Charles R. Riggs

Charles R. Riggs, Associate Professor of Anthropology, received his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in 1999. He is a Registered Professional Archaeologist and his area of expertise is in Southwest archaeology with emphases on prehistoric architecture, migration, GIS-based approaches, public education, Native American collaboration, and cultural resource management. His experience in Southwest archaeology includes fieldwork or research throughout Arizona, and in southern California, New Mexico and Colorado.

Dr. Riggs teaches Introduction to Anthropology, Introduction to Archaeology, Prehistory of the Southwest, Topics in American Prehistory, Topics in Social Archaeology, Ancient Egypt, Legal and Ethical Issues in Anthropology, Research Methods in Anthropology, Advanced Studies in Southwest Archaeology, and Senior Seminar in Anthropology as part of his regular teaching rotation. In addition, he believes strongly in experiential education and regularly offers off-campus courses at the Pigg Site and in places like Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde National Park. Dr. Riggs also serves as the faculty mentor for anthropology students who participate in Fort Lewis College’s Mesa Verde, Chimney Rock, and Crow Canyon summer internship programs. He is also the director of the anthropology department’s Cultural Resource Management Certificate Program.

Since coming to Fort Lewis Dr. Riggs has been highly active in college and professional service. He has chaired and/or served on departmental search committees. Currently he is a member of the Center for Southwest Studies Accessions and Deaccessions Committee and currently serves as the faculty advisor to the Anthropology Club. He has served on the faculty senate as the Recording Secretary, as the Vice President, and has chaired the Faculty Senate Rules Committee. Currently he is the faculty representative to the Fort Lewis College Board of Trustees. Dr. Riggs participates or has participated in the American Indian Studies Advisory Committee, the Mesa Verde Centennial Advisory Committee, and the CCHE GtPathways course approval process. He is a member of the Center for Southwest Studies Advisory Board and is currently the Assessment Coordinator for the Anthropology Department. In the past he has served on the NAGPRA Committee, the Intercultural Committee, the Navajo Studies Conference Organization Committee, was the Program Chair for the 2009 Pecos Conference in Cortez, and is the head organizer and committee chair for the 2010 Pecos Conference, to be held in Durango. In addition he has given many lectures on Southwestern archaeology to public schools in Colorado and in Arizona.

Dr. Riggs is also active in the area of scholarship. For three summers (2002 through 2004) he served as a faculty mentor and assistant director of the University of Arizona’s field school in Heritage Preservation. He has published book reviews in the journal American Antiquity, has reviewed numerous book manuscripts for the University of Utah Press, Oxford University Press, and the University of Arizona Press. He has also completed article reviews for the journals Kiva, American Antiquity, and the Journal of Anthropological Research. Dr. Riggs has also actively presented and published his own research, having presented papers at both national meetings and regional conferences. He has given informal presentations of his research as part of FLC’s Hozhoni Days lecture series, the Mesa Verde Centennial lecture series, the San Juan Basin Archaeological Society’s monthly meetings, the Four Corners Speaker Series and to the staff at the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center. His book, The Architecture of Grasshopper Pueblo, was published by the University of Utah Press, and he has published articles in the Journal of Archaeological Research, the journal Kiva and in a number of peer-reviewed volumes. Dr. Riggs has also been the author or a contributing author on numerous archaeological reports and has contributed to the to the Durango community by providing radio and television interviews and opinion pieces regarding education, archaeology and anthropology in the Durango Herald. Dr. Riggs was awarded grant money by the Colorado State Historical fund for three consecutive years (2007-2009) to conduct excavations at the Pigg Site, a component of the Lowry Community in Southwest Colorado.

For more information about his courses, publications, and projects, see his web site at