(Photo courtesy of the National Park Service)
The 2016 Pacific Northwest Preservation Field School will be held at the beautiful and historic Mount Rainier National Park. This year’s field school offers the opportunity to learn and work in one of the nations most iconic parks. The 2016 PNWFS at Mount Rainier also coincides with the Centennial Celebrations of the National Park Service. The field school will be based out of the national historic district of Longmire, the historic and current administration headquarters of the park. From Longmire, we will have access to a wealth of educational opportunities, which will include repairing historic masonry, backcountry preservation, and wood/timber frame construction.
The Pacific Northwest Preservation Field School curriculum is designed to attract participants from all walks of life, from novices with little background in the field but who possess a love for heritage and a desire to learn, to undergraduate and graduate students, to practicing cultural resource professionals. The University of Oregon's Historic Preservation Program developed this Field School to provide participants with the opportunity to experience preservation firsthand.
The field school is intended for anyone interested in working in a hands-on environment and getting experience working with preservation craftspeople in the spectacular Pacific Northwest. The typical class varies in age, skill, background, and interest, but the common thread is always enjoyable learning. Incoming graduate students in the Historic Preservation MS Program are required to enroll for at least one session as part of their graduation requirements. Many participants have used the field school to launch into historic preservation, and many graduates of the University of Oregon's program got their start at the Pacific Northwest Field School.
Session 1: August 7-12, 2016
Session 2: August 14-19, 2016
Session 3: August 21-26, 2016
Session 4: August 28-September 2, 2016
*All dates will be from Sunday arrival by 4pm to Friday 7pm departure.
All sessions entail hands-on-work, documentation, and various preservation related activites--including field trips. Evening lectures will focus on the week's specials theme, but can and will delve into other areas of preservation.
Projects & Themes
Session 1: Backcountry Preservation
This year we have the chance to work on one of the four extant fire lookouts within the boundaries of Mount Rainer National Park. Fire lookouts began being built throughout the park starting in 1916. The four remaining lookouts were designed by the National Parks Landscape Division and were constructed between 1932-1934. These fire lookouts are at some of the highest elevations in the park, and were used to alert officials of forest fires in the park. Currently, fire lookouts are far less used as they once were, and therefore are becoming rare resources.
Note: This session is intended for anyone looking to experience the ruggedness of Mount Rainier National Park while at the same time gaining skills in the craft of preservation. Intensive hiking will be required to reach the worksite, as the lookouts are all above 5,000 feet in elevation.
Projects could include:
-Site work including erosion control and work on foundations
-Restoring damaged siding
-Repairing damaged floor of cat-walk
-Efficient and sensitive winterizing techniques
Session 2: Historic Masonry
Winters are tough on the historic resources of Mount Rainier, and evaluations are still being made to determine what is most important for field school to work on, but there is no shortage of opportunity to work on historic masonry throughout the park. From the foundations of the famous Paradise Inn to Civilian Conservation Corps built ranger huts, Mount Rainier National Park has an abundance of historic stonework. This includes several bridges that span the many creeks and rivers throughout the park. One possible opportunity for field school is the St. Andrews Creek Bridge. This rustic but beautiful bridge was built in 1931, and spans 26 feet over the St. Andrews Creek. The West Side Road, created in 1924, allows access to the bridge. The road remains unpaved and allows viewers to experience what the park would have looked like in an earlier time. The bridge is concrete, but has a veneer of native granite stone. Officials at the park claim that Italian masons, brought to the park based on their exquisite craftsmanship, built the bridge.
Projects could include:
-Repointing of mortar between stones
-Sensitive cleaning of stones
Sessions 3 and 4: Seasonal Workers Cabins at Longmire
Cabins known by the park as L123 and L125 have been chosen as the perfect opportunity for projects for this year’s field school. Located in Longmire, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built these cabins between 1936-1937. They are perfect examples of the rustic style of architecture within the park. In fact, along with a recently restored cabin known as L-124, the three buildings reflect one another and their arrangement provides a communal setting. All three cabins are covered with board-and-batten siding, and also incorporate large timbers. Historic window lovers will “ooh and awe” over these cabins as most of the historic windows are intact!
Projects could include:
-Repair or replacement of sill beams
-Roof cleaning and shingle replacement
Historic information for Mount Rainier National Park including the resources field school will work on can be found here!
Credit & Tuition
Field School participants can earn two (2) graduate or undergraduate level credits from the University of Oregon for each repeatable one-week session, grading is on a pass/no pass basis.
- Not for credit: $900
- Two (2) undergraduate credits: $1100
- Two (2) graduate credits: $1250
- Additional credit: $200 per director's approval
Tuition includes food, lodging, and transportation during each week-long session. Participants are responsible for arranging their own travel to and from the rendezvous site.
Travel & Accomodations
Location: Longmire, Washington in Mount Rainer National Park
Driving: Directions will be given upon request
Flying: The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is 2 hours from Longmire
Meals: Food is included in the cost of tuition
Accommodations: Housing arrangements are being finalized
There will be two scholarships offered for the 2016 iteration of the Pacfic Northwest Preservation Field School. Deadline for Scholarships is June 1st. The Director's Student Scholarships are available, but not limited to, individuals planning a career in the preservation field, who without this funding assistance may not be able to attend the Field School. The recipient must be taking the Field School session(s) for academic credit. The award covers tuition for one field school week and additional travel expenses. The Scholarship application will be included in the general application when it is made available above.
The Pacific Northwest Preservation Field School would not be possible without the continued support of federal, state, and local agencies. Collaborating sponsors for the 2016 Pacific Northwest Preservation Field School include:
- University of Oregon
- National Park Service
- Idaho State Historical Society
- Idaho Heritage Trust
- Oregon Parks & Recreation Department
- Oregon State Historic Preservation Office
- Washington State Parks & Recreation Commission
- Washington State Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation
Historic Preservation Program
School of Architecture & Allied Arts
5233 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-5233
Field School Director
Shannon M. Sardell, Non-Tenure Track Professor
For more information