Colorado – OU’s Rocky Mountain High Field School – 2013

Application Deadline
Start Date 2013-05-27
End Date 2013-07-31

Multiple Sessions X
Multiple Session information Field sessions: May 27 – June 4 June 10 – June 19 June 24 – July 3 Lab sessions (at OU): July 8 – July 17 July 22 – July 31 Optional research/work (for a stipend): August 2013.

NOTE: Application deadline is rolling, and when the slots are full, they are full. As of this writing (Jan. 28, 2013) there are only a few spots left, so please don’t delay in requesting an application.
Archaeology Field School Location
Mid-way between Gunnison and Lake City, Colorado, and on/in the spectacular Powderhorn Wilderness Area. The project area and base camp are amidst the region with the highest density of 14,000′ + elevation mountains in North America.

Archaeology Field School Tuition and Credits

Sponsoring College/Institution
The University of Oklahoma (Norman, OK)
Academic Credit
8 total: 5 for field school; 3 for “Archaeological Analysis.” Both may be taken for either undergraduate or graduate credit. Graduate students conduct independent field or lab research.
Archaeology Field School Tuition
OK resident: ~$2,100 (8 credits) Non-resident*: ~$5,200 (8 credits) *IMPORTANT: Non-residents should contact Dr. Pitblado for ideas to keep tuition/fee costs as low as possible. Options are available.
Archaeology Field School Room and Board
$300 fee for food (project provides a camp cook)
Archaeology Field School Travel
See below
Additional Information on Tution/Room and Board/Travel Costs
All students are responsible for their own transportation to our base camp in Colorado. However, for those not wanting to drive, car pools will be facilitated. Others who wish to fly or otherwise access the project should contact Dr. Pitblado for advice on how best to go about it.

Archaeology Field School Description

The “Rocky Mountain High” field school has a long history of training students in all elements of field work. You will learn to conduct (and practice conducting) both surveys and excavations, use all equipment that professional archaeologists routinely use, and engage in extended lab work. The lab work allows students to not only begin a project, but to carry it all the way through to write-up. This is a hallmark of this field school and the experience prepares students for archaeology jobs and graduate school better than most because the training is so comprehensive. TO APPLY, CONTACT DR. PITBLADO FOR AN APPLICATION FORM OR CLICK ON THE FIELD SCHOOL WEB URL LISTED BELOW.

Archaeology Field School Additional Information

Archaeology Field School Type
Survey, excavation and lab
Time Period
Paleoindian for our test-excavation. On survey, you will encounter sites of all ages, including–with a little luck–another Paleoindian site or two, and sites of all later ages through the historic era.
Field School Setting/Conditions
We work and live in the Colorado high country. “Low” elevation work will be at 8,000 feet or so. For those who like it higher, there will be opportunities to survey wilderness as high as 11,000 feet. This is some of the most beautiful country in the lower-48 states, and both nearby Lake City and Gunnison, Colorado are extremely popular tourist destinations in the summertime (winter too–the skiing is great).
How is the project area accessed each day
Access to the base camp will be by car, although students who love to backpack are encourage to bring gear. We may deploy small groups (of the willing and eager only) to do some serious back-country camping and survey work. The project covers the costs of transportation within the project area–you just need to get yourself to and from base camp and then to and from the University of Oklahoma lab when our lab sessions start.
What is the daily schedule for the field school
Three 10-day field sessions (with 4-day breaks); then two 10-day lab sessions (also with a 4-day break between sessions).

Typical days run 7:30/8:00 – 4:30/5:00, depending on logistics and weather.
Number of years this Archaeology Field School has been in operation
Is there a professional certification for this field school
Like most PIs, I have not submitted my field school to RPA for certification because the process is onerous. However, I (Dr. Pitblado) am RPA certified, and my field school meets or exceeds all certification requirements.
Directors and Instructors
PI: Bonnie Pitblado, Ph.D. Co-Director: Chris Merriman (UNM) Co-Director: Caroline Gabe (UNM) Lab Director: Holly Andrew (OU) Field Assistant: Peggy Colgate (OU)
Specialized skills you will have the opportunity to learn
Nearly anything you can think of. I try to teach students every standard archaeological skill you are likely to encounter in a CRM or agency job setting. We do not do any remote sensing, but if you are interested, we can arrange exposure to remote sensing techniques. That goes for anything you might like to learn; if you tell me, I can usually find a way to expose you to it.
On rain days will there be lab work?
Will there be additional organized activities?
I like for your time to really be yours. You’ll no doubt plan trips with your new colleagues and friends to places like Mesa Verde, Chaco Canyon, the terrific hot springs town of Ouray, perhaps to Durango/Silverton to ride the famous narrow-gauge railroad. The sky and your imagination are the only limits to your extracurricular activities. I love the area, know it well, and am happy to give you suggestions for break trips.
Will there be additional organized activities?
Once in a while.
Is travel restriced during free time?

Other resources students will find useful
Other students, so let me know if you’d like to contact someone who has “been in the trenches.”

Archaeology Field School Contact Information and Website

Field School Website:

Field School Contact Information

Be sure to let them know you heard about their program on ShovelBums!

Bonnie Pitblado, Ph.D. Robert E & Virginia Bell Endowed Professor of Anthropology University of Oklahoma 455 West Lindsey, Room 521 Norman, OK 73019-2005

Field School Contact E-mail:

Field School Contact Website:


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