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 19, 2022. Apply at the drop-down menu below.

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

LAMP Maritime Archaeology Field School

A 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 various 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. For more information on previous field school research, please visit our blog. Details on this year’s field school are below.

2022 Field School Application

Please complete and submit your application (link below) by May 1st, 2022, 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 numbers of applicants, which have been increasing each year. While not required, you may submit a resume and/or letters of recommendation with your application (to lamp@staugustinelighthouse.org).

Applicants will be notified of a decision no later than May 16th. Any student with an earlier deadline for course registration/confirmation, please send us an email after completing your application with documentation from your school.

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

Dates: July 11 – August 5, 2022

APPLY NOW

*The application form will remain open until June 5th, or if the student cap has been reached, whichever comes first.

2022 Field School Background

Research Focus: This year, we will be focusing on the theme of hurricane impacts on maritime cultural resources. Students will have the opportunity to work on various offshore shipwrecks, ranging in age from the 18th to the 19th centuries, as well as a few foreshore sites, including the site of the old St. Augustine Lighthouse/Watchtower.

Skills, Procedures & Lectures

This field school includes intensive scientific diving training that consists of a minimum cumulative time of 100 hours. This includes scientific diving procedures, archaeological recording, excavation, the use of hydraulic probes and induction dredges, artifact collection, and documentation. It also includes theoretical aspects related to maritime archaeology, emergency care/first responder training, and a written exam covering dive safety, ethics, dive physics and physiology, etc.

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

Requirements:

  • 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 conducted upon arrival. More information and downloads of the medical exam form and other required paperwork are available below. 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.). If students wish to camp on the land around the field house, they should bring their own tent/gear. 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 Kitchen Patrol roster. 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 $3,000. A $250 deposit is due upon acceptance, and the remainder is due on the first day of class; 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, dive locker, classroom, and laboratory facilities. The deposit and remaining balance may be paid with a check or credit card.

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. As noted on the application, we will reach out to applicants who wish to pursue this option.

Graduate or undergraduate credit: Students may receive four credit hours for completing the full four-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. If appropriate arrangements are made, college credit is available through our partner institution or your own institution. Tuition rates TBA.

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

  • BCDs
  • 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 (3-5mm 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
lamp@staugustinelighthouse.org
Phone: 904-829-0745, ext. 203