EIC StatementRegistration | Abstract Submissions | Covid Policy | Lodging
Conference OrganizerTransportation | Mobile App | Preliminary Schedule | Merchandise 
Childcare | Students | Exhibitors and Advertisements | Sponsors 


PAC 2021 Boulder logo
78th Plains Anthropological Conference 2021 | November 10-13, 2021 | Boulder, Colorado


Ethics and Inclusion Committee Policy Statement

The Plains Anthropological Society (PAS) is committed to ensuring the safety, well‐being, and inclusion of all our members and guests at PAS-sponsored functions. We request that all participants at our annual meeting, including guests and other attendees, follow our conference code of conduct as well as verify they have not been cited or censured under Title IX, by the Register of Professional Archaeologists, or by any other adjudicating body, such as a college or university, nor are they subject to a current restraining or no-contact order issued by a judicial authority that will be violated by attending this conference. Questions about this policy can be directed to the PAS President. An annual meeting code of conduct and reporting procedure for harassment incidents will be in place for the conference and available prior to that on this website.


Online Registration is now open!

Registration before October 31
Regular Member: $160.00
Regular Non-Member: $240.00
Student Member, Presenter: $1.00*
Student Member, Non-Presenter: $80.00
Student Non-Member: $90.00
Tribal Member: $1.00*
Family Member Accompanying Paid Registrant: $1.00*

Registration after October 31
Regular Member: $200.00
Regular Non-Member: $240.00
Student Member, Presenter: $1.00*
Student Member, Non-Presenter: $80.00
Student Non-Member: $90.00
Tribal Member: $1.00*
Family Member Accompanying Paid Registrant: $1.00*

*$1.00 fee on these registration options is required to cover PayPal processing. 

Start your registration here 

Refund Policy: Conference registrants can request a full refund of registration and banquet payments up to October 11 and a 50% refund up to October 29. All payments are non-refundable after October 29. However, if the conference is cancelled or postponed for COVID-related reasons, we will fully refund all registration and banquet payments. Conference fees for advertising, vendor tables, tours, merchandise and the banquet are non-refundable. To request a refund please contact Douglas Bamforth at conference@plainsanthropologicalsociety.org

Abstract Submissions are now Open!

Call for Papers

Deadline: October 8, 2021

Deadline for Symposia Proposals: October 1, 2021

The Plains Anthropological Society promotes the study of the peoples and cultures of the North American Great Plains, and encourages the exchange of ideas and information at its annual conference. The 2021 conference will be from 10 to 13 November, 2021, in beautiful Boulder, Colorado. We welcome papers, posters, and organized sessions on topics related to any aspect of Plains Anthropology, including cultural, linguistic, biological, and archaeological topics. Paper presentations are limited to 20 minutes. The maximum poster size is 36 by 72 inches. More information and additional guidelines can be found in the Call for Papers.

Presenters at the 2021 Plains Anthropological Conference must be current members of the Plains Anthropological Society and must register for the conference prior to submission of their abstract.  

Symposia: Organizers should submit a proposal to conference organizers by October 1, 2021. Completed Symposia Packages are due October 8, 2021 via the Abstract Submission Portal on your account page.

Visit your My Account page to start your abstract submission AFTER you have registered for the conference.

Covid Policy

We are committed to doing everything we can to making sure that this year’s conference is enlightening, enjoyable, and safe. To that end, we urge all attendees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The science on vaccination leaves no doubt that it is a powerful means of protecting ourselves and those around us against infection and the many individuals and community-level impacts of infection. This year’s conference is in Boulder County, which currently (as of late August) has a full vaccination rate of about 75% and a partial (one-shot) vaccination rate over 80%. Additionally, all students, staff, and faculty at the University of Colorado Boulder are required to be vaccinated. Compliance on campus is over 90%.

We are complying with the Boulder County Public Health order requiring universal masking in all indoor public spaces for individuals older than two years of age. At the conference, this includes while presenting posters and attending sessions, workshops, or other meetings. Exceptions to this requirement are for speakers when they are presenting their papers and while eating or drinking. Hilton specifically requests all guests to comply with local mask mandates and recommendations. We also strongly recommend social distancing.  


