Archaeological Field School in Montana & Wyoming
Exploring Historical and Social Landscapes of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
JUNE 16- JULY 26, 2013
APPLICATION DEADLINE: March 22, 2013
Indiana University will again be offering its cooperative program in archaeological field methods for summer 2013, in the beautiful Bighorn, Owl Creek, and Absaroka Mountain ranges of Wyoming and Montana. This field school is a holistic, field-based program in the social history and human ecology of the Northwestern High Plains and Middle Rocky Mountains with a special emphasis on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. If you like camping, hiking, and archaeology, this field school is for you!
This course will be taught by Laura L. Scheiber at Indiana University.
- FIELD SCHOOL SCHEDULE
- LIVING ARRANGEMENTS
- FIELD TRIPS
- FOUR DAY BREAKS
- WHAT TO BRING
We will begin with a four day Pre-Session in which we will orient you to the project and travel to the Crow Indian Reservation. Students will visit local museums, discuss issues relevant to cultural heritage in the West, learn how to use equipment, and have the opportunity to attend the Buffalo Bill Historical Society’s annual Indian Pow Wow.
Session 1 will be held at Red Canyon Ranch outside of Thermopolis, Wyoming, owned by best-selling authors Michael and Kathleen Gear. Base Camp is the historic 1916 Nostrum homestead. Students will be camping in the buffalo pasture around the house. This session will offer training in excavation, mapping, and artifact identification at a several Native American campsites on the border of the Wind River Reservation.
Sessions 2 and 3 will be held in the Shoshone National Forest. Students will be introduced to archaeological survey, GPS, mapping, artifact identification, and site recording. Students will map features at large Native American campsites and record extensive associated lithic artifact scatters. They also document recently identified sites on the border of the Washakie Wilderness that were impacted by forest fires in 2010. The wilderness area base camps for Sessions 2 and 3 may require students to pack their personal gear several miles over mountainous country of up to 8,000 feet above sea level. If necessary, a certified outfitter and pack string will deliver all field equipment and supplies to the camp. Students should be prepared to spend the majority of the session hiking and recording archaeological sites in the high country.
The wilderness component to this program affords few luxuries in a potentially harsh but stunning environment with amazing archaeology. All students must participate in a USDA Forest Service sponsored “Bear Awareness” training program and carry bear spray at all times. Grizzly bears and potential bear encounters are a fact of camp life. Be prepared to walk several miles every day, possibly crossing up and down mountains, through heavily wooded areas, and across cold mountain streams.
Due to weather-related circumstances outside our control, we may be unable to access the back county project area, in which case we will conduct further sessions at Red Canyon Ranch.
FIELD SCHOOL SCHEDULE
- PRE-SESSION: June 16 - June 19
- SESSION 1: June 21- July 1
- SESSION 2: July 6 - July 14
- SESSION 3: July 16 - July 26
IU Summer credit hour fees (6 credits)
Indiana residents undergrads: ($205.05 x 6) = $1,230.30
Non-residents undergraduates: ($875.40 x 6) = 5,252.40
Indiana residents graduate students: ($321.90 x 6) = $1,931.40
Non-residents graduate students: ($938.00x 6) = $5,628.00
Field school fees
Covers food, some transportation, field supplies = $900
Note: The fees for this class are non-refundable. If you withdraw from the class, you will not receive a reimbursement of the course fees.
Pre-Professional Experience Internship Grants ($3,000) are available through the Hutton Honors College (minimum of 3.4 overall GPA and a 3.7 in major) for juniors and seniors. http://www.indiana.edu/~iubhonor/hds/pei.php. Freshman and Sophomores can apply for a Research Partnership Award ($1,000) (minimum of 3.4 overall GPA) (http://www.indiana.edu/~iubhonor/hds/reshpart.php).
Applications for both awards are due March 8th and require a letter of support from Dr. Scheiber – plan accordingly and contact Dr. Scheiber well in advance!! Student interns will be required to assist with project-related activities during the field school and after it ends.
The Archaeological Institute of America also offers the Jane C. Waldbaum Archaeological Field School Scholarship (http://www.archaeological.org/grants/708) for juniors, seniors, and first year graduate students ($1,000). Applications are due March 1st. Two recommendation letters are required.
