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Summer Preservation Field Schools

The annual Preservation Field Study (AMST 696) is an intensive, four to six-week program that provides students with hands-on experience in working with neighborhoods, rural communities and/or buildings and landscapes worthy of documentation and analysis.

Summer 2016: Preservation Field Seminar (AMST 696C)
July 3-31, 2016
(For information, please see Program Courses)  

Enrollment is generally limited to 18 participants. The annual programs include work with the materials of a building or area, in addition to understanding its contents, environment and inhabitants. The six-credit graduate programs are co-sponsored by the Department of American Studies at UHM and the Outreach College, and focus on a different location each year.

Past participants, both students and professionals, have been from Hawai‘i, the Pacific, Asia, Europe and the U.S. Many of the students are enrolled in the Graduate Certificate Program in Historic Preservation in the Department of American Studies at UHM. Others are drawn from closely allied fields, such as Urban and Regional Planning, Architecture, History and Geography. Typically about half to two-thirds of the students come from the University of Hawai‘i, the rest from institutions on the mainland or from overseas. Past international students have included participants from Cambodia, Micronesia, Thailand and Japan. The program also welcomes mid-career professionals who take the course to enhance existing skills or knowledge for their work back home.

The first field school was held in 1991 at the I‘ole Mission Station, a 19th-century complex of buildings of the missionary Bond family in North Kohala, Island of Hawai‘i. The 1992 field school examined Oahu’s ‘Ewa Plantation, the most complete surviving sugar plantation complex in the State. In 1993 the program was on the Island of Hawai‘i again, with Hilo and environs as the venue, including the historic downtown area and 1899 W.H. Shipman residence. The year 1994 featured Manoa Valley in Honolulu, an exceptionally well-preserved late 19th and early 20th-century residential community. The 1995 Field School on Maui focused on Vernacular Architecture.

Between 1996 and 2002 there were two field programs held annually on documentation of vernacular or historic architecture. In 1996, one was held in the commercial area of Waialae Avenue in Kaimuki on the island of Oahu and the second in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. In 1997, the program studied Kalaupapa, Molokai, while the Asian Field School took place in Bangkok, Thailand. In 1998, the program studied Historic Chinatown in Honolulu, while the Asian Field School took place in Bangkok, Thailand.

Recent Hawai‘i -based field schools have taken place in Kaimuki (2001) and Kapahulu (2004), both historic Honolulu neighborhoods, and in Moili‘ili, the urban neighborhood adjacent to the University of  Hawai‘i’s Manoa campus (2002, 2003). The Preservation Field School has cooperated with the National Park Service in a survey of historic properties at the Hansen’s Disease Settlement at Kalaupapa (1997), and with the Hawai‘i Capital Cultural District coalition in the proposed downtown National Heritage Area of the Capital District (2005). Since 2009, the Field School has been closely associated with the National Park Service and Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

The Asian Field School was held in Bangkok, in association with the SEAMEO Center for Archaeology and Fine Arts (SPAFA), from 1998 through 2002. Funding was provided by the Japan Foundation, with students coming from nearly all the Southeast Asian countries, as well as the U.S. and Japan. A total of 93 students completed the six-week Southeast Asia Field School. Many are now working with governmental organizations or universities in their own countries. Negotiations are now under way to revive the Asian Field School.

One of the goals of the field school, and the entire historic preservation program, is to expand the awareness of people in the community about the opportunities that exist for preservation activities within their cities, towns and neighborhoods. Many guest speakers are included in the annual month-long program and a number of the lectures are open to the public.

In addition to resource people, who provide a unique local perspective, those from outside the State of have included:

Blaine Cliver, former Chief, Preservation Assistance Division, National Park Service, U.S. Dept. of Interior, Washington, D.C.
Peter James
, Preservation Consultant, Canberra, Australia
Stephen Spaulding, Supervisor of Building Conservation, Cultural Resources Center, National Park Service, U.S. Dept. of Interior, Boston, Massachusetts
George Atta
, Senior Planner with Group 70, Honolulu,
David Franzen, Franzen Photography, Kailua,
Dr. Karl Kim
, Chair, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, UH Manoa
Paul Morgan
, Principal, Suzuki-Morgan Architects, Honolulu,
Tonia Moy, Architect, Fung and Associates, Honolulu, and former Architectural Historian with the State Historic Preservation Division, State of , Honolulu
Dr. Don Hibbard
, former Administrator, State Historic Preservation Division, State of Hawai‘i, Honolulu
Dr. Tom Dinell
, Professor Emeritus, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, UH Manoa
Russell Kokubun, State Senator, 2nd Senatorial District, State of Hawai‘i
Todd Croteau
, HABS/HAER US National Park Service
Laura Carter Schuster, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, US National Park Service

Past instructors have included:

Dr. William J. Murtagh, Associate Faculty, Department of American Studies, UH Manoa and former Keeper of the National Register and Vice-President, National Trust for Historic Preservation
Dr. Jeffrey Cody
, former Associate Professor, Chinese University, Hong Kong, now Senior Program Officer, Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, California
A. Spencer Leineweber
, FAIA, Professor of Architecture, School of Architecture, UH Manoa
Peter Drey
, Peter Drey and Associates, Atlanta, Georgia

Applying to the Field School

Outreach Summer Session Summer Student Information

Tuition and Expenses

  • Tuition for 6-credit course + fees
  • Partial housing costs

HP Field School Application Deadline: June 15 (for all continuing, new, returning, and international students)

Email application to:

For New, Returning or Summer Only Students:

Deadline for Visiting International Students:

Visiting International Students need to obtain a F-1 visa. One must first be issued a Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student status (I-20) from the UH Outreach College. It is strongly recommended that requests are submitted no later than *two months prior to the start of classes. Contact the Outreach College at or call 1-800-862-6628

Summer Credit Registration:

1. Once admitted and you do not have a UH username, it is mandatory to create a UH username and email account in order to register for UH classes. Go to Managing Your UH Username, Get a UH Username. If you need assistance with this process, contact the ITS Help Desk at (808) 956-8883, or email

2. Email the Historic Preservation Program <> that you have been admitted to Outreach College and include your UH Username. An approval code will then be loaded into the system and you may then proceed to register for AmSt 696B at: MyUH Portal <>

For more specific field school information contact: 
Professor William Chapman (808) 956-8574