Bring your class to campus
Tour the Office of the State Archaeologist!
Did you know that the Office of the State Archaeologist (OSA) is part of the University of Iowa campus? Our facility maintains the Iowa state archaeological repository with over 4 million objects from Paleoindian, Archaic, Woodland, Late Prehistoric, and Historic cultures. Consider stopping by on your next trip! We welcome both individuals and school groups to take a personalized tour of our facility. See archaeology research and lab work in action; tour the repositories; learn about archaeological field and lab equipment; and explore our comparative and teaching collections including prehistoric and historic artifact types, lithic (stone) resources, fresh water bivalves, botanical specimens, and faunal collections of amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.
Most tours take approximately 30 minutes. The OSA is open Monday through Friday, 8:00-4:30, year-round excluding University holidays. Metered parking and temporary school bus parking is available. To inquire about an OSA tour, please contact the OSA Education Director.
Field Trips to University of Iowa Museums
Old Capitol Museum and the Museum of Natural History
The museums offer a vivid educational setting to support course objectives for students of all ages. Together, Old Capitol Museum and the Museum of Natural History form the UI Pentacrest Museums. Pentacrest Museums Visitor Services staff schedule tours for both museums. Many schools and classes combine visits to both museums on a single field trip.
Field trip tours of the Museum of Natural History's Iowa Hall and of the Old Capitol Museum take an hour each. Field trip tours must be scheduled in advance. Tours start at half-past the hour, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (later tours may be arranged on Thursdays). Groups of more than 25 will need to split into multiple sections; many groups arrange for sections to visit the two museums or several galleries within the Museum of Natural History. Our staff can help arrange the best tour for your group's size. Please arrange to have an appropriate number of adult chaperones for the number of students on your tour (generally at least 1 per 5 students for preschoolers, and at least 1 per 10-12 students for elementary and middle schoolers).
Buses can unload in the bus stop zone on Jefferson Street north of Macbride Hall, near the Museum of Natural History. Buses can be parked in the Jefferson Street commercial loading zone (just east of the bus stop) during your tour only if the driver remains with the vehicle. Buses can be parked for free during your tour in the university's Parking Lot 11 at the corner of Madison and Prentiss Streets.
To schedule a tour or to discuss tour options with our staff, contact our visitor services coordinator at 319-335-0548.