Anthropology Department

Field Schools and Internship Program

Upcoming Field Schools; Internship Opportunities; Past Field Schools

Upcoming Field Schools
2015-GVSU Ethnographic Field School

Application deadline extended to Thursday, March 19th!

Health on the Westside of Grand Rapids - The Anthropology Summer Field School 2015 immerses students in daily life on the Westside of Grand Rapids and trains them in ethnographic field methods.  Students will engage in hands-on research to apply anthropology in a meaningful way around issues related to community health.

More info

2015-United Kingdom


LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - This program will offer you the opportunity to collect data from historic period skeletal remains housed at the Museum of London. You will learn how to take skeletal measurements, conduct statistical analysis of data, and to write for learned journals in the field of physical anthropology. Field trips to sites such as the Mary Rose Museum and Sutton Hoo add insight to your knowledge of the historic period and its effect on remains. In addition, you’ll explore the myths and rituals of ancient and contemporary British culture through visits to other significant locations such as the Tower of London and Stonehenge

More Info!

2015- Israel


Tell es-Safi/Gath (archaeological site) -  On this program, students will gain hands-on archaeological experience at the site Tell es-Safi/Gath. Located approximately halfway between Jerusalem and Ashkelon, Tell es-Safi/Gath is one of the largest biblical sites in Israel and has been settled continuously from the 5th millennium BCE until modern times. The site is one of the earliest cities in the Bronze Age. In later periods, it is known as Goliath’s (from the Bible) home town. Remains of the medieval castle of Blanche Garde sit at the top of the site. Students will work in an international community of researchers as they participate in cutting-edge excavation and analysis at this important Middle Eastern archaeological site.

More Info!

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Internship Opportunities

Internship Program Site  (click for more information)

Internship Resources and Postings(resources, organizations and opportunities

The department offers a range of internship opportunities through its ANT 490 course. The objective of the internship program is to acquaint students with the work of research libraries, museums, community organizations, government agencies, and other cultural institutions in order to enhance students' knowledge of sources, research methodologies, institutional cultures, and work environments. This course helps anthropology students prepare to enter professional employment by working under a site supervisor who provides on-the-job training. 

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Past Field Schools 

2014 Field School Opportunities


May 7 - June 12, 2014

Flyer and Information



May 5 - June 16,  2014




Auckland and Wilderland, New Zealand: Ecovillages and co-housing communities are planned intentional communities with a sustainability focus. This program will introduce students to the sustainability movement with an emphasis on hands-on experience. Students will spend a total of four weeks visiting and living at different communities and participating in their daily lives and sustainability efforts. In addition, students will visit Earthsong Eco-Neighborhood in Waitakere City, and the spectacular Wilderland near Whitianga on the Coromandel Peninsula.


Ottawa County Parks and Recreation

This research will focus on Native American and Euro-American sites along the Grand River in Ottawa County. This is a collaborative project with Ottawa County Parks and Recreation. The objectives of the summer GVSU archaeology field school will focus on providing students opportunities to develop skills in archaeological survey, excavation, data recording and cataloguing, and the application of a variety of field techniques including the use of remote sensing devices.

2013 Field School Opportunities

Ethnographic Field School
w/ West MI Therapy Dogs


2012 Field School Opportunities

New Zealand


Ottawa County, MI

Anthropology Summer Field School 2011 Click for Application

lick to download Ethno-scientific Analysis 

Project: An Applied Medical Anthropology Project to learn more about our National Veterans!

Project Director:  Azizur R. Molla, Ph.D.

The Anthropology Summer Ethnographic Field School 2011 explored the health status of Veterans living in West Michigan. It explored their health status by studying information on i) income, ii) education, iii) health care and health culture, iv) food culture, v) source of water, vi) family demographics, and recommend ways to improve health quality and health care outreach. Click for more information.

Archaeology Field School 2010  Click to see photos

Project:  Campus Archaeology: Investigating Local History and Pre-History

Project Director:  Janet Brashler, Ph.D.

Project Faculty & Staff:  Ann Kroll-Lerner, Ph.D., Dale Borders, Ph.D., Elizabeth Arnold, Ph.D., Kristina Wieghmink, Chris Caroll-Howard, & Wesley Jackson

Faculty, staff, and students explored field techniques and laboratory methods in this multi-faceted field school experience.  Students engaged in surface surveying, GPR survey, magnetometer survey, shovel test pit data collection, unit excavations, artifact and data collection, cataloging artifacts, and GPS survey exploration on campus, Historic Blendon Landing Lumber Community, and Pre-Historic Sand Creek II sites.  

Ethnographic Field School 2009


Project:  Applied Medical Anthropology Field School

“Apply knowledge to ensure better health and environment of our community”

Project Director:  Azizur R. Molla, Ph.D.

The applied medical anthropology field school is designed to provide training in the application of research methods. The participants will learn how to use research methods as well some research tools like radon gas detector to measure radon level, GPS the see spatial distribution of the gas in West Michigan. Students will also learn data cleaning, data, analyze, report writing skills. 

