Due to Wormsloe's advantageous location, relatively undisturbed landscape and extensive range of historical uses (Native American, Colonial, etc.) the property harbors a rare and significant concentration of undiscovered archaeological resources. In addition to its rich historical landscape, Wormsloe's many generations have meticulously documented human activity on-site, providing unsurpassed opportunities for academic research, education, and community outreach.
An emerging recognition of the importance of historical documentation by scientists has broadened the framework of ecological research.
Concurrently, there is a growing appreciation by historians of the value of scientific analysis of excavated material evidence. At Wormsloe, research teams rely on an extensive archive of historical documents as they collect new data and synthesize an unprecedented description of this unique site on the Georgia coast. A thorough understanding of the history of human activity and the environment is fundamental to our interpretation of the landscape today, and it is critical as we establish stewardship protocols for the land and its historical legacies.
Members of the Wormsloe Scientific Advisory Council (WSAC) represent broad areas of research, as well as policy, strategic planning, and science education. Their extensive academic background allows the WSAC to facilitate integrative, long-term planning and guide research initiatives supported by the Wormsloe Insititute. Wormsloe is recognized as a unique and exemplary opportunity to serve as an archaeological research center and field laboratory as well as a site for demonstration of archaeological research techniques and interpretation of coastal Georgia history, anthropology, and ecology. Currently, the Institute program provides working space for a small group of researchers involved in archaeological field and lab work (i.e. artifact excavation, identification and restoration), and ecological investigations.
In 2008, the Wormsloe Institute opened a fully equipped on-site Conservation Field Laboratory, which provides facilities for archival protection and conservation of artifacts collected on the property. Housing is a available at Wormsloe for faculty and graduate students supported by the Wormsloe Insititute.
The Wormsloe Institute currently contributes to the knowledge base of environmental history through ongoing studies that encompass both field research and analysis of historical documents. Wormsloe Fellows are focused on both the subsurface repository of artifacts and and the concurrent examination of relevant archival materials. Working in tandem, Wormsloe Fellows collect data that mutually support and inform our several disciplinary approaches. Multiple types of geophysical techniques are currently employed to better assess and understand the lateral extent, depth, composition, and origin of near-surface archaeological features. Simultaneously, the reconstruction of land-use history at Wormsloe, based on relevant archival collections at UGA's Hargrett Library is underway. Both field investigations and assessment of historical documents are geographically referenced and integrated into the burgeoning GIS mapping database, developed by UGA's Center for Geospatial Research (CGR). As we collect additional geophysical and archival data, opportunities for long-term research will continue to evolve and expand.