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Field schools

Submitted by Anonymous on Fri, 01/30/2015 - 3:03pm

Field work is an important part of the student experience in anthropology and archaeology. There are opportunities for students to spend time in the field locally as well as internationally. 

Belize Primatology Field School: Students study the daily activities of the Black Howler Monkeys in Belize, learning all aspects of primate field research, including developing a sophisticated research proposal, and data collection techniques, while also applying classroom learning in primate behavior, ecology and evolution in an actual field situation. For more information please see the Group Study websiteInformation and Selection meeting on Monday October 17, 2016 in ES 614 at 4 pm.


Ghana Primatology Field School: Using primatological research as a point of entry, the Ghana field school teaches about biodiversity in West Africa. Students learn about conservation issues, and are exposed to several approaches to conservation, while learning to design a research project, collect and analyze data on the two species of primates found at the site, the black and white colobus and Campbell’s monkeys. For more information please see the Group Study website. Information and Selection meeting on Wednesday October 19, 2016 in ES 614 at 4 pm.

Cluny Fortified Village Archaeological Field School: The Cluny site (AD 1700) is located on the Bow River about 100 kilometres east of Calgary on the Siksika Blackfoot Reserve. Students excavate in living areas and in the fortification trench and palisade, and uncover remains such as animal bones, tools, pottery, and European trade goods such as glass beads. Excavation, cataloguing, analyzing, and interpreting the remains are all part of the experience. The field school is run in conjunction with the Blackfoot Crossing Historic Park Interpretive Centre. For more information, please contact Dr. Dale Walde.

The Dynamic North: Climate, Economy and Culture in Anthropological Perspective:  This new field school will provide undergraduates with an opportunity to learn first-hand about the resilience of and challenges faced by northern Canadian societies in an era of climate change. Situated at the Kluane Lake Research Station (KLRS) in the heart of Yukon's Kluane National Park, students will have an opportunity to learn about community-based research in northern regions, interact with natural scientists working at KLRS, explore relations between sustainability and Indigeneity, discuss human-environment relationships while hiking Kluane’s diverse ecosystems, experience the importance of cross-border ties on a trip to Alaska’s coastal region, and debate the possibilities for sustainable living in this incredible region.  For more information please see the Group Study website. This field school will next be held in spring of 2018.

Cultural Landscapes of the Maya: Heritage, Tourism, and Sustainability Program: The Cultural Landscapes of the Maya: Heritage, Tourism, and Sustainability Program focuses on the study of cultural and natural heritage of the Yucatan Peninsula in the past and present. In this program students will visit archaeological sites, natural protected areas, and colonial cities to explore the rich cultural legacy of the Maya. Students will learn how the Maya adapted to different ecosystems and sociopolitical conditions while maintaining their distinct traditions. In addition, students will be introduced to issues inherent within mass tourism, ecotourism, educational tourism, and cultural heritage tourism, each of which offer challenges and future prospects for economic growth, sustainability, and positive social engagement in this area of Mexico. For more information please visit the Group Study website. 

Maya Archaeology and Ecology: Cultural Heritage Field Program: The Maya Archaeology and Ecology field program, part of the department’s Cultural Heritage Studies focus, offers a multidisciplinary approach to the study of Maya culture history and ecology through the two classes offered: ARKY 327, The Ancient Maya and ANTH/ARKY/GEOG 523, Human Ecology. The field program is integrated with the Yaxnohcah Archaeological Project, located in the Calakmul Biosphere, in southern Campeche, the largest protected rainforest in Mexico. The project research focuses on the earliest Maya inhabitants of this area, their adaptation to this unique environment, and the subsequent development of a multi-nodal urban landscape. In addition to daily presentations given in the Villahermosa Research Station classroom, students will participate in archaeological and environmental activities designed to enrich the lectures with hands-on experiential learning. For more information please visit the Group Study websiteInformation and Selection meeting on Thursday November 3, 2016 in ES 702, 3:30 - 5 pm.

Italy:  Hazards, Archaeology and Environment Field School: Explore human and environmental history in a part of the world that is iconic for its historic legacy, geologic dynamism, and natural beauty. The Italy Earth Science Field School will be a field program with a focus on natural hazards, archaeology, and environmental geography of Italy. The trip itinerary will focus on Italy’s rich cultural, historical, geologic, and environmental history through the lenses of earth science disciplines and methods. Topics of study will include regional sustainable development, ancient civilizations of the Italian peninsula, conservation, the legacy of centuries of environmental and heritage management, and the significance of the historical development of cities within this region. Maximum exposure to urban and rural landscapes will be available to participants through direct observation, instruction, and fieldwork, allowing students to build critical thinking skills in interpreting and making connections between human and natural landscapes. Destinations include Rome, Florence, Pitigliano, Tuscany, Cinque Terre, Aquila, the Amalfi Coast, and Pompeii. For more information please see the Group Study websiteInformation and Selection meeting TBA. 

African and Development Studies in Ghana Field School: This program combines a comprehensive overview of the history, politics and modern cultures of Ghana with an intensive introduction to socio-economic development in a contemporary African village. Students have to opportunity to immerse themselves in Ghana for six weeks and to gain first-hand experience of the life in this country. Students will spend time in the capital and other urban settings, visit historical sites, and will also live for three weeks in a rural setting. For more information please see the Group Study website.

Cuba, Its past, present and future
Over its history, Cuba has been a country of intrigue and of interest! We have loved it for its relative beauty, its beaches, its gifts of rumba, salsa and cha cha as well as its complex socio-political relationships both internally and externally! We perhaps have most admired its political resistance in the face of world powers with strong agenda. But these gifts to the world belies what is at the heart of modern Cuba – that is a people who have had to act and react to strong external pressures to maintain its quality of life guaranteed under their social contract. While many see Cuba as static, it has in fact been in a state of near constant flux.

Through travels over the island and using an anthropological and development studies lens, this program consider the history of Cuba, its post-revolutionary period, contemporary and future issues. It will help us to consider the nation not only as one in the process of developing but also its important role in helping to shape other nations as they meet the needs of their citizenry. Information meetings on Wednesday October 5th at noon and Thursday October 6th at 4:30 pm in ES 702. For more information please see the Group Study website.