Archaeological and Experimental Field School at the Range Creek Field Station, University of Utah

Location: Range Creek Field Station, UT, US

Season: June 10, 2024 to July 31, 2024

Session Dates: The course will consist of four 10-day field sessions separated by 4-day breaks. All 4 sessions are required. One or two vehicles will return to Salt Lake City at the beginning of each 4 day break. By the end of this field school, students are qualified to apply for seasonal work on survey and excavation crews working in the southwest. The Range Creek Archaeological Field School is accepting applications for summer 2024. The dates for field school are June 10-July 31th.

Application Deadline: February 16, 2024

Deadline Type: Contact for Details


Program Type:
Field School

RPA Certified:
This project is an RPA certified field school

Natural History Museum of Utah, University of Utah

Project Director:
Dr. Shannon Boomgarden RPA

Project Description:

The University of Utah’s summer program in archaeological and experimental field methods will be held in Range Creek Canyon at the Range Creek Field Station. Sponsored by the Department of Anthropology and the Natural History Museum of Utah, University of Utah, this eight-week field course is designed to instruct students in archaeological field methods and allow them to participate in experiments designed to answer questions about past subsistence behavior of the Fremont people who farmed and foraged in the canyon 1,000 years ago. Under the direction of Shannon Boomgarden (Director, Range Creek Field Station, Natural History Museum of Utah and Adj. Assist. Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Utah), participants will receive training in a variety of field techniques including survey, mapping, soil identification, and aspects of paleo-ecological research (dendrochronology). Students will also have the opportunity to participate in a variety of experimental projects using traditional methods to farm small plots and/or collect wild resources. No previous experience is necessary, but some exposure to basic archaeological and anthropological concepts is recommended.

Admission to the field school is by application only and is limited to 12 students.  Priority for admission will be given to those pursuing a professional career in archaeology or a related discipline. Current enrollment at the University of Utah is not required to apply. Students will earn 8 semester upper division credits upon successful completion of the field school (ANTH 5712).

Period(s) of Occupation: Fremont (Formative arid land farmer/foragers) A.D. 700-1200

The Range Creek Field School assists students after completion in establishing careers in CRM or in pursuing advanced degrees.

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Four 10-day sessions are required

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: No experience required

Room and Board Arrangements:
Expect comfortable but relatively primitive living conditions. We will be camping at the headquarters of the field station which was a working ranch until a few years ago.  Students are expected to provide their own camping equipment (personal tents, sleeping bags and pads, etc.). Meals during the ten-day work sessions will be prepared by a professional cook. Water, toilets, and archaeological field equipment (aside from the personal tool kit) will be provided by the field program. All students will be expected to assist in the daily camp chores required to keep a field camp running smoothly. Additionally, one day of each field session will be devoted to maintaining the ranch, and will include such activities as landscape upkeep, cutting firewood, painting, mowing, etc. It is a small price to pay for having access to the main ranch house for cooking facilities, the bunkhouse and a log cabin for research facilities. Students will also assist with cooking on a one-day rotational basis. The ranch is in an extremely isolated part of Utah. Access is by a dugway (a dirt road cut into the side of a canyon wall by a bulldozer) that crosses an 8,700 foot pass. This road may be impassable when wet. In good weather, it takes more than 2 hours to travel from the ranch to the nearest major town, which is Price. For safety reasons, students are discouraged from bringing personal vehicles to the field. Cellular phones do not work in the canyon, although a satellite phone is available for emergencies. Due to the remote location of the field camp and limited by permit only access, students are not allowed to invite guests to visit the field school. Cost: Tuition and $700 special fees for food and transportation. Out of state students pay resident rates during summer. Check University of Utah admissions website for current tuition. No special fees for transportation or housing.

Academic Credit:
8 credits upper division credits offered by University of Utah. Out of state students pay resident rates during summer. Check University of Utah admissions website for current tuition.

Contact Information:

Shannon Arnold Boomgarden

301 Wakara Way, Natural History Museum of Utah

Salt Lake City



United States

Phone: 801-587-5747

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