Grounded Campus – Hartwick Archaeology Field School
In the Chronicle of Higher Education, James M. Lang discusses The Grounded Curriculum or a “grounded campus”:
Traditional college campuses need to capitalize more effectively on the facts that they are a physical presence within a natural environment; that their presence plays host to many people working and living together in myriad formal and informal communities; that those communities are driven by educational, philosophical, economic, and sociological factors; and that those factors can be analyzed, understood, argued about, performed, and represented through the lens of just about every discipline under the sun.
Hartwick College features particularly strong course offerings connecting to local issues and its physical preference. The Hartwick College Mission & Philosophy emphasizes what has been a long-standing tradition: “Hartwick College, an engaged community, integrates a liberal arts education with experiential learning to inspire curiosity, critical thinking, creativity, personal courage and an enduring passion for learning.”
Courses across the curriculum stress community-based and experiential learning. In the Hartwick College Anthropology Department, our best example of a truly grounded curriculum is the summer archaeology field school. Offered every other year–with the newest cohort June 2013–this is an intensive month-long course that qualifies students for jobs in federally-funded contract archaeology projects. The site is located on the flood plain of Charlotte Creek on Hartwick College’s Pine Lake Environmental Campus. Excavations have unearthed a Late Archaic camp of the Lamoka culture dating about 3000-1500 BC, with Lamoka and Susquehanna Broadspear projectile points, fragments of steatite bowls, and stone lined fire hearths.
The Archaeology Field School is a joint project between Hartwick College and the SUNY-Oneonta Anthropology Department, a great example of local collaboration, private-public partnership, and the benefits of consortium agreements with partner institutions. Students make lifelong friendships and connections from this intensive experience.