Shannon Arnold Boomgarden, Ph.D.

Shannon Boomgarden excavating a site in Range Creek Canyon

Director of Range Creek Field Station

Dr. Shannon Arnold Boomgarden, RPA, Dr. Shannon Boomgarden is the Director of the Range Creek Field Station, an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology, and teaches the University of Utah’s Archaeological Summer Field School. She began working in archaeology over two decades ago and has been involved in the work in Range Creek Canyon since the early 2000s.  Shannon’s research focuses on using actualistic experiments to study prehistoric subsistence practices in arid environments including, food storage techniques and maize farming. The experiments are designed to collect quantitative data on the costs and benefits of these activities. Working with reconstructions of Range Creek Canyon’s environment around 950 years ago, and using experimentally derived data on the constraints of irrigation farming techniques in Range Creek, Shannon has developed a formal model that predicts when and where irrigation is expected. This general model is applicable to studying prehistoric farmers throughout the semi-arid regions of the world.