Universities such as UMF can be thought of as cultural landscapes, which reflect a long and diverse record of human-environmental interaction embodied through landscape modification, the built environment and remnant cultural materials. A number of college campuses across the US have initiated campus archaeology programs to examine this interaction and prior campus histories while also teaching students about archaeological practice. 

Since 2017, in association with his Introduction to Archaeology course, Dr. Luke Kellett has directed test excavations in Abbott Park at the location of the former schoolhouse and classrooms (Edward Abbott Hall) of the Abbott School. Working in small groups, UMF students have learned archaeological research methods including excavation, screening, photography and artifact analysis. Through these initial excavations, the project has collected diverse material evidence of the Abbott School and subsequent park use since the mid-19th century. These materials include glass, brick, nails, porcelain and many other materials which reflect daily life at the Abbott School over a hundred years ago. The collection of recent materials (i.e. plastic waste) record the modern era of the park and how use of the park has changed over time. Additional technologies including Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and UAV (drone) enabled photography, have supported archaeological and historical work and will continue to play a vital role in future research projects in the park.

2019 test excavations at the site of Edward Abbott Hall.