Native American Cultures HomeScholastic Explorers

Skagit River explorers
Prehistoric Pueblos explorers
Native American Cultures HomeEarthwatch

Click here to read the transcript of the live interview with Sally Cole.
Sally Cole has been a leader of over 20 Earthwatch expeditions to remote wilderness areas of southeastern Utah. She is a consulting archaeologist and researcher with the Utah Museum of Natural History in Salt Lake City. Her specialty is studying rock art.

She is fascinated with rock art because it provides a connection with ideas and images of the past. "It is one the best things we have to be able to tell us about the history of the country and of peoples whose cultures have disappeared or changed over time. Rock art presents important links between ancient cultures and their descendants."

Ever since Cole can remember she has been intrigued by history. She thinks that she inherited the passion from her parents. Growing up in rural Tennessee, she can recall digging in the garden with her mother, and her motherís excitement on finding Civil War musket balls in the ground. Her mother had wanted to be an archaeologist. Her parents also loved nature and they traveled to lots of different places of historical importance.

Cole loves backpacking, the outdoors, photography, and the landscapes of the Southwest. Researching rock art is a way that she can be outside and do all the things she enjoys.

Cole has spent more than 25 years systematically documenting thousands of rock-art images at sites in the Four Corners area of the United States. With the help of Earthwatch teams she has been able to work remote canyon areas where ancient rock art is threatened by increasing vandalism and recreational use.

Cole received a B.A. in English and Philosophy, and an M.A. in Anthropology (Archaeology) from Vermont College. She is author of Legacy on Stone: Rock Art of the Colorado Plateau and Four Corners Region.

Photo Credit: Kenneth Benson

Now you have met an explorer. Your next step is to be an explorer.