Teachers Travel to Crow Canyon for NEH Teacher Workshop

We are grateful to the 23 teachers who traveled from all over the country to participate in year’s NEH Summer Institute. In this two-week program, teachers were immersed in an exploration of human migration and identity. Interpretations from the perspectives of both Pueblo scholars and Western scientists were carefully examined to determine if and how the bodies of information are compatible, how multivocal interpretations of history may influence the understanding of human migrations, and how it is presented in today’s classrooms. This program was made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

“I will be returning to school with so much more knowledge and passion for this subject matter. Not only will I be able to share my memories with my students, but I can also pass along so much knowledge about Pueblo culture to them, so that they understand indigenous perspectives, and always consider those perspectives when studying history.” — Peter B.

“I learned so much about the history and culture of the Ancestral Puebloans. I will be more accurate, intentional, and in-depth with my teaching of the topics. I will also be able to explain the types of knowing and deepen my students’ knowledge and appreciation of different cultures.” — Payton D.

“This experience will greatly help me be a more effective educator when

teaching archeology and cultural history. Understanding multiple

perspectives and including Indigenous Scholars was transformative to my

understanding.” – Joan W.

Photos courtesy of Josie Chang-Order

Crow Canyon’s New Partnership with the Cortez Cultural Center

This year, Crow Canyon forged a new, exciting partnership with the Cortez Cultural Center and Executive Director, Rebecca Levy, that includes interactive displays in the Cultural Center’s lobby, the analyses and recording of artifact collections, and an archaeological survey at the Hawkins Preserve south of Cortez.

Crow Canyon’s 2022 Education Intern, Catherine Gagnon, took the lead to create interpretive digital resources for visitors at the Cortez Cultural Center. From Indigenous videos on how to visit archaeological sites with respect to Pre-Hispanic timelines, visitors can now interact with digital resources that are projected on a wall for easy access to educational content related to local history and culture.

The Center displays artifacts, dating from A.D. 500–1300, including pottery vessels that Crow Canyon’s laboratory archaeologists are analyzing to determine what time period they date to and if there are any that may have been brought into the area from outside of the Mesa Verde region, an indicator of social networks in the past.

At the Hawkins Preserve, Crow Canyon field archaeologists developed a pedestrian survey as part of Crow Canyon’s Archaeology Research Program—this program involves citizen scientists to aid in data collection on the archaeological sites that dot the landscape. Hawkins Preserve consists of a 122-acre natural area and includes numerous Pueblo I–Pueblo III period (A.D. 750–1300) habitations that are part of the Mitchell Springs Group, one of the densest concentrations of houses and community architecture in what is now southwest Colorado. In addition, there are several historic sites associated with Ute and Navajo peoples, as well as the earliest Euro-American settlers in the Cortez area.

“In conjunction with Crow Canyon’s Northern Chaco Outliers Project, data collected during our partnership with the Cortez Cultural Center will provide important information on the history and occupation of two of the largest Pre-Hispanic communities in the area, greatly contributing to our understanding of the human past in the Mesa Verde region.” — Dr. Susan Ryan, Chief Mission Officer

We are excited to embark on this new partnership with the Cortez Cultural Center!

2022 Spring Newsletter

The Spring Newsletter is Here!

Much is happening at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center! Over the past year, our amazing staff, scholars, and volunteers have done great things and we’re excited to share their recent accomplishments and other news from Crow Canyon. Keep reading to learn more.

– This year, Crow Canyon is partnering with the Cortez Cultural Center to bring you the Archaeology Research Program! We are inviting citizen scientists to join us in an archaeological survey of the Hawkins Preserve.

– Volunteers are making a big impact on curation collections! For National Volunteer Month in April, we highlighted the contributions of our lab volunteers on two ongoing projects including rehousing pottery vessels and studying obsidian artifacts from Aztec Ruins National Monument.

– We congratulated Kelsey Hanson on being the recipient of the Crow Canyon 2022–2023 Lister Fellowship, which is awarded every two years to a Ph.D. student and comes with a $10,000 stipend to support their research and dissertation work.

