Oregon Trail marker in Wyoming. Petroglyph in the Jack Morrow Hills area, Wyoming. Rock shelter in Wyoming. Rock art in Wyoming. Cultural resource from Wyoming.
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Education Outreach

Wyoming Archaeology Awareness Month

2008 Wyoming Site Stewardship Program

BLM, Cody Field Office partnering with BLM, State Office, the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office, the Shoshone National Forest, and the Buffalo Bill Historical Center conducted Site Stewardship training in May of 2008. The program was aimed at engaging the local public to assist in monitoring at risk cultural resources. CYFO targeted the Oregon Basin Petroglyph Site for monitoring. Volunteers were educated in monitoring procedures, preservation ethics, and safety.

  • FY08 Public Education - Boulder Lake Public Dig
  • FY07 Public Education
    • Lander Field Office built a shed over a Uinta Phase (ca. 1000 BP) Lodge at the Sand Draw Dump Site and hosted 30 students at an “Archaeology Day.”
    • Kemmerer Field Office provided a tour for the Ezra Meeker Society of Washington, to the Sublette Cutoff, emigrant graves and related sites. Approximately eight people were on the tour. They also provided a presentation on “Careers in Federal Archaeology” to approximately 50 students at Kemmerer High School’s Career Day.
    • Rock Springs Field Office provided three site tours for approximately 125 people, two presentations to approximately 365 students and two public presentation reaching 450 people.
    • Casper Field Office conducted a site tour for seven visiting recreation planners along the Oregon Trail. They also assisted with two Conservation Outdoor Recreation and Environment (CORE) camp sessions reaching a total of 30 students. Discussions were held regarding the archaeology of the areas, cultural resource management, proper public lands ethics regarding cultural materials and natural history.
    • A Buffalo Field Office archaeologist provided a presentation on archaeology to approximately 55 members of the public.

Rosebud Battlefield Educator Workshop Flyer and Registration Form

Project Archaeology Teacher Workshop

Project Archaeology is BLM's national education program aimed at teaching America's young people to value and protect our nation's rich cultural heritage. This program started in Utah in 1990 in an effort to educate the public on cultural resources and vandalism. As a result, a textbook entitled, Intrigue of the Past: A Teacher's Activity Guide for Fourth through Seventh Grades, was written by Shelley Smith, Jeanne Moe, Kelly Letts, and Danielle Paterson (1993).

 BLM encouraged its states to write a state specific supplement to Intrigue of the Past that would include a culture history and teacher resource directory. Wyoming initiated the program in 1993. Discovering Archaeology in Wyoming was printed in 1997 and we began our teacher training efforts. We began by holding a Facilitator Workshop in March at the University of Wyoming. Twelve archaeologists, representing BLM, the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), the University of Wyoming Department of Anthropology, consulting archaeologists and the State Archaeologist, and 12 teachers (from across the state) attended the workshop. These folks became the core of our training program.

As facilitators, they teamed up, one archaeologist with one teacher, to teach a workshop in their hometowns throughout Wyoming. We reached approximately 140 teachers in the first year. Since then, we have held four more workshops reaching 50 more teachers. Adding the 12 facilitator teachers to that number and multiply it times the average classroom size of 20, we estimate that over 4,000 students have been taught at least one lesson out of Project Archaeology.

Even though the current educational materials target 4th - 7th grades, our workshops are not limited to teachers from those grades. Intrigue contains three sections: Fundamental Concepts, Process of Archaeology and Issues in Archaeology. Fundamental Concepts cover such basic concepts of archaeological inquiry and interpretation as observation, inference, context, chronology, classification, culture and scientific inquiry. Section Two, the Process of Archaeology, includes lessons concerning data gathering and analysis, such as stratigraphy, artifact classification, dendrochronology, pollen analysis, ethnography and experimental archaeology. Section Three, Issues in Archaeology, tackles the ever-difficult lessons of conservation and protection. Several lessons on rock art and archaeological ethics are included. These last lessons allow students to form their own opinions about resource protection.

Project Archaeology workshops are routinely evaluated for standards in content and quality of instruction. Three years after beginning the program, Utah conducted an evaluation of its program by surveying the educators who had previously taken the workshops. Of the educators who returned the questionnaire, 82% indicated that they still used the program. In addition, as a result of the instruction, the teachers reported that most students had changed their attitudes regarding archaeological resource conservation.

In addition, we are currently working on tying Project Archaeology to the Wyoming State Standards. A draft of this document is expected to be released in 2003.

Project Archaeology appeals to teachers because it supports their existing curriculum and can be easily used in interdisciplinary studies. Indeed, in one workshop, an art teacher who attended with some of her coworkers couldn't wait to integrate the rock art lessons with Wyoming history that were being covered in the classroom. The hands-on activities are also a big plus for the program. Finally, teachers also benefit from meeting professional archaeologists and are able to call on them as a resource for assisting them with specific lessons or to give class presentations.

Inservice/recertification credit is always offered. Depending on the length of the class, up to 21 credits from the Professional Teaching Standards Board can be earned. In the past, we have also obtained academic credit from the University of Wyoming.

In such a rural state as Wyoming, where the public vs. private land issue is so prevalent, it is good to know that these lessons make people stop and think about the shared heritage we all have in common. As one teacher stated, "These past few days have been a real eye-opener; the activity on context really made me stop and think about the importance of leaving artifacts as you find them." That's the whole idea behind the program -- getting to the teachers, the students, and ultimately the adults behind the students, and instilling in them an ethic for the past. Wyoming's past is often right outside their door and we are pleased to offer Project Archaeology to Wyoming's public.

Like the teachers who have taken the class, we are excited. Although our budget is small, the partnerships we have created in Wyoming with the Forest Service, the State Archaeologist, the SHPO and the University of Wyoming, are helping to spread this educational program across the state.

Quotes from Wyoming teachers after taking Project Archaeology

"Greed and ignorance are preventing us from learning about our heritage and connecting with the past."

"I enjoyed the holistic approach to archaeology; I'm changing the focus of my middle school crafts class from materials to Indian crafts, and art history to more of an archaeological preservation approach."

"Much of this information will be invaluable in the classroom. It also goes along with so much of our Wyoming History....I'm excited to use this material with my kids."


Project Archaeology has been taught in the following communities

RivertonRock SpringsSaratogaTen Sleep 

If you would like to have Project Archaeology brought to your community, please contact Ranel S. Capron, Wyoming Project Archaeology Coordinator, 307-775-6108 or

Project Archaeology website.

BLM's History Mystery Program

This program began in 2000 with the idea to share more information about the archaeological and historical resources on BLM's public lands. Our intention was to focus on a "mystery" associated with public lands in the west. The format chosen is a newspaper-style with interactive cards, articles about the subject, pictures and maps and puzzles for kids to complete. Additional references are provided in case the students want to pursue the mystery further.

Our first mystery features Outlaws, primarily Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Since these outlaws frequented public lands in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah, we decided they were a good fit. In fact, two of the "hideouts" - Brown's Hole and Hole-in-the-Wall are both on public land, although somewhat inaccessible.

To request a copy of The History Mystery Examiner, please send your name and mailing address.

Planning is occurring for the second and third History Mystery newspapers. We hope the next one will be on the First Americans and the third one on Ghost Towns. Stay tuned!