Bear River Applied Anthropology Field School

Landscape - mountains on each side of a river flowing into the ocean  Ocean and coastal range  Person walking on the beach carrying a basket on their back

The Tribal community established a relationship with the Wildlands Conservancy through Bear River Band of Rohnerville Rancheria to implement projects that will re-establish culturally vital landscapes and programs.  These projects will benefit indigenous communities, particularly youth, through implementation of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK).  Cal Poly Humboldt supports these efforts with the Bear River Applied Anthropology Field School program. This field school program has two major interrelated themes: 

  • An anthropological examination of cultural and linguistic practices and materials.  Students will study modern California life ways, the sociocultural history of northern California, language systems and verbal traditions, and the impact of colonization and development, among other topics.  

  • Archaeology, includes practical training in field techniques and classes relating to California cultures and settlement studies.  Students will make observations of archaeological finds and learn associated field techniques. 

Field School Dates for Summer 2023: TBA online, TBA at Cal Poly Humboldt, and TBA in the field

  • Dates TBA: Online work will be available on Canvas. Online work is asynchronous (no scheduled meetings) and includes media, readings, and website browsing. Introductory assignments are due July 6 and July 13, and final write-ups are due July 29.
  • Dates TBA at Cal Poly Humboldt: During these two days, students will engage in activities on campus. Students will be responsible for their own travel/lodging/food during these days.
  • Dates TBA in the field: Students will meet at Cal Poly Humboldt and travel together, via program transportation, to the site. Students will camp at the site during this time - camping fees and meals will be covered by the program fees. At the end of the program, students will be brought back to Cal Poly Humboldt.

Course Credit:

Participants will enroll in the following two courses as part of the program: 

  • ANTH 329 Bear River Band Culture (3 units)
  • ANTH 359 California Archaeology: Interpreting the Past (3 units)

Application Process: 

  • Application will be linked here in Spring 2023
  • The initial deadline to apply is will be around March 2023, and applications will be accepted after on a rolling basis while spots are available.
  • Applications will be reviewed, and participants selected and notified.
  • Late applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the course is full.
  • All Cal Poly Humboldt student applicants should meet with their Academic Advisor prior to applying, to see how this course can count for their major, minor and/or degree.
  • Please understand that space is limited and those not initially selected will be placed on a waiting list. Students accepted to the course will receive a permission number to enroll in the courses. Although these courses are open to students from any university and community members, initial preference for acceptance will be given to members of the Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria and Cal Poly Humboldt students.

Fees & Materials:

  • Fees for the 2023 field school will be announced prior to applications.
  • If you are accepted, a deposit will be due to CEEGE in mid Spring, and the remainder of the fees due thereafter.
  • Fees cover the following: Cost of travel from Cal Poly Humboldt to the field site and back to Cal Poly Humboldt after, camping fees and meals while in the field, and course fees, including costs of guest speakers and using field school equipment.
  • Students will need to cover the cost of travel to and from Cal Poly Humboldt for the on-campus activities and before and after the field component, and all other personal costs (meals, etc...) during the on-campus portion of the program.
  • Students will need to provide their own basic camping gear (tent, sleeping pad, and sleeping bag); but Instructors can help students find items to purchase/rent if you don't have them.

Contact Information: