Award Details

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Fryxell Award for Interdisciplinary Research for 2021

Nomination/Submission Deadline: 02 Mar 2020

Award Description

The Fryxell Award is presented in recognition for interdisciplinary excellence of a scientist who need not be an archaeologist, but whose research has contributed significantly to American archaeology. The award is made possible through the generosity of the family of the late Roald Fryxell, a geologist whose career exemplified the crucial role of multidisciplinary cooperation in archaeology. The award cycles through zoological sciences, botanical sciences, earth sciences, physical sciences, and general interdisciplinary studies. The Fryxell Award for 2021 will be presented in the ZOOLOGY category. The Chair for this award will be Elizabeth Reitz.

Who Is Eligible to Submit Nominations or Apply for the Award

Anyone may submit a nomination. The committee does not accept self-nominations. Awardees may be members or nonmembers of the SAA. 

Nomination/Submission Materials Required

Nominators must submit a letter that describes the nature, scope, and significance of the nominee’s contributions to American archaeology, as well as the nominee’s curriculum vita. Support letters from other scholars are helpful. Four to six are suggested. Please send submissions to the committee chair.

Other Special Requirements

None. 

Nature of Award (e.g. monetary, medal, symposium)

A half-day symposium is held in honor of the awardee at the SAA Annual Meeting. In addition, the awardee is recognized by the SAA through a plaque presented during the business meeting held at the Annual Meeting, the Fryxell medal, a citation in The SAA Archaeological Record, and acknowledgment on the awards page of the SAA Website. 

Current Committee Charge

The committee solicits nominations and selects recipients for the Fryxell Award for Interdisciplinary Research. The award is presented in special recognition of interdisciplinary excellence by a scientist (not necessarily an archaeologist) whose research has contributed significantly to American archaeology. The award rotates among five categories: general interdisciplinary, physical sciences, zoology, plant sciences, and earth sciences. 

Committee Composition

Committee composition is one chair and four members. Each member's term lasts 5 years, during the last of which the member serves as chair. The terms are staggered so that only one member (the chair) rotates off each year. Committee chair rotates among topical foci. Committee membership is by appointment rather than by volunteers. All members require Board approval because everyone may become chair at some point in time. 

Term Length

Five years following the award cycle.

Award Cycle

The award cycles through five categories ( zoology [2021], plant sciences [2022], earth sciences [2023], physical sciences [2024], general interdisciplinary [2025] … and begins again). 

Committee Chair and End of Term

Elizabeth J. Reitz [2021]

Committee Chair Contact Information

Committee Members and Ends of Terms

Christine A. Hastorf [2022], Vance Holliday [2023]

Selection or Evaluation Criteria

Nominees are evaluated on the breadth and depth of their research and its impact on American archaeology, the nominee’s role in increasing awareness of interdisciplinary studies in archaeology, and the nominee’s public and professional service to the community. 

Committee Deliberation Process (e.g. dates, venue)

The committee meets electronically after the nomination deadline has passed.

2019    M. Steven Shackley
The Fryxell Award is presented in recognition for interdisciplinary excellence of a scientist whose research has contributed significantly to American archaeology. For the 2019 award the category was Physical Sciences. Because of a career-long devotion to obsidian studies in the American Southwest that has included decades of fieldwork to document the geological landscape, multiple high-caliber books on the method, theory, and application of obsidian studies, and exemplary service to his professional colleagues, M. Steven Shackley has been selected as the Fryxell Award recipient.

2018    Vance Terrell Holliday

2017    Naomi Frances Miller

2016    Elizabeth J. Reitz

2015    David Hurst Thomas

2014    Marvin W. Rowe

2013    Anthony Aveni

2012    Christine Hastorf

2011    R. Lee Lyman

2010    Jane E. Buikstra

2009    Michael D. Glascock

2008    Paul Goldberg

2007    Vaughn M. Bryant

2006    Oscar Polaco Ramos

2005    Bruce D. Smith

2004    R.E. (Erv) Taylor

2003    George Rapp

2002    Deborah M. Pearsall

2001    Melinda A. Zeder

2000    Richards S. MacNeish

1999    Henry P. Schwarcz

1998    John W. Weymouth

1997    Vorsila L. Bohrer

1996    Elizabeth S. Wing

1995    Robert J. Braidwood

1994    Garman Harbottle

1993    Herbert E. Wright, Jr.

1992    Richard Yarnell

1991    Paul W. Parmalee

1990    Patty Jo Watson

1989    Joseph B. Lambert

1988    David M. Hopkins

1987    Richard I. Ford

1986    Donald K. Grayson

1985    Roger T. Saucier

1984    None

1983    John E. Guilday (posthumous)

1982    David J. Baerreis

1981    Karl W. Butzer

1980    James B. Griffin

1979    Peter J. Mehringer

1978    C. Vance Haynes