provides exceptional opportunities to learn about the past and help preserve the site and its stories for the future.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 and the 25th anniversary of Manzanar National Historic Site. In recognition of these significant milestones, Manzanar is hosting a public archeology project from Sept. 1 to 5.

Volunteers will have the unique opportunity to assist the National Park Service in uncovering and stabilizing Manzanar’s historic administration and staff housing area. Participants will learn about both the common and contrasting experiences of camp staff and incarcerees as well as the differences between Japanese landscaping aesthetics and “western” military-style landscaping.

Volunteer positions are available to anyone age 15 and over who is physically able to work outdoors participating in moderately strenuous activities. Volunteers will be digging with shovels and small hand tools, cutting and loading brush, using wheelbarrows, collecting rocks to reconstruct landscape features, painting rock alignments, and occasionally screening sediments to retrieve artifacts.

Previous archeological experience is helpful, but not necessary. Most of the work is physically demanding, but there will be a variety of tasks each day, to suit a varying interests and energy levels. Volunteers just need an interest in history and a willingness to get covered with dust and/or paint splatter.

The work will be conducted outdoors, regardless of weather, from 7:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. daily, including weekends. Volunteers may work any number of days or hours, but a full day or multiple days are preferred. Bring water, lunch, and work gloves, and wear sunscreen, a hat, and sturdy boots. Bring any necessary medications.

Advance sign-up is required since the project is limited to 25 participants per day. For more information and/or to sign up, contact Cultural Resources Manager Jeff Burton at (760) 878-2194, ext. 3305 or

Manzanar National Historic Site is located at 5001 Hwy. 395, six miles south of Independence. Learn more by going online to or

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