Cultural Resource Management School Will Help Train Local Workforce

Posted June 20, 2024

Crow Canyon Archaeological Center and Phoenix-based PaleoWest Foundation are collaborating to host a Cultural Resource Management (CRM) Field School June 30–July 13, 2024, in southwest Colorado.

Cultural resource management (CRM) is the practice of managing cultural resources in response to a legal or policy mandate. Cultural resources include sites, districts, buildings, structures, and objects significant in American history, archaeology, architecture, engineering, and culture.

According to the Society of American Archaeology, the majority of archaeologists today work in cultural resource management, or CRM. CRM companies are responsible for the archaeological research done to follow federal historic preservation laws.

“There is definitely a shortage of talented CRM field technicians. CRM companies are seeing an increase in requests, especially since the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed, but they don’t have enough qualified staff. Not to mention, students aren’t getting the practical, hands-on training they need to become CRM practitioners right out of college,” explains Dr. James Potter, course instructor and PaleoWest Foundation Executive Director.

In an area like the Four Corners region, which is considered one of the world’s most important archaeological areas, CRM services are of utmost importance to protecting historical cultural resources and complying with local, tribal, and federal laws.

“This region features incredible diversity and density of human habitation over time. It’s difficult to disturb the ground without needing to engage in compliance in some way,” explains Liz Perry, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center President & CEO.

This intensive southwest Colorado-based course will teach practical CRM fieldwork skills to 10 students in its first pilot year, providing them with a complete foundation in survey techniques and real-world experience in field survey and site documentation. Students will be well-prepared for swift entry into the private workforce after college. The program will be expanded to more students and additional regions based on the results of this first year.

About Crow Canyon Archaeological Center

Crow Canyon Archaeological Center is a nonprofit organization located near Mesa Verde National Park in southwest Colorado. Its mission is to make the human past accessible and relevant through archaeological research, experiential education, and American Indian knowledge. Crow Canyon has offered a College Field School program since 2015. Learn more at

About PaleoWest Foundation

The mission of the PaleoWest Foundation is to support archaeological research, education, and preservation worldwide to advance the profession and create and sustain knowledge relevant to today’s world. Learn more at