Applied Field Geophysics Workshop – Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) Applications

COVID-19 NOTICE: Please be sure to reach out to the project contact to find out the status of their upcoming season. Many projects have cancelled fieldwork for 2020 and the information below may not reflect that.

Location: Rapolt - Vetel, RO

Season: June 13, 2021 to August 7, 2021

Session Dates: Session 1: June 13 – June 19, 2021 (5 days); Session 2: June 20 – June 26, 2021 (5 days); Session 3: July 11 – July 17, 2021 (5 days); Session 4: July 18 – July 24, 2021 (5 days); Session 5: August 1 - August 7, 2021 (5 days)

Application Deadline: March 1, 2021

Deadline Type: Rolling


Program Type:

RPA Certified:

Archaeological Techniques and Research Center (Canada), Dacian and Roman Civilizations Museum (Deva, Romania)

Project Director:
Dr. Andre Gonciar (Archaeological Techniques and Research Center); Dr. Isabel Morris (Princeton University)

Project Description:

Our Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR) Field Applications Workshop is an intensive 5-day training program in GPR survey, data acquisition and analysis. The program is designed to offer our participants a very practical, useful and concrete set of professional and research skills that would provide an edge in today’s field/urban survey and exploration job market. Our participants will acquire in a very short time the necessary practical and analytical skills to conduct independent GPR field research.

Field experience with these techniques is an exceptionally useful and lucrative skill to acquire, but training in these methods is limited to expensive manufacturer professional development and/or academic courses. These educational opportunities tend to sacrifice either the theoretical and technical foundations, or the practical use and interpretation of the methods.  In contrast, this workshop offers a full set of technical, theoretical, and practical skills for Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) surveying, for two different GPR system configurations as well as two different antenna frequencies, resulting in variations in resolution and vertical ground penetration.  It provides thorough training for field work, processing, and interpretation of intensively modified human landscapes, in an accessible and professional way.  Hands-on experience is an essential complement to previous or planned geophysics training for work in earth sciences, geology, geography, urban planning, architecture, surveying, civil engineering, environmental engineering, environmental studies, landscaping, forensics, anthropology, archaeology, cultural resource management (CRM), Classics, and/or history.

One of the unique aspects of the program is its comparative approach, as our participants will learn to operated two different GPR (Noggin, manufactured by Sensors and Software, SenSoft) systems, equipped with different transducers, respectively at 500MHz and 250MHz peak frequency, in two field configurations, cart and rough terrain. Each field team consists in 3 participants on each system, conducting at least 2 full days of data collecting. Each group will be trained in setting up their own survey grids to optimize data collection and integration, assembling each field system, and collecting the same grid data with each of our two GPRs. All the data collected will be analyzed by each GPR crew, using SenSoft’s EKKO Suite, comparing, integrating and extrapolating the data/results obtained from both 500MHz and 250MHz antennas. At the end of the 5-day Workshop, each group will be required to produce a professional report and present their results in a podium presentation setting.

In terms of practical applications, the two GPR antennas and configurations we deploy during this Workshop are the systems of choice in archaeology, forensics and shallow subsurface urban mapping (SUM), for locating buried structures, graves, utilities, root systems, etc., as well as variations in pedology and geology down to about 4-6m (or 13-19ft) depth. Upon completion of this program, participants will have the skill set and knowledge required to plan, conduct, analyze, and interpret successful GPR surveys in any terrestrial setting.  This process will present a variety of anthropogenic and natural challenges, from working in diverse field conditions, to dealing with sites containing a combination of known and unknown modern and ancient features.


Period(s) of Occupation: Geophysics (GPR); Roman Imperial (Provincial); Migration Period; Medieval; Modern

Intensive Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) training workshop, focusing in skill acquisition and hands-on field and laboratory applications, in rich archaeological and modern target environments. The workshop is designed for participants to become very effective and proficient GPR operators and analysts. Intensive training on 250MHZ and 500MHz systems, in rough terrain and cart configurations. Team size: 3 participants per session per GPR unit.

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 5 days

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: The project is designed to be an intensive hands on experience, focusing primarily on skill acquisition. As such, previous experience is not required. We will teach participants all the necessary skills in the field and laboratory as they engage with various contexts.

Room and Board Arrangements:
We house everyone in double or triple occupancy rooms in the village houses. Every house is equipped with bathrooms. You will be guests of Romanian families and will have a chance to discover the true sense of old fashion Transylvanian hospitality. You will experience some of the nicest aspects of Eastern European country life, indulging in your guest families home made cookies and a variety of  home made traditional  beverages. Generally speaking, you will have all the advantages of a country life with the comfort of an urban environment. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included for the duration of each session. Note that Romanian cuisine is meat oriented (although we do our best to satisfy vegetarians as well). Cost: $1195 for each 5-day intensive training session

Contact Information:

Dr. Andre Gonciar

Archaeological Techniques and Research Center



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