Frequently Asked Questions
The Application and Selection Process:
How do I apply for a project?
To see the list of projects, go to the Current Projects' tab and select 'Available Projects' from the drop-down menu. Simply choose which state you are interested in, select the project title from the table (all project names are live links), and go to the project description. There you will find an 'Apply Here' button, which will take you directly to the application page. You may also apply via FAX, or through the mail. All applications come directly to the PIT Clearinghouse. When you submit your application and it has been processed, you will receive an automated confirmation via email or, if submitting by FAX or mail, you will receive a notice from the Clearinghouse. You will not hear any more until after the respective application deadline for the project or projects you've selected (see below, "When do I find out if I'm selected?"). PLEASE NOTE: If you DO NOT receive an email or other confirmation, we may not have received your application! Processing generally takes 3 to 5 business days, longer during holidays, but if you have not heard from us within that time, please contact us right away (please allow 7-10 days if submitting via mail).
How many projects can I apply to?
You may apply to as many projects as you can work into your schedule! When applying, please pay attention to the project dates. If you want to work on consecutive projects, remember to allow time for travel. If you apply for two or more projects that fall on the same dates, don't worry: if you're selected for both or all, you can decide which is your first choice, second choice, and so on. Kindly decline the invitation(s) to whichever project(s) you cannot attend, and please let the Clearinghouse know. This courtesy is much appreciated. Best of all, no one loses out in the end! You get to go on your project and, as your slot reopens, it might give someone who was not originally selected an opportunity to participate!
When do I find out if I’m selected?
Volunteers are notified of their acceptance status approximately three weeks after a project application deadline. Project leaders select the people to participate on their projects and contact potential volunteers by email, telephone, and letter. They want to make sure that you are still interested and available for their project. If they cannot contact you within a week’s time, they will have to find someone else from their list to fill the position. So, if you plan on being out of town for several weeks after an application deadline, please provide the Clearinghouse with contact information. We will make sure the project leader is kept up to date. If you are not selected, the Clearinghouse will notify you and provide a list of projects still accepting applications (see below, “What if I’m not selected?”).
How do project leaders pick their crews?
Selecting volunteers is a very difficult task. In many cases, there are more volunteers applying to a project than there are spaces available. All applications received by the application deadline are considered equally. Project leaders look for a balance. They try to bring people to the project from the local area and from across the country. They like a balance of men and women. If children are accepted, they look for families as well as individuals. They accept people with experience and those who have never worked on an archaeological project in their lives. And they look for past PIT volunteers as well as new people.
What if I’m not selected?
Each project you apply to will receive a copy of your application, complete with your comments, preferences, and dates of availability. If you are not selected and have applied for only one project, or if the spaces for any other project choices are filled, the Clearinghouse will notify you directly and provide recommendations for similar projects still in need of volunteers.
Other Common Questions:
Why the moose?
The moose in the PIT logo reflects the program’s origin in real moose country—Minnesota—and comes from a pictograph, an ancient painting on a rock face. Gordon Peters, the originator of PIT, best explains how the PIT moose came to be.
I have a disability. Will I be able to participate in the project(s) in which I am interested?
We try to make PIT available to as many people as possible. The level of accessibility ranges from most difficult to easy, depending on the activity and the project's location. If you have specific questions about accessibility or physical requirements for any project, please call the Clearinghouse at: 1-800-281-9176; 1-505-896-0734 (local calls), or email at email@example.com. If they cannot answer your questions, they will put you in touch with the project leaders, who will do their best to accommodate your needs.
Can I deduct expenses associated with volunteering on a PIT project?
Volunteers may deduct certain unremimbursed expenses incurred in connection with their volunteer service from their reported income on Federal income tax returns. Examples of expenses that can be deducted include mileage to the project, gas, and meals while on the project. Information on this subject is available from Internal Revenue Service taxpayer assistance offices.