2021 Public Archaeology Field School

Public Archaeology Field School in Colonial Archaeology of the Pacific Northwest

at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site
June 21 to July 30, 2021 


Join a team from Portland State University, Washington State University Vancouver, and the National Park Service to explore one of the most important indigenous and colonial/multicultural sites in the Pacific Northwest. Explore the multiple meanings of colonial and indigenous heritage while studying the material belongings of past and present peoples and documenting past practices and modern archaeological and heritage resources.

Become proficient in archaeological field techniques; including survey, 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 and grave monument documentation expanding the use of mobile devices in heritage preservation and cultural resources management (CRM). 

Acquire skills in laboratory processing of artifacts, basic identification of cultural materials, and techniques of archaeological analysis for colonial material culture. 

Learn social media skills from National Park Service interpreters and public archaeology experts on how to engage digitally with a diverse public and explore the meaning of archaeology with people of many communities. 

This is an intensive course of hands-on study. The class will run Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM each day. Due to covid-19 safety restrictions, there will be a limited number of positions available. 


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of site taphonomic and formation processes, and comparison and assessment of different ways of viewing the past through historical documents, oral traditions, and archaeological resources;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 digital public engagement;
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.

Course Registration Information

Portland State University Washington State University-Vancouver
Anthropology 454
SIX advanced undergraduate credits 
Anthropology 399
SIX undergraduate credits
Anthropology 554
SIX graduate credits 
Anthropology 599
SIX graduate credits 
Portland State University
Dr. Douglas Wilson
(360) 921-5241
E-mail Dr. Wilson: doug@pdx.edu
For cost options, see tuition and fees
Washington State University - Vancouver
Dr. Colin Grier
Email Dr. Grier: cgrier@wsu.edu 
For cost options, see tuition and fees
For early notification, please submit application by April 1, 2021. 
Notification of early applications will be by April 16, 2021.
Applications are due no later than May 1, 2021.
Notification of acceptance will be by May 14, 2021.

For more information, please visit the National Park Service Fort Vancouver website.