Three survey volunteers with former assistant State Archaeologist Keving Black (right) on the 2014 PAAC Summer Survey in the Pawnee National Grasslands


Program for Avocational Archaeological Certification (PAAC)

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.

The program also facilitates avocational public service and assistance in education, governmental management of cultural resources, research, and the protection of archaeological resources in Colorado.  PAAC complements, but does not replace, existing university and governmental training programs.  Please see the Commonly Asked Questions section for answers concerning enrollment, cost and locations.

The program is supervised by the PAAC Board; members include the Board Chairperson (appointed CAS member), the CAS President, and the State Archaeologist.  The State PAAC Coordinator (Assistant State Archaeologist) is responsible for course development, scheduling, and course presentation.  Each CAS chapter or other group designates a Local PAAC Coordinator. The Local Coordinator, while not on the board, is responsible for expressing group needs to the board and State Coordinator, publicizing PAAC activities, organizing the arrangements for PAAC courses, and promoting the program.

All participants in the PAAC program must:

  • Be 15 years of age or older
  • Agree to the PAAC Code of Ethics
  • Pay a non-refundable, nominal materials fee per course

Please note: The Office of the State Archaeologist is not currently taking PAAC applications as we restructure and revitalize the program.

SHPO Outreach

Office of the State Archaeologist