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 on the Hatch site group, an ancestral Pueblo habitation dating from the Basketmaker III through Pueblo III periods (A.D. 500–1280).
Benjamin (Ben) Bellorado is an anthropological archaeologist who focuses on Indigenous cultures in the northern Southwest. For over 20 years, Ben has studied the material cultures of Native American peoples who lived in the Four Corners area. Ben is originally from Wyoming and received his bachelor’s degree at Fort Lewis College, his master’s degree from Northern Arizona University, and recently received his doctorate from the University of Arizona. He also has worked extensively in the Cultural Resource Management industry. Ben has studied a diversity of topics over his career ranging from maize agriculture, to ceramic analysis, to experimental archaeology, and ethnography. Ben’s recent research focuses on documenting at-risk archaeological sites in Bears Ears National Monument, using tree-ring dating to date these sites, and revisiting old museum collections of ancient clothing. His doctoral research is aimed at understanding the ways that ancestral Pueblo peoples used textiles and textile depictions in other media to express complex ideas about various aspects of social identities in the tenth through thirteenth centuries. Ben joined the incredible research team at Crow Canyon in August as the new Laboratory Manager.
Chief Mission Officer 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.
Kellam Throgmorton (Ph.D. Binghamton University) is the Supervisory Archaeologist for the Northern Chaco Outliers Project. He received his Ph.D. from Binghamton University in 2019. His research interests include early villages, sociopolitical organization, landscape archaeology, and architecture. Kellam’s dissertation works considered Chacoan landscapes as a form of political action, and he conducted fieldwork at two Chacoan outlier communities—Morris 40 (near Farmington, NM), and Padilla Wash (in Chaco Culture National Historical Park). He has assisted in research at numerous outliers, including Chimney Rock, Las Ventanas, and Aztec North. Kellam is excited to be working at the Haynie site and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm with students and participants.
Crow Canyon Database Manager 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 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 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.
Jamie 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.
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
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 20 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: Durango, Colorado (60 miles from 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
Getting You & Your Gear to Crow Canyon
Terms, Conditions, and Cancellation Policy
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