Explore the histories that shape us.

Crow Canyon’s mission is to empower present and future generations by making the human past accessible and relevant through archaeological research, experiential education, and American Indian knowledge.


At Crow Canyon we believe that possessing detailed knowledge about our shared humanity generates cultural understanding, empathy, and respect for others.

We believe that possessing this knowledge bolsters resilience and helps people make better decisions in their lives and work.

We believe science, Indigenous knowledge, and appreciation for other cultures can generate creative solutions in the present and future.

Our Research Themes

Our projects address a wide variety of interrelated issues relevant not only to archaeologists but to educators, policy makers, advocacy groups, and Indigenous peoples.

Humans and the Environment

We study how humans responded to environmental change in the past and the implications for environmental policy.

Multivocal Histories

We promote respect for different cultures and preserve traditional knowledge, past and present.

Cultural and Scientific Literacy

As a social science with deep roots in STEM, archaeology helps students become critical thinkers and lifelong learners.

Principles that Guide Our Work
    • Archaeological research and Indigenous perspectives are essential to build a more inclusive story of the human past.
    • Curiosity, experience, and reflection form the foundation for meaningful learning.
    • Archaeology is a multidisciplinary field.
      The learning environment should engage students in critical thinking and promote respect for culture, the environment, and each other.

Crow Canyon’s educational philosophy uses experiential, student-centered education methods to engage learners of all ages in an inclusive and dynamic study of the human past. We strive to develop engaging curricula, teach about past and present cultures of the Southwest, investigate student learning, and communicate the Center’s educational methods and theories to others. Our work is guided by a respect for, and is conducted in collaboration with, Native Americans. Archaeology, education, applied anthropology, and Indigenous studies provide the academic foundation for Crow Canyon programs.

Crow Canyon’s experiential education programs not only provide instruction in archaeology, but also involve citizen scientists in the actual research process. This firsthand approach increases awareness of, and appreciation for, our rich cultural heritage, while providing broad-based support for archaeological research and preservation. Through Crow Canyon’s programs, students of all ages gain an understanding of culture, American Indian history, archaeological research, human interaction with the environment, and the importance of cultural continuity.

Educators at Crow Canyon have academic and professional backgrounds in education, archaeology, anthropology, museum studies, and American Indian studies. We collaborate with archaeologists and American Indians to develop educational programs that engage both children and adults. Curricula and lesson plans emphasize an experiential approach to learning and draw upon the results of Crow Canyon’s archaeological research into the Ancestral Pueblo people of the Mesa Verde region.

Get Involved

Students become citizen scientists in southwestern Colorado. Program modules vary depending on grade level, program length, and group size, but core activities teach students about archaeology, Ancestral Pueblo history, the scientific process, and the complex interactions between people and their environments.

Educational Resource Library

Browse our library of Education Products developed from decades of archaeological research.

Online Learning Modules

Enjoy our most popular classroom materials and educational content, curated in one spot.

Free Discover Archaeology Webinars

Guided by the principle that there are many ways of knowing the past, our webinars are free and led by renowned researchers, cultural specialists, tribal members, academics, and experts.

Programs for Schools

One-day field trips are designed for students in grades 4 through 12. Core activities include archaeology, Ancestral Pueblo history, the scientific process, and the complex interactions between humans and their environments — past and present. Program modules vary depending on grade level, and group size.