Museum volunteers part of team featured at worldwide archaeology festival

CoBALT Members of the Coastal Bend Archaeological Logistics Team (CoBALT) pose for a photo at the McNeill Ranch site in this January 2020 photo.

The Coastal Bend Archaeological Logistics Team (CoBALT) was recently featured in “DigNation: Big Dig Energy,” a two-day online festival that brought some of the leading archaeologists from around the world to share their latest discoveries.

The members of CoBALT, a group of nonprofessional archaeologists brought together by the La Belle and Fort St. Louis excavations, volunteer in the Public Archaeology Lab hosted by Victoria College’s Museum of the Coastal Bend. CoBALT was recognized by the festival for its work at the McNeill Ranch site in Victoria County.

“It is a tremendous honor for our project to be featured alongside some of the most remarkable current archaeological sites in the world,” said Heather Para, exhibits and collections manager for the Museum of the Coastal Bend. “I am so proud of our team.”

The members of CoBalt are Para, Jud Austin, Bill Birmingham, Jackie Covington, Charlie Kouba, Ben McReynolds, O.C. Garza, Ricky Ramseur and Bruce Shulter, all of Victoria; Frank Condron of Edna; Debbie Griffith of Rockport; and Richard McReynolds of San Antonio.

Information on the festival, which was held June 13-14, can be found at

The Public Archaeology Lab is located in the basement of the Victoria College Library and is open to the public Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon.

The museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Due to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, no more than 25 people can be in the museum at one time.

Visitors will undergo a screening, which includes a temperature check, before entering the museum. Visitors should use the disinfectant station upon entering the museum and wear a facial covering. High-touch areas will be cleaned frequently.

The Museum of the Coastal Bend is located on Victoria College’s Main Campus at 2200 E. Red River Street in Victoria.

For information on the museum and upcoming events, visit