CSU, Chico Archaeological Field School 2020: Exploring the Basin and Range
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Students at the Archaeological Field SchoolThe 2020 Archaeological Field School Has Been Cancelled

We are sad to announce that we have to cancel this year's Field School for the safety of our students and faculty. According to campus policies on conducting research on and off campus at this time, the logistics of the program make maintaining appropriate physical distancing impossible. We look forward to the 2021 Field School.


The CSU, Chico Archaeological Field School offers students hands-on training in the latest archaeological field techniques. The 2020 field school will take you to two distinct regions: the Northern Sierra Nevada of California and the Little High Rock Canyon of Northwestern Nevada. The course is taught in two ten-day rotations with a four-day break in between.

The first rotation will allow you to explore a village site on the shores of Concow Lake in the northern Sierra Nevada. This village was occupied before and after the time of Euro-American contact, and will shed light on the persistence of Native culture during a time of tremendous upheaval. The second rotation takes place in the remote desert of northwest Nevada. At nearly 6,000 feet above sea level, students will excavate a rockshelter with buried deposits dating back over one thousand years ago. With a natural spring nearby, Wagontire Springs Cave likely served as temporary camp for prehistoric people hunting in the uplands above alkaline lakes in the basin. We seek to understand how people adapted to the desert landscape through changing climatic conditions.

High Rock Canyon DesertField schools are an important and necessary part of a degree and career in archaeology, and a valuable addition to a resume. The CSU Chico Field School will provide students with an extensive course of hands-on training in the following areas:

• Archaeological survey methods
• Mapping and data recording techniques
• Excavation methods and protocols
• Identification of cultural materials
• Documentation and cataloging practices

The field school is led by CSU, Chico professors Dr. Matt O’Brien and Dr. Carly Whelan. Both directors have experience in academic and cultural resource management (CRM) archaeology, so you will gain valuable experience in both realms.

Earn Academic Credit

Field school participants conduct on-site excavation workStudents will be enrolled in ANTH 380 or ANTH 480 through the CSU, Chico Regional & Continuing Education, and will earn 4 units for successful participation in the field school.

Program Fees & Registration

Includes academic course fees, field transportation, and meals.

• Applications: CLOSED

* Fee subject to change pending final approval.

MoNorthern Sierra Nevada Californiare Information

For more information, contact our field school instructors:

• Dr. Matt O’Brien | mjobrien@csuchico.edu
• Dr. Carly Whelan | cwhelan2@csuchico.edu