Climate and Culture in the Southern Rockies


Climate and Culture in the Southern Rockies

May 17–23, 2020 

From the rugged volcanic terrain of the Jemez Mountains to the high desert of the Rio Grande gorge, traverse the complex landscapes that have shaped human development in this area for thousands of years. On our journey, we meet Pueblo tribal members whose traditional knowledge offers creative solutions to environmental challenges that different peoples have encountered and endured for centuries. We also visit preeminent climate scientists and discover how their research can provide compelling data on ancient economic systems that contribute to the story of human resilience and adaptation during environmental shifts. This unique approach to archaeology—long regarded as simply the study of antiquity — provides fresh perspectives on some of the most significant and controversial issues of our time.


  • Visit the Santa Clara Pueblo and the Puye Cliff Dwellings. The cliff dwellings, a National Historic Landmark, were built by the ancestors of today’s Santa Clara Pueblo people.
  • Travel to Los Alamos, nestled at the base of the Jemez Mountains, where we meet with climate scientists to learn about the legacy of the 2011 Las Conchas fires and participate in a thought-provoking discussion of the effects of climate shifts on forest ecosystems.
  • Explore the ancient site of Poshuouinge— the largest of four Pueblo villages surrounding Ojo Caliente’s famous mineral hot springs.

Climate and Culture in the Southern Rockies

  1. Scholars
  2. Accommodations
  3. Is This Trip for You?
  4. Terms & Policies

travel_abroad Jade d’Alpoim Guedes, Ph.D., is a paleoethnobotanist and a tenure-track professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. Taking a highly interdisciplinary approach to her research, Jade specializes in human adaptations to foraging practices and agricultural strategies in new environments. With more than 20 years of experience conducting research on the Tibetan Plateau, Jade is one of the leading scientists contributing to agricultural development, transitions, and resilience in the face of shifting climates and social structures. Jade’s research has been published in Science, PNAS, and PLoS ONE, among many other places.

travel_abroad Kyle Bocinsky, Ph.D., is a computational anthropologist interested in human responses to environmental change. He is director of the Research Institute at Crow Canyon and the William D. Lipe Chair in Research, and a research scientist with the Montana Climate Office at the University of Montana. As director of the Research Institute at Crow Canyon, Kyle leads a collaborative approach to research that is especially suited to addressing big questions with large and complex datasets. Kyle is a co-principal investigator on a project funded by the National Science Foundation: Synthesizing Knowledge of Past Environments (SKOPE). Kyle’s SKOPE research—managed through his Crow Canyon affiliation—develops large-scale, high-resolution paleoclimate reconstructions for the southwestern United States. Kyle is a longtime member of the Village Ecodynamics Project and has been collaborating with Crow Canyon researchers for over a decade.

Hotel Andaluz, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984, the hotel was the fourth built by Conrad Hilton. It was meticulously restored to its former glory in 2008, using cutting-edge technology, with an eye to bringing new life to one of the Southwest’s iconic buildings. Hotel Andaluz received the 2011 Earth-Minded Award for its contribution to advancing sustainable design in the hospitality industry and was recognized as the first green renovation of a historic hotel in the United States. The hotel takes its stewardship of the environment seriously as one of only two Gold LEED-certified hotels in the United States. Hotel Andaluz also received AAA’s Four-Diamond Hotel award and was recognized by Condé Nast in 2016 as one of the Top 5 Hotels in the Southwest.

Hampton Inn & Suites, Los Alamos, New Mexico
This Los Alamos hotel is situated close to the Los Alamos National Laboratory as well as Bandelier National Monument. The hotel offers bright and airy guest rooms with free high-speed internet access.

Sagebrush Inn, Taos, New Mexico
A historic Taos landmark, Sagebrush Inn opened in 1931 as a 17-room hotel, catering to guests traveling by carriage along the route between New York and Arizona. Today, the newly restored inn offers a mix of modern comforts and conveniences surrounded by historic southwestern charm. It features 156 graciously appointed guest rooms and suites, complimentary breakfast, onsite dining, and stunning vistas of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, as well as spacious courtyards, an outdoor pool, hot tubs, and kiva-style fireplaces.
This program includes a few moderate hikes while visiting archaeological sites. The trail to Puye Cliff Dwellings has short ladders, but there are alternatives. While staff members are available for assistance, you should be comfortable using your hands to steady yourself and be able to take steps higher than a standard staircase step to navigate around boulders and bedrock. Anticipate van rides of up to two hours when we travel to new locations.

The elevation levels for this trip range from 5300 to 8500 feet. We recommend ramping up your exercise regime prior to arrival, or arriving a day or two early to acclimate, especially if coming from sea level. If you have any questions, please contact your physician.

Remote Facilities
Facilities will be available throughout the majority of this trip. There will be some long van rides, but restroom stops will be provided.

Cultural Sensitivity
This program includes visits to Pueblo communities. Each Pueblo operates under its own sovereign government and establishes its own rules for visitors. Guidelines will be provided to help you prepare for your journey. Please be respectful of any and all rules during visits to these Pueblos. The Crow Canyon Archaeological Center practices “visiting with respect” with each and every Pueblo, home, and family. There may be instances where you are invited into a Pueblo home. Know that these can range from very simple accommodations (i.e., toilet facilities may be an outhouse) to those with modern facilities. Alcohol is prohibited on tribal lands.

Archaeological Ethics
It is a violation of the Society for American Archaeology code of ethics for program participants to keep any artifacts or other cultural or paleontological remains from any archaeological site. It is against the law for participants to keep any such materials collected from state or federal land. It is our hope that you become site stewards and help us preserve our national heritage for future generations.
For further information on the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center’s Terms, Conditions, and Cancellation Policies please click here. You will find details on tuition, cancellations, travel insurance, accommodations, medical information, and more.