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2018 Register of Professional Archaeologists’ Field School Scholarship Award

Each year the Register and its Sponsoring Organizations provides scholarship opportunities for students attending Register-certified archaeological field schools. One scholarship in the amount of $1000 can be awarded by each of three of the Register's sponsoring institutions (SAA, AAA, and AIA) to the director of an Register-certified field school. The director is then free to award the scholarship to a deserving student, or more commonly, divide the award between two students.


2018 Society for American Archaeology-selected Field School Scholarship Recipients

Statistical Research Inc. (SRI), in association with the Institute for Field Research and Coconino National Forest, offers a field school preparing students for a career in Cultural Resource Management. The objective of the 2018 Coconino field school is to prepare students for a career in cultural resource management (CRM) while conducting a typical small-scale CRM inventory and evaluation project. The field school will take place on the Coconino National Forest near Flagstaff, Arizona, and will be taught by staff from SRI, in partnership with archaeologists from the Coconino National Forest. This is the first year of certification and Richard Ciolek-Torello, Ph.D., RPA, 10453 director of the field school, divided the $1000 award between two deserving students.


After serving as Natural Resources Staff Officer and supervisor of the Heritage Program staff at the Prescott National Forest in Arizona, Mr. Michael Kellett decided to pursue a career in CRM. He has entered the Master’s Degree Program in Anthropology at Northern Arizona University (NAU). Mr. Kellett is especially interested in using cultural survey, topographic mapping, geographic information systems, and Google Earth, and obsidian sourcing data to map trade routes in the Prescott Culture area. He intends to use this research for his Master thesis at NAU.  The funding from the Register's scholarship will subsidize his field school tuition and facilitate his training to complete this research.




Ms. Anna Swenson is from Middleton, Wisconsin, but attends school at Oberlin College in Ohio where she is majoring in Environmental Studies and Archaeological Studies. She says she has spent a little time in the Southwest and can't wait to return to the area to attend the Coconino field school. She is excited to get some hands-on experience with archaeology and to learn more about cultural resource management and how knowledge might be repatriated in the present context of the Southwest.






The Register of Professional Archaeologists is a proud sponsor of the 2018 SAA Ethics Bowl, which took place in Washington, DC on April 20.


Each year, the Society for American Archaeology Ethics Bowl invites student teams to debate case studies on various ethical dilemmas in archaeology, which provides important training for their future professional careers. The event is a lively, debate-style competition that allows the teams to engage critically with ethical questions that face archaeologists in practice. This year’s competition featured teams from Penn State, Florida State, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University, The College of New Jersey, and a joint team from the University of California-San Diego and the University of Puerto Rico.


The final round was between the team from Cornell University and the team from Florida State University. After a close match, we are happy to congratulate the team from Cornell University as the winners of the 2018 SAA Ethics Bowl. The winning team receives a cash award from the Register of Professional Archaeologists.


Cornell’s winning team consisted of four first-year M.A. students from the Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies (CIAMS): Danielle Vander Horst, Elizabeth Proctor, Lindsay Petry, and Elizabeth Bews. They were coached by Dr. Dana Bardolph, Hirsch Postdoctoral Associate at CIAMS.


Thank you to all six of the excellent student teams that competed this year, and congratulations to the 2018 SAA Ethics Bowl winners from Cornell University!




Photo: from left, Dana Bardolph, Danielle Vander Horst, Elizabeth Proctor, Lindsay Petry, Elizabeth Bews. 



The Register of Professional Archaeologists (Register) is looking for an archaeology graduate student to work this summer as our annual Ethics Intern.


We are seeking someone who has an interest in archaeological ethics; is self-directed; is available to work approximately 10 hours a week; has access to the internet and institutional databases; and can work out of their home, university, or office. Familiarity with WordPress is preferred, but not required.


Tasks will include:

  • Updating and maintaining an online database of resources on archaeological ethics, which will be available this spring
  • Finding and incorporating additional resources into the database, including publications, blog posts, websites, courses on archaeological ethics taught at universities, and ethical case studies.
  • Working directly with the Register’s Ethics Committee on other tasks related to archaeological ethics.


The position will run from June through August. The Ethics Intern will receive a stipend of US $1,000.


If you know of someone who you would recommend to fill this position for the Register, please forward this notice to them.


Students who would like to apply as an Ethics Intern should send the following to the RPA Ethics Committee at

  • A curriculum vitae
  • The name and institution of your major professor or faculty advisor (include their contact information – email and telephone number)
  • A one-page statement on why you should be selected

Please group application materials into a single PDF file.


The deadline for applications is Monday, April 23, 2018. Please direct all questions to


Register 2018 Photo Contest

Grand prize of $500.00!