Students need to provide their own transportation to and from the field school. They should convoy to Wyoming together if possible. At least one University vehicle and several personal vehicles will be traveling together to the field site. If students are unable to arrange their own transportation, they may be able to travel in one of these vehicles. Students will meet at the parking lot in front of Franklin Hall (corner of Indiana and Kirkwood) at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 13th. The distance between Bloomington and the Project area is approximately 1,500 miles, so students should plan to stay overnight for two nights on the way there. Students will minimize costs by staying at campgrounds on the way out to Wyoming (typically students have stayed overnight at Onawa, IA and Devil’s Tower). Students often decide not to stop overnight on the return trip home. Students should plan to provide their own meals on the trip there and back, and during the session breaks. Our intent is to get students back to Bloomington no later than July 29th. Students should not expect to leave to return to Bloomington before the morning of July 27th. Estimated cost there and back: $50 camping fees plus food for up to six travel days. Students are also welcome to fly directly into the Yellowstone Regional Airport in Cody, Wyoming. You must arrive no later than June 15th.
Students will be camping throughout the field school and should plan their equipment accordingly. Kitchen facilities and food are provided during the field sessions, but the student needs to provide personal gear (including a tent) and should be prepared for weeks of field living. Summer in the mountains is unpredictable and may vary from extremely hot to rainy to cold and snowy, with temperatures ranging from 20 to 100 degrees F (sometimes on the same day). Be prepared for ANY weather conditions.
During Session 1, students will be camping at the Red Canyon Ranch. Lectures and demonstrations will be conducted at the original Nostrum Springs homestead. We will have access to refrigerators and electricity, and we will be able to use the kitchen to cook our meals. Students will not have access to flush toilets. This session will prepare students for Sessions 2 and 3, which will require more logistical planning to get all of our gear and equipment into the mountains. We will set up a canvas wall tent for our kitchen and cook over camp stoves or over camp fires. Because of the presence of bears and other wildlife in the high country, we will be much more careful about camping, food preparation, and food storage during the last two sessions.
Students will be living in remote locations, often without access to electricity, email, or phone lines. Cell phone reception is limited or unavailable. We can set up a solar shower, but there will often be days when you are unable to take a shower, although students will be able to bathe in the creeks and rivers. If you have body piercings, you may want to consider taking them out or preparing ahead for hygiene measures when we enter remote locations.
During the field sessions, meals are served communally. Students will take turns preparing meals based upon previously planned menu.
Students should be prepared to put up their tents and take them down often, especially during the breaks. Living in your tent for an entire field session represents an extreme use of your tent and will take its toll on your tent. DO NOT PLAN TO USE A CHEAP TENT! IT WILL FAIL YOU!
This field project is located in the middle of countless natural and cultural wonders. Weather permitting, we will plan several fieldtrips during the field school. Possible visits include the Crow Reservation, the Little Bighorn Battlefield, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, the Irma Hotel, the Buffalo Bill Dam Interpretive Center, Chief Plenty Coup State Park, Heart Mountain, Thermopolis Hot Springs, the Wind River Reservation, Legend Rock State Historic Park, Medicine Lodge Creek State Historic Park, the Dubois Museum, and Old Trail Town.
The project director, field assistants, and field school students will be based out of Cody, Wyoming, during the pre-session, between sessions 1 and 2, and at the end of session 3. Students can spend days off exploring Yellowstone National Park or hiking and camping in the nearby Bighorn, Beartooth, or Absaroka Mountains. Cody, Wyoming, is a major summer tourist destination. Popular activities and destinations include river rafting down the Shoshone River, attending the Cody Nite Rodeo, and seeing the sights of the "Old West." This year, students will be on a break during Independence Day. Cody offers many attractions and festivities during the week of the 4th of July, including the Stampede Rodeo, three parades, a craft fair, and street dances.
The field school will pay for camping fees to stay at the Ponderosa campground in downtown Cody over the breaks. Students need to provide their own food during the breaks (group meal planning is also encouraged). Everything is centrally located, and students can walk to stores, restaurants, and museums from the campground. Students who do not stay in the campground after the sign up period is over need to reimburse the field school at a rate to be determined by the project director! Travel to the field site will generally take 2-5 hours. Keep the project director appraised of your whereabouts during the break.
Student should also plan to provide some assistance to the project director during the four day break by helping with tasks such as purchasing food or preparing equipment for field sessions.
Students should budget for expenses over the session breaks before arriving in the field. The following information may give you a better idea of potential expenses:
- During the breaks, students will stay in Cody, Wyoming, which offers amenities such as group tent camping rates, showers, electrical outlets, wireless internet, and laundry facilities within walking distance of downtown Cody, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Wal-Mart, Coffee Shops, and numerous restaurants. Laundry is coin-operated and estimated at around $5 per load. We can purchase laundry supplies, such as detergent, as a group.
- Cody is a tourist town and you WILL want to shop. The Ponderosa Campground is across the street from Sierra Trading Post (a.k.a. outdoor equipment heaven) and students in the past have picked up anything from new tents to hiking socks.
