Field School Program

Aerial view of Hakipuʻu, adjacent to Kualoa ahupuaʻa

Kualoa Field School introduces students to a wide variety of archaeological field methods integrated with remote sensing, geophysical survey, and geo-archaeological analyses. Training and data acquisition include surveys, coring, excavations, and laboratory analyses. Our field work will cover a range of environments, from coastal areas to marshes, interior zones, and forests. Our research strategy is regional in scope and addresses questions on the evolution of prehistoric and historic land use, community patterning, chronology (including early settlement), human impacts, and subsistence, among other related issues.

A typical summer schedule at Kualoa will include field surveys and excavations (from coring to larger unit sampling) at least four days per week (Monday-Thursday) and one day for laboratory processing (Friday).  Our weekday schedule will be flexible to accommodate changes in weather, workflow, and opportunities for other activities.

Weekends are off-days: time for students to rest and relax. Hiking, surfing, snorkeling, and sightseeing are just a few of the many popular diversions on Oʻahu.

Students will have on-campus Internet access privileges. Students will also have full library privileges at Hamilton Library, the largest library in the Pacific. It has over 3.2 million volumes and more than 15,000 maps and 25,000 current serial/journal titles.

Field school students who do not live on O‘ahu are offered reasonably priced accommodations and meal plans at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa campus (see costs and applications page). Students staying on campus will have daily transportation to and from Kualoa Ranch.


We assume that students have no prior field experience in archaeology. Introductory courses in archaeology will be helpful, but are not required for acceptance and successful participation in the program.

Archaeological field work is demanding, tedious, and based on teamwork, so students should be prepared. A willingness to work hard, cooperate with others, and maintain a positive attitude are important qualities for all program participants.

Students will be selected for admission to the program based on academic achievement, professional motivation, and ability to work well with others.

Field Conditions

Summer weather in Hawai‘i is very warm and humid with frequent showers in windward areas such as Kualoa.  Temperatures range from lows of around 75 to highs in the upper-80s. Students must have good shoes, be prepared for sudden rainfall, and protect themselves from exposure to the intense tropical sun.