The State Archaeologist's duties and responsibilities include the investigation of impacts to archaeological resources and response to questions for technical and administrative assistance.
The staff also provides guidance relating to the identification, documentation, and protection of archaeological resources. These responsibilities are enumerated in state rather than in federal statutes and include the issuance of permits for archaeological and paleontological work on nonfederal lands in the state. Under state law, the State Archaeologist responds to the discovery of unmarked human burials. The staff works with citizens to resolve potentially conflicting concerns between development, scientific research, and respectful treatment.
When a federal agency funds, licenses or permits an activity that may affect cultural resources, the agency must consult with the State Historic Preservation Officer. This is known as Section 106 review or consultation.
The Program for Avocational Archaeological Certification (PAAC) is a mutually beneficial educational program for avocational and professional archaeologists. Established in 1978 by the Colorado Archaeological Society (CAS) and the Office of the State Archaeologist of Colorado (OSAC), it allows CAS members and other citizens to obtain formally recognized levels of expertise outside of an academic degree program.