Project Description


The major objective of this year’s field school is to prepare students for a career in Cultural Resource Management (CRM) while conducting a small-scale CRM inventory and evaluation project. The field school will take place on the Coconino National Forest on the outskirts of Flagstaff, Arizona, and will be taught by professional archaeologists from Statistical Research, Inc., one of the foremost CRM firms in the world, and the Coconino National Forest. The area has been home to people for many millennia and has a rich archaeological record. The region is best known, however, as the homeland of the Northern Sinagua. The Sinagua first appeared at about CE 650 as small family groups living in pit house communities near the best agricultural soils. Many early researchers suggested that the apparent population explosion that occurred in the eleventh century resulted from the eruption of the nearby Sunset Crater in the late eleventh century. The cinder fall from these eruptions was believed to have greatly increased the extent of arable land by fertilizing the soils and acting as a mulch to retard moisture evaporation. News of this new farmland purportedly spread throughout the Southwest leading to a prehistoric land rush into the area. New interpretations, however, suggest that the influence of Sunset Crater and associated migrations have been overly exaggerated. Rather, environmental change, increasing participation in pan-Southwestern exchange systems, population aggregation, and new agricultural technologies were the major factors in the region’s cultural development.

This season we will train students in basic CRM survey, mapping, excavation, and laboratory methods through an intensive pedestrian survey of Forest lands. Our research goals are to identify and evaluate archaeological resources that can contribute important information regarding past land use and settlement patterns in this area. In addition, we aim to assist the Forest in the management of their archaeological resources. This program is RPA certified (Register of Professional Archaeologists) and will benefit students who plan to pursue cultural resource management work in the future.

Download Syllabus

Course Details

  • Course Dates: July 8-August 4, 2018
  • Enrollment Status: OPEN
  • Total Cost: $4,125
  • Course Type: Field Archaeology
  • Payment Deadline: April 20, 2018
  • Instructors: Dr. Richard Ciolek-Torello
  • Online Orientation:  May 20, 2018, 1:00 PM PST
Apply Now


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. He is an expert member of the International Committee on Archaeological Heritage Management (ICAHM), and a research associate at the Museum of Northern Arizona.


Coming soon!

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 and 13th 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 solar showers are also highly recommended. The field school will provide enclosed portable outdoor showers and portable toilets. Two large tents will serve as the kitchen and dining hall and laboratory and lecture hall, respectively. 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 and mountain bike trails extend from the campground onto Mt. Elden and the adjacent San Francisco Peaks area.

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. Meals will be provided for six days a week. Students will be responsible for their own meals on Sundays.

The field camp is located just outside of the Flagstaff city limits, less than 2 miles from the Flagstaff Mall and other shopping centers, gas stations, restaurants, and fast food facilities. A gas-powered generator will be available evenings to recharge staff and personal electronic devices, although by necessity, the former will have priority. Cell-phone coverage is excellent at the campsite.

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. A staff member will meet students traveling by air at the Pulliam airport. From there, they will travel to the Elden Pueblo campground, which is located about 2 miles north of I-40 and 1.5 miles north 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 distance 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 south of the stop light at the intersection of HW 89 and the Camp Townsend-Winona Road.

If you miss your connection or your flight is delayed, please call, text, or e-mail the project director immediately. A local emergency cell phone number will be provided to all enrolled students.


There are no visa requirements as the field school is located in the United States.

Citizens of other countries are asked to check their local U.S. Embassy website page at their home country for specific visa requirements.

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.