• Five people stand with various archaeological tools for a ribbon cutting ceremony.
  • Floodplain site

    Main floodplain site where the students dig.

  • French Medallion

    French medallion found at the fort site in 2016.

  • Dr. Nassaney Teaching the students

    Dr. Nassaney showing the students how to look at different soil patterns. 

  • A gun side plate in the palm of a hand

    A fragment of a decorative side plate from a French trading gun

2019 News

Media Day, Thursday, August 1

WMU Provost Jennifer Bott and Dean Carla Koretsky of the College of Arts and Sciences toured the WMU 44th annual Archaeological Field School at Fort St. Joseph on August during Media Day when the site was opened to the public in anticipation of the Archaeology Open House.  Their visit highlighted the Project’s distinction as one of WMU’s premier community service learning opportunities offered to university students each summer.  The Project’s principal investigator, Dr. Michael Nassaney, Professor of Anthropology in the Institute for Intercultural and Anthropological Studies (IIAS) and a member of the History Department, has directed the field school since 1994.  Since 2002, the field school has operated  as a long-term, multidisciplinary, community-based partnership between the City of Niles and WMU.  Students and staff are given numerous opportunities throughout the summer to meet and engage with members of the community through various outreach events and activities including museum visits, summer camps, community-sponsored meals, a lecture series, social media, and the Archaeology Open House.

Archaeological Field School Camp Information

Sponsored by Western Michigan University and the city of Niles, the summer camp program provides an opportunity for the public to engage in history and search for evidence at the Fort St. Joseph archeology site. Led by Tim Bober, WMU public education instructor, participants spend a week discovering the extensive history of Fort St. Joseph and work alongside University students conducting on-site excavations, wet screening, mapping and analysis of recovered artifacts.

An approved continuing education program, the lifelong learner camps offer adult students three WMU graduate credits, nine State Board Continuing Education Units in Michigan, credits for recertification in Illinois, or credits applicable toward the Professional Growth Plan in Indiana. 


Applications are also available at nilesmi.org until all camps are filled. The camp fee is $150 and scholarships may be available.

For more information about the camp program, contact Timothy Bober at (616) 581-6729.


Days will be announced once available for the 2020 series.  The lectures will take place at 7 P.M. at the Niles District Library (620 E Main, Niles, MI 49120). 

2020 Open House

Come back soon for next season's open house information.

2020 Application for the Archaeological Field School

Stay tuned for the 2020 field school application.

2020 Field positions in archaeology

Stay tuned for the 2020 field position application.

2018 Fort St. Joseph Annual Report

Annual Report

The Fort St. Joseph Post

Recent news about the ongoing research, projects and alumni of Fort St. Joseph.

Videos of Public Archaeology at Fort St. Joseph