ANTH 470 - Paleontology Field School

  • 4 credits

Join the CSU Paleontology Field School (ANTH 470), gain hands-on paleontological field experience, and earn 4 credits this summer!

Course Specifics:

Wyoming’s Bighorn Basin holds fossil-bearing sediments that date back to a time well before dinosaurs up through the Age of Mammals. Its early Cenozoic strata contain the ancestors of modern mammals – including the first artiodactyls (even-toed ancestors of deer, hippos, etc.), the first perissodactyls (odd-toed ancestors of horses, rhinos, etc.), the first rodents, and – importantly – the first true primates, Adapoidea and Omomyoidea.

Based out of Greybull, Wyoming, students will learn how to identify fossil localities, map sections, and collect vertebrate fossils from the earliest Eocene beds in the Bighorn Basin in which extinct primates are known, and how to prospect for new fossil-bearing localities. We are excited to offer this new opportunity for our students.

This course can be applied toward:


ANTH 120 (Human Origins and Variation) or BZ 110 (Principles of Animal Biology) or LIFE 102 (Attributes of Living Systems). Admission to this field course requires instructor permission based upon submission of a Paleontology Field School application. Please contact the course instructor for application information at Contact instructor to request an override.

Important Information

Please contact Kim Nichols for full information about applying at


Kim Nichols

Kim Nichols was born in Nuremberg, Germany and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. Her undergraduate education at the University of California at Santa Cruz included extensive participation in nonhuman primate anatomical research, casework experience in forensic anthropology, and archaeological research at the State of California Mission Santa Cruz site.

Her graduate education at the University of Colorado at Boulder included field research on howling monkey locomotor behaviors in Costa Rica. In addition, she participated in primate paleontological field research at sites in Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, and in the Fayum Depression in Egypt.

Additionally, she has studied primate skeletal and dental variation in museum collections in Washington DC, New York City, and Chicago, Illinois. Kim's current research interest is in nonhuman primate skeletal dimension variation in captive and wild populations and implications for the interpretation of reproductive pathways in extinct primate species.

Jason LaBelle

(970) 491-0930 |

Dr. LaBelle is an archaeologist interested in Native American foragers inhabiting the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains of North America, with research spanning several periods over the last 12,000 years. His current work involves landscape level survey and testing of prehistoric and protohistoric sites surrounding the Lindenmeier Folsom site, a national historic landmark.

Dr. LaBelle’s research interests include grassland/foothills/mountain ecology, playa lakes, hunter-gatherer site structure, hearth cooking technology, lithic technology, and the history of archaeology. Past fieldwork has taken him across the Plains of Colorado, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Montana, New Mexico, Texas, and Wyoming. In addition to teaching and research, he is also the director of the Laboratory of Public Archaeology (LOPA), which houses archaeological collections and associated data from academic and contract projects located within the Platte and Colorado River Basins. Dr. LaBelle is currently president of the Colorado Archaeological Society (1000+ members) and has actively worked with avocational archaeologists throughout the Plains in documenting their collections. He has published articles in “American Antiquity”, “Archaeometry”, “Current Research in the Pleistocene”, “Geoarchaeology”, “Plains Anthropologist”, in addition to book chapters and technical reports in the academic and contract realms.

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