The Midwest Archeological Center (MWAC) is dedicated to the study, interpretation, and preservation of archeological resources within the National Park System, particularly within the Midwest Region of the National Park Service. Upon request, MWAC also works with parks in other regions of the National Park Service, as well as with units in other Federal agencies.
Archeological research takes place for a variety of reasons, using a wide range of methods and techniques. MWAC activities range from inventory investigations, aimed at identifying previously unrecorded archeological sites in parks, to data recovery investigations design to salvage data from known sites that are unavoidably threatened with damage or destruction. In addition to traditional methods of archeological survey and excavation, MWAC staff frequently apply techniques of geophysical exploration such as magnetic field intensity surveys, electrical resistivity surveys, and others.
Much research is also conducted in the office, using data archived from decades of previous archeological work in the parks. MWAC professionals commonly combine geospatial, historic, and archival data to develop research proposals for new projects, to conduct analyses on field data from current projects, and to address novel research questions as stand-alone projects.