Runner-up prize of $250.00

Complimentary dues for 2019 will be awarded to every photo contest participant who submits one complete entry by the May 15th deadline.



Spring 2018 Registrant Update

The Register’s Board of Directors met in New Orleans on January 3, during the Society for Historical Archaeology’s Annual Conference. The Board is moving forward with the implementation of the ambitious 5-year plan approved in 2017. Key elements of the plan include:


  • improving professional support for registrants,
  • reexamining registration criteria, the Code of Conduct, and the Standards of Research Performance against the needs, realities, and evolution of professional archaeological practice,
  • building organizational infrastructure and staff,
  • consideration of accrediting academic programs and archaeological consulting firms,
  • marketing the Register brand (and RPAs) to the “consumers” of archaeology (e.g. clients, public, agencies), and
  • creating a “market” for all those continuing professional education credits you are receiving from the Register.


The Register is completing a refresh of the web site, with a new and much improved “back-end” registrant management system, and is establishing a new web site that is a comprehensive listing of resources on ethics in archaeology. Both sites should be on-line this spring. The data for the latter site was collected by the Register’s Ethics Intern last summer. The Ethics Intern program will continue under the oversight of a newly Board-established Ethics Committee that will also oversee the Register’s participation in and sponsorship of the three Ethics Bowls (SAA, SHA, and CIfA) that the Register supports.


Work is finalizing, as well, on a more explicit statement on harassment: harassment of any kind is not acceptable professional behavior. Harassment has always generally been covered in the Code of Conduct, but the Board felt that the topic should be explicitly addressed in the Code. Under the facilitation of the Grievance Coordinator, a task force has been working on drafting this new language.


On the financial side, an operating budget of $195,000 was approved. Dues will increase slightly by less than one percent for 2019. This is the first time that dues have been increased in the 20-year history of the Register. The increase is necessary to cover inflation-reduced purchasing power and the expanding support of registrants through the initiatives of the new five-year plan.


Celebration and congratulations are due to new Register awardees and volunteers. Dr. James Bruseth, RPA 11186 received the Charles R. McGimsey III – Hester A. Davis Distinguished Service Award. Senator Rob Portman of Ohio received the John F. Seiberling Award. The Department of Anthropology at Florida State University received a Presidential Recognition Award for, among other things, requiring that archaeology faculty members are RPAs. With no staff of our own, the work of the Register is carried on by volunteer RPAs serving in a variety of roles and we extend a hearty thanks to those who retired from Register service


Always feel free to reach out to us to let us know how the Register can better support your professional practice!


Christopher D. Dore, RPA 10331, President


Linda Stine, RPA 11037, President-elect




Register of Professional Archaeologists Awards


The Register of Professional Archaeologists (the Register) congratulates its award recipients!


The Charles R. McGimsey III—Hester A. Davis Distinguished Service Award was presented to Dr. James Bruseth, RPA 11186. The Charles R. McGimsey III – Hester A. Davis Distinguished Service Award is one of the highest awards given by the Register. It is awarded for "recognition of the distinguished service of a Registered Professional Archaeologist for achieving the mission of the Register of Professional Archaeologists as evidenced by a single action or through a lifetime of elevated service." This year's recipient, Jim Bruseth, personifies the service to the Register and profession exemplified by Charles R. McGimsey and Hester Davis.


Click here for the full text of the award.




The John F. Seiberling Award was presented to Senator Rob Portman of Ohio. Senator Portman has been a national political leader on issues affecting the practice of archaeology in the United States. Senator Portman has successfully enacted several pieces of legislation that offer pragmatic, bi-partisan solutions to the challenges of balancing development and protection of America’s cultural resources. These include the Federal Permitting Improvement Act (FAST-41) and the National Parks Service Centennial Act. He has co-introduced the National Park Service Legacy Act, bipartisan legislation that would address the $12 billion maintenance backlog at the National Park Service. These initiatives follow six terms of service in the House of Representatives with equal accomplishments. The Register is honored to award the John F. Seiberling Award to Senator Rob Portman for serving as a leading voice for historic preservation in the U.S. Senate.


Click here for the full text of the award.



The Presidential Recognition Award was given to the Department of Anthropology at Florida State University (FSU). Most notably, FSU’s Anthropology Department requires Register certification for archaeology faculty and this is a formal part of the Department’s hiring criteria. Additionally, the Department was the first to have a Register-certified field school. With a history of faculty service to the Register, and an on-going effort to have graduate students ready for registration at graduation, FSU’s Department of Anthropology is a worthy award recipient and is leading the academy on archaeological professionalism.


Click here for the full text of the award.


This year, recipients of the awards were acknowledged at the Society for Historical Archaeology 2018 Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Register thanks the Society for Historical Archaeology for generously providing time for the Register at their awards ceremony.




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