Hawai‘i Indigenous Archaeology Field School – Ho‘i Hou Ka Loko: Bridging past, present, and future

COVID-19 NOTICE: Please be sure to reach out to the project contact to find out the status of their upcoming season. Many projects have cancelled fieldwork for 2020 and the information below may not reflect that.

Location: Kings Trail access path, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA

Season: June 28, 2020 to July 18, 2020

Session Dates: One three week session

Application Deadline: June 18, 2020

Deadline Type: Rolling


Discount for AIA members: none

Program Type:
Field School, Staff Position

RPA Certified:

Foothill College and Stanford University

Project Director:
Samuel Connell (Foothill College) and Michael Wilcox (Stanford University)

Project Description:

Come to Hawaii and experience a field school like none other.  You will live on the Big Island for three weeks. You will be exposed to a new way of thinking mixing an applied anthropological and an archaeological field school. Join us on the ground for the first of many years in Hawaii, beginning with the program at Kaloko Fishpond which is jointly administered by the National Park Service and native Hawaiian cultural groups.  Check out the website.

This is a project that practices Community Based Participatory Research meaning that we have a bunch of ideas about what were are interested in that we put on the shelf and instead ask people who live in Hawaii what they want us and you (the students) to do. If it’s helping clean, rebuild, and map a royal Hawaiian fishpond, then we do it; if it’s organizing an exhibit at the school, then we are working at the school; if it’s protecting the Mauna, then we are protecting the Mauna; and if it means spending even more time cleaning and repairing the fishpond, then yes it’ll be the case!

We are professors Mike Wilcox and Sam Connell, and we are just as excited as our students to get this program off and running in Hawaii. The idea here is to do research in a pono or Hawaiian way, meaning we will live and breathe local thinking as we learn about the life and history of these amazing islands.  The team of people from whom you will learn is going to be growing over the next months, but let us start by introducing our two main contributors, Ruth Luka Aluoa and No’eau Peralto, both of whom are expert cultural practitioners who have thought long and hard about the best way to teach about Hawaii and also study her history and people.  We are so excited to be working with them and bringing you along for the ride.

What does this all mean for you the student?  Well you get over 60 years of field experience working on field projects with over 500 students in Ecuador, Belize, Ireland, California and New Mexico.  The move to Hawaii will be exciting. The aloha spirit is truly special and we can’t wait for you to become a part of it. Come to the islands, earn credits, and begin helping us study the culture and society of Hawaii over time.

Students will live in the small town of Honokaa. Check out this small guide from the Hawaii magazine.  We think it is important to base in a community and meet the people as we begin to understand the local life. We are taking as a model what we have been doing in Ireland and Ecuador, so check the links for past examples.

Period(s) of Occupation: PreContact, Postcontact Hawaiian periods including historic and modern.

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: None

Room and Board Arrangements:
Students stay in an old fashioned hotel located in Honoka'a, Hawaii and a group lodging situation in Kona coffee country. Food and transport is taken care of once you are in Hawaii. If you have any questions do not hesitate to email us!

Academic Credit:
You are required to enroll in these courses for total 8 units (2 full courses) for the 3 weeks. You will be able to enroll in these courses at the end of May or early June through Foothill College. Head over to Foothill Anthropology website for much more info. ANTH 12 Applied Anthropology (4 units) ANTH 17L Archaeology Laboratory (2 units) ANTH 51 Archaeology Survey Methods (2 units) However, there are optional extra courses if needed ANTH 70R-73R Independent Study (1-4 units)

Contact Information:

Dr. Sam Connell

Department of Anthropology

Los Altos Hills




Phone: 650 499 6500

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