Award Details


Robert S. Peabody Institute of Archaeology Award for Archaeology and Education (Deadline Extended)

Nomination/Submission Deadline: 05 Jan 2024

Award Description

The Robert S. Peabody Institute of Archaeology Award for Archaeology and Education recognizes excellence of individuals or institutions in using archaeological methods, theory, and/or data to enliven, enrich, and enhance other disciplines, and to foster the community of archaeology education practitioners. The Peabody Award will spotlight these contributions and promote teaching ideas, exercises, activities, and methods across the educational spectrum, from K-12 through higher education and including public education broadly conceived.

Who Is Eligible to Submit Nominations or Apply for the Award

Anyone may submit a nomination, however, the committee does not accept self-nominations. Nominees may be members or nonmembers of the SAA. Eligible nominees include museum educators, archaeology educators, college and university faculty members (including graduate students and adjunct faculty), Indigenous group or tribal personnel, as well as educators in K-12 schools; eligible institutional nominees include college or university departments, museum education programs, archaeology centers, non-profit organizations, CRM companies, and Indigenous groups or their programs.

Nomination/Submission Materials Required

Nominators should submit a current Curriculum Vitae and/or succinct summary of relevant accomplishments for their nominee, a letter of nomination, and at least two additional letters of support. Nominations for programs or institutions should include details about the program, point of contact, and contact information, as well as two additional letters of support. Nominators should use the Award Nomination Form as a cover sheet.

Nominations should document how the nominee has used archaeological methods, theory, and/or data to enliven, enrich, and enhance other disciplines, and to foster the community of archaeology education practitioners. Programming may have occurred at any level, from K-12 through higher education and including public education programs. Some examples of eligible programs include archaeology service learning programs, popular archaeology writing, adult or youth training programs, lessons or lesson plans for K-12 educators, archaeological outreach programming, oral history projects, lifelong learning classes or programs, archaeology camp experiences, and collaborative work with other educators or institutions around archaeological pedagogy (this list is not exhaustive).

Documentation can include other awards or recognition; syllabi and/or lesson plans; program descriptions; websites; blogs; podcasts; videos; newspaper or magazine stories; books, articles or book chapters; participant testimonials; and data from program assessments. Confidential materials should not be submitted.

Materials—like activities or lesson plans—that can be shared with the broader community via SAA’s website are particularly important to include in nomination documentation. The nomination must explicitly indicate what materials can be shared publically on the SAA website.

Two recommendation letters (in addition to the nomination cover letter) from those familiar with the nominee’s accomplishments in teaching and program development should be included with the nomination. Recommendation letters from diverse individuals familiar with the nominee’s outstanding work are encouraged, for example, the nominee’s supervisor or other institutional administrator; a teacher at a collaborating school; and/or the officer of a professional organization. If the nominee is an institution, the recommendation letters should not be from individuals from within that same institution.

All nomination materials should be assembled by the nominator and submitted electronically as an entire package to the committee chair by the due date.

Other Special Requirements

Prior to any award recommendation being finalized and publically announced, anyone recommended for an award, scholarship, or grant will be required to certify the following:

(a)  I am not and have not ever been the subject of a discrimination or harassment lawsuit or related administrative complaint that resulted in an adverse finding; and

(b)  I do not have and have not had a current or pending disciplinary action such as suspension or termination of registration, resulting from a Register of Professional Archaeologists’ grievance investigation.

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

The awardee is recognized by the SAA through a monetary award of $1,000, a plaque presented during the business meeting held at the Annual Meeting, a citation in The SAA Archaeological Record, and acknowledgment on the awards page of the SAA Website.

Current Committee Charge

The Teaching Awards Committee solicits nominations and selects recipients for the Robert S. Peabody Institute of Archaeology Award for Archaeology and Education and the Lewis R. Binford Award for Teaching Scientific Reasoning in Archaeology. Both awards exist only as long as there is funding for them.

Committee Composition

Committee composition is one chair and at least four members, one of whom may be a professional archaeologist who is a past or present member of the Robert S. Peabody Institute of Archaeology Advisory Committee. 

Term Length

Term length is three years. Individuals ending their terms cycle off the committee at the close of the Business Meeting held during the SAA Annual Meeting, and new appointees begin their terms at this time.

Award Cycle


Committee Chair and End of Term

Pei-Lin Yu [2026]

Committee Chair Contact Information

Committee Members and Ends of Terms

Selection or Evaluation Criteria

Nominations are reviewed individually by members of the Teaching Awards Committee, who select a recipient based on the following criteria: exemplary development of educational programming at any level, creativity and innovation in the development of those programs, availability of course materials for sharing via SAA, efforts to foster the community of archaeology education practitioners, and overall impact and sustainability of programs. 

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

The committee reads and evaluates all nominations after the submission date. The committee chair takes an email vote before the end of January, and an awardee is selected through a simple majority vote. The chair then prepares the award texts (short and long citations) for the SAA Committee on Awards.

2023 Pima Community College Centre for Archaeological Field Training
2022 Lisa Overholtzer
2021 Diving with a Purpose