Robin Van Auken

I’m Robin Van Auken, a public archaeologist and educator with a journalism background.

I teach American Archaeology at Lycoming College and direct multi-year, public archaeology projects, working with hundreds of students and volunteers, and educating thousands of visitors.

I also teach communications / media writing at Lycoming College, and direct its summer youth program, Lycoming College for Kids.

My educational specialties include developing curricula for learners of all ages, mentoring students and overseeing their independent projects and internships.

With my husband, Lance Van Auken, I operate Hands on Heritage, a consulting firm that helps its clients discover, explore, celebrate and share their cultural heritage through a variety of unique projects. Offering a range of historical research and interpretive services, we can help you tell your story in the format that suits your needs, while adhering to the highest standards of historical practice.

Projects and Case Studies: Hands on Heritage

Hands on Heritage accepts projects based upon merit and interest. We work with for-profit companies and non-profit organizations, as well as communities and educational facilities.

Our combined background is in education, anthropology, communications and sports management. We work with a variety of clients, from companies observing an anniversary, to communities celebrating centennial milestones. We have extensive museum experience, coordinating and implementing project development from inception to opening day.

From developing museums and parks to editing pamphlets and memoirs, projects can be large or small. As professional writers, we produce commemorative books that not only celebrate an organization or event, but stay fresh on a bookshelf for decades.

Click on a project to read more.

Little League Baseball and Softball

Muncy Historical Society

NCC8, Society for PA Archaeology

  • NCC8 Public Archaeology Digs (Webmaster: Robin Van Auken)
  • Archaeological site investigation and registration
    • Fisher Site — 36LY0316
    • Glunk Site — 36LY0345
    • Allegheny Airlines Flight 371 Crash Site — 36LY0351

City of Williamsport

Williamsport Sun-Gazette Newspaper

Other Local History Books

Robin Van Auken’s Websites

Hands on Heritage helps its clients discover, explore, celebrate and share their cultural heritage through a variety of unique projects. Offering a range of historical research and interpretive services, we can help you tell your story in the format that suits your needs, while adhering to the highest standards of historical practice. We can shepherd your project to completion, or lend a hand when needed. Hands on Heritage is operated by Lance and Robin Van Auken, writers, historians and museum specialists with a combined 50-plus years of experience.Visit Hands on Heritage website
News of Yesteryear is dedicated to educating and entertaining visitors of all ages with stories and illustrations of Historic Pennsylvania — particularly Northcentral Pennsylvania. We feature articles and artwork by individuals, as well as reporters and photographers of the Williamsport Sun-Gazette and other newspapers that span the 200-year history of journalism in Lycoming County. Some of the notable newspapers with origins in Williamsport are the Lycoming Gazette, the Gazette and Bulletin, the Williamsport Sun, Grit, and the Luminary.Visit News of Yesteryear's website
Play Ball! The Story of Little League® Baseball is the remarkable story of Little League® Baseball, from the first diamond in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, to the playing fields of the world. “Play Ball!” charts Little League’s history from the earliest days and shows how, in many respects, its history parallels America’s history: isolation in the beginning; rapid expansion; a civil war of sorts, followed by reconstruction; struggles over civil rights and gender equity; and foreign entanglements. A microcosm of American society, Little League reflects trends.Visit Play Ball's website

Robin Van Auken’s Blog

Chris Kresser’s Paleo Code

Chris Kresser is a noted practitioner of functional and integrative medicine. He’s written a book: Your Personal Paleo Code: The 3-Step Plan to Lose Weight, Reverse Disease, and Stay Fit and Healthy for Life, designed to “teach you a simple yet powerful […]

No Alcohol Here, Mr. Ranger

Not that we break the rules (wink), but many campgrounds and parks do not allow alcoholic beverages. When they do, we prefer to bring along a chilled box of wine. Well, minus the box.