The 2021 Plains Anthropological Conference will be at the new Embassy Suites and Hilton Garden Inn, at 2601 Canyon Boulevard in Boulder, Colorado. These two hotels adjoin each other across a courtyard and share management. Rooms at the Embassy Suites are studios or two-room suites that can sleep up to six and include breakfast; the Hilton Garden Inn offers traditional rooms that sleep up to four. The conference rate for the Embassy Suites is $189 per night and the rate for the Hilton Garden Inn is $169.00 per night. WIFI is free and we have a reduced parking rate of $12 per day ($15 for valet parking).

Reservations for the conference room block need to be made by Monday, October 11, 2021. You can cancel your reservations without penalties up to 48 hours prior to your arrival date; reservations cancelled after that incur a one-night charge.

You can book rooms through our conference links:

Embassy Suites


Group Name: 78th Annual Plains Anthropological Conference
Group Code: PLA
Check-in: 09-NOV-2021
Check-out: 14-NOV-2021
Hotel Name: Embassy Suites by Hilton Boulder
Hotel Address:

2601 Canyon Boulevard
Boulder, Colorado 80302

Hilton Garden Inn


Group Name: 78th Annual Plains Anthropological Conference
Group Code: PLA
Check-in: 09-NOV-2021
Check-out: 14-NOV-2021
Hotel Name: Hilton Garden Inn Boulder
Hotel Address:

2701 Canyon Boulevard
Boulder, Colorado 80302


Conference Organizer

If you have any questions, please email Douglas Bamforth and the conference committee: conference@plainsanthropologicalsociety.org

Douglas Bamforth
CU Anthropology 
1350 Pleasant St, 233 UCB
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0233

Transportation - Getting to Boulder

Boulder is easy to get to by car from I-25 or I-70. Denver International Airport (DIA) is a major transport hub and is about 45 minutes away. You can travel from DIA to the hotel on public transportation (the Regional Transit District bus route AB2 from the airport to the Boulder Junction at Depot Square station has a stop across the street from the hotel; note that this is NOT the AB1 bus, which goes to the Downtown Boulder bus station, about a mile from the hotel). You can also get Uber and Lyft rides from DIA. 

We have also made arrangements for discounted transport with a local airport shuttle service, GreenRide. They will take you directly from the terminal at DIA to the conference hotel. If the hotel is sold out and you have to book a room nearby, GreenRide may also be able to drop you there - check the options offered on their Plains Conference registration page. Prices are best when they are spread over a group (follow the link to find out about this). You can book one-way or round-trip through this link:


Mobile App

A mobile app for the Plains Conference will again be available in 2021. The app has many handy features, including a digital schedule, the ability to set reminders, search for a particular author, venue map, and more! Check back for the app download link as we approach November.

If you have the app from 2019, you will still need to download the newest version when it becomes available. The old app will not update.

Preliminary Schedule

We are still working out some details, and some parts are subject to change. But here is the overall schedule.

Field trip note: We were limited by home football games and some other considerations, and the conference is later in the season than usual. November is an unpredictable month in Colorado and there is no way to know what kind of weather we will have. Outdoor components of our field trips are weather-dependent and subject to change or cancellation if they are impractical. If we cancel, we will refund registration payments. 

Wednesday, 10 November -

  • Field trip

    • The first field trip will be to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and the Lamb Springs and Magic Mountain sites. Steve Nash will host us at DMNS, where we will see the Magic Mountain collection and a truly spectacular collection of Paleoindian material. Mark Mitchell will discuss his recent work at Magic Mountain and will host us in the field part of the excursion. We will leave Boulder around 11 AM and return around supper time. Fee will be refunded if tour is cancelled on account of weather.

  • First Society Board Meeting, starts at 6 PM

  • Early Bird Party

    • We are hosting the traditional Early Bird Party from 8 to 12 PM, with free beer and light food, along with non-alcoholic options and a cash bar.

Thursday, 11 November -

  • Paper/Posters all day, from 8 AM to 5 PM. 

  • Mahaffy Cache Reception, Henderson Museum, University of Colorado Boulder: We will have a non-alcoholic reception with light food from 4 to 6 PM in the lower level of the university museum, where the Mahaffy cache is on display. The cache is amazing and the museum built a wonderful display to show it off.

  • Evening Reception

    • 8 to 11 PM: local beer tasting, non-alcoholic options, cash bar, light food.

