Membership Report 1998

Arleyn W. Simon, VP for Membership

The good news for 1998 is that the tide has turned and SAS membership increased nearly 8% over the previous year! This change is due to:

1) SAS is back in circulation again with the Bulletin back on track, thanks to Rob Tykot’s editorship;

2) We ran a "membership drive" article in one of first issues to be distributed directing members to contact Felicia Beardsley to renew and update address and email information. The latest issue has a full page membership form that can be copied and sent in;

3) We now have a printable membership application on the website, thanks to Jim Burton, which has increased visibility and accessibility, especially among students and internationally; and

4) Felicia Beardsley has done an outstanding job of corresponding with new and renewing members and tracking the membership.

At the 1997 annual meeting, we set several goals to boost membership in the coming year: first, we planned to use the SAS membership table-top exhibit at a variety of professional meetings throughout the year. The exhibit was displayed (at no charge) by Rob Tykot (Metals Conference at Harvard, September 10-13th, 1997). However, further attempts to use the display at the SAA and GSA were cut short by the prohibitive costs quoted for booth rentals (approximately $600-800 each).

As alternatives for this strategy, we now plan to distribute the remaining SAS brochures, and then order new revised brochures for distribution. We discussed mailing the brochures to other society’s rosters, such as that for the International Archaeometry Symposium which Felicia will undertake. A second alternative is the distribution of business-sized cards, which will have the SAS website address and a few key phrases of SAS membership benefits. Arleyn Simon will (has now) produced a master file for printing these cards in MS Excel. These can be copied inexpensively and widely distributed at meetings. Anyone wishing copies or an electronic copy of the form should contact Arleyn at ASU-ARI.

A second goal set at the 1997 meeting was to have a SAS sponsored symposium at each SAA annual meeting to raise visibility of the society and recruit potential members. The 1998 SAS sponsored symposium at the 1998 SAA in Seattle, entitled From Glass to Ceramics: Archaeometry in Archaeological and Technological Studies, was co-organized by Arleyn Simon and Nancy Olsen and was successfully presented with a wide range of participants from various disciplines and interests. The discussants were Robert Tykot and Jeffrey Dean. The symposium was well attended with an average of about 40 in the audience, a good number considering 30 concurrent sessions, several with overlapping topics (including the obsidian workshop in which Robert Tykot and Steven Shackley were participants).

Plans were made to have a SAS sponsored symposium or forum at the 1999 SAA annual meeting, organized and chaired by Jeffrey Dean which will address Archaeometry in Archaeology in the next century. This program will focus on means of improving communication between archaeometrists and archaeologists, including archaeometry courses and training in undergraduate and graduate curriculum, and expanding employment opportunities for archaeometrists/archaeologists in academia, museums, research institutions, and the archaeological private sector.

A student award including a two year membership in SAS and subscription to JAS will be awarded for outstanding poster presentation at the International Archaeometry Symposium. Steve Shackley and Jim Burton will be attending and will handle the award selection. The award is viewed as a way of acknowledging future archaeometrists and SAS members. Members of SAS are encouraged to give out the SAS website in classes and at meetings to encourage awareness of and participation in the society.