Program Details

The first annual ACMS interdisciplinary Mongolia Field School will be held from July 29-August 16, 2019 in Mongolia. The Field School is open to all participants, including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and life-long learners interested in academic studies and research that explore Mongolia’s unique history, culture and contemporary issues. The field school highlights three potential concentration topics, including public archeology, migration studies and renewable energy, and all participants will have the opportunity to learn field research techniques and conduct self-selected research projects. Previous experience in Mongolia or with field studies is not required.

The Field School will begin in Ulaanbaatar with an orientation course, Modern Mongolia: History, Culture and Society in a Changing World, that will include lectures by Mongolian and international experts and visits to local museums and sites of interest. After the orientation, participants will begin their concentration area field studies, which will take place in both the capitol city and rural regions of Mongolia, utilizing the main field camp at Hatgal, near Lake Hovsgol in northern Mongolia. All Field School participants will be able to experience the best of Mongolian culture, including visiting the world famous Hovsgol Lake in Northern Mongolia and staying in traditional nomadic tents (gers).

Tuition for the program is $2,900 for all participants, which will cover program costs in Mongolia, including meals, housing, transportation, instruction and site visits. A significant number of scholarships of up to $3,500 are available based on merit and need through the generous support of the Henry Luce Foundation. Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to and from Ulaanbaatar. Students who are seeking academic credit for the program courses can work with program organizers and their home institution to insure the program meets credit requirements.

Note: Participants are responsible for making and covering the costs of their own travel arrangements (airfare) to and from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

The priority deadline for applications is February 15, 2019, and the final program application deadline is April 30, 2019. Applications received by February 15 will have priority consideration for fellowship awards and placement in the field school concentration area of first choice. For more detailed information on the application process and terms and conditions of the program, please click on the application link and review the other resource pages available on this website including the Program Terms and Conditions, and information on requesting Letters of Recommendation.

For additional information and questions on the program and application process, please contact the ACMS using the phone or email contact:

Course Overview:

All participants will take the orientation course, Modern Mongolia: History, Culture and Society in a Changing World (Course Outline), and then choose one of the three concentration courses outlined below. More detailed information on the course content is available in the Course Outlines, and full course syllabuses are available on request.

Northern Mongolia Salvage Archaeology and Public Engagement

Course outline (Download as PDF)

Dr. Julia Clark of NOMAD Science, will lead a field archeology project in Hatgal, near Lake Hovsgol in Northern Mongolia, that will combine academic anthropological archeology research with cultural heritage tourism and public anthropology. The project will engage trained international and Mongolian archeologists, together with field school participants, to explore a newly discovered archeological site with layers of artifacts from the Neolithic to more recent periods of settlement. Participants will engage in hands on field archeology, while also exploring ways that the site might be used as a public education and cultural heritage tourism site for the large number of Mongolian and international tourists visiting the world famous Lake Hovsgol region.

Migrants, Migration and Contemporary Livelihoods in Mongolia

Course outline (Download as PDF)

Dr. Holly Barcus of Macalester College and Bayartsetseg Terbish from Ghent University will lead a study of rural-urban migration in Mongolia, exploring both the reasons people move to urban areas and the reasons people choose to remain in rural areas. More than 500,000 people have moved to Ulaanbaatar from rural areas of Mongolia in recent years, leading to serious issues related to housing, urban planning, air pollution, water and sanitation, transportation and public services such as education and health. This field study will apply a social science research lens to examine key issues faced by migrants in urban Mongolia, while also understanding why some people choose to move to urban areas and others elect to stay in rural areas. Participants will have the opportunity to conduct interviews and site visits both in Ulaanbaatar, and in rural areas of Bulgan and Hovsgol aimags in northern Mongolia.

Mongolia’s Energy Transition

Course outline (Download as PDF)

Dr. Darrin Magee of Hobart and William Smith Colleges and Dr. Charles Krusekopf of Royal Roads University will lead research into Mongolia’s energy systems, with a focus on renewable power development including solar, wind and hydro power for both local and regional use. Mongolia is seen as a potential source of renewable energy to supply both domestic and regional power needs, but many local and international observers fear that large scale renewable power development will mar pristine landscapes, interrupt wildlife migration, and displace local people. Through this module, students will have the opportunity to conduct key informant interviews and surveys to gain an understanding of the technical and place-specific challenges and opportunities that arise from the development of renewable power, and the role Mongolian renewable power might play in the larger Asian electrical grid. Participants will visit solar and wind farms, the site of the planned Egiin Gol Hydro Power project and small-scale wind and solar units used by rural herding families.

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Application Information