Project Description


The major objective of this field school is to prepare students for a career in cultural resource management (CRM) while conducting a typical small-scale CRM inventory and evaluation project. The field school will take place on the Coconino National Forest near Flagstaff, Arizona. The area has been home to people for many millennia and has a rich archaeological record that extends from the Paleoindian period (13,000-9,000 BCE) to the Historic period. The region is best known, however, as the homeland of the Northern Sinagua. This prehistoric tradition, centered in the Flagstaff area, was originally defined by Dr. Harold S. Colton of the Museum of Northern Arizona as the Sinagua culture, a cultural entity derived from Mogollon roots and influenced by interaction with other surrounding cultures. Our research goals are to identify and evaluate any prehistoric and historic period resources that can contribute important information regarding past land use and settlement patterns in this area. We will visit major Sinagua sites that have been significant in the development of the Sinagua concept and its major research issues, as well as weekend field trips to nearby National Parks and Monuments containing other well-known Sinagua sites in the region.

This field school will be taught by staff from Statistical Research, Inc. (SRI), one of the foremost CRM firms in the world. It is a partnership between the IFR, SRI and the Coconino National Forest.

Download Syllabus

Course Details

  • Course Dates: Jul 9-Aug 5, 2017
  • Enrollment Status: CLOSED
  • Total Cost: $4,450
  • Course Type: Field Archaeology
  • Payment Deadline: April 21, 2017
  • Instructors: Dr. Richard Ciolek-Torello
  • Orientation:  April 27, 5:00pm Los Angeles Time
Program Closed


The directors welcome emails and inquiries about the research elements of this project. More general information (tuition, health insurance, and payment schedule) can be found under the ‘Students’ tab above. Any further questions may be addressed to IFR staff. Additional details about research, course schedule, travel, accommodation, and safety can be found on the syllabus. Contacting the directors or the IFR office is encouraged and appreciated. It may help you determine if this field school is a good fit for you.

Dr. Richard Ciolek-Torello
Dr. Richard Ciolek-Torello
Dr. Ciolek-Torello is Vice President for Research at Statistical Research Inc.

Tuition Includes:

  • Costs of instruction
  • Cost of Academic Credits
  • Room & board
  • All local transportation

Student Fees

A nonrefundable deposit of $500 is required to secure a seat in this program.  This program requires an application (no application fee is requested). Only accepted students should pay the deposit fee. Deposit fee is part of the program Tuition. The remaining tuition, minus the $500 deposit, must be paid prior to the tuition deadline (see above under “Course Details”).

Important Note: If you were accepted to this program but did not cancel your participation by the tuition payment deadline, you are legally responsible for the full tuition regardless of attendance in this program. Please read the IFR Cancellation Policy for further clarification.

  • A 2.5% Processing Fee is automatically assessed for all credit/debit card payments
  • A $100 Late Fee will be assessed if full tuition payment is not completed by the deadline.
  • Look at the field school syllabus above for room & board details.


Students will reside in an informal camp area at Elden Pueblo, the site of a large 12th century Sinagua ruin, on lands administered by the Coconino National Forest. Students should bring their own tents, sleeping bags, and air mattresses. Personal camp chairs and sun showers are also recommended. The field school will provide enclosed portable outdoor showers and portable toilets. A large tent will serve as the kitchen, dining hall, laboratory, and lecture hall. Facilities of the adjacent Flagstaff Ranger District offices will be available on an as-needed basis. The campground is located in the cool Ponderosa pine forest at approximately 7,000 feet above sea level, so a period of adjustment to the altitude may be necessary. Numerous hiking trails extend from the campground onto Mt. Elden and the adjacent San Francisco Peaks.

All meals will be communal events and will provide plenty of nutritious food. Specialized diets (vegetarian, lactose-intolerant, etc.) can be supported, but staff must be notified in advance.

US Coconino
US -AZ Coconino

Travel Info

There are a number of airports that service the Flagstaff area. The airport nearest the project site is the Pulliam Airport (FLG) in Flagstaff. This airport is serviced by American Airlines from their Phoenix hub. Students traveling by air will be met by a staff member at the Pulliam airport. From there, they will travel to the Elden Pueblo campground, which is located about 1.5 mile north of I-40 and immediately south of the Flagstaff Ranger District offices at 5075 N. Highway 89, Flagstaff, AZ 86004 (Do not confuse the parking area for the Elden Trail head that is just a short ways past the Ranger Station).

Students traveling by car can reach the campground via Interstate 40 from the east or west, Interstate 17 from the south, and Highway 89 from the north. There are signs on both sides of Highway 89 that indicate “Elden Pueblo Ruins”.  The parking lot for the site is on the west side of the highway, immediately before the stop light at the intersection of HW 89 and the Camp Townsend-Winona Road.

Student Safety

Student safety is paramount for the IFR. Unlike many universities who are self-insured, the IFR purchases a range of high end insurance policies from some of the largest insurers in the world. Students in all our international programs have a comprehensive health insurance policy. It covers sickness, and chronic and mental health conditions at 100% of the cost. We have a strong evacuation and extraction policy. We can remove students from any location anywhere in the world with one phone call – whether medical evacuation, political or natural disaster extraction and anything in between. We purchase intelligence services from a global private provider and monitor the world 24/7. We automatically enroll our students to the US State Department STEP program. All of our students receive safety orientations both before and on the first day of each program. Our faculty have all been working in the areas where we operate field schools for years. They are intimately familiar with local customs and traditions, know the landscape well and have deep relationships with local communities.

All our domestic programs are coordinated with local authorities which are informed of our operations. Students in domestic programs are covered by their own health insurance and evacuations are managed by local emergency services, as appropriate.

The IFR has strong, explicit and robust policy towards discrimination and harassment in the field (click here for a shortcut). If students feel they cannot discuss personal safety issues with the field school staff, the IFR operates an emergency hotline where students can contact IFR personnel directly.

Travel does involve risk, but we try to minimize this risk as much as possible. Call us at 877-839-4374 or email us at if you have questions about the safety of particular programs.