Interning with Shumla

Shumla takes an active role in training the next generation of researchers and scientists. We offer internship positions to highly-motivated students looking to challenge themselves mentally, physically, and professionally. Our mission is the documentation and analysis of rock art, but the skills interns learn can be applied to many academic disciplines and professional careers, including archaeology, art, chemistry, physics, photography, GIS mapping, engineering, IT and more.

Shumla offers paid internships to undergraduate and graduate students. We ask that potential interns participate for a minimum 10-week period. This allows sufficient training and integration into the research team. Longer time periods may also be considered.

Application Deadlines

Summer deadline is March 1st
Fall deadline is July 1st
Spring deadline is November 1st

Archaeology Internship

Shumla is a global leader in rock art research and education, recognized internationally for our use of advanced technology and science. We conduct our work in one of the most archaeologically-rich regions of North America – the Lower Pecos Canyonlands of southwest Texas. Over four thousand years ago, hunter-gatherer artists began transforming this arid region into a painted landscape. Shumla is documenting and researching this cultural landscape, focusing on the preservation of some of the most significant ancient paintings in the world. Interns work directly with the research team learning the Shumla method for rock art site documentation, as well as actively participating in developing and improving field and lab procedures, and problem-solving. Interns gain experience with the use of advanced technologies and are given a great deal of responsibility for reaching goals and producing successful outcomes.

Students will gain experience in:

  • hunter-gatherer archaeology
  • completing archaeological site forms
  • state-of-the-art photographic techniques, such as SfM 3D modeling and
  • documenting complex rock art murals
  • digital data collection in the field
  • protocols for data management
  • developing a research design

Requirements: Students should be either currently enrolled in or have received a degree in anthropology, archaeology, art history, or a related field. They must be physically capable of hiking across rugged terrain in remote areas and under extreme weather conditions.

Archaeological Chemistry Laboratory Internship

Shumla scientists specialize in applying archaeological chemistry to the study of ancient rock paintings, focusing on radiocarbon dating and pigment analysis. For radiocarbon dating, we utilize plasma oxidation to extract organic binders/vehicles from rock painting samples for accelerator mass spectrometry. For pigment analysis, we utilize FTIR and X-ray spectroscopies. This internship opportunity will provide the student with real-world research experience and to further his/her laboratory skills. This is a collaborative endeavor in which the intern will actively contribute to a research problem. If sufficient progress is accomplished, the intern will have an opportunity to publish his/her results in a peer-reviewed journal.

Students will gain experience in:

  • collecting paint samples
  • ultra-high vacuum technology
  • radio frequency plasma ashing
  • accelerator mass spectrometry
  • radiocarbon calibration software
  • statistics
  • reading scientific literature
  • writing reports

Requirements: Students should be either currently enrolled in or have received a degree in chemistry, physics, or archaeology and have a keen interest in scientific analyses.

Other Internship Opportunities

In some instances, Shumla has trained interns in public relations,  information technology (IT), GIS mapping, and other fields.


How to Apply

For your application, please submit the following via email to Dr. Karen Steelman at

1. In the body of the email, please state your preferred start and end dates
2. Attach a 1-page essay telling us:
a. The type of internship you are applying for (archaeological, chemistry laboratory, or other); why you want this internship; and what attributes you bring to this position.
b. Your long-term goals and aspirations, and how Shumla can help you attain them.
3. Attach a resume or CV
4. Have two references send a letter of recommendation


If you are accepted for an internship position, Shumla provides a modest stipend commensurate with your experience level in order to partially cover living expenses.  We provide internship opportunities at both of our locations – Comstock, Texas and San Marcos, Texas.  Interns are responsible for travel expenses to the Shumla Offices at the beginning and end of the internship period.

As the Comstock office is located in remote west Texas, interns must have their own vehicle for grocery shopping and other personal needs.  Shumla provides free housing for interns at the Comstock location.

For those in San Marcos, public transportation is available.  However, interns at the San Marcos location are responsible for finding their own housing.  A modest supplement is added to the stipend to assist with this added living cost.

Inquiries Email Shumla’s Science Director Dr. Karen Steelman at for additional information if you have questions.