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Equipment Grant Completion Report - Chris Espenshade

12 Oct 2021 8:40 AM | Dina Rivera (Administrator)

11 OCTOBER 2021


Chris Espenshade (RPA 15747) applied for and was awarded a Register of Professional Archaeologist (RPA) Equipment Grant of $1,000.00 to purchase two metal detectors to augment the holdings of Advanced Metal Detecting for the Archaeologist (AMDA).  AMDA is increasing the number of metal detectors that it owns for use in its RPA-certified, continuing professional education class.  One of the goals of the class is to expose students to a variety of detector models.  The long-term goal of AMDA is to have up to 15 detectors available for class use.  At the time of the grant proposal, AMDA owned six devices (two Minelab Equinoxes and four Macro Simplexes).

Statement of Completion

As indicated by the attached receipt, Espenshade purchased one Garrett AT Pro and one Teknetics Omega 8500 from Kellyco Detectors.  The purchase was completed well within the two-month period stipulated in the grant application.  Their combined cost with shipping was $1,103.86, exceeding the grant amount.  Espenshade personally covered the difference.

On 17 September 2021, Joseph Balicki of the AMDA board acknowledged receipt of the donated detectors.  The two new detectors were used in the 1-3 October class of AMDA near Lake Champlain, New York (please see Figures 1-2).  The addition of the two detectors brought the AMDA holdings to eight devices, and instructor Joel Bohy has subsequently donated a ninth detector. 

AMDA has posted public media notices about both the purchase and the use of the new devices at the first class.  The funding for these instruments by RPA has been acknowledged in public media and at our recent class.

Although two of the metrics of success cannot be verified for several years, there are strong indicators that all three measures will be achieved.  First, we have indeed increased the number of AMDA-owned detectors by more than 20 percent.  The maintenance of average site size over the next five years cannot be demonstrated at this juncture, but the 1-3 October 2021 class maintained the average class size, and demand is already high for the 2022 class at Valley Forge.  Likewise, the October class saw tuition held to $350 for 24 credits, and the same rate will be applied at Valley Forge.

Overall, the grant award has allowed me to contribute concretely and significantly to the ability of the AMDA class to teach best practices in metal detecting in archaeology.  The continued success of AMDA will assist RPA archaeologists to “stay informed and knowledgeable about developments in her/his field” (RPA Code of Conduct 2.1b) and to “employ a suitable methodology” (RPA Standards of Research Performance, Section I). 

The AMDA and I appreciate the RPA’s assistance through this equipment grant, our class certification, and our ongoing relationship.  Thank you.  Please do not hesitate to contact me should you need further information regarding this grant award.

Chris Espenshade


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