Summer 2021 Field Projects

We are happy to announce the summer 2021 PCRG field schedule! We have a number of exciting projects this season and we cannot wait to hit the field again. We hope you can join us for one or more of these projects! There may also be one more project in early September and we will release details as soon as they are available.

As in prior years, we will utilize a Google Form to gather basic information on your initial application. Each project has a separate form so if you want to apply for multiple projects please fill out a form for EACH project. Members of the same household should also  each fill out a form for the project(s) they wish to attend. If it is not obvious, please note in the Additional Information field if you are applying with a friend or family member to attend the same project.

Filling out this form is just an application and does not guarantee you will be accepted for the project. We will do our best to accommodate each application but space can sometimes be limited. If you are applying for multiple projects but have a preference for one over another please note this in the Additional Information field on the application.

PCRG membership is not required to participate in field projects but members do receive priority in the selection process. If you are not already a member and would like to be notified about project announcements please consider joining PCRG here. There is no cost to participate in a PCRG project.

The dates listed for each project are the fieldwork dates. If participating in the entire project, plan to arrive the afternoon of the day prior to the fieldwork start and depart the day after the fieldwork end. For example, a project running June 14-18, you would arrive the afternoon of June 13 and plan to leave the morning of June 19.

Covid-19 Information

We STRONGLY encourage all applicants to get a Covid-19 vaccination as soon as you are able. This will not only protect the project participants but will protect the integrity of the project. Unvaccinated participants will be required to have a negative Covid-19 PCR test from a healthcare provider immediately prior to the project. Additionally, we request you isolate as much as possible from the time of your test to joining the project and you will be asked to wear a mask according to CDC guidelines.

We have developed a comprehensive list of Covid-19 protocols to ensure the safety of all participants. These are subject to change and some things, such as carpooling from camp to the project, will be determined on a project-by-project basis. Please contact Chris Johnston with any questions about the application process or our Covid-19 safety plan.

2021 PCRG Projects

Peeled Ponderosa Pine Documentation

Fieldwork Dates: June 14-18
Location: San Juan National Forest, Pagosa Springs, CO
Project Type: Survey and Documentation
Description: The southern foothills of the San Juan Mountains in southwest Colorado—especially in the headwaters of the Piedra River—harbor extensive groves of bark-peeled ponderosa pines. Peeled ponderosas, also known as cambium trees, reflect Indigenous American harvesting of forest products for food, medicine, and craft production. PCRG’s 2021 peeled tree documentation project continues work begun in 2018. The crew will again camp at the beautiful Turkey Springs Guard Station located near Pagosa Springs, Colorado. This survey project will focus on identification and intensive documentation of peeled ponderosas located in selected survey parcels.


Archaeological Testing and Geoarchaeology in North Park

Fieldwork Dates: July 1-6
Location: Jackson County, Colorado
Project Type: Testing
Description: PCRG will return to North Park for the third season of our multi-year collaborative research effort with the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests. North Park, the northernmost of the three large Colorado mountain valleys, is at an elevation of roughly 8800 ft and has archaeological sites ranging from the Paleoindian period through the Settler era, and includes numerous prehistoric camp sites and lithic quarries. The field team will conduct testing (limited excavation) at a previously recorded site in southern Jackson County that has produced bison bone, ceramics, and lithics. Participants should expect moderate hiking each day, along with camping in the mountains where evening temperatures can dip near freezing.


Harmon Village Archaeological Testing Project

Fieldwork Dates: July 20-28
Location: Morton County, North Dakota
Project Type: Excavation
Description: Located on the west bank of the Missouri River, opposite Double Ditch State Historic Site, Harmon Village is a fortified settlement containing the remains of about a dozen earthlodges. Although the site, which currently is owned by the Archaeological Conservancy, was first described in the early 1940s, little is known about its age or its relationships to other nearby communities. PCRG, in cooperation with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, will carry out a testing project at the site to learn more about is age and occupation duration, to sample its contents, and to document its current condition. Project participants will stay at a nearby campground. Fieldwork will include coring, hand excavation, and waterscreening.



Archaeological Testing and Geophysics at Awatixa Village

Fieldwork Dates: August 2-11
Location: Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, Stanton, North Dakota
Project Type: Geophysics, Profiling, and Excavation
Description: Awatixa Village, also known as Sakakawea Village, is a nationally significant archaeological site and one of the three major Hidatsa settlements preserved at Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site. Although perhaps best known as the early nineteenth-century home of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark’s interpreter Toussaint Charbonneau and his American Indian wife Sacagawea, Awatixa Village contains a detailed and well-preserved record of Hidatsa history during an especially tumultuous period. In partnership with the National Park Service – Midwest Archeological Center, PCRG will continue geophysical surveys, test excavations, and cutbank profiling begun in 2019. The field crew will camp adjacent to a house near the park. Fieldwork will include hand excavation, bank scaling and profiling, hand coring, and geophysical surveys.


Archaeological Testing at the Windy Ridge Quartzite Quarry

Fieldwork Dates: August 24-31
Location: Grand County, Colorado
Project Type: Testing
Description: Windy Ridge is a quartzite quarry near the summits of Rabbit Ears and Muddy Creek passes, southeast of Steamboat Springs, and was first used at least 10,000 years ago. The site was first documented in 1981, followed by excavations in 1993 by the CU Boulder archaeological field school. In 2019, PCRG documented archaeological deposits in the workshop area, about 1 km away from the quarry. PCRG, in partnership with the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest, will be using these data to conduct limited testing in the workshop area. Participants should expect moderate hiking/walking each day, along with camping in the mountains where evening temperatures can dip near or below freezing.



Please click here to read important information prior to volunteering on a PCRG project. You can click here to learn more about what to expect when volunteering on a PCRG project.


This year we are also partnering with Scott Dersam and his team for the Beartooth Ecosystems Alpine Archaeological Research (BEAAR) Project in the Beartooth Wilderness of Montana. This project begins in August and has three separate sessions, ending in early September. The sessions will involve extensive hiking, including backpacking 7-8 miles on the first day to the basecamp, along with extensive hiking at high-altitudes for the duration of each session. Please consider your own abilities prior to applying to this project. More details on each session and contact information is in the project description below.

BEAAR Project

Fieldwork Dates: (three different sessions) August 1 to 10; August 15-24; August 29-September 5
Location: Beartooth Wilderness, Montana
Project Type: Survey and Testing
Description: PCRG is partnering with Scott Dersam for the Beartooth Ecosystems Alpine Archaeological Research (BEAAR) project for the 2021 field season. The BEAAR project will be hosting three separate field sessions, all in the High Lakes region of the Beartooth Wilderness of Montana, at elevations between 2900 and 3900 meters (9,500–10,150 feet) above sea level. This high elevation ecosystem hosts evidence of ancient activity spanning the Holocene from ~10,000 calYBP in the Late Paleoindian to the contact period no more than 250 years ago. Crews will focus on new site recordation and pedestrian survey, as well as revisiting previously recorded sites for further analysis, excavation, and documentation. More details about the project and each session can be found here. Volunteers should be prepared for extensive hiking at high elevations, including backpacking about 8 miles to the base camp, with many miles of hiking each day. Please consider your own abilities when applying for this project. Space is limited and not all applicants will be selected.

More details here. Please contact Scott Dersam with any questions and to apply for this project.

Join the PCRG Mailing List

Not a member but want to get notified of upcoming projects and events? You can sign up for our mailing list here, but please note, although membership is not required to participate in PCRG projects members do get priority when space is limited.

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