Wisconsin Maritime Archaeologist

The Wisconsin Historical Society, considered one of the nation’s finest historical institutions, is a State of Wisconsin government agency as well as a mission-driven entrepreneurial organization.  The Wisconsin Historical Society, founded in 1846, ranks as one of the largest, most active and diversified state historical societies in the nation. As both a state agency and a private membership organization, its mission is to help people connect to the past by collecting, preserving and sharing stories. At its core, the Society believes that increasing the public’s knowledge of history has profound societal, cultural, and economic benefit. The Society’s values are to Embrace a Spirit of Service, Engage our Expertise, Spark Enthusiasm, Cultivate Inclusion, Exceed Expectations, and Think Big and Grow with Purpose. Its collections, historic sites and museums, historic preservation office and extensive educational programs are focused on enriching and transforming lives through unparalleled access to history.  

Click HERE for more information about working at the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Position Summary

The Maritime Archeology Program works to research, document, promote, and preserve the maritime archeological legacy of Wisconsin. This professional position works together with the Senior Maritime Archeologist, under supervision of the State Archeologist. Work is performed with a great deal of independence; there is minimal direct oversight. The position requires extensive travel and a seasonal work schedule exceeding 40 hours per week. The position will require physically working, conducting exploration, and completing fieldwork in Wisconsin waters, including the Great Lakes.

The position promotes the maritime program and educates consultants, public officials, and the public about Wisconsin’s maritime history, shipwrecks and the maritime landscape through multi-faceted public outreach, including participation in national and regional maritime conferences, presentations throughout Wisconsin, and training. The incumbent will conduct and direct underwater archeological fieldwork and monitoring. Together with the senior maritime archeologist they will work under the direction of the State Archeologist to develop task lists and priorities and will carry them out with the assistance of interns, volunteers or other archeologists. The incumbent is responsible for daily completion of field tasks, project notes and maps, and for proper maintenance of project equipment. The incumbent will also conduct historical research; complete technical report writing and National Register of Historic Places nominations based upon the archeological and archival research; provide volunteer training; monitor the program grants and budgets; and complete other project­ related tasks.

Salary Information

The salary will be between $25 – $29 per hour ($52,000 to $60,320 annually) in accordance with the provisions of the current Compensation Plan. This position is in pay schedule 13, range 04; civil service classification is Archeologist.  A twelve-month probationary period will be required. 

Job Details

A criminal background check will be conducted prior to an offer of employment to determine if the circumstances of any conviction may be related to the job.

Permanent classified state employees who are eligible for consideration (transfer, voluntary demotion, or former employees as a reinstatement) should complete the application process to apply.

WHS does not sponsor work visas.  Any appointment made will be contingent on the applicant being able to prove valid status to work in the United States.

Certain positions within WHS may allow remote/work from home flexibility for a portion of their work schedule, depending on the needs of the position and the work unit. This topic and any remote work flexibility that may be available will be discussed in more detail in the interview process.

All state employees must report their COVID vaccination status, whether vaccinated or not and provide supporting documentation if vaccinated. Newly hired employees will be required to submit this information within their first two weeks of employment.  The State of Wisconsin continues to follow necessary health and safety protocols for COVID.  Please visit Division of Personnel Management Coronavirus – COVID-19 (wi.gov) for the most up-to-date information. Guidance may be subject to change.


Please make sure to describe the following qualifications within your resume and/or letter of qualifications in order to be considered for this position.

Minimally qualified candidate will have experience in all of the following:

  • Master’s degree in Maritime Archeology or related field
  • Experience in conducting underwater archeological fieldwork
  • Certified Diver
  • Comfortable diving from a boat
  • Experience conducting independent research and prepare professional reports and presentations
  • Experience managing a budget

In addition to minimum qualifications, a well-qualified candidate will additionally have experience in two of the following areas:

  • Certified to dive to a depth of 300 feet.
  • Certified closed-circuit rebreather.
  • Demonstrated ability in grant writing.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate research with the public.  
  • Photogrammetry specialist

How To Apply

Apply online! To apply, click “Apply for Job” to start the application process.  Then, you will access your existing account or to create a new account if you don’t have an account. Once you are logged in, click “Apply for Job.” Follow the steps outlined in the application process and submit your application.

Your letter of qualifications and resume are very important parts of your application and are used during our evaluation process to determine your qualifications as they relate to the job. For instructions on developing your resume and letter of qualifications for your application and what should be included in these materials, click here for resume and letter of qualifications instructions..

Submitted materials will be evaluated and the most qualified applicants will be invited to participate in the next step of the hiring process.

We are an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer seeking a diverse and talented workforce. 

Questions may be directed to jan.zadra@wisconsinhistory.org.

Deadline to Apply

Applications are due at 11:59PM on February 1, 2023.

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