I had a great time at the Annual Meeting. Chicago proved to be an outstanding host city. The weather, while a bit cool, was nevertheless clear and fine (except for that bizarre lake effect snowstorm one afternoon). One of the best features about the Sheraton was the large bar and gathering area on the lobby level. Folks started gathering there in the late afternoon, and the place was packed by 6 p.m. Navigating through the crowd was sometimes difficult, but the advantage was that with persistence, you'd finally run into the people you'd intended to see earlier that day. And although the bar apparently went dry on Thursday, they did learn and it never happened again.
Although we can't capture that ambiance in the Bulletin, we can do the next best thing, which is to report upon some of the most important doings, including the Annual Business Meeting and Awards Presentation, the minutes of the Board of Directors meeting, and other, miscellaneous happenings.
Curricular change is beginning to attract some attention. SAA's Task Force on Curriculum, chaired by George Smith and Susan Bender, has published extensively on their activities in the past few issues, and I noticed their suggestions were much discussed at the Annual Meeting. While not all of the discussion is favorable to some of their recommendations, it is clear that their efforts are being taken seriously. We're publishing a letter by Larry Zimmerman on one perspective on undergraduate-level reform, that challenges some of the assumptions that structured some discussions. The task force also is soliciting opinion about the reforms from the membership. Here's your chance to make your opinions known.
I'm very happy to welcome John Rick back to our pages. John has provided several technology columns to us over the years, and I've become accustomed to their useful advice. Now he writes about digital cameras and their place in archaeology. I'm convinced that the earlier we begin to integrate digital field recording procedures into our projects, the more effective we will be as we analyze, publish, and archive the results of our projects. John's article helps us get closer to that end.
SAA Establishes an Electronic Bulletin Board to Initiate a National Dialogue on Teaching Archaeology in the 21st Century
SAA's Task Force on Curriculum has developed a bulletin board on SAAweb to solicit comments, suggestions, and recommendations regarding the Wakulla Springs workshop report, "Teaching Archaeology in the 21st Century." The bulletin board was designed by Jim Miller and Tom Baurley of the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research with the assistance of Jim Young from SAA headquarters. Through this, SAA hopes to encourage an open discussion on this important issue to better prepare students for the full range of archaeological practice. The bulletin board can be reached through SAA's home page or directly at www.saa.org/Education/Curriculum/. Articles on this initiative have appeared in SAA Bulletin issues 16(5), 17(1), and 17(2).
To focus this discussion, five questions are posed on the bulletin board and a place for open discussion is provided. Information about primary work setting and academic degree level are requested to assist in summarizing the data. Check-off boxes are provided to receive additional information about the SAA's Task Force on Curriculum or to be involved in this initiative. In addition, a summary article discusses the issues and there are some in-depth articles. Also provided are email addresses for task force members and participants in SAA's Wakulla Springs workshop. Feel free to contact them.
Information received before July 15, 1999, will be summarized in fall 1999 and included in a Special Report, along with the results of the forum on Teaching Archaeology in the 21st Century held at the 1999 SAA Annual Meeting in Chicago.
We encourage you to respond before the July deadline. To accommodate the diversity of academic calendars and field schedules, the bulletin board will be maintained through September 30, 1999. Comments received by that date will be summarized and included in on-going Task Force efforts. We must collectively decide where the profession is heading and chart that course.
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