– Crow Canyon scholars and friends published these notable and newsworthy publications!

– Crow Canyon’s 2021 Field Report, read here

– “Reading Between the Lines: The Social Value of Dogoszhi Style in the Chaco World,” published in American Antiquity

– “Becoming Hopi: A History” published by the University of Arizona Press

– Last but certainly not least, we mourned the loss of Director of IT Dylan Schwindt in December. Dylan was truly a brilliant, creative, talented, and compassionate soul. We established the Dylan Schwindt Memorial Fund to honor our dear friend.

To view the full Spring Newsletter, click here:

Crow Canyon’s College Field School

Practical Training, Unique Opportunities, and a Hot Shower

There are a lot of possible career paths in the science of archaeology—from field excavation and laboratory analysis to museum curation and cultural affairs. But a common thread for all budding researchers is that before they can graduate they must attend a field school, where they learn the practical field and laboratory skills required to be a working archaeologist.

However, picking the right Field School isn’t necessarily easy. There are a lot of factors students must consider when they consider a program, such as the quality and availability of the instructors, the location and nature of the research, and the overall value of the knowledge they’ll gain as they start their careers in archaeology.

The College Field School at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center checks off each of those boxes. But those aren’t Crow Canyon’s only advantages.

“It doesn’t hurt that we offer internet access, showers, beds, and incredible meals,” says Dr. Susan Ryan, Crow Canyon’s Director of Archaeology and head of the Center’s College Field School program.

The Crow Canyon College Field School is a college-accredited and Register of Professional Archaeologists-certified four-week program designed to give students a much better understanding of applied techniques utilized in the lab and field, as well as a greater sense of what they want to focus on in their careers and in graduate school. A typical day for a student at Crow Canyon may include pedestrian and geophysical survey, mapping, excavation, GIS instruction, laboratory work, classroom learning, and service learning projects.

“We have created a field school that is unique compared to traditional field schools offered in university settings,” says Ryan. “Students interact with various Native scholars, conduct a service learning project in collaboration with the Ute Mountain Ute tribe, receive exceptional mentorship and guidance from some of the top archaeologists in the field, and are encouraged to understand why archaeology and anthropology are relevant to societies across the world today.”

Ryan says that memories of her own field school experience has helped her shape Crow Canyon’s College Field School.

“Although I greatly appreciated my field school training on a Mississippian site in southern Illinois, it didn’t come close to what students will experience at Crow Canyon,” says Ryan. “We received very little information on the descendant communities that were related to the people we were studying archaeologically. The required research was very traditional and it didn’t challenge us to broaden the relationship between past human behavior and the rest of society. We were never told why or how our work mattered to humanity.”

For more information about the College Field School, including tuition and application information,

Read more or email \.

Brooke Prevedel Blog Post: Summer Field School in the Southwest

Crow Canyon’s seven week College Field School is a fantastic opportunity for undergraduates to delve into the realm of archaeology and Indigenous cultural knowledge. Brooke Prevedel, a student at the University of Mary Washington, discovered a new interest in zooarchaeology while attending the field school at Crow Canyon this summer. Click here to read the full blog post.

Students gained many perspectives from resident scholars representing diverse cultural backgrounds, resulting in a more holistic understanding of modern and past Indigenous cultures. Crow Canyon’s field school is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) which supports authentic archaeological research for 10 undergraduate students from underrepresented populations.

Information for how to apply for Crow Canyon’s 2023 College Field School can be found here.

Take a Look at a Day in the Life of a Crow Canyon Intern

Each year the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center hires a number of paid seasonal interns to assist with our archaeology research, education programs, and Native American outreach.

But unlike some places—where an intern might find themselves in a windowless office sorting and filing paperwork or some other mind-numbing task—interns here at Crow Canyon gain actual, practical research and outreach experience both on campus and out in the field. Becoming an intern is a competitive process, but the experience can be a vital first step in a career as a professional archaeologist.

