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Crow Canyon Welcomes Its First-Ever Postdoctoral Scholar

The Research Institute at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center is delighted to welcome its first-ever postdoctoral scholar, Dr. Michelle I. Turner, PhD. Crow Canyon is excited to take another step forward in developing a postdoctoral program that will build archaeological careers, amplify Crow Canyon’s ongoing research, and serve the field of archaeology. 

Dr. Turner will be joining the Northern Chaco Outliers Project as an independent scholar to lead cutting edge research while connecting the Northern Chaco Outliers Project to broader research on the Chacoan system. She will work closely with Crow Canyon researchers to explore the development of the Lakeview Group Chacoan community around the Haynie, Wallace, and Ida Jean sites. Through pottery analysis, she will help Crow Canyon reveal the Lakeview Group’s place within the cultural landscape of the Chacoan world.

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In her prior research, Dr. Turner conducted archaeological testing at the Aztec North great house at Aztec Ruins National Monument in New Mexico. She explored the timeline and construction of this previously unexcavated great house. Dr. Turner specializes in collecting information through pottery analysis to build on research related to Chacoan society and culture. 

“I am thrilled to partner with Crow Canyon and look forward to getting my hands dirty with archaeologists at the Research Institute. The more we learn about the Chaco system, the more questions we have about their complex and fascinating society,” said Dr. Michelle Turner, incoming postdoctoral scholar at the Research Institute at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center. “It’s a powerful experience studying and holding a piece of pottery more than 1,000 years old -- it’s incredible how much these artifacts can teach us. I look forward to researching these unique Chacoan great houses. I’m also passionate about Crow Canyon’s mission educating and connecting the community -- and inspiring the next generation of archaeologists and cultural anthropologists. I was an intern at Crow Canyon when I was first starting out in Southwestern archaeology, and I am filled with gratitude and excitement to return to the Cortez area.” 

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“Dr. Turner is at the forefront of archaeological research on Aztec Ruins and the greater Chacoan system. We can’t wait to partner with her to uncover the mysteries of the Chacoan story. Dr. Turner is tackling deep questions about the development and stability of Chacoan communities that could even help us understand issues facing today’s society related to the environment and climate change,” said Dr. Kyle Bocinsky, Director of the Research Institute at Crow Canyon.

The postdoctoral program at Crow Canyon is funded for two years through current endowments. Dr. Turner will be part of the Research Institute at Crow Canyon, and will be mentored by Dr. Kari Schleher, Crow Canyon Archaeological Lab Manager. Stay updated on Dr. Turner’s research alongside her growing Twitter following @Chaco_Arch, and by following Crow Canyon @Crow_Canyon.

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