One-Day Field Trips

HANDS-ON LEARNING

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The Crow Canyon campus

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Experiential Learning

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What's it like to live in A.D. 1200?

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Whether experiencing seventh-century Pueblo Indian life at our Pithouse Learning Center or visiting a working archaeological site, students in Crow Canyon's school programs learn by doing! Developed in consultation with American Indians, our hands-on programs improve scientific literacy and foster critical-thinking skills, while teaching a part of American history that is too often excluded from textbooks.

Choose from two field trips for grades 4–12:

  • Field Trip 1: Pueblo History and Lifestyles
  • Field Trip 2: Pueblo History and Archaeology Tour

Custom field trips can also be arranged. A Crow Canyon sales and enrollment specialist can help you select activities appropriate to your educational goals, students' grade level, and the amount of time you will spend on campus. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

About this Program

  1. Field Trip 1
  2. Field Trip 2
  3. Staff
  4. Tuition
  5. Getting Here
  6. Details
Pueblo History and Lifestyles

Morning Activity (until noon)
Windows or Inquiries Into the Past: Students learn about the different periods in Pueblo Indian history by examining artifacts and other archaeological clues. Then they use observation and inference to construct a cultural chronology spanning thousands of years. (Windows for elementary students; Inquiries for middle and high school students.)

Lunch: noon–12:45 p.m.

Afternoon Activity (1:30–about 4:30 p.m.)
Basketmaker and/or Pueblo Lifestyles: Students "experience" the past at one or both of our learning centers, life-size replicas of ancient dwellings. Hands-on activities include starting a fire with a bow drill, making cordage from yucca fiber, and weaving on an upright loom.

Please note that the specific activities in which a given group participates depends on grade level, program length, group size, weather conditions, and other factors. Activities can be modified to accommodate the cultural concerns of American Indian students.

Schedule
Plan to arrive on campus between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m. and to depart late afternoon. Exact times depend on your transportation schedule.

Pueblo History and Archaeology Tour

Morning Activity (until noon)
Windows or Inquiries Into the Past: Students learn about the different periods in Pueblo Indian history by examining artifacts and other archaeological clues. Then they use observation and inference to construct a cultural chronology spanning thousands of years. (Windows for elementary students; Inquiries for middle and high school students.)

Lunch noon–12:45 p.m.

Afternoon Activity (1:30–about 4:30 p.m.)
Archaeological Site Tour: Tour Crow Canyon's current excavation site to get a feel for the places where Pueblo people lived and to better understand how archaeologists conduct their fieldwork.

Please note that the specific activities in which a given group participates depends on grade level, program length, group size, weather conditions, and other factors. Activities can be modified to accommodate the cultural concerns of American Indian students.

Schedule
Plan to arrive on campus between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m. and to depart late afternoon. Exact times depend on your transportation schedule.

Shanna DiederichsShanna Diederichs (B.A., Anthropology, University of Colorado) is the director of the Basketmaker Communities Project, Crow Canyon’s current field initiative. Before joining Crow Canyon in 2010, she worked as an archaeologist throughout the Four Corners area, including at Mesa Verde National Park and Aztec Ruins National Monument. But her true passion is the beginnings of Pueblo culture, so she considers herself the luckiest archaeologist in the Southwest, now that she’s working at some of the earliest Pueblo sites in the region. In her spare time, Shanna loves hiking and traveling to places as far flung as Alaska, Brazil, and Egypt.

Caitlin SommerCaitlin Sommer (M.A., Anthropology, University of Colorado) is a supervisory archaeologist at Crow Canyon. She’s worked at the Center since 2010, instructing students in proper field methods and techniques—she likes teaching people, especially those who have never done archaeology, how to “read” dirt! Her research interests include Southwest and Great Basin archaeology, with a focus on understanding connections among different groups of people through time and across space. When not doing archaeology, she enjoys mountain biking, skiing, hiking, and being with her husband, dog, cat, and guinea pig.

Kari SchleherKari Schleher (Ph.D., Anthropology, 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.

Michael LorussoMichael Lorusso (B.A., Anthropology, Southern Illinois University) began working at Crow Canyon in 2012 as a lab intern and returned full-time in 2014. As laboratory education coordinator, he develops and teaches lab education programs, processes and analyzes artifacts, and assists with curation concerns. He also serves as Crow Canyon’s internship coordinator. Michael’s research interests include the central Mesa Verde region, ceramic design analysis, issues related to the curation of archaeological materials, and public archaeology. He enjoys hiking and exploring the greater Four Corners region, skiing, and live music.

 

Meet all of our archaeologists and educators.

Tuition: $45 per student; no charge for chaperons. Minimum of 10 students. Groups with fewer than 10 students will be charged for the minimum.

Scholarships are available for local and American Indian schools. Please contact our enrollment specialist for information.

Location
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.

Directions
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.

What to Bring
Students and chaperons should bring sack lunches and full water bottles; Crow Canyon has indoor and outdoor spaces for eating.

Dress for outdoor activities in season-appropriate clothing. Comfortable shoes or hiking boots, wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen are recommended.

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

Plan Your Field Trip

  Contact a sales and enrollment specialist:
     800.422.8975, ext. 455
     M–F, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Mountain Time)
     Fax: 970.565.4859

  schoolgroups@crowcanyon.org

  Required Form for Students

  Required Form for Adults

"Crow Canyon provides a more immersive experience than can be found in any textbook. Our students attend every year to gain a greater appreciation for the people who lived here before them."
Kathy Carpenter, teacher, Dolores Elementary School, 2015

 

Our Campus

View of the Crow Canyon campus and Ute Mountain

The Crow Canyon Archaeological Center is located on a beautiful 170-acre campus in southwest Colorado, close to Mesa Verde National Park and the town of Cortez. Read more.

Learning Centers

jk 2013 PLC Pithouse

Students "experience" another time and culture in replica Pueblo Indian structures on the Crow Canyon campus. Read more.

Daytime Activities

jk 2012 hannibal lab 04

Students actively participate in the learning process through hands-on activities and group discussion. Read more.

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