SCA Student Awards


2018 Winners of SCA Student Awards. Scroll down for details.

The James A. Bennyhoff Memorial Fund Award

Award to support original research on the prehistory of California and the Great Basin, with special consideration given to projects emphasizing analysis of existing museum collections, those housed in regional repositories and/or those reported in inventories and reports which focus on: 1) the development, significant refinement and/or modification of time-sensitive typologies or seriation studies useful in identifying prehistoric spatial or temporal units, or 2) relating primary data to revision of existing culture historical taxonomic frameworks.

SCA student members are invited to submit research proposals for the James A. Bennyhoff Memorial Award. The award is intended to support original student research on the prehistory of California and the Great Basin.

Projects may involve more than one subdiscipline of anthropology and may have objectives beyond those of culture history; nonetheless, a significant portion of the study must involve direct work with artifacts or other primary source data (e.g., mission registers, historical/archival documents), and must show promise to enhance the scientific understanding of California and Great Basin prehistory. Research projects may involve preparation of a thesis, dissertation, or a formal refereed publication.

Funding from the award (up to $1,500) may be used by the recipient for any purpose directly related to the study; e.g., travel for the purpose of studying collections, photography, illustrations, graphics, radiocarbon studies, or obsidian analyses. Additional support is available to conduct up to 100 obsidian hydration readings (courtesy of Origer’s Obsidian Laboratory), up to 50 obsidian source analyses (courtesy of Richard Hughes at Geochemical Research Laboratory)and up to four AMS dates courtesy of the CAMS facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.



Kristina Crawford, M.A., RPA
Ph.D. candidate
University of Nevada, Reno

This project investigates whether or not Native Californians in the upper Sacramento Valley at the end of the Late Period (1100 to 150 cal. BP ) solved the problem of provisioning increasingly circumscribed and growing populations with minutely-divided and decentralized sociopolitical organization by developing an interdependent but non-hierarchical economy focused on specialized production of surplus for trade. Faunal, wood charcoal and artifact analyses of the assemblages from two stratified rockshelters in northern Tehama County will be used to answer this question. This study continues the work of Dr. Bennyhoff as it examines culture change in the Late Period as it relates to economics of diet and trade and continues his culture chronology work by refining a local chronology. This project is important because it interrogates the idea that hunter-gatherer complexity exists only in situations of hierarchical centralized sociopolitical organization. 

View award-winning research designs

View Submission Guidelines

View the Webpage

The Charles E. Roziaire Award for Student Research in California Archaeology

The award supports undergraduate or graduate student research in California archaeology that includes a significant fieldwork or collections component. Funding from the award is intended to help pay for the various costs associated with fieldwork or analyzing an existing curated collection and/or for preparing the materials for long-term curation. The award is to promote original research on the history or prehistory of California.


Funding from the award (up to $2,000) may be used for fieldwork or collections expenses directly related to the study. These include travel to and from the field or museum; lodging, camping, and food to support a field crew; data collection; and/or the purchase or maintenance of minor field equipment (i.e., items under $300 such as shovels and screens). Expenses may also include initial stages of laboratory analysis associated with preparing the collection for further study and curation (e.g., illustrations or casting of artifacts, assistance with artifact or ecofact identification, purchase of curation supplies such as boxes or bags). Expenses not allowed include salary or stipends to field participants, tuition, or purchase of equipment over $300.

View the Rozaire Award Webpage


Kaitlin Brown

University of California, Santa Barbara

My research assesses the impacts of Spanish colonization on Chumash families and communities living in the Santa Ynez Valley during the Early and Late Mission period (AD 1787-1833). Archaeological data collected from within and outside the mission space are used to address three primary research questions: (1) how did Chumash peoples maintain a sense of community and core values under colonialism, (2) how do these everyday practices change from the early to latter Mission period, and (3) how do these practices manifest across the colonial landscape? My dissertation research compares indigenous craft industries, architecture, subsistence practices, and the domestic use of space from the Native dwellings at Mission Vieja de La Purisima (1787-1812) and Mission La Purisima Concepción (1812-1832) to hinterland historic Chumash villages in the Santa Ynez Valley. I primarily use existing museum collections with supplementary archaeological excavations that focus on public engagement and working with the local Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. The results generated from this research can be used as a comparative to other regions across the State in order to determine similarities and differences regarding the operation of colonialism in Alta California and determine how local groups negotiated Spanish missionization through every day quotidian acts.


Outstanding Student Paper Presented at the Annual Meeting
Win $250 cash and a banquet ticket! Two awards will be given this year, one for Outstanding Paper and one for Outstanding Poster.

Giving a paper or poster at the SCAs? Don’t miss the opportunity to win money, prestige, a banquet ticket, and more! Submit your paper or poster by March 1, 2020, to the SCA Student Paper Competition. Papers should be submitted as e-mail attachments to the SCA Business Office at Please indicate “Student Paper Competition” in the e-mail subject line. Also please include the name of a faculty advisor in the email. Poster submissions should include all relevant files in full layout.

Download Guidelines

Noel Jones

California State University, Chico


Shell beads have been categorized into typologies to serve as chronological markers, analyzed to determine prestige and wealth, and identified for their economic purposes; yet their value in determining craft specialization and cultural transmission has been largely overlooked. This paper aims to examine statistical signatures of shell beads from Central California sites to trace the evolution of production knowledge. It is proposed that low variance among beads of a type would suggest learning through direct bias, which could indicate craft specialization. High variance would suggest learning through guided variation, which may indicate multiple areas of bead production.