Learn collaborative and decolonizing archaeological principles in the field and on the ground.

Join us for an unforgettable field experience co-directed by the University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History and the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band through their Amah Mutsun Land Trust. Students participating in this field school will be trained in archaeological field methods developed over the last two decades by the Tribe and archaeologists to study and preserve Indigenous cultural heritage in central coastal California. 



  ANTM 408 / 508:  Field Studies in Archaeology

July 8th through August 2, 2024

This summer course is designed to train students in collaborative and decolonizing archaeology

Three people hold an archaeological survey pole in a forest
Members of the Amah Mutsun Land Trust, Native Stewardship Corps conducting archaeological survey. Photo by Ian Bornarth

principles. This course teaches students how to conduct archaeological research with diverse stakeholders, including Indigenous peoples, descendant communities, non-profits, and state and federal agencies. Students will be immersed in the complexities of collaborative research based on principles of shared decision-making, reciprocity, power sharing, and centering Indigenous perspectives.

Students can expect to learn about the process of collaborative archaeological research, low-impact field methods, eco-archaeological lab analysis, and Integrative Cultural Resource Survey, a Tribal archaeological assessment program developed by the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band to protect, steward, and study their cultural heritage.

Specific techniques that will be taught include archaeological landscape surveys, ethnobotany, geophysical methods in archaeology, including ground penetrating radar and magnetometry, high-resolution (<1 cm resolution) mapping protocols using GNSS receivers, and collecting, recording, and cataloging archaeological resources. These skills will prepare students for archaeological careers in academic, Tribal heritage preservation, and cultural resource management.

12 credits 


Course Objectives

Based in Watsonville, California, our field school will include a variety of museum-based and field-based research, lectures, discussions, and professional development activities. Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Conduct collaborative archaeological research projects employing community-based participatory research strategies
  • Understand and describe the complexities of conducting collaborative research
  • Conduct museum-based research on legacy archaeological collections
  • Employ standard archaeological field methods as well as approaches informed by Indigenous cultural practices and protocols, such as low-impact surveying strategies (i.e., “catch-and-release” surface collection, augering, and water flotation of soil samples)
  • Understand the advantages and limitations of low-impact archaeological field methods
  • Design and conduct landscape-scale survey
  • Understand the strengths and weaknesses of various geophysical techniques
  • Conduct high-resolution mapping and documentation of archaeological and cultural sites
  • Analyze survey data in ArcGIS
Enrollment and Fees

Field sessions are open to graduate and undergraduate students. Post-baccalaureate students may register for graduate credit even if they are not yet enrolled in a graduate program. 

2024 Course Fees: $4000

Archaeology Field School students will enroll for 12 credits in ANTM 408/508. A course fee of $4000, for both in-state and out-of-state students, covers tuition, field transportation, and food. Students that have completed their bachelor's degree may take this course for graduate credit, with the expectation that graduate level effort will be required. Tools and other materials are provided for the course.

Please send questions to Gabriel Sanchez at gsanche2@uoregon.edu.

Health and accidental insurance is required for all students. 


The Museum of Natural and Cultural History is delighted to offer the C. Melvin Aikens Scholarship for the 2024 field school to contribute to students' tuition to attend. Selection of this award will be on a needs-based evaluation. If you would like to be considered for this award, please provide a statement of need that explains how receiving the C. Melvin Aikens Scholarship will affect your ability to attend.


Applications for the 2024 field school are now closed. 

Questions? Email gsanche2@uoregon.edu

Gloved hand scrapes at abalone in dirt

Lupe Delgado excavating abalone in situ. Photo by Orenda Randuch.

Three people hold an archaeological survey pole in a forest

Surveying in the field. 

Purple flowers in green shrubbery

Flowers in the field!

bags of soil samples labeled for floating

Soil samples ready to be floated. Photo by Orenda Randuch.

Marcella Luna sorting from the screen. Photo by Orenda Randuch.

Marcella Luna sorting from the screen. Photo by Orenda Randuch.


Safety Protocols

 2024 field school plans and safety protocols are subject to change based on guidance from the University of Oregon and the Oregon Health Authority.


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