Project Description

IFR policy requires that prior to traveling, all field school students must have completed a COVID-19 vaccine primary series AND received the most recent booster dose recommended by the CDC, if eligible.

All IFR field school applicants should familiarize themselves with IFR COVID-19 Practices BEFORE enrolling in a program. These practices are subject to change as health and risk management experts provide new recommendations and best practices.

You may want to refer to the following website to stay informed of COVID-19 case numbers and regulations/policies for New Mexico:


During A.D. 700-1400, the Greater American Southwest was an explosive laboratory where changing social, cultural, and political ideals were maintained, invented, thrown-out, reused, and contested. As people grappled with how power was controlled and distributed in society, new religious practices and new ideas about community grew from these struggles. It is within these complicated times that revolutions occur. Students on this project will explore the Gallina culture, a group of Ancestral Pueblo rebels in the region who resisted elites and inequality from A.D. 1100-1300. During this public archaeology field school, students will learn excavation, survey and site assessment, artifact analysis and processing, and public outreach. For the public outreach portion students will participate in open discussions with stakeholder communities, including the Santa Fe National Forest, about the nature of our fieldwork and its future directions and will create a final essay or media project that will be shared with a public audience. Students will also travel to nearby sites like Chaco Canyon and San Marcos Pueblo to broadly contextualize the regional history in order to deepen their understanding of how countercultures and neighboring societies interact and change each other.
Download Syllabus

Course Details

  • Course Dates: June 12 – July 7, 2023

  • Enrollment Status:  Closed

  • Total Cost: $3,775

  • Course Type: Community/Public, Indigenous, Landscape Archaeology

  • Tuition Payment Deadline: May 1, 2023

  • Instructors: Dr. Lewis Borck

  • Orientation:  TBA
  • Academic Credit: 8 Semester Credit Units (equivalent to 12 Quarter Units)


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. Lewis Borck
Dr. Lewis Borck
Dr. Borck is an assistant professor, Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice at New Mexico Highlands University.


The field school in New Mexico felt like one big adventure to me, with lots of new things to learn. Having never been to the US before, it made me fall in love with a place I did not think I would love as much. It was amazing to both excavate at a Gallina site as well as see and hear about lots of other important sites in the area.The trips really helped putting everything into a bigger perspective and made me understand what we were doing a lot better. There are definitely some things from this field school, especially being very open about information given to a general audience, that have influenced my view on what kind of archaeologist I want to be during my future career.
Wazoula van Royen
When I started looking for a field school, I was a bit disappointed that not all field schools provided a variety of technique instruction.  Some only concentrated on excavation, while others were geared more towards other techniques.  However, the Gallina Field School provided everything I could ask for.  Techniques in excavation, surveying, and even work in flotation techniques for paleobotany.  The instruction was first-rate and provided the best archaeological experience I could have asked for.  On top of it all, we were able to visit outstanding archaeological sites in the area, and view Native American ceremonies.  Anyone looking for a first-rate field school should take a look at the Gallina Field School. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
Gary W. Chandler,
You are probably looking at this archaeological field school in order to gain experience with excavating and surveying. You will definitely gain this experience, but the field school can offer you much more. We visited many different archaeological sites in the American Southwest, and met with indigenous and non-indigenous people involved in the creation and maintenance of heritage. This field school taught me that archaeology is not the study of dead artefacts—it means contributing to a living heritage and culture.
Sam Miske
I took part in the 2019 summer session of this field school. I really enjoyed this project and learned a lot from it. I used to be mostly familiar with the excavation of Roman remains; Gallina architecture was very different from what I was used to seeing. I was taught new excavation techniques and became capable of recognizing and excavating Gallina architectural features and material culture. I also learned to become more autonomous and take responsibilities in the field. The excavations, but also the visit of other Gallina sites and more broadly Ancestral Pueblo sites such as Chaco Canyon, enabled me to better understand the social, political and religious processes that developed in the region. Meetings with scholars involved in different research aspects of the field showed me the way archaeology is organized in the United States and how indigenous communities are involved in the management of their heritage. I also had the opportunity to visit tourist spots in the region (Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and the Abiquiu lake) and see magnificent landscapes every day on the drive to the field site.
Salomé Mega
I am so glad that this project was my first field school experience. During the course of the program, I had the opportunity to participate in research, becoming more familiar with the general methods of excavating, surveying, recording findings, and communicating ideas. In Gallina, I also had the opportunity to interact with the community members, not only working with them on the project, but also attending their traditional feast days. The methodology that I learned contributed to my success in archaeology courses following the field school and the immersion into the northern New Mexican culture that I experienced has encouraged me to continue working with Native communities after college. I would highly recommend that any interested students attend this field school.
Francesca Servidio
I was part of this project in the summer of 2018. Going into it, it was difficult to know what to expect; New Mexico had been plagued by forest fires, making our original site impossible to excavate. Dr. Borck worked around the clock to find an alternative site for us, and it is not only his perseverance but also his relationship with the community, which would come to characterize the dig. On top of that, he ensured that we got to interact with the various communities that make up the region. It made me realize just how important it is to foster relationships with the local communities and to keep a line of communication open. As a result of this realization I am now studying Heritage and Museum Studies, where this communication aspect is emphasized as being key to maintaining heritage sites around the world.
Rosaida Brahim

Tuition Includes:

  • Cost of Instruction
  • Cost of Academic Credit Units
  • Room & Board
  • All local transportation

Student Fees

Application Fee: There is a $25 fee to submit an online application.

Deposit Payment:

  • Once you have been accepted to a program, you must place a nonrefundable $500 deposit fee to hold your seat in the program until the tuition payment deadline. The tuition payment deadline can be found in the top right of each field school’s web page under “Course Details”.
  • The $500 deposit fee is included as part of your total tuition fee and NOT in addition to it.

