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Anthropology | Field Schools



Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

June 28 – July 30, 2022



Join a team from Portland State University, Washington State University Vancouver, and the National Park Service to explore one of the most important sites of colonialism in the Pacific Northwest, the 1844-1849 schoolhouses of the Hudson’s Bay Company. The schools at Fort Vancouver educated the employees of the company but also formed the rationale for the company’s license to trade as evidence of their “civilizing” influences on Indigenous children. The schoolhouses were rented by the U.S. Army when the first military units arrived in the Pacific Northwest in 1849. The site has never been archaeologically tested and excavations will confirm the location of the schoolhouse structures, gathering material evidence of the people who inhabited them.

Become proficient in archaeological field techniques, including site identification, testing, and excavation, while you participate in an award-winning field research program. Employ mobile information technology in a variety of field situations, including field excavation, to expand the use of mobile devices in heritage preservation and cultural resources management (CRM). Work with experts in remote sensing including ground-penetrating radar (GPR) in workshops and lectures to integrate geophysical data into the exploration of past people through their belongings. Explore the National Park Service’s National Register program and collect monitoring information through field trips to nearby National Historic Landmarks.

Acquire skills in laboratory processing of artifacts, basic artifact identification, and techniques of archaeological analysis, including some of the earliest European and American material culture in the region. Learn skills from National Park Service interpreters and public archaeology experts on how to engage with a diverse public and explore the meaning of archaeology with children and adults from many communities.

Learning Objectives:

Research Design: implementation of a research design through the collection and preparation of field samples, examination of different ways to collect information, adjustment of research designs based on finds and contingencies, exploration of reasoning, ethical considerations;

Critical Thinking: appropriate techniques for analysis and interpretation of archaeological phenomena including how to make inferences from material culture data, understanding and interpretation of site taphonomic and formation processes, and comparison and assessment of different ways of viewing the past through historical documents, oral traditions, and archaeological resources;

Communication: field writing skills, including the distinct separation of observation from interpretation, development of inferences and arguments based on data, analytical writing skills through written assignments, an understanding of measurement systems and numerical recording systems in archaeological data collection, the presentation of numerical data in in-field inference and analysis, and interpretation to the public through public engagement including the Kids Digs program;

Professional Etiquette: appropriate ways to work with other team members in research and to engage constructively with site visitors, including indigenous communities, youth groups, and the general public.


Washington State University - Vancouver
WSU students take the course for 6 credits either at the undergraduate (Anth 399) or graduate level (Anth 599). Students from other institutions are welcome to take the fieldschool, but must first apply for admission to WSU as a non-degree seeking student in order to be accepted into the course.
Earned WSU credits can usually be transferred to the student’s home institution and apply towards their degree.
Anthropology 399
SIX undergraduate credits
Anthropology 599
SIX graduate credits
Washington State University - Vancouver
Dr. Colin Grier
Email Dr. Grier:

Cost: Estimate of tuition and fees.
In addition, a course fee of approximately $150 will be assessed to replace consumable field gear and equipment. For information on financial assistance, contact the Student Financial Services office:
To Apply to the Fieldschool, CLICK HERE

For early notification, please submit application by April 1, 2022.
Notification of early applications will be by April 18, 2022.
Applications are due no later than May 1, 2022.
Notification of acceptance will be by May 16, 2022.




Washington State University Students in the Field

In order to be competitive in today’s growing work force students must gain hands-on experience. The Department of Anthropology strongly encourages its students to obtain some field experience in one of the Anthropological sub-disciplines. One way for students to do this is through a field school.

Dominic Bush Guam Maritime Field School 2017


A field school is primarily for the training of undergraduate or graduate students. For around six or eight weeks in the summer, a small band of students is taken into the field and shown how to dig, given lectures, sometimes an exam, sometimes a project of some sort. The students get credit and training that way, starting them off in a career in archaeology.





For answers to any questions not covered in these pages please email the department, call or write to us:

Main Office Information

College Hall 150
PO Box 644910
Pullman, WA 99164-4910
Phone: 509.335.3441
FAX: 509.335.3999

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Please visit WSU Archaeological Field School page for for field school announcements with Dr. Shannon Tushingham.

More information