Nation’s Oldest Port® Underwater Archaeology Field School

At the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program, we provide professional and educational maritime archaeology training every summer through our Nation’s Oldest Port® Field School.

Applications are open as of January 23, 2023.

For more information about the LAMP Scientific Diving Program, please contact Airielle Cathers, Dive Safety Officer, at or call 904-829-0745 extension 203.

LAMP Maritime Archaeology Field School

Field school is an irreplaceable component in the education of any student pursuing a career in archaeology. Each year, the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP) oversees an intense, four-week accredited educational program allowing both undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to participate in active maritime archaeological research along the First Coast, here in St. Augustine and the surrounding region.

In addition to methodological training and academic lectures, students get valuable real-world experience in all aspects of archaeological fieldwork, scientific diving, seamanship, and laboratory analysis. LAMP has partnered with a variety of universities, including Flinders University, Florida State University, Syracuse University, and Plymouth State University to organize and implement this four-credit course. Please see below for information on the upcoming field school. Details on this year’s field school are below.

2023 Field School Application

Please complete and submit your application by May 1st, 2023 for the best chance of acceptance. Any application received after this date will only be considered as remaining space allows. Participation in the Field School can be competitive depending on the number of applicants, which has been increasing each year. While not required, you may submit a resume and/or letters of recommendation with your application (to

Applicants will be notified of a decision no later than May 5th, although strong applicants may be contacted sooner. Any student that needs an earlier deadline, please send us an email after completion/submission of your application and we can discuss your timeline needs.

Upon acceptance, you will be contacted for completion of other field school requirements (diver medical exam, dive/medical insurance, gear requirements etc.,). If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us at the email or number below.

Dates: May 29th – June 30th, 2023

Apply Here

*The application form will remain open until April 16th, or if the student cap has been reached, whichever comes first.

2023 Field School Background

Research Focus: The research focus for this year is TBA. We will be working on one of the various offshore shipwrecks, ranging in age from 18th to the 19th centuries, as well as one of the local foreshore sites. Site details to follow.

Skills, Procedures & Lectures

This field school includes intensive archaeological and scientific diving training.This includes scientific diving procedures, archaeological recording and excavation, the use of hydraulic probes and induction dredges, artifact collection and documentation, and historical research.Classroom aspects include ethics, maritime archaeology history and theory, emergency care/first responder training, dive safety and operations planning, dive physics and physiology, etc.

Additionally, the field school will host an ongoing lecture series with instructors and visiting professionals from various public, private and academic institutions throughout Florida.


  • Students must hold an Open Water SCUBA certification and EITHER qualify as a Scientific Diver through AAUS (American Academy of Underwater Sciences) OR qualify as a scientific-diver-in-training through LAMP’s Scientific Diving Program. These requirements include a specific medical exam to be completed prior to field school and a swim test to be conducted upon arrival.
  • These documents will be available to review on our website once the application period opens. Please do not complete the medical exam until after you have officially been accepted into the program.
  • Upon acceptance, students must have DAN diving accident insurance covering at least$125,000 for skin and scuba diving injuries, or an equivalent policy.
  • Students must provide their own transportation to and from St. Augustine, Florida.

Housing: LAMP maintains a Field House on five acres of rural property just outside St. Augustine. Expect dormitory-type conditions. The house is furnished with air conditioning, two bathrooms, and a fully-operational kitchen. Students should provide their own bedding (sheets, pillow, blanket, etc.).

A refundable $30.00 deposit is required for a field house key.

Meals: Meals are communal and prepared each day by the field school participants on a rotating basis. Each student is assigned to a weekly Galley Crew. The budget for purchasing food is derived from the field school fee charged to all students. Students are responsible for their own food on weekends.

Fees: The fee for the field school is $3,400. A $250 deposit is due upon acceptance and the remainder is due by May 24th; all fees are payable to LAMP. This fee includes housing,food (except on weekends when you are responsible for your own meals), most dive gear (please see list below), air fills, and pool/classroom/laboratory facilities.Details on Payments Processing will be included on final acceptance.

Scholarships are available through the Archaeological Institute of America. Click here to apply.

For those applicants planning to receive course credit (either through our partner institution or your own university), a $400 discount is offered to help offset the additional cost of credits. We will reach out to those applicants who wish to pursue this option as noted on the application.

Graduate or undergraduate credit: Students may receive 3-4 credit hours for completing the full five-week program. Tuition must be paid separately through the university issuing credit and the tuition cost is separate from the Field School fee payable to LAMP. College credit is available through our partner institution, Flagler College, or through your own institution if appropriate arrangements are made. Tuition rates TBA.

Dive Gear: Our Diving Program has rental gear available to all field school students at no additional cost. This includes:

  • BCDs (Backplate & Wing)
  • Regulators
  • Depth and pressure gauges
  • Weight belt
  • Weights
  • Limited sizes of wetsuits (3-5mm)

If you have your own gear, you are welcome to use it as long as records of professional servicing are provided to our DSO prior to arrival. The following pieces of equipment and personal gear are NOT provided by LAMP and will need to be brought by each student. Please reach out to us if you have any questions regarding what to bring.

  • Mask
  • Snorkel (please bring a foldable snorkel)
  • Fins (NO split fins, force fins, or freediving fins)
  • Booties
  • Personal wetsuits (3 mm recommended)
  • Dive Computer or dive watch (we have depth and pressure gauges)

For questions, please email LAMP at the contact information below.

Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program
81 Lighthouse Avenue
St. Augustine, Florida 32080
Phone: 904-829-0745, ext. 203