The indoor radon gas level will be measured in the households by an electronic radon detecting device approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Water used by these households will be tested using standard methods to determine the amount of dissolved radon gas and other chemical parameters, such as pH, total dissolved solid, nitrate, and phosphate. Socioeconomic data will be collected using a survey questionnaire, an ethnographic survey and through Focus Group Discussions.

Archaeology Field School 2008

Click to see photos

Dr. Brashler, Dr. Borders, & Dr. Kroll-Lerner led a team of students in the 2008 Prison Farm Site, Ionia County survey & excavations.

Grand Valley State University offered this field program in archaeology as part of the anthropology major and as part of its continuing research effort to understand the prehistoric settlement of the Grand River Basin.  The focus of the 2008 field season was a site located in Ionia Michigan that was tested in 1996 and excavated in 1997 and 1999.  The site, known as Prison Farm, 20IA58, is a Middle Woodland occupation dating between approximately 75 B.C. and A.D. 250.??There also is a small Late Woodland component at the site that has not been dated.   An extensive surface collection from the site already exists, and has been briefly described (Brashler, 1995).  Based on the materials in the surface collection, and the results of previous test and block excavations, 20IA58 provided significant information documenting Middle Woodland subsistence and settlement without the mixing from later time periods that occurs on other known sites.

Fieldwork at 20IA58 in 2008 was designed to discover the margins of the site, which were never located during the earlier work.  In addition, students surveyed (through shovel testing primarily) two blocks of land to the west of the site.  

A series of different kinds of shovel testing and test excavations were done to isolate cultural deposits worth exploring further. Introductory lectures provided information about the culture history of the area, research objectives and methods and techniques that were employed in the field.  In addition to the fieldwork, students participated in laboratory processing of artifacts (washing, cataloging, preliminary analysis).

Ethnographic Field School 2007


Download the project report (pdf) (2 MB)

Project: "Linking Food to Community: West Michigan Farmers Markets"

Project Director:  Russell Rhoads, Ph.D.?Graduate Assistants: Autumn Shroyer and Melissa Harrington.??The 2007 field school involved 20 students on a project to study the impact of the Westside and Fulton Street Farmers Markets on the surrounding neighborhoods. The project involved a collaborated with the West Grand Neighborhood Organization. A project report is available upon request. Director: Dr. Russell Rhoads

Archaeology Field School 2006

 Project:  "Survey and Excavation in the Muskegon State Game Area"

Project Directors:  Janet G. Brashler, Ph.D. Professor and Curator of Anthropology and Don Gaff,  Ph.D. Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology

The 2006 GVSU archaeology field school shifted its focus of work from the Grand River basin to the Muskegon and began work on several sites located  within the boundaries of the Muskegon State Game Area.  The field school was able to undertake three different research projects which included  1) a survey of McNeal Mound, a 2000 year old Hopewellian site, 2) a mapping and test excavation project to help restore an earthen enclosure that was excavated in the 1930s, and 3) to test excavate a multi-component archaeological site at the Muskegon State Game area headquarters.

Ethnographic Field School 2005

Project: "Habitat for Humanity of Kent County: The Relationship between a Non-Governmental Organization and its Community"

PROJECT DIRECTOR: Deana Weibel, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Anthropology

The anthropological field school ran for six weeks and focused on conducting interviews and engaging in participant-observation to better understand the organization and culture of Kent County's Habitat for Humanity affiliate and its impact on the Grand Rapids community of Baxter while it builds homes there. The great majority of people who work for Habitat are volunteers, and recipients of houses must meet certain guidelines, including earning the homes through "sweat equity" as volunteers themselves. Field school students conducted interviews with volunteers and members of the recipient community, and participated in and observed the organization and neighborhood as Habitat volunteers. Click here for a draft copy of the final project report.

Archaeology Field School 2004

Ever want to dig up your back yard and discover the remains of ancient cultures?  Grand Valley State University offers you a low cost, local opportunity to investigate the life ways of people who once lived along the Grand River and its tributaries in this part of Michigan. ? 

Ethnographic Field School 2003

The anthropological field school examines consumer expectations from the Holland Farmers Market. Field school students will develop a survey in the field school as part of their training. Interviews will then be analyzed and shared with farmers and market organizers to help them develop and/or improve on their current marketing strategies.


Archaeology Field School 2002

The focus of the 2002 GVSU archaeological field school will be to explore the areas surrounding one of Michigan's most important archaeological sites, Norton Mounds.


Ethnographic Field School 2001

A summer ethnographic field school was offered with Spring semester, 2001. Learn field methods, work with a community partner in Grand Rapids, and get valuable practical experience in anthropology.  The next school is scheduled for 2003!

Ethnographic Field School 1998

Final Report


ASSIMILATION, ADVOCACY AND ACTIVISM: FORGING IDENTITIES IN HISPANIC GRAND RAPIDS (Revised February 18, 1999 - Dr. Cindy Hull, Associate Professor, Dr. Russell Rhoads, Associate Professor, GVSU

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Page last modified March 16, 2015