The Ice Patch Exhibit Comes to CWC

March 7, 2018 by Lori Ridgway

CWC campus, intertribal building

In collaboration with Wyoming Indian High School and Lander Valley High School, Central Wyoming College has been given the opportunity to provide the community with the only public access to view “The Ice Patch Exhibit.” The exhibit will be displayed at CWC in the Intertribal Education Community Center atrium March 12-13 from 9am–6pm. The exhibit will then be moved to WIHS and be on display in the Science room for a day and will then travel to LVHS and be displayed in the Science room for a day.

The purpose of the exhibit is to provide information for the educational community as well as the general public. It is sponsored by Dr. Craig M. Lee, Ph.D. and the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Dr. Lee’s research interests include the human ecology and landscape archaeology of alpine and high latitude environments with an emphasis on sharing the process and results with numerous audiences, including the professional scientific community, descendant Native American communities and the public.

“This is a collaborative effort on behalf of Dr. Lee and Fremont county schools to bring awareness of the amazing discoveries as the glaciers continue to melt and reveal artifacts and other cultural pieces. Lee has worked alongside tribal members from the Apsaalooke nation as well as our own Shoshone and Arapaho tribes. ”

Lynette St. Clair, Shoshone culture/language teacher at Wyoming Indian Middle School

“The discovery of rare, unique and important artifacts and paleobiological specimens at melting ice patches holds the potential to revolutionize anthropological theories and concepts pertaining to human colonization and adaptations,” Lee said. “Consistent with the oral traditions of many Native peoples, the ice patch record allows scientists to conceptualize the alpine–in ancient times at least–as an ecosystem in balance with prey species and humans alike taking advantage of a seasonally enriched biome.”

A nine minute video on “Ice Patch Archaeology” in the Greater Yellowstone has recently been released that can be accessed at

The ice patch exhibit contains the following pieces:

  • A bison mandible with a window of bone cut out to show the M3, analyzed for strontium
  • One or two pieces of ancient trees (8000 and 5000 cal BP)
  • A big horn sheep skull displayed in a vitrine
  • Two dart shaft fragments displayed in a vitrine
  • A replica fore-shaft and shaftments made by Bill McConnell
  • Possibly two replicas from other areas as well, e.g., antler fore-shafts from Alaska and Yukon
  • The WY 2018 and MT 2010 archaeology month posters (both on ice patches)
  • A framed art piece made by Ian van Coller

For additional information regarding the CWC display, contact Ivan Posey at 855-2285 or email