We offer 1-2 workshops on topics targeted towards archaeological research each quarter. Have a request? Email!

Summer “Level Up” Workshop series

Tentative schedule, check back regularly for updates!

Upcoming workshops

Managing References and Citations with Zotero

Deidre Whitmore, Digital Archaeology Lab
Thursday, August 13th 2020 10:00 – 11:00am (PT)
This workshop will prevent headaches and save hours of work. The open-source tool Zotero not only makes gathering and organizing references fast and easy but also simplifies the process of adding citations and bibliographies to your publications. This workshop will cover how to add articles, books, chapters, periodicals, and web resources with a single click. Participants will also learn how to add in-text citations directly in Word and LibreOffice as well as adding and formatting a reference cited and bibliography to publications. Lastly, we will cover how to collaborate with colleagues and easily share research materials using Zotero libraries. 
Register here (Registration limited to Cotsen affiliates)

What’s possible with the Lux Lab? 3D scanning, printing, LiDAR and more!

Doug Daniels, Emerging Technologies Librarian
Thursday, August 27th 2020 10:00am – 12:00pm (PT)
Doug Daniels is the Emerging Technologies Librarian at the UCLA Library and director of the Library’s Lux Lab. The Lux Lab is a suite of emerging technology services, including 3D printing, 3D scanning, laser cutting and etching, large format printing, 3D mapping, and a developing VR service. This workshop will highlight some past work that the Lux Lab has done. These past projects reflect the diverse use-cases of these technologies in an archaeological context. Immediately following the presentation, a live demonstration of the Lux Lab’s 3D scanner(s) will take place, with plenty of time for questions and answers.
Register here

Academic Publishing in Archaeology

Aaron Burke (CIoA Press Editor in Chief) and Randi Danforth (Publications Director)
Thursday, September 3rd 2020 10:00am – 12:00pm (PT)
CIoA Press Editor in Chief Aaron Burke and Publications Director Randi Danforth will present a session on academic publishing in two parts. First, “how do I decide where to publish something? Who should I publish it with? Should it be an article or a book?” This presentation will provide an overview of the publication process with advice concerning how to approach publishers, select journals, prepare proposals and manuscripts, respond to and address peer review, and promote your work once published. Part Two will present an inside look at the process, from book proposal to board review to acceptance and production (copyediting, author review, design, printing, and distribution). Deidre Whitmore will give an overview of electronic publishing possibilities, both those linked to a book in print, and those in independent digital forms.
Register here (Registration limited to Cotsen affiliates)

Upcoming topics (Fall Quarter)

  • Site and Artifact Photography
  • ArcGIS Pro for Archaeologists
  • Data modeling and database design
  • Non-academic resumes and interviews
  • Inkscape in Archaeology

Past workshops

PXRF Analysis: You’ve collected your data. Now what?

Vanessa Muros, Director of the Experimental and Archaeological Sciences Lab
Thursday, June 25th 2020 10:00am – 12:00pm (PT)
Portable x-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy has become a widely used analytical tool in the fields of archaeology and conservation for the non-destructive elemental analysis of cultural heritage materials. But once you’ve collected your data, how do you interpret it?  This workshop will provide a general introduction to the three types of pXRF data that can be generated (qualitative, quantitative, and semi-quantitative) and through the use of case studies, illustrate how the data can be interpreted and used to answer research questions about cultural heritage.

Photogrammetry: Creating 3D Models from Photographs

Anthony Caldwell, Assistant Director of the UCLA Digital Research Consortium
Thursday, July 2nd 2020 10:00am – 12:00pm (PT)
Photogrammetry, or Structure-from-Motion, is a technique for constructing three dimensional models from a series of photographs. This technique can be utilized by archaeologists to record objects, features, and sites both quickly and relatively inexpensively. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to systematically photograph objects and the steps to processing these photographs into a 3D model with Agisoft’s MetaShape (previously named PhotoScan).

Statistics: Basic Data Management and Regression

Alan Farahani, Assistant Professor in Anthropology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Thursday, July 9th 2020 10:00am – 12:00pm (PT)
This workshop will cover the basics of contemporary data manipulation using the R statistical programming language as well as provide an introduction to approaches to regression for archaeological applications. Topics covered will include philosophy of regression, model specification, parameterization, and evaluation, as well as the different distribution families used to analyze count (poisson, negative binomial, etc.) and continuous (gaussian) data.  Participants should walk away (aka turn off their web cameras) with at least a basic understanding of the issues as well the ability to undertake some of the analyses using the R platform.

Vector Illustrations with Adobe Illustrator

Deidre Whitmore, Digital Archaeology Lab
Thursday, July 16th 2020 10:00am – 12:00pm (PT)
Vector illustrations are common in archaeological publications and field documentation. In this workshop we’ll cover how Adobe Illustrator and vector illustrations can be used for site maps, trench and elevation drawings, and artifact renderings. Participants will be introduced to the interface and tools associated with these types of illustrations. We’ll cover how to bring scanned drawings into Illustrator and set up a drawing for digital tracing as well as tricks to speed up the process. Additionally, we’ll walk through creating artifact drawings using common techniques including stippling.

Introduction to 3D Digital Reconstructions using SketchUp

Anthony Caldwell, Assistant Director of the UCLA Digital Research Consortium
Thursday, July 23rd 2020 10:00am – 12:00pm (PT) 
This workshop will introduce 3D modeling through the use of SketchUp, an intuitive modeling application that lets you create and edit 3D models. The workshop will cover: navigating and understanding 3D space, drawing basics, textures, tags, importing and exporting, and much more. Note: This workshop will be using Sketch-up free. If you would like to follow the workshop, please make sure you have signed up for a SketchUp free account at

Data Cleaning with OpenRefine

Deidre Whitmore, Digital Archaeology Lab
Thursday, August 6th 2020 10:00am – 12:00pm (PT)
Data are messy. Nearly all datasets require cleaning and processing before they can be analyzed and interpreted. This workshop will cover how to use the free, open-source tool OpenRefine to more quickly and easily understand and clean your data. Participants will learn how to correct typos and misspellings, standardize terms and dates, and break complex data into usable formats. We will also cover how to share your data and cleaning steps with collaborators and export a script that details the steps taken which can be applied to future datasets.

Go through the lessons yourself here!

In addition to DAL workshops, we regularly collaborate with the UCLA Library Research Partnerships team, the Data Science Center, IDRE Sandbox, and other units across campus to offer a variety of workshopsfocusing on fundamental skills and tools that you can apply on your research projects.