Tuition Fee 

  • The tuition balance is the total program tuition fee minus the $500 deposit fee.
  •  The full tuition fee must be paid by the tuition payment deadline in order to secure your seat in the program.
  • If you do not pay the full tuition fee by the deadline, your place in the program is no longer secure, and if you are unable to participate in the program for any reason, our Late Withdrawal policy below will apply.

Late Fee: A $100 late fee will be added to all accounts not paid in full by the tuition payment deadline.

Withdrawal Policy: If you place a deposit but decide to withdraw, you must notify IFR staff in writing before the tuition payment deadline. In the event of withdrawal, the $500 nonrefundable deposit fee remains nonrefundable and will not be refunded.

Late Withdrawal: If you paid the deposit fee but did not cancel your participation by the tuition payment deadline, you are legally responsible for the full tuition fee regardless of attendance at any IFR program. Please carefully read our Withdrawal & Cancellation Policy for further information.

Cancellation Policy: In the event that IFR must cancel a field school, all accepted students will be notified as soon as possible and will receive a refund of all tuition paid including the deposit fee. IFR offers students the opportunity to transfer to another field school, permitting that there are spots available and the program director approves the student to participate in their field school. Upon approval of the program director, IFR staff will make the arrangements to transfer the student’s application and payments.

Credit Card Processing Fee: A 3.5% processing fee is automatically incurred for all credit/debit card/online payments.

Academic Credit Opt Out: Students who wish to participate in an IFR field school without earning academic credit units may do so and receive the following discounts: $300 off a full program (4 or more weeks in length) or $200 off a short program (2-3 weeks in length).

Trip Cancellation Insurance: Please consider purchasing a travel interruption insurance policy that will cover your travel cost and the cost of the IFR program once you make a commitment to attend a field school.

The added risk of COVID-19  should be a “covered event” in your policy.
Please note that the cost of coverage varies, based on your age, the program duration and geographical location.
You may get help and advice from your insurance broker and we offer the links below to help you educate yourself on these insurance products.
– Compare quotes from different companies offering Trip Cancelation insurance plans.


Camp housing will be near Llaves, New Mexico at about 7,500 feet above sea level (~2300m) in an extremely arid environment, so a period of acclimation is included in the first week. Conditions at the field house are safe, but basic. Students will be living in tents that can be widely spaced out. They will also have access to indoor communal rooms as well as a large, community tent that serves as a dining and lab facility. While in these interior areas, students will be expected to be masked, but will also be spaced out at 6 foot/2 meter intervals. There will be handwashing stations and port-a-potties available for students. Showers are outdoors (but private). Camp chores, including cooking, will be shared amongst all of the field participants.

The field site is quite remote and is surrounded by a lot of outdoor space. Students will be able to find outdoor areas to relax as well as take advantage of many nearby trails for hiking and running (in pairs at a minimum).

Meals are taken communally and will provide plenty of nutritious food. New Mexican cuisine is heavily based on a mix of American, Indigenous, and Mexican (primarily Chihuahuan) cuisine and is thus heavily based around meat, beans, and rice. Chile, both red and green, are an important part of the food experience and will be incorporated, but they will be kept to the side for those whose palettes may find them too spicy. It is possible to adjust based on vegetarian or vegan diets. Other food allergies, depending on the severity, can be adjusted for as well. Please check with the project director if you have severe reactions.

Travel Info

Due to ongoing uncertainties regarding travel regulations related to COVID-19, IFR will assess the local conditions closer to the travel date (5-6 weeks prior to the program beginning) and will make Go/No Go decisions then. Natural disasters, political changes, weather conditions and various other factors may force the cancelation of a field school. You are required to participate in the mandatory orientation meeting when we will discuss the latest travel information and regulations. We also suggest you consider postponing the purchase of your airline ticket until after the program orientation.

Project staff will meet students traveling by air at the Albuquerque International Sunport. Students traveling by car can meet at the project housing. If you are traveling by bus or train, or if any issues arise during your travels, please contact the Field School Director. They will make arrangements for picking you up.

There are currently no quarantine requirements for travelers arriving in the United States from overseas or for travelers arriving in New Mexico.

Students and staff will travel from the field camp to the field site (and vice versa) in a 6 passenger truck and a 15 passenger van. The van will travel with no more than 11 students and staff and the truck will travel with no more than 5 students and staff. Members of the public who are not a part of the field school will not be traveling in these vehicles. Students and staff will be masked while inside of the vehicles and within 6 feet of each other during excavation and survey as well as when in the laboratory building.


This is a US based program. Citizens of other countries are asked to check the embassy website page at their home country for specific visa requirements.

Student Safety

The IFR primary concern is with education. Traveling and conducting field research involve risk. Students interested in participating in IFR programs must weigh whether the potential risk is worth the value of education provided. While risk is inherent in everything we do, we do not take risk lightly. The IFR engages in intensive review of each field school location prior to approval. Once a program is accepted, the IFR reviews each program annually to make sure it complies with all our standards and policies, including student safety.

Students attending IFR international programs are covered by a comprehensive Health Insurance policy that includes physical illness or injury, mental or chronic conditions. No deductible and 100% of costs are covered up to $250,000. In addition, we provide Political and Natural Disaster Evacuation policy, which allow us to remove students from field school location if local conditions change. Our field school directors are scholars that know field school locations and cultures well and are plugged in into local communities and state institution structures.

Students attending IFR domestic programs (within the US) must have their own health insurance and provide proof upon enrollment. IFR field school directors are familiar with local authorities and if in need of evacuation, local emergency services and/or law enforcement will be notified and activated.

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

Call us at 877-839-4374 or email us at if you have questions about the safety of any particular program.