Immerse yourself in Belize as you practice field research with an experienced faculty member from Northern Kentucky University. Gain valuable skills such as ethnographic interviewing to develop an appreciation
for Belizean cultural diversity.
Community-based Research Project
The ethnographic field school, as part of the CfAA, is partnering with Belizean institutes and associations in order to contribute to an understanding of household economy and agricultural knowledge of sugar
cane farmers in Orange Walk District village communities. Our community partners will use our results and recommendations to develop and conduct workshops for farmers on agricultural techniques, economics,
health, and other community development topics. Currently, our community partners include the: Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, National Institute of Culture and History, Progressive Sugar Cane Producers
Association, and Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute.
In addition to conducting community-based research, we plan to visit the Belize Zoo, Banquitas House of Culture, Cuello's Distillery, Lamanai Maya Ruins (via boat on the New River), Nohoch Che'en Caves Branch
Archaeological Reserve (Cave Tubing), and the Tower Hill (Sugar Cane) Factory. Locations are subject to change and may be cancelled due to weather or other factors beyond our control.
roundtrip ground transportation between airport and the accommodation site
Ethnographic Field School in Belize
3 Cr. Hrs.: Upper Division (300-400) or Graduate (500+)
This course immerses students in Belizean culture and trains them in contemporary anthropological field methods. Students will gain valuable research skills (e.g., ethnographic interviewing and qualitative
data analysis) to apply anthropology in their future careers (e.g., applied anthropology or other social/behavioral discipline), an appreciation for Belizean cultural diversity, and further their
personal growth. While in Belize, students will be primarily engaged in guided applied ethnographic fieldwork. Students will learn about the local culture by doing participant-observation and
conducting ethnographic interviews in a community-based research project. Students will learn research ethics, unobtrusive observation, participant observation, field note writing and coding,
ethnographic and life history interviewing, ethnolinguistic data collection, community mapping, rapid assessment procedures, qualitative data analysis, and other ethnographic methods in addition
to basic ethnographic writing. After successful completion of this course, students will have:
developed a basic understanding of Belizean culture,
formulated an understanding of ethical and validity issues in ethnographic research,
practiced skills in research design and ethnographic methods of data collection,
applied basic ethnographic research methods in a non-western culture,
engaged in a community-based research project, and
analyzed ethnographic data resulting in an ethnographic monograph.
This program will contribute to the education of students by training them in ethnographic methods and by exposing them to a non-western culture. Students are expected to gain skills that may be
used in applying anthropology or other socio-behavioral sciences in their future careers, gain an appreciation for cultural diversity, and further their personal growth. Field experiences such
as this project can also improve the likelihood that students will be admitted to graduate school.