From the President: Greetings!
Glenn J. Gmoser SCA President 2010-2011
Around the time of the SCA’s establishment this salutation might not have evoked a warm and fuzzy response from those who were on the receiving end of a particular piece of mail. While a lot of things have changed in the larger world since then, we have always been a volunteer organization. So yes, this will be a call to service, but first let’s celebrate our long and successful run and some of the amazing things that are happening now. I, for one, am extraordinarily grateful for the efforts of our members who have supported the growth, success and stability of this Society. The recently completed 44th annual meeting in Riverside was one of the most successful ever, with record attendance and a robust program of papers (Kudos to Gwyn and Georgia!). This included an especially high level of participation by our student members. which harks well for our future. Other signs of stability and a vigorous future include: the remarkable quality of the California Archaeology Journal, thanks to the editorial skills of Dr. Terry Jones; the responsiveness of our business office thanks to our executive director Denise Wills; and the content and usability of the web site and this newsletter thanks to the indefatigable Stella D’Oro. CAAMP is also busy updating a manual for annual meeting planning so that the brave souls who step up each year will have a map to the good water holes around the bear dens. Whether you see things you like or think are lacking, the best way to achieve your vision is to step up and participate, so give Tom Origer or Jennifer Darcangelo a ring and let them know you’re willing to be part of the team for next year’s fest in Rohnert Park, or; have a look at our organization chart and consider becoming one of our liaisons or committee members, or perhaps even throwing your hat in the ring to run for a board position.
Please also take the time to review our mission statement, charter, and bylaws. You’ll see our real purpose, working together for the knowledge and protection of the archaeological record. Many of our individual members are advancing that purpose every day. The CASSP site stewardship program is one important example. Others have been working on the legal front. I am pleased to report a remarkable achievement by Mike Sampson and Susan Hector, who helped shepherd a California version of ARPA through the state senate (SB 1034) on a perfect 31-0 vote. The bill is now in the Assembly and will hopefully be signed into law this year. This is just one example of our members advancing the cause. In this case, the SCA board supported their efforts, and I was able to have the somewhat other-worldly experience of testifying to a series of state senate committees. The success of this particular effort was not an overnight wonder. It took background knowledge, detailed efforts, and time on the part of the individuals who carried it through. I know there are many more of you literally “in the trenches” as I write, engaging with local governments and other entities, attempting to raise awareness and reach positive outcomes for truly threatened resources. On occasion I have received e-mails asking for intervention by the SCA, often just before a culminating event, such as a public hearing. As these are often controversial or complex situations, it is not always possible or advisable for the board to intercede, and is difficult to do so consistently and effectively. A major agenda item for our summer board meeting will be to consider a policy to guide our involvement in such situations. To accomplish this, I hope to hear your thoughts. How can we keep the membership effectively informed and marshal support when needed? What kind of forum can we provide when individual members may have different positions on the suitability of any given outcome?
Until next time, keep up the good works. Get involved. Your efforts will be paid back a thousand-fold, literally, as our membership is now that large. Keep those cards and letters coming and don’t forget to share your adventures at the data sharings this fall. Have a great summer!