Check out this video to get an idea of what it’s like to be a Crow Canyon intern.

Crow Canyon internships are open to both undergraduate and graduate students in archaeology, anthropology, education, and related fields.

Mobile Learning Lab Takes Education Programs on the Road

Crow Canyon’s Education team can’t wait to hit the road and take our hands-on programs to schools that are unable to travel to our campus. They’re looking forward to giving more kids the opportunity to learn about Southwest history, cultures, and archaeology through hands-on experiences.

From tree-ring dating (dendrochronology) to the history of the spear thrower (the atlatl), schools can choose from 12 learning modules based on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) curriculum.

“We’ve developed many types of curricula and we provide a menu for the schools. They can look at what we have to offer and align it to what they’re studying,” shared Jeremy Grundvig, one of Crow Canyon’s educators and part of the Education team behind transforming a transportation van into the mobile lab.

Students will surely be excited when the Mobile Learning Lab rolls onto school grounds. The inside looks like a lab, which was the team’s intention.

“As you walk into it both sides have cabinets that house microscopes, scales, and other tools so students can go in and analyze an artifact. Around the exterior of the lab will be various activities that connect students to the cultures they are studying. These are the same activities that a student coming to Crow Canyon’s campus would experience,” said Jeremy.

Stay tuned for reports from the road!

Crow Canyon Educators Visit Denver School

Crow Canyon educators recently visited a class of fifth graders at Colorado Academy in Denver to facilitate a day-long immersion into the lives of Ancestral Pueblo people. For the last couple of decades, Colorado Academy’s fifth grade class has traveled to our campus, but when COVID-19 canceled their travel plans again this year, we went to them!

Students participated in a variety of lessons including fire making, studying artifacts, learning to throw an atlatl, making jewelry, and more. Through these lessons, Crow Canyon educator and Native American outreach manager Becky Hammond and education manager Tyson Hughes taught students not only about archaeology and southwestern Colorado’s deep history but inspired a sense of wonder and reverence for Indigenous cultures and knowledge.

The last two years have challenged our educators to develop new and innovative ways to reach students who are no longer able to come to the Crow Canyon campus. Even with the waning of the pandemic, there are many rural, underserved, and tribal schools that are unable to travel due to cost, time, family responsibilities of the teachers and students, and school regulations.

To read more about Crow Canyon educators’ visit to Denver, view the Colorado Academy’s blog post here.

Crow Canyon Welcomes the Newest Members of Cultural Explorations Team

The Crow Canyon Archaeological Center is proud to welcome a pair of new additions to our Cultural Explorations team.

Tayler Hasbrouck comes to the Cultural Explorations team after working for several years in the outdoor industry. Tayler’s background includes such diverse positions from ski patroller to dude ranch manager—and now she’s excited to start working with our participants to help them get the most of their experience.

“I’m looking forward to working closely with a new audience and helping them forge bonds with the cultures and history of the Southwest and beyond,” says Tayler, who holds a B.S. in Parks and Recreation Management from Western Carolina University.

Adam Kackstetter has a strong background in experiential education and program development for the Southeast Alaska Guidance Association, and he’s excited to share his love and appreciation for people and history with the Crow Canyon community.

Adam says that in his spare time he likes to “hike, bike, pack, float, forage, learn, identify, and generally be in the great outdoors exploring new places.”

“Tayler and Adam bring a wealth of talent and experience to our team of exploration coordinators,” says Sarah Payne, Chief Outreach Officer at Crow Canyon. “We’re excited to have them here at Crow Canyon.”

Cultural Explorations travel seminars enable you to travel the American Southwest and beyond with exceptional scholars and like-minded fellow travelers. Each tour is developed by our Cultural Explorations staff and guest scholars with a strong educational focus and the opportunity to change the way you see the world.

For more information on Crow Canyon’s Cultural Explorations travel seminar program—including a catalog of upcoming trips—click here or call 800-422-8975, ext. 457