The Department of Anthropology and NIU's College of Continuing Education offer students the opportunity to participate in archaeological research on the island of Maui, Hawaii. Initiated in 1989, Na Heiau O Maui is an interdisciplinary program which is examining the economic, political, and ideological aspects of traditional Hawaiian society using archaeological data in conjunction with architectural and ethnographic archival information.
Na Heiau O Maui is directed by Professor Michael Kolb and is a collaborative research project undertaken with a number of Hawaiian state agencies and community organizations. The program is currently focusing upon the political economy at the community level by examining and comparing local religious and secular architecture. Students have the opportunity to participate in all aspects of research through actual field work at various sites throughout the island. Emphasis is placed upon "hands-on" field and laboratory experience, giving students the opportunity to organize and execute their own excavation or survey projects. The goal is to contribute to the student's understanding of how to conduct field research and to an overall understanding of the evolution of complex societies.