Office of Public Archaeology

OPA Mission

The Office of Public Archaeology (OPA) was established to provide high quality professional archaeological consulting services to the public and private sectors while also giving practical field training to BYU students majoring in Archaeology. OPA provides undergraduate and graduate students with opportunities for hands-on experience and paid employment in the field of professional archaeology, and at the same time keeps BYU at the forefront of local and regional archaeological research. Students participate in field survey and excavations; working under deadlines; instrument surveying; photography; regulatory requirements; government and client networking; computer database management and word processing.​​


OPA Background

OPA was officially organized in March of 1981. Richard K. Talbot currently serves as Director and Lane D. Richens is the Senior Staff Archaeologist. OPA employs BYU Anthropology graduate students as crew chiefs, and undergraduate students as crew members. External consultants are employed on an “as-needed” basis. OPA has carried out projects throughout Utah, and in parts of Nevada, Wyoming, Colorado, and Arizona.

OPA has a diverse clientele, including Federal, State and local agencies, and private sector groups whose emphases include utilities construction, oil and gas exploration, mining, road construction, water projects, etc. Staff and employees have produced well over 800 technical reports and several professional articles and publications since 1981.

These vary from reports on smaller projects carried out by individuals, to much larger excavations or survey projects involving large crews and extensive field and laboratory work.


OPA Contact Information

Telephone: (801) 422-7778

Cell: (801) 319-0908

Fax: (801) 422-0026



Mailing Address:

Office of Public Archaeology

Brigham Young University

2201 N. Canyon Road

Provo, UT 84602


Physical Address:

2201 N. Canyon Road

Provo, UT​​ 84602