Field Schools

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Each summer the Maritime Studies Program sponsors a field school in nautical archaeology. For information on the field school contact the Program in Maritime Studies, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858 (252-328-6097 or e-mail: All students must be enrolled in Field School in Maritime History and Underwater Research (History 5530, 2 credit hours).

This unique program has been developed to provide qualified students with a basic introduction to maritime history and the scientific methods and techniques employed in nautical archaeological research. The prerequisite for field school is successful completion of the Scientific Diver Course offered by the ECU Diving Safety Office under the standards of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences. There is a lab fee to defray training costs. This training is rigorous and involves a swim test, modules of open water diving, and low/zero visibility training, both in a pool and in open water. Instruction in diving safety, archaeological recording, underwater photography (still and video), wireless communication and emergency search procedures will be covered. Additional details and precise cost can be obtained by calling Mark Keusenkothen at 252-328-4041 (e-mail: Applications for Scientific Diving are available online through the Diving Safety Office. Students are generally housed at no cost during field school although they must provide their own housing and living expenses during their stay in Greenville for scientific dive training. While on site, students will participate in a group meal plan with a fee charged to defray food expenses.


Every fall eligible second year students can attend the fall research semester. Students spend four weeks working on various shipwreck sites as designated by the project director. Eligibility is determined by required courses taken during the previous year. The methods class HIST 6820 Research Methodology in Nautical Archaeology and the summer field school will generally fulfill these requirements. Students must also complete the Scientific Diving and Underwater Research Techniques.