Historic Preservation


Historic preservation is a dynamic and evolving field, focusing on the care and management of the built environment and the protection of cultural heritage, in the widest sense. Now strongly tied to local, state and federal laws, historic preservation as both a field of inquiry and as a profession has matured considerably since the beginnings of interest in preserving aspects of history and culture first took root during the middle part of the 19th century. Historic preservationists today work in city, state and county agencies, for the federal government, in museums and non-profit organizations and in private planning, architecture and resource management firms. Increasingly, preservationists are involved in education, both at the K-12 level and in colleges and universities. There are currently over sixty institutions of higher learning in the U.S. offering degrees or other courses or training in historic preservation.


The University of Hawai‘i is committed to the recognition of the cultures and values of indigenous peoples, especially Native Hawaiians. This commitment is manifested in course offerings throughout the University. The School of Architecture, through its historic preservation and other courses, attempts to keep issues of cultural identity and the recognition of traditional cultural properties and heritage at the forefront of discussions and instruction.

The University prides itself on its strong international orientation and the wide range of peoples and cultures reflected in its faculty and student body, departments and courses. In the Historic Preservation program, we offer the Summer Field School, which attracts students and faculty from around the world: Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Taiwan, China, Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Micronesia, and several European nations. The program’s courses mirror this international orientation and give special emphasis to problems and examples of universal concern.

Faculty and staff are active members of a number of other local, national and international preservation organizations


The East West Center
The Historic Preservation Program has a close working relationship with the East West Center, an organization established by the U.S. Government in 1960 to promote cultural and technical exchange among peoples of the Asia-Pacific region. Some 2,000 scholars, government and business leaders, educators, journalists and other professionals annually work with the Center’s staff on major Asia-Pacific issues. Current programs focus on environmental issues, the Pacific Islands, and culture, including architecture and archaeological heritage.

Silpakorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
The  International Program in Heritage Management and Tourism, within the Faculty of Architecture, aims to serve as a center for the study of architectural and cultural heritage management, so as to effectively assist conservation of valued national assets and condone sustainable tourism by producing graduates fully capable of taking vital part in the conservation and development of valuable heritage assets.

University of Guam
The Micronesian Area Research Center (MARC) at University of Guam has been a regular partner in delivering instruction in Guam and elsewhere in Micronesia.  MARC has assisted in several field schools and other activities.


The Historic Preservation Program maintains its own collection of preservation resource material, including books, periodicals, films, video and audio tapes. The material is available for reference use and short term loan and at Hamilton Library.


National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT)
A research division of the National Park Service, using technology to serve the future of America’s heritage through applied research and professional training. The website regularly lists employment and internship openings.

Designed to provide preservationists with a comprehensive database of regularly updated internet resources and current professional opportunities.

An online resource for historic preservation, building restoration and cultural resource management in the United States & Canada.

National Trust for Historic Preservation
A research division of the National Park Service, using technology to serve the future of America’s heritage through applied research and professional training. The website regularly lists employment and internship openings.


Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation
The Historic Preservation Graduate Certificate Program (HPGCP) is a 15 credit-hour program, which may be taken alone or in conjunction with another graduate degree.

Candidates for the Certificate in Historic Preservation must possess a BA degree. The Certificate in Historic Preservation combines course work and applied experience.

ARCH 628/AMST 675   Preservation: Theory & Practice  3 credit hrs.
ARCH/ANTH 645          Historic Preservation                       3 credit hrs.
ARCH 686                      Historic Preservation Practicum   3 credit hrs.
ELECTIVE                       Approval of Director                         3 credit hrs.
ELECTIVE                       Approval of Director                         3 credit hrs.*

TOTAL:                                                                                      15 credit hrs.**

*The 6-credit-hour Field School can fill both electives
**One elective can be a 400-level undergraduate course

A maximum of 6 credit hours may be applied to the Historic Preservation Certificate and to another degree, pursued concurrently, subject to approval from the director of the certificate program, the director of the concurrent graduate program, and Graduate Division. Internships are usually undertaken with local firms and organizations that have a preservation interest or with individuals who are qualified to direct independent work in preservation. The program concludes with a formal colloquium presentation.

Application Form


The annual Preservation Field School and/or Preservation Seminar are intensive programs that provide students with hands-on experience in working with neighborhoods, rural communities and/or buildings and landscapes worthy of documentation and analysis. The annual study is offered in one of two possible formats determined by the projects available in a given year.  The most common format is the Field School (ARCH 685B and C), which is a four week course that allows students to earn six graduate credits.  The other format is the Field Seminar (ARCH 674), which is conducted in only two weeks and offers students the opportunity to attain three graduate credits.