We’re so pleased that Vintners have made great […]

Robb Wolf’s Paleo Solution

Robb Wolf is the author of The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet, and one of the strongest voices in the Paleo Lifestyle movement. His podcasts are top-ranked on iTunes and listened to by a world-wide audience.  Wolf is a […]

Mark’s Daily Apple

Mark Sisson makes a lot of sense. He’s living the Primal Lifestyle and has created a successful business selling books, supplements and seminars. Daily Apple also features a forum where almost any question you have about living Paleo & Primal […]

Dr. Kellyann Petrucci

Dr. Kellyann Petrucci is no dummy. She’s a “go-to expert in the nutritional field” and coauthor of Paleo Cookbook For Dummies. 

According to Dr. Kellyann, “I promote a back-to-basics approach to living. My plan is 100 percent successful because it’s a food […]

Day One of Detox

Day One of Detox. Just wait ’til my husband gets home, smells dinner simmering on the stove, and then discovers it’s VEGETABLES.

Poor guy. I even made him a bowl of oatmeal this morning, but he “forgot” to eat it. I […]

Lost No More: Alvira and the Ordnance

In 1942, after America entered World War II, its citizens were asked to sacrifice much for the war effort. Gasoline, sugar, butter and silk were rationed and entire communities rallied behind scrap and tire drives. One community, however, sacrificed much […]

The Best Coffee Press Ever

We stopped at Cabela’s and browsed through its camping department, looking for useful items. This Gsi Sports Javapress was very impressive, especially because it came in two sizes — wussy (30 oz) and normal (50 oz).

We liked it so much, we […]

Heritage Downloads

My History Is America’s History

This free eBook, “My History Is America’s History: 15 Things You Can Do to Save America’s Stories,” is a guidebook to help families and individuals to explore family history and discover how our own family […]

Public Archaeology

As a historical archaeologist, I work with museums and non-profit organizations, colleges and universities, public and private schools, and avocational archaeology groups.  Services I offer include:

Field trips
Field schools
Hands-on heritage programs
Historical research, oral histories
Ethnographic research and interviews
Interpretive exhibit, video development
National Register […]

Social Applications

If you are considering adding social media and other interactive elements to your public relations and marketing plan, here is a comprehensive list of the more popular and effective applications. The bottom line is that all of these are free […]

WordPress Tutorials

So you want to use WordPress but not sure how to go about it?

WordPress is a popular CMS used by companies, large and small, as well as individuals. There are two versions of WordPress — the .com and the .org. […]

Google Apps & YouTube

If you’re not using Google, then you need to consider all that this amazing company has to offer. Most amazing of all is that it is free, open-source and easy to use. There are literally hundreds of How-To videos available […]

Hills Creek State Park

Kayaking on Hills Creek State Park is a wonderful way to spend the afternoon, even if you’re not camping at the spectacular park.

Hiking at Little Pine State Park

We hiked along the reservoir at Little Pine State Park. Saw some interesting rock outcrops along the way.

Geocaching at Little Pine State Park

We enjoyed finding our first geocache on our first camping outing. Try geocaching at Little Pine State Park.

Little Pine State Park

Our first outing for the 2012 camping season was Little Pine State Park in Pennsylvania.

Lycoming College: Postcards of Yesteryear

This postcard gallery of Dickinson Seminary / Lycoming College is from the collection of Richard and Miriam Mix, authors of “A Bicentennial Postcard History of Williamsport.”  You may send one of these postcards via email to your friends and family, […]

Houses of Worship: Postcards of Yesteryear

This postcard gallery  is from the collection of Richard and Miriam Mix, authors of “A Bicentennial Postcard History of Williamsport.”  You may send one of these postcards via email to your friends and family, sharing your enthusiasm for local history. […]

Lumber Boom: Postcards of Yesteryear

This postcard gallery  is from the collection of Richard and Miriam Mix, authors of “A Bicentennial Postcard History of Williamsport.”  You may send one of these postcards via email to your friends and family, sharing your enthusiasm for local history. […]