Sanford Museum & Planetarium
Northwest Chapter of the Iowa Archeological Society



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The Northwest Chapter

The Northwest Chapter was organized as a branch of the Iowa Archeological Society, and members are pledged to support and further the aims and purposes of the parent organization.


Our goals are to further archaeological knowledge and to gather, record, and publish information of all archaeological remains, whether they are sites, data, or artifacts, for the benefit of future generations of Iowans and scientists.

Meetings and Events

The Northwest Chapter meets on the first Wednesday of every month at 6 p.m. In addition to discussing upcoming events, these monthly meetings feature special activities, field trips, or presentations. These meetings are open to the public, so feel free to bring a friend!

Archaeology Field School

Northwest Chapter members are welcome to join the field school students for a day of digging for free. We will meet at the Sanford Museum at 9:30 a.m. and be done by 4 p.m.  Members must provide their own transportation to and from the site. Dress appropriately for the weather. If it is storming, we will do work in the archaeological collections. If you plan to attend, please call ahead to let Megan know you are coming.

(note that this is the second Wednesday of June)

Paddle with an Archaeologist

The Sanford Museum is teaming up with the Cherokee County Conservation Board to do a canoe/kayak float down the Little Sioux River. Megan Stroh will be the featured archaeologist and will point out nearby archaeological sites. We will also stop at sandbars to look for bones, fossils, and potential artifacts. The event is free, but you must call the Cherokee County Conservation Board to make a reservation.


Road Tour of Waterman Creek Sites

Meet in the parking lot of the Prairie Heritage Center at 6 p.m. (west of Peterson, Iowa) and we will all caravan around to some neat archaeological sites along Waterman Creek. We will visit Webb Mounds, Wittrock, and the Litka sites. We will likely do small amounts of hiking to get to the sites, so dress appropriately and wear sturdy shoes.
Four County Float

Hit the Little Sioux River for a float through four counties. Float both days or just one! Enjoy the quiet float and area wildlife with friends, family, an archeologist, and four county naturalists.

Day 1: Linn Grove Dam to Wanata Park (Peterson) Day 2: Prairie Heritage Center to Martins Access Float begins at 9:00am each day.

Canoes and kayaks are available for rent, $10/water vessel, due with registration. Float will be cancelled due to inclement weather or poor water conditions.


End of the Season BBQ and Atlatl Throwing

Held at Martinís Access Park, Cherokee County, in the picnic area closest to the river and buy the old ball fields. We will also go walk along sandbars and look for bones and artifacts. Bring a side (salad, chips, fruit, veggies, etc.) and your own beverage. Megan will provide the meat and buns.

Archaeology Day
A whole day of archaeological activities! Held at the Sanford Museum.
1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
No meeting this month 10/5/16
One day roadtrip to Pipestone National Monument. Please Call Megan to sign up for this activity.
Cost is $20.00


Seasonal Newsletter

Seasonal Newsletter Members of NWIAS receive a newsletter four times a year (Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall). Newsletters highlight local research, archaeological and paleontological finds, Northwest Chapter news, and upcoming events.


Become a Member

All meetings are open to the public, and are regularly announced to members. Membership dues are only $3 per person and payable once a year on the calendar year. Send payment to Sanford Museum

Iowa Archaeological Society

Membership in the Iowa Archaeological Society is $20 and not required, but is highly recommended. Go to their website to learn more about member benefits and events.

If you have any questions, please E-mail us at