The mission of the PaleoWest Foundation is to support archaeological research, education, and preservation worldwide to advance the profession and create and sustain knowledge relevant to today’s world. To this end, the Foundation has established two scholarship grant programs. The first, the PaleoWest Foundation Graduate Scholarship, supports innovative graduate students and their research. If selected, grants up to $2000 will be awarded to applicants. The number of awardees will depend on funding availability and the quality of the applications. Applicants must fill out the application form and submit it by October 1. Any graduate student currently enrolled in an anthropology or archaeology program may apply and the funds may be used any way the student sees fit. However, priority will be given to those students applying the funds to innovative research, dissertation writing, or completing a degree. Requirements include allowing the Foundation to feature any Foundation-supported student project on the Foundation’s website, on social media, and in public presentations.

The Foundation’s Board of Directors is particularly pleased to announce a second scholarship grant, the PaleoWest Foundation Native American Scholarship. This scholarship grant supports Native American students in their scholarly pursuits at Northern Arizona University. The grant is limited to tribal members of federally recognized tribes matriculating at NAU and studying anthropology. The grant is solely funded by the Foundation, but is administered by the University. A single grant of up to $5,000 will be awarded to the successful applicant each year. Applicants may apply through the Department of Anthropology at NAU.

Scholarship Application

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Congratulations to Mowana Lomaomvaya, winner of the 2019 PaleoWest Foundation Native American Scholarship


Mowana is a member of the Hopi Tribe and is from the village of Hotevilla on the Hopi Reservation. She is a student at Northern Arizona University, a teaching assistant in the Anthropology Department, and a student assistant at Cline Library – Special Collections and Archives. Mowana is in the last year of her undergraduate studies, majoring in Anthropology with an emphasis in Archaeology and a minor in History. At the conclusion of her undergraduate career, Mowana will be continuing her education by seeking a Master of Arts degree in Applied Archaeology in the graduate school program at NAU.

Congratulations to Raquel Romero, winner of the 2018 PaleoWest Foundation Native American Scholarship


Raquel is a second-year graduate student in the Applied Anthropology program at Northern Arizona University. Her family comes from Goodyear Village, District 4, of the Gila River Indian Community. She is Gila River O’odham and San Carlos Apache. She graduated from ASU with a BA in anthropology, and shortly after was hired as an archaeologist for her tribe. While working with her community, she quickly noticed an underrepresentation of tribal members pursuing formal education in archaeology.

As a result, her masters research has focused on tribal youth engagement. The primary goal of this research is to learn the most effective methods for outreaching to youth. The PaleoWest Foundation scholarship will provide her the opportunity to travel to more tribal communities and learn about this topic. We are extremely pleased to support Raquel and her studies.

Congratulations to the Winners of the 2018 PaleoWest Foundation’s Scholarship Grant

Yes, you read that right. Winners! This year we were able to award six scholarships to aspiring graduate students. The winners were Katelyn Bishop, Bobbi Hornbeck, Kendal Jackson, Gregory Wada,  Reuven Sinensky, and Raquel Romero. These applicants were unanimously selected by the Foundation’s board of directors as the top contenders. We at the Foundation are extremely pleased to be able to support so many excellent projects this year. Read about their projects below.


Katelyn Bishop is a PhD candidate at UCLA. Her dissertation project “Ritual Practice, Organization, and Change: Avifaunal Use and Iconography in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, AD 850-1150” will be important in advancing our understanding of past Pueblo ritual and religion and the value of birds in prehistory.

Bobbi Hornbeck is a PhD candidate at SUNY-University at Buffalo. Her dissertation project “Aleut Monumentality: Hunter-Fisher-Gatherer Transformations of the Rat Islands Group of the Western Aleutian Islands, Alaska, c. 4000 BP to 1000 BP” will be an important contribution to the study of (previously unrecognized) earth mounds as monumental constructions within the context of Early Midden Period (4000 BP-1000CE) social and political complexity. In focusing on sites that face potential negative impacts from warming Arctic climates, her research is particularly relevant to our mission, which seeks to develop and support archaeological projects that advance the profession and create knowledge relevant to today’s world.


Kendal Jackson is a PhD candidate studying at University of South Florida. His project “Between Land and Sea: Deep-Time Historical Ecologies of the Tampa Bay Estuary, Florida” will be important in understanding PaleoIndian and early-Archaic-period habitation of terrestrial freshwater wetlands within the Bay depression; spatiotemporal patterning of marine transgression/estuarine development in the Bay over the Holocene; and, the roles ancient human communities played in modifying and managing ecosystem structure during the Bay’s estuarine development.

Gregory Wada is a PhD candidate at the UC Davis. His dissertation project “Evolution of the human microbiome: metagenomic insights into dietary adaptation, demographic patterning, and disease transmission from archaeological dental calculus” aims to (1) evaluate prehistoric disease load and the types of diseases present in prehistoric populations of the San Francisco Bay Area, (2) asses changes in microbial diversity with changes in human diet, and (3) evaluate the potential of geographic and temporal clustering of microbial relatedness as an indicator of population movement or interaction.  


Reuven Sinensky is a PhD candidate at UCLA. His dissertation project “Niche Construction and Common Pool Resource Management in Marginal Environments” will be an important study in collective resource management in small-scale, early agricultural societies. His project is specifically relevant to our mission, which seeks to develop and support archaeological projects that advance the profession or create knowledge relevant to today’s world.

Raquel Romero is a Master’s student at Northern Arizona University. Her project “Tribal Youth Engagement: Establishing a Model for Archaeological Outreach” is an important step in exploring the importance of tribal representation in educational institutions and archaeology. Her project is specifically relevant to our mission by developing and supporting archaeological and preservation projects that have a demonstrable benefit or relevance to indigenous communities.

Congratulations to Morgan F. Smith, winner of the 2017 PaleoWest Foundation’s scholarship grant.

We were extremely pleased with the high quality of all the applications this inaugural year. His application was unanimously selected by the Foundation’s board of directors as the top application. Morgan is a PhD candidate at the Center for the Study of the First Americans at Texas A&M University. His dissertation project “Liquid Landscapes:” What Underwater Prehistoric Sites in the Lower Southeast Tell Us About Climate Change, the Peopling of the Americas, and the Settlement of a New Continent is a really important project for archaeologists and other researchers interested in the peopling of the Americas and adaptations to past climate change. The project’s effort to document adaptations of Paleoindian groups to the rapidly changing climate following the close of the last Ice Age, understand how regional specialization occurred following the initial occupation of the Americans, and build a more robust radiocarbon record for the peopling of the Americas is well in line with the mission of the Foundation. We are very pleased to support this project.