The SRI Foundation seeks to enrich society by fostering Historic Preservation. The Foundation achieves this mission by creating an understanding and appreciation of our shared past and by improving the practice of Historic Preservation.
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SRI FOUNDATION TO FUND TWO COLLABORATIVE SYNTHETIC PROJECTS
 


In fall 2017, the SRI Foundation (SRIF) expects to announce a request for proposals (RFP) for two archaeological synthesis projects, to begin in early 2018. Proposal requirements and the evaluation criteria will be widely circulated and posted. A distinguished review committee, now being formed, will select proposals for funding. The context for this announcement is summarized below.

Background
Over the past 50 years, archaeologists have diligently discovered, documented, analyzed, and curated our collective past. However, this rich store of data has untapped potential beyond documenting long-term trajectories of numerous human societies. Archaeological data can be key to expanding scientific understandings of human social dynamics, redressing injustices of the past, empowering local and descendant communities, and aiding in the formulation of solutions to contemporary problems.

Collaborative synthetic research, as conducted by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), has been a powerful driver for advancing interdisciplinary scientific research (1 & 2). While synthetic research is not new to archaeology, we believe that key features of the NCEAS model can be productively employed in archaeology. We also believe that the collaborative research needed to address the pressing social issues of today transcends archaeology and reaches into the domains of other social, natural, and computational sciences.

Proposed Synthesis Projects
Responses to the RFP will articulate a synthesis problem whose solution would have substantial intellectual impacts and significant implications for public policy. The proposals will identify analysis-ready data sources to be synthesized, along with expected professional and public outcomes. Proposals will identify up to approximately 8 individuals to comprise a working group able to produce synthetic results that transcend their individual talents, skills, and expertise. Working groups must have considerable intellectual diversity, including individuals at different institutions, career stages, and job settings, and have members from fields other than archaeology.

Over 2 years, the working group will be funded to meet 3 times for intensive research sessions of approximately 5 days. In between, team members will continue to collaborate remotely. The working group will integrate multiple perspectives and sources of data to generate explanatory insights that are impossible to achieve through the study of a single case or from a single perspective. All source and synthesized data products will be made available in an open access, digital repository at the end of the project.

The SRIF grants for the two projects will fund the travel and meeting costs of working group sessions at a partner facility, and will cover the costs of using these facilities. No new field or laboratory work will be funded.

Please check this website for updates. SRIF will not accept proposals or respond to synthesis grant inquiries until the RFP is posted. Individuals may, however, request an email notification that the RFP is available by contacting Mr. Terry H. Klein at tklein@srifoundation.org.

 

References Cited
1 Hackett EJ, Parker JN, Conz D, Rhoten D, Parker A (2008) Ecology Transformed: The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis and the Changing Patterns of Ecological Research. Scientific Collaboration on the Internet, eds Olson GM, Zimmerman A, Bos N. (MIT, Cambridge), pp 277–296.

2 Carpenter EV, Armbrust P, Arzberger FS, Chapin I, Elser J, Hackett E, Ives A, Kareiva P, Leibold M, Lundberg P, Mangel M, Merchant N, Murdoch WW, Palmer MA, Peters D, Pickett STA, Smith KK, Wall DH, Zimmerman AS (2009) Accelerate Synthesis in Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Bioscience 59(8):699–701.

 
 
Press Release
 


Windows on the Past AwardOn October 12, 2016, U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell presented the agency’s Windows on the Past award to two programs – the agency’s Passport in Time (PIT) and the non-profit HistoriCorps. The SRI Foundation, which hosts the PIT Clearinghouse, accepted the award for Passport in Time. This award event was part of the national celebration of the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act.

The SRI Foundation is honored to receive this award, and wishes to acknowledge the great partnership we have with the Forest Service. This partnership has been critical to the success of this incredible volunteer program. In particular, we want to acknowledge Will Reed, National Passport in Time Program Manager, for his dedication to the PIT program. We could not have done it without you, Will! And thanks to Jill Osborn, who served as the National Passport in Time Program Manager before Will. Jill was instrumental in laying the foundation for the PIT program.

We also want to acknowledge two SRI Foundation staff – Matthew Dawson, PIT Clearinghouse Program Manager, and Stacey Chambliss, Volunteer Coordinator. Matt and Stacy currently run the PIT Clearinghouse. They have done an excellent job managing the Clearinghouse over the past several years, and worked hard to improve the PIT website, e-newsletter, and added the full range of social media to the PIT program. Thank you Matt and Stacey! We also want to acknowledge Carol Ellick, who expertly managed the Clearinghouse for many years when the Clearinghouse was run through Statistical Research, Inc., and then the SRI Foundation. Matt and Stacey took over the management of the Clearinghouse after Carol and her husband, Joe Watkins, moved to Washington, D.C. for their next adventure.

And, much gratitude to all of the PIT Project Leaders! Without you, this Program would not be possible. And finally, thanks to all of the PIT volunteers! You have contributed so much to the conservation and preservation of our nation’s cultural and historical heritage! And speaking of PIT volunteers, we would like to close with a quote from a recent comment we received from a volunteer who participated in our longest running PIT project, in the Lolo National Forest in Montana:

PIT is absolutely the best volunteer program in the United States. Volunteers learn archaeology and preservation techniques; get invested in “ownership” of these national gems; and then become the stewards of historic sites for the rest of their lives. Perfect balance from beginning to end!

Thanks to everyone! This award is for all of you!

Terry H. Klein, RPA
Executive Director
SRI Foundation

Photo Caption: Tom Tidwell, Chief of the Forest Service, presenting award to Terry Klein, SRI Foundation - Photo by Dominic Cumberland.

 
 
 

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(505) 892-5587 • Fax (505) 896-1136

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