College Field School

  • The Crow Canyon campus
    The Crow Canyon campus
  • Fieldwork at the Haynie site
    Fieldwork at the Haynie site
  • 2018 excavation site
    2018 excavation site
  • Taking tree-ring core samples
    Taking tree-ring core samples
  • Screening at the Haynie site
    Screening at the Haynie site
  • Learning in the lab
    Learning in the lab
  • College Field School class of 2018
    College Field School class of 2018

College-Accredited Archaeological Field School

May 19–June 22, 2019

Rolling Application Deadline

The Crow Canyon Archaeological Center is sponsoring a college-accredited archaeological field school under the direction of Dr. Susan C. Ryan, the Center's Director of Archaeology. Undergraduate and graduate students may enroll for 6 credit hours, either in Anthropology 279 or 589, through Adams State University in Colorado ($55 per credit hour). The field school is certified by the Register of Professional Archaeologists.

Through immersion in a five-week experiential learning program, students will learn the fundamental techniques of archaeological site identification and recording, excavation, and basic artifact processing and analyses. Additionally, students will learn instrument surveying and remote sensing surveying techniques. Evening programs, field trips, service learning projects, and attending public events expand on these essential skills and present real-world opportunities to learn about and practice archaeology. Students will work in groups throughout the program, rotating through the training modules that offer different but complementary skill sets. Students will interact with archaeological professionals while conducting fieldwork at the Haynie site, an ancestral Pueblo village with two Pueblo II (A.D. 950–1150) great houses.

Meals (Sunday night through Friday night) and lodging are included (see below).

Undergraduate Syllabus

Graduate Syllabus

2018 Field School Blog Touch the Past, Change the Future

Download the flyer to share with your colleagues.

About this Program

  1. Staff
  2. Accommodations
  3. Getting Here
  4. Details
  5. Native American Scholarship

Susan RyanDirector of archaeology Susan C. Ryan (Ph.D., University of Arizona) has worked at the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center since 1998. She codirected the Shields Pueblo excavation project from 1998 to 2000 and was project director of the Albert Porter Pueblo excavation project from 2001 to 2004. As Director of archaeology, Susan aligns the Center’s mission with ongoing field, laboratory, and online report publication activities. Her research interests include the nature and extent of Chacoan influence in the northern Southwest, the A.D. 1130–1180 drought, and the built environment.


Grant CoffeyCrow Canyon Supervisory Archaeologist Grant Coffey (M.A., Northern Arizona University) directed Phase II of the Goodman Point Archaeological Project from 2008 to 2011. He has more than 10 years of experience in the archaeology of the Four Corners and has authored or coauthored several field reports. Much of his work at Crow Canyon has focused on Pueblo sites in the Goodman Point Unit of Hovenweep National Monument, and he has published articles about social organization and population movement in peer-reviewed professional journals. In his spare time he likes fishing, hiking, and helping out on the family farm.

Steve CopelandSteve Copeland (B.A., University of Colorado) has worked at Crow Canyon since 2006 as a Field Archaeologist. During the program season, Steve is responsible for teaching students and adults archaeological field methods, so if your program includes site excavation, he’ll show you how to dig, screen, measure, map, and document your finds. Steve’s research interests include architecture and Southwest studies; on his days off, he enjoys mountain biking, backpacking, hiking, and spending time with family.


Kate HughesKate Hughes (M.A., Applied Anthropology, Northern Arizona University) began working in Crow Canyon’s lab in 2015. As Laboratory Analyst, she develops and teaches lab education programs, processes and analyzes artifacts, and assists with curation concerns. She also serves as Crow Canyon’s internship coordinator. A Crow Canyon lab intern in 2006, Kate has since worked for cultural resource management companies in the Four Corners region and in the Great Basin. Her research interests include textiles, lithic technology, and public archaeology; on her days off, she enjoys gardening, fiber arts, and exploring the outdoors.

nameJamie Merewether (B.A., University of Colorado) is Crow Canyon’s Collections Manager in the lab. She has worked in Crow Canyon’s research laboratory since 1997; before that, she gained extensive survey, excavation, and laboratory experience throughout the West. As collections manager, Jamie is responsible for keeping track of the thousands of artifacts and samples that come in from the field every year, making sure they are inventoried, cataloged, and analyzed correctly; she also manages the maps, photos, and other field documentation related to Crow Canyon excavations. When not at work, Jamie enjoys traveling, hiking, bird watching, and exploring the wilderness areas of the western U.S.

Kari SchleherKari Schleher (Ph.D., University of New Mexico) is Crow Canyon’s Laboratory Manager. She teaches artifact analysis to students and adults in Crow Canyon programs. Her specialty is the analysis and interpretation of Pueblo pottery; she is particularly interested in production technology and what pottery can tell us about connections between different groups of people who lived in the past. Kari enjoys traveling, especially to learn about cultures around the world, and she has worked on archaeological projects all over the American Southwest and in Peru. In her spare time, she likes to hike and make jewelry.

The field school fee includes accommodations in comfortable, shared cabins on Crow Canyon’s 170-acre campus, just outside the town of Cortez. Students must provide their own sleeping kits and personal gear. New in 2016, Crow Canyon's cabins have been designed to be energy efficient and to blend well with the landscape. Cabins include shared shower and toilet facilities.

Laundry facilities are not available on campus.

The field school fee includes all meals from Sunday night through Friday night each week.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served each day. On-campus meals are served cafeteria-style in the lodge; dinner and lunches include a salad bar and a vegetarian entree. Fresh fruit, lemonade, iced tea, and coffee are available on campus all day. If you are working at the site, snacks, water, and a picnic lunch (sandwiches, fresh fruit, chips, and cookies) are provided. Juice, spring water, and soda are available from the vending machine behind the lodge. Crow Canyon dining consistently receives rave reviews!

