Group of students with lei on beach

UH Mānoa students and community volunteers celebrate the launch of the North Shore Field School. (Photo courtesy Department of Anthropology)

The Department of Anthropology in the College of Social Sciences at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and Kamehameha Schools have partnered to establish the North Shore Field School. Launched in early January, the field school provides students with a unique opportunity for archeological field training at Kupopolo Heiau, one of the most significant wahi kūpuna (ancestral places) remaining in the ahupuaʻa of Kawailoa on Oʻahu’s North Shore.

Every Saturday for the next three months, archaeology and anthropology students will work alongside community volunteers to identify, survey, and map features, as well as document cultural materials uncovered in limited excavations. The field school will also host discussions and demonstrations to provide students with insights and perspectives from cultural practitioners from the North Shore community.

The North Shore Field School represents a new, collaborative ʻāina-based anthropology in Hawaiʻi that brings together members of the North Shore, Kamehameha Schools and UH Mānoa communities to care for and learn from Oʻahu’s ancestral places. It aims to increase community awareness of and engagement with anthropology, particularly cultural resource management activities.

The information collected by North Shore Field School students will be used by Kamehameha Schools’ Wahi Kūpuna Program to assess, prioritize and monitor threats and ensure proper stewardship and protection of such sites for future generations.

Read more about the project as featured by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser (subscription required), and KHON 2.

Community members are invited to assist with vegetation clearance each Saturday from 8–10 a.m.. For more information, email

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