- Dining in Cody ranges from relatively inexpensive mom-and-pop restaurants to higher-priced steakhouses. Be prepared to feed yourselves every day between sessions (estimated at nine full days). We estimate that students will probably reasonably spend $5-10 for breakfast, $5-10 for lunch, and $10-20 for dinner for each day during the break, which would equal between $20-40 per day, plus incidentals at Wal-Mart and Sierra Trading Post. A small charcoal grill is also available to check out from the field school director for those that would like to cook for themselves over the break. It is best to plan with the rest of the group so that everyone has access to the grill if they want it. Estimated food cost: $300-$400.
- River rafting trips in the Cody area cost between $30 and $40.
- You may decide to coordinate travel and camping in Yellowstone National Park over one of the breaks. There is a park entrance fee of $25 per vehicle (i.e. around $5 per person). Campground fees generally range from $12-20 per site per night.
- Don’t underestimate the lure of gas station drinks and snacks when on the road!
** Please keep in mind that you must bring home any purchases you make or goods you acquire during the field school that cannot fit into your packs. Space in vehicles is generally limited.
You will be working and staying in small rural western communities. Students are representatives of Indiana University at all times. Please act accordingly. Misconduct or endangerment to oneself or others will not be tolerated. Should such a situation present itself, you will be asked to leave, and you will be required to make your own travel arrangements home. Please be respectful of the perspectives of the project director and field assistants – they may have insights into what is inappropriate behavior that you have never considered.We will be living and working in close quarters with one another for an extended period of time and in difficult conditions. This means that everyone must be aware of how their behavior affects the rest of the group. We need to be considerate, tolerant, and above all flexible to insure that this is a positive field experience for everyone involved.
HEALTH AND WELL-BEING
The field personnel will do everything possible to assist the students with their medical needs. Occasionally students get sick or injured during the field school, either during the sessions or between sessions. Recent examples include colds, tonsillitis, insect bites, cuts, and sprained ankles. The project director will advise students as to whether they need to stay at camp for the day due to illness or injury. Some situations may require a trip to urgent care and medical clearance will be required before they can return to field work.
WHAT TO BRING
In the field school, you will learn as much about outdoor survival as archaeological field methods. However, this is not a class in wilderness backpacking (check out the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) for this type of adventure) and you do not need to have prior experience camping or hiking to participate in the class. For those of you who are unfamiliar with how to properly plan to clothe yourself for more than 40 days of mountain weather, check out the NOLS equipment lists. Don't fool yourself into not purchasing some of these items. You will need them!
- Your own tent (such as a decent 2 person backpacking tent), sleeping bag (consider a 10-20 degree bag), sleeping pad, ground cover, and stout metal tent pegs. If you are coming with a friend, you may share a tent.
- Two pairs of shoes in case you get wet. One pair should be hiking boots for archaeological survey, and one pair should be shoes that you can wear crossing rivers (sandals, Tevas, or Keens).
- Enough socks, underwear, pants, shirts for ten-day sessions.
- Windbreaker, warm coat, thermals, winter hat and gloves. IT WILL GET COLD!!
- Hat with a large brim for protection from sun.
- Rain gear (i.e. rain coat, rain pants). IT WILL RAIN!!
- Sunscreen and lip balm. IT WILL GET HOT!!
- Work gloves.
- Alarm clock (do not plan to rely on your cell phone!) with extra batteries.
- Flashlight with extra batteries and/or mini lantern and/or headlamp.
- Toiletry kit, including insect repellent, camp towel/washcloth, biodegradable soap.
- Daypack for field trips and survey.
- Water bottles and/or Camelbak hydration system for hikes and field trips.
- Backpacking backpack for the second and third sessions, in which you are able to fit all the gear you will need for 20 days. Internal frames generally work better. Make sure that you are properly fitted for the pack!
Other Optional Equipment:
- Small personal first aid.
- Water purifier/sanitizer.
- Pocket knife.
- Cotton sheet for inside your sleeping bag.
- Pencils, pens, sharpies, clipboard.
- Sewing kit.
- Camp chair, stool, or lawn chair.
- Wet wipes.
- Trekking pole.
- Trowel, metric measuring tape, paint brushes.
- Bear vault
** We recommend that you do not purchase tents, sleeping bags, or backpacks from the following locations: Dick’s Sporting Goods, (clothing is ok, including boots), MC Sports, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, or any similar store. Their products generally fall apart quickly, resulting in cold, wet, angry campers. We recommend the following online vendors: ebay (make sure you are bidding on a reputable brand), REI, campmor.com, backcountry.com. In Bloomington, shop at J.L. Waters on the square. In Cody, shop at Sierra Trading Post or Sunlight Sports. Some personal items can be secured in Cody during the field sessions.
** Remember that you are likely going to have to carry your personal gear into the backcountry, over difficult terrain. Your load should reflect this.