If you have special dietary needs, please contact us before your program. We are able to accommodate most special diets, but some may require you to bring supplemental foods.

Crow Canyon’s 170-acre campus, located just outside the town of Cortez, features a large meadow, pinyon- and juniper-covered hillsides, and spectacular views of Mesa Verde and the La Plata Mountains. A short nature trail winds through the woods. Buildings on campus include the lodge, cabins, guest hogans, two learning centers, and the Gates Archaeology Laboratory (the Gates Building), which houses classrooms, offices, and a small gift shop in addition to the lab. A lounge area is also available in the Gates Building. The Gates Building closes at 10 p.m.

Crow Canyon has Wi-Fi Internet service; the password may be obtained from the staff person at the front desk.

Crow Canyon is a center of learning for children, teens, and adults. You may be sharing the campus, including the dining hall, with people of different ages enrolled in a variety of programs, including school group programs (grades 4 through 12).

All indoor facilities are smoke-free. Wildfires are a real danger in our area; if you smoke, please do so only in the designated smoking area, at the picnic table behind the lodge. Smoking by minors (under age 18) is prohibited.

In addition to hosting participants in Crow Canyon programs, our rural campus is also visited by a variety of wildlife, including deer, rabbits, marmots, birds, snakes, lizards, foxes, coyotes, and the occasional mountain lion.

Crow Canyon is located amidst majestic mountains, mesas, and canyons about 4 miles northwest of the town of Cortez in southwestern Colorado. We are 15 miles west of the entrance to Mesa Verde National Park and 40 miles northeast of the Four Corners Monument, where the states of Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico meet.

Driving to Crow Canyon
Cortez is 50 miles west of Durango, Colorado; 400 miles southwest of Denver, Colorado; 250 miles northwest of Albuquerque, New Mexico; 400 miles northeast of Phoenix, Arizona; and 350 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, Utah.

From the intersection of Highway 491 and County Road L northwest of Cortez, turn west on Road L. Drive about 1 mile to Road 23 (watch for Crow Canyon sign), and turn left. In about 1 mile, Road 23 curves to the left and turns into Road K, which in turn becomes Crow Canyon's driveway.

Traveling by Air
The Cortez Municipal Airport, located about 15 minutes from campus, is served by Boutique Airlines (via Denver and Phoenix). The Durango–La Plata County Airport, located about 80 minutes from campus, is served by United Express (via Denver) and American Airlines (via Phoenix and Dallas-Fort Worth). Alternatively, you may fly into one of the following cities and rent a car: Farmington, New Mexico (75 miles to Cortez); or Albuquerque, New Mexico (about a 5-hour drive to Cortez).

For more information, please see the Details tab.

The field school fee covers in-field transportation, field equipment rental, camping fees, meals from Sunday night through Friday night, instructor fees, evening lectures, and field trips to ancestral Pueblo sites in the Mesa Verde region. Transportation to and from Cortez and your personal gear are your responsibility. Weekends are yours to explore the cultural and natural attractions in the area.

Sources of Scholarship Support

What to Expect

Gear List

Getting You & Your Gear to Crow Canyon

Staying in Touch

Terms, Conditions, and Cancellation Policy

Safety & Medical Information

The Crow Canyon Archaeological Center's programs and admission practices are open to applicants of any race, color, nationality, ethnic origin, gender, or sexual orientation.

Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California CST 2059347-50

2019 Native American Scholarships
Native American College Field School Scholarships at the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center were established in recognition of the lifelong achievements of philanthropists who support Crow Canyon’s mission. The purpose of the scholarships is to assist Native American graduate and undergraduate students with archaeological field school training who show promise of making a significant contribution to archaeological knowledge and/or American Indian cultures of North America. A scholarship recipient is awarded $4,100 to support their College Field School fees as well as $330 to support six credit hours of tuition offered by Adams State University. Two scholarships will be offered during the 2019 season.

Applicants for Native American College Field School Scholarships at the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center must be enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate program at a recognized university in North America. Students whose major is focused on the archaeology of North America, ethnography, American Indian studies, or museum studies/education will be given preference.

To apply, please send a letter of interest and a C.V. to Dr. Susan C. Ryan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by March 4th, 2019. The letter of interest should comment on how participating in the College Field School will be of benefit to the applicant's future career, academic studies, and/or involvement in his or her home community.

How To Apply Field School

Tuition & Application

2019 field school fee: $4,100
2019 tuition for 6 credit hours: $330
(Adams State University)

Deposit: $400
Balance due: May 14, 2019

 Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, but we encourage you to apply as soon as possible to reserve your spot.

Priority Application Deadline March 4, 2019

  800.422.8975, ext. 451
     M–F, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Mountain Time)

[email protected]

"The field school was phenomenal. … I'm grateful for all the connections I've made with educators and my field school companions. Each person has impacted my life, and their passion and enthusiasm for this field is inspiring."
Monyssha, 2017

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Native American Scholar in Residence Program 2019

Crow Canyon Archaeological Center is pleased to announce the 2019 Native American Scholar in Residence Program.

Scholars will reside on Crow Canyon’s campus for six days with the purpose of providing traditional knowledge, perspectives, and insights to existing curricula for student and adult participants from across the nation. This program will facilitate the development of a more holistic understanding of modern and past Native cultures, trust relations, Native perspectives and interpretations in the disciplines of archaeology, anthropology, education, and American Indian studies.