Field Living Conditions

Anticipate widely variable physical conditions when conducting research in the Department of Anthropology’s Field School.
The specific research sites for 2017 field school will be determined and announced soon.


Keep in mind that summers in interior Northern California are hot and dry. Temperatures greater than 90 degrees are typical for the Central Valley, coast ranges and much of the Sierra Nevada, and extreme heat (100 degrees or higher) is possible. Strong daily temperature variations are expected, with possibility of overnight temperatures dropping into the mid 50s or lower.
While rain is uncommon in the summer months, brief showers or thunderstorms can occur, and must be anticipated.
The Accommodations page discusses additional environmental safety concerns.
Important: Be prepared for hard, physical work and life without certain amenities and comforts during the duration of the six-week program. Layering clothing is essential to accommodate changeable environmental conditions.
Students are expected to be present the entire duration of the six-week course, and are required to work Monday through Saturday. Students will have the opportunity to partake in field trips and excursions to surrounding areas and attractions.


Participants typically camp outdoors for the entire six-week field school. Students are expected to participate in cleaning and cooking at camp. All food will be provided by the field school but prepared by the students. Breakfast usually consists of oatmeal or other cereal, fruit, coffee, and juice; lunch, which is packed before leaving the camp for the dig site, typically includes a sandwich, crackers or chips, a sweet snack, and fruit; rotating student crews prepare dinner. We accommodate vegetarians, and are sensitive to other basic dietary restrictions (within reason), so please list all such concerns on the application.
We hope to create a pleasant camp community. Students must supply their own tent in which they can remain comfortable for the entire six weeks. A –four-person tent would be a good choice, so that you have plenty of room to move around inside. Cooking and camp meetings take place under a large tent that the Department of Anthropology supplies.
Camping may be either in primitive or developed campgrounds. Electricity may not be available at the campsite. Access to showers and laundry facilities may be limited (at the very least, a few enclosed solar showers will be constructed for privacy).


Risks accompany research in the field, so compliance with safety procedures is essential. The Department of Anthropology has prepared field safety guidelines encompassing water sources, sanitary facilities, hygiene, medical cautions including vaccinations and first aid, fire safety, skin protection, wildlife, dangers associated with archaeological excavation, and avoidance of becoming lost.


The field school will provide transportation to and from the camp and work sites, as well as on excursions. Students who are interested in driving their own vehicles must obtain permission from the field directors.