Archaeologists from the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum will begin their annual field school in St. Augustine on June 2nd with 12 students from around the world.

ST. AUGUSTINE, FLA. – Twelve students from as far away as Australia have arrived in St. Augustine, Fla., for the educational experience of a lifetime. Beginning June 2nd, the students will join archaeologists from the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum for four weeks of hands-on, underwater research and excavation on historic St. Augustine shipwrecks.

LAMP Obstacle Course“Field school is a great opportunity for college students to get experience with all the aspects of archaeological research,” said Chuck Meide, Director of the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP). “Our training is unique in that we are one of very few organizations that can provide underwater excavation experience.”

This year, students will be diving on a 1782 British Loyalist shipwreck located one mile off St. Augustine’s historic coast. Lighthouse archaeologists have been excavating this wreck since 2010. Artifacts recovered from the ship have helped the team piece together the story of British Loyalists who evacuated Charleston, S.C., near the end of the American Revolution.

Loaded with civilians and soldiers, the vessel attempted to enter the St. Augustine inlet on December 31, 1782, but it ran aground. Passengers were able to escape on smaller boats, but the ship and all its contents were lost to the sea. The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum is currently working to conserve the recovered artifacts—including cannons, muskets, cauldrons and other items—for a future museum exhibit.

In addition to methodological training and academic lectures, students of the museum’s accredited educational program will receive valuable real-world experience in all aspects of archaeological fieldwork, scientific diving and laboratory analysis. They will also participate in the museum’s public archaeology programs, including the Lost Ships guided tour.

“I’m looking forward to getting back in the water,” said Olivia McDaniel, a University of Idaho graduate who will be a field school supervisor this year. “Nothing in the classroom can really match the experience of discovering and preserving artifacts that haven’t seen daylight in over two hundred years.”

McDaniel enjoyed her 2013 field school experience so much she stayed through the fall to assist with research documents and artifact conservation. This year she joins fellow supervisors Dave Conklin (University of Miami), Hunter Whitehead (University of West Florida) and Hunter Brendel (Flinders University, Australia).

The 2014 student roster includes Molly Trivelpiece (Longwood University), Hannah Lucke (University of Puget Sound), Bridget Stanton (Flagler College), Leeah Worley (Lycoming College), James Kinsella (University of Central Florida), Christopher McCarron (University of Alabama, Birmingham), Madeline Roth (St. Mary’s College of Maryland), Michael Reese (University of Colorado), Chandler von Cannon (Flagler College), Eden Andes (Florida State University) and Allyson Ropp (University of North Carolina, Asheville).

Throughout the month of June, the students will blog their field school experiences on the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum website,



A pivotal navigation tool and unique landmark of St. Augustine for over 140 years, the St. Augustine Light Station is host to centuries of history in the Nation’s Oldest PortSM. Through interactive exhibits, guided tours and maritime research, the 501(c)3 non-profit St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum is on a mission to preserve, present and keep alive the story of the Nation’s Oldest Port SM as symbolized by our working lighthouse. We are the parent organization to the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP) and an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.