Archaeological Summer Field Program - ANTH 312

Course Description

In this course students will learn archaeological field methods while contributing as an active member of a research project. This six week course will incorporate classroom, field, and laboratory components, providing students with hands-on experience in modern methods of archaeological data collection and interpretation. Participants will learn basic techniques in archaeological fieldwork, as well as a broad understanding of the ways that archaeologists create and evaluate theories about the past. Further, enrollees will gain valuable experience in collaborative research while working cooperatively toward an overarching research objective. Finally, students will have the opportunity to make significant contributions to an ongoing project while learning about and contributing to the local history of Whatcom County.

Learn Practical Research

  • Surface Survey Techniques
  • Strategic Excavation Methods
  • Laboratory Curation and Analysis
  • Cartography and Orienteering
  • Remote Sensing and 3D Modeling
  • Landscape Archaeology and Geoarchaeological Methods
  • Collaborative Research and Work Skills


Mount Baker Lodge
old photo of mt baker lodge

     The Mount Baker Lodge was built in the early 20th century tradition of Great Lodges of the American West. Built at Heather Meadows, near the site of the modern Mount Baker Ski Area, the Mount Baker Lodge included a spectacular main building with an expansive central hall and 100 guest rooms. Catering to wealthy clientele, the expansive structure had cathedral ceilings build from fir pillars and cedar exterior. The Lodge opened in 1927, with construction of a 32-room annex the following year.

     In just its fourth year of operation, a fire in the main building-likely  due to faulty wiring - spread to engulf the entire lodge, reducing the structure to a pile of ash and debris in a few hours. The annex and adjacent Heather Inn continued to cater to guests, but with far reduced demand due to the hardships of the Great Depression. In the 1930's, the film, The Call of the Wild, starring Clark Gable and Loretta Young, was filmed at Heather Meadow, adding a unique page to the local history. Yet gas shortages during World War II further reduced visitor traffic, and the remaining buildings fell into disrepair, with Heather Inn collapsing under heavy snowfall in 1945 and the last remains of the Annex destroyed in a fire in the 1980's.

     The Western Washington University Field School will survey the site of the lodge, documenting the location of the building foundation and any remains of the structure.

The Site

The Field school will take place at two locations. The first phase will be undertaken at the Western Washington University campus, with a basic introduction to archaeological field methods, analytical techniques, and the material culture of the Pacific Northwest. Students will gain hands-on experience on campus and in the Sehome Arboretum. The second component of the project will include archaeological survey in the Mount Baker National Forest, including the site of the Mount Baker Lodge, in Heather Meadows, near the Mount Baker Ski Area.

Dates and Credits

June 25 - August 2, 2018

ANTH 312 - Field Course in Archaeology 12 Credits

Prerequisites: Introduction to Archaeology course or permission from instructor.

Program Cost:

$500.00 plus tuition

Application Deadline:

April 15th, 2018

Apply Here

All the Rest of the Details You'll Want to Know About Our Field Programs

Click here for information on course structure, field work and required equipment/supplies

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Jerald Ek
Department of Anthropology, WWU

Download the flyer here:

downloadable flyer for wwu anthropology summer field school