Past participants, both students and professionals, have been from Hawai‘i, Pacific, Asia, Europe and the continental U.S.  Many of the students are enrolled in the Graduate Certificate Program in Historic Preservation in the School of Architecture at UHM.  Others are drawn from closely allied fields, such as Urban and Regional Planning, Architecture, History and Geography.  Typically about half to two-thirds of the students come from the University of Hawai‘i, the rest from institutions on the US, continent or from overseas.  Past international students have included participants from Cambodia, Micronesia, Thailand and Japan.  The program also welcomes mid-career professionals who take course to enhance existing skills or knowledge for their work back home.



A brief look at just a few of our past projects demonstrates the diverse array of learning opportunities made available through this field study.  The first field school was held in 1991 at the l’ole Mission Station, a 19th-century complex of buildings of the missionary Bond family in North Kohala, Island of Hawai‘i.

Between 1996 and 2002 there were two field programs held annually on documentation of vernacular or historic architecture.  In 1996, one was held in the commercial area of Waialae Avenue in Kaimuki on the island of Oahu and the second in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  In 1997, the program studied Kalaupapa, Moloka‘i, while the Asian Field School took place in Bangkok, Thailand.  In 1998, the program studied Historic Chinatown in Honolulu, while the Asian Field School took place in Bangkok, Thailand.

Many recent Hawai‘i-based studies have been closely associated with the National Park Service, including projects conducted at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park and Kalaupapa National Historical Park.  The Park Service helped fund the 2018 Field School, which gave participants opportunities to hone archival research skills and build GPS/GIS expertise while mapping the Battle of Nu’uanu for potential on-site commemorative installations.


One of the goals of the field school, and the entire historic preservation program, is to expand the awareness of people in the community about the opportunities that exist for preservation activities within their cities, towns and neighborhoods. Many guest speakers are included in the annual month-long program and a number of the lectures are open to the public.

Past speakers have included:

Blaine Cliver, former Chief, Preservation Assistance Division, National Park Service, U.S. Dept. of Interior, Washington, D.C.
Peter James, Preservation Consultant, Canberra, Australia
Stephen Spaulding, Supervisor of Building Conservation, Cultural Resources Center, National Park Service, U.S. Dept. of Interior, Boston, Massachusetts
George Atta, Senior Planner with Group 70, Honolulu,
David Franzen, Franzen Photography, Kailua,
Dr. Karl Kim, Director, Executive Director of the Natural Disaster Preparedness Center, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, UH Manoa
Paul Morgan, Principal, Suzuki-Morgan Architects, Honolulu,
Tonia Moy, Architect, Fung and Associates, Honolulu, and former Architectural Historian with the Historic Preservation Division, State of Hawai‘i
Dr. Tom Dinell, Professor Emeritus, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, UH Mānoa
Russell Kokubun, State Senator, 2nd Senatorial District, State of Hawai‘i
Todd Croteau, HABS/HAER US National Park Service
Laura Carter Schuster, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, US National Park Service

Notable Past Instructors

Dr. William J. Murtagh, former Associate Faculty, Department of American Studies, UH Manoa and former Keeper of the National Register and Vice-President, National Trust for Historic Preservation
Dr. Jeffrey Cody
, former Associate Professor, Chinese University, Hong Kong, and former Senior Program Officer, Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, California
A. Spencer Leineweber
, FAIA, former Professor of Architecture, School of Architecture, UH Manoa
Peter Drey
, Peter Drey and Associates, Atlanta, Georgia
Jeffrey Tripp, Instructor, Department of American Studies
Blair Reeves, former Professor and Director of the Nantucket Preservation Institute, University of Florida
Don Hibbard, Preservation Consultant and former Administrator, Historic Preservation Division, State of Hawai‘i
Ralph Kam, Independent Historian, former Dean of Humanities, Honolulu Community College
Barnes Riznick, former Director of Education at Old Sturbridge Village, Massachusetts, and Director of the Grove Farm Museum


William R. Chapman
Interim Dean and Professor
Office Phone:  808-956-4912
Mobile Phone:  808-542-4384

June Lee
Director of Student and Academic Services
Office Phone: 808-956-3461
Office Fax: 808-956-7778