Crow Canyon Archaelogical CenterWashington State University

The Village Ecodynamics Project (VEP) is a multidisciplinary collaboration among researchers at several different institutions to study the interaction between Pueblo Indian people and their environment over more than a thousand years, beginning in A.D. 600. The VEP includes two study areas, one in southwestern Colorado and the other in northern New Mexico. Funded by National Science Foundation (NSF) grants awarded to Washington State University, the VEP employs an innovative approach to reconstructing the human past and exploring its relevance for today’s world.

The VEP integrates three major studies:

  1. A reconstruction of the past environment
  2. A computer simulation
  3. An analysis of all known archaeological sites in the study areas

The VEP team included archaeologists, geologists, hydrologists, geographers, computer scientists, and economists from institutions across the U.S. and Canada. Between 2001 and 2014, this team completed a wide range of studies, and we continue to work on publications for both professional and public audiences. The VEP team also partnered with many other institutions and agencies. Together, we compiled datasets and developed techniques that we believe will be invaluable to others for years to come. Learn More


This website allows you to learn about the VEP by listening to a group of VEP scientists answer questions about the project.

The video interviews were filmed and edited by Chris Simon, Sageland Media LLC. Unless stated otherwise, supplemental data presentations, including graphs, animations, and site-distribution maps, are based on VEP data.

The website has six main parts: a section that introduces you to the researchers and five additional sections that we call "chapters." Each chapter explores a different aspect of the VEP.

Chapter One provides an introduction to the VEP, with the researchers answering questions about the overarching goals of the project.

Chapter Two discusses the types of analyses conducted by the VEP, with the researchers answering questions about how they created these studies and accomplished their research.

Chapter Three summarizes the results of the VEP, with the researchers answering questions about what was learned from the many studies conducted by this project.

Chapter Four examines the links between ancestral Pueblo people and their modern descendants, with the researchers answering questions about the connection between the distant Pueblo past and Pueblo communities today.

Chapter Five explores the relevance of VEP research for our own society, with researchers answering questions about population growth, climate change, conflict, and economic organization and how these factors shape the world we live in today.

We hope you enjoy hearing about the VEP from some of the scientists who conducted this important research.

The Village Ecodynamics Project Major Partners

Our Mission
The mission of the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center is to advance and share knowledge of the human experience through archaeological research, education programs,and partnerships with American Indians.

Crow Canyon is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

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National Science Foundation Mesa Verde National Park Bandelier National Monument National Park Service Denver Museum of Nature & Science National Geographic U.S. Forest Service Santa Fe Institute Bureau of Land Management - BLM School for Advanced Research Wayne State University Colorado Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation Canyon of the Ancients National Monument University of Windsor University of Norte Dame New Mexico Historic Preservation Division