Friday, 12 November - 

  • Paper/Posters all day, from 8 AM to 5 PM. 

  • Plains Anthropological Society Business Meeting, 5 to 6 PM

  • Second Board Meeting, 6 to 7 PM

  • Pre-Banquet Happy Hour/Cash Bar, 6 to 8 PM

  • Banquet, 7 PM. Keynote Speaker Bob Kelly.

Saturday, 13 November - 

  • Paper/Posters, 8 AM to 12 PM. 

  • Field Trip 

    • Jason LaBelle will host our second field trip, to the Lindenmeier site north of Fort Collins. We will leave the hotel at 10 AM and return around 5 PM. Lindenmeier is notably higher than Boulder and can be snowed in when Boulder is not. If weather is a problem, we will either change the site we visit or cancel the trip. Fee will be refunded if tour is cancelled on account of weather


Conference Merchandise

2021 Plains Conference t-shirts, masks, and coffee cups are available for purchase. These items can be included in on registration orders, or if you've already registered, can be purchased separately via the swag and events order page. Limited quantities will also be available for purchase on-site in Boulder.


We hope to have onsite childcare available during the day for evening social events. We will have more information once we know more about this possibility.


Student presenters (lead authors) will receive registration at a greatly reduced rate to attend the Plains Anthropological Conference in Boulder. Students do not need to enter the paper or poster competitions to qualify for this opportunity, but they do need to present their research in either a general or organized session. Non-presenting students will still receive a discounted registration rate. 

The Annual Student Workshop hosted by the Student Affairs Committee will be held on Friday, November 12 at noon. This year's student workshop will be a Pitch Lab Workshop hosted by Dr. Steve Nash. Pitch Lab is a training that applies the techniques of professional comedians to improve presentations, and to increase engagement and develop story telling skills. Traditionally targeted at sales and marketing teams, Pitch Lab has been expanding to train academics in public speaking skills and science communication. Visit pitchlab.io/services to learn more. This event is open to all students, however free lunch will only be provided to the first 15 students who RSVP, so RSVP as soon as possible if you plan to attend. RSVPs may be sent to pas.student.listserve@gmail.com. If we reach 15 RSVPs for free lunch, please still feel free to attend the workshop.

The Student Paper and Poster Competitions encourage and recognize students who present professional quality papers and posters at the annual conference. All students attending are invited to compete for these annual awards. All competition participants will receive two complimentary tickets to the conference banquet, where cash prize winners will be announced. For more information and competition guidelines, visit the Student Paper Competition and Student Poster Competition pages.

The Native American Student Award is a grant of up to $1000, intended to help defray the costs of tuition, books, room and board for qualifying Native American student(s). The successful recipient(s) will also receive a one-year membership in the Plains Anthropological Society that includes a subscription to the peer-reviewed journal Plains Anthropologist. Separate grants are available to undergraduate and graduate students in Anthropology. Chosen recipients will be announced at the conference banquet. Interested students may learn more about the award and how to apply on the Native American Student Award page. 

Undergraduate Student Travel Grants are available to support undergraduate travel to the annual meeting in Boulder. Award amounts will vary, with a minimum of $250/recipient. Application due date October 1, with award notifications to be sent by October 10. For more information and to apply visit our Awards Page.

Exhibitors and Advertisements

Visit our Exhibitors and Advertisements Portal to order table or program space. Contact Douglas Bamforth and the conference committee with questions: conference@plainsanthropologicalsociety.org.

Vendor Tables (6 feet in length)
1 table: $100.00
2 tables: $150.00
3 tables: $200.00

Conference Program Advertisements
¼ page: $150.00
½ page: $250.00
1 page: $500.00


We invite individuals and organizations to be a part of the 2021 Plains Anthropological Conference by becoming a Sponsor! Sponsors may choose to offset costs related to session breaks or to support reduced registration rates for Tribal Attendees and Student Presenters. Visit the Conference Sponsors Page to contribute.

Sponsorship Levels 
Eagle, $1,500 (includes two free registrations, two banquet tickets)
Bison, $1,250 (two free registrations, one banquet ticket)
Prairie Falcon, $1,000 (two free registrations)
Pronghorn, $750 (one free registration, one banquet ticket)
Jackrabbit, $500 (two banquet tickets)
Prairie Dog, $250 (one banquet ticket)