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  • 06/25/2019 4:20 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team
    What sessions, events, and more can you expect at the ACRA Conference in Spokane this October? As an ACRAsphere reader, now you can be the first to know - the draft 2019 conference schedule is now available!

    From sessions on innovative approaches to CRM and company/project branding and graphics, this year's slate covers a wide range of CRM and business-related topics. Given the region's rich tribal history, we have also included a number of tribal elements, including a traditional blessing and a session specifically on the interaction between tribal leaders and the CRM industry. Tribal members are able to attend these specific sessions for a special one-day rate: head over to the registration page to learn more.


    Barrister Winery

    This year's conference also includes a Spokane Heritage bus tour before the Saturday Industry Awards Social at the Barrister Winery. Check out the schedule to learn more, and don't forget to register before July 15 to get the early bird rates!

  • 06/21/2019 12:38 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    Although school is getting out and summer vacations are in full swing, the 2019 ACRA conference will be here before you know it! Our fall event will be held October 24–27 at The Historic Davenport Hotel in Spokane. Registration is open, with Early Bird rates available through July 15. Be sure to sign up today to receive the discount! The Member rate to register for the full conference is $375.00; the Non-Member rate is $450.00. Remember that subsequent attendees per firm get a $50.00 discount!

    Some new attendees often ask what registration includes so they are informed for possible extra costs. The good news is that your full registration includes it all! For those who register for the full Spokane conference, registration includes the Thursday evening welcome reception, coffee and pastries on both Friday and Saturday morning, boxed lunches on Friday, the bus tour on Saturday evening, and the awards social with hors d’oeuvres on Saturday night.

    What is not included? The Thursday workshop is a separate fee of $75.00, and the Take a Student to Lunch event is sponsored by the CRM participant (unless the registrant is a student - in that case you get a free lunch with a seasoned CRM professional!). You will sign up for these events separately when you register.

    In addition to full registration, a la carte options are available for those who only want to attend the welcome reception or Saturday evening tour and awards social. See the conference webpage for more details.

    Have questions about registration, sessions, or any other topic? Leave them in the comments below. See you in Spokane!


  • 06/18/2019 2:39 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team


    One of the primary goals shared by both ACRA and SAA is to advocate for public policies that protect the record of cultural resources both at home and around the world. In representing our community before the U.S. Congress, we deliver the message of how CRM preserves our shared cultural heritage for present and future generations, and how this preservation of our past enriches local communities and creates economic benefits.

    Nothing makes an impression on Members of Congress like personal visits to sites that showcase where and how this work is being done in their districts. This summer ACRA and SAA are organizing a campaign to bring senators and representatives to project sites during the upcoming August congressional recess. Now is the chance to show the elected officials in the district where your site lies what important work you do for our nation and localities.

    If you are interested in setting a meeting with your Member of Congress this August, contact Amanda Stratton and request our congressional visit toolkit. This helpful guide includes tips on scheduling, conducting a great site visit, talking point suggestions, working with their press staff, social media samples, and other items.

    We have also made it easier for you to submit your meeting request: simply go to the SAA Take Action portal and click on the “History Comes to Life Here” link. At this site, you can enter the zip code in which your dig, museum, collection or facility is located, and send an editable template invitation to the federal and state representatives of that area.

    Once you have set a date for the visit, be sure to let Amanda know. Let us know the particulars of the visit after the meeting as well so that we can follow up with their offices. 

    This is a great opportunity to educate Members of Congress on the scientific and economic value of CRM. We know you do amazing work and this is a chance to brag about it people who can make a difference by seeing how NHPA, ARPA and the Antiquities Act benefit their districts. Please participate and show politicians that all history is local.


  • 06/17/2019 3:53 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    The ACRA Government Relations team does more than just represent CRM interests in Washington, D.C. Did you know that the team is also available to consult for your local and regional conferences, help you with talking points for site visits, and more? Earlier this spring, ACRA member Shelly Davis-King took advantage of this vital member benefit to make the conversation local and pertinent to her state.

    Shelly partnered up with Brendon Greenaway, California Associate State Archaeologist, and Kelly Lizarraga, Advocacy Coordinator for Cultural Heritage Partners, to present a workshop on advocacy at the Society for California Archaeology conference in Sacramento this past March.

    Kelly shared an update on the latest news from Washington, DC. She outlined the ongoing threats to historic preservation and discussed the impact of the 2018 midterm elections. Kelly highlighted the areas in which the involvement of ACRA members can shape policy and inform the regulation-writing process of federal agencies.

    During the workshop, Shelly and Kelly acted out a mock visit to a Congressional office. Shelly played the role of an ACRA member visiting a Congressional office – something she has done in previous years. Using her experience working on the Hill, Kelly acted the part of the Congressional staffer. Together, they demonstrated how ACRA members can share their expertise with Congressional offices to promote sound policy decisions.

    ACRA members who’d like to advocate before Congress can visit their representatives in Washington, DC or in their home districts. Kelly and her colleagues at Cultural Heritage Partners would be pleased to help you schedule a visit to your Member of Congress in your home state. They will provide you with talking points and leave-behind documents to ensure that you feel fully prepared for your meeting. Email Kelly to start utilizing this crucial member benefit!


  • 06/13/2019 1:54 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    We are thrilled to announce that ACRA has entered into an official joint partnership with the National Association of Environmental Professionals (NAEP)! 


    As an ACRAsphere reader, you are the first to hear about this exciting new member benefit. 

    Many environmental companies are required to engage in cultural resource management in order to comply with federal laws, and CRM companies often work under NEPA regulations. By combining forces, together ACRA and the NAEP can help improve your business outcomes, stay on the cutting edge of industry, and even save money.

    Check out the list of partnership benefits below, and contact us if you have any questions!

    ACRA-NAEP Partnership Benefits

    • 10% discount on membership fees for members of both organizations
    • Discounted continuing education and workshop opportunities from both organizations
    • Discounted conference attendance (starting in 2020)
    • Information about exclusive events from both organizations
    • And more to come!



  • 06/11/2019 4:03 PM | ACRA Lobbying Team

    ACRA members should be aware that last week a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill, held up by months due to President Trump’s opposition to Puerto Rican aid, was signed into law. Designed to provide assistance to areas in affected by storms, flooding, wildfires, and other disasters, H.R. 2157 (Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act, 2019) includes funding that addresses the cultural resources impacts of several severe storms. Especially relevant to ACRA members, the bill includes $50 million to the National Park Service for the Historic Preservation Fund, to address the consequences of Hurricanes Florence and Michael and Typhoon Yutu. This funding:

    • Includes money for needed Section 106 compliance as part of disaster relief projects, but will also fund other activities relating to cultural heritage
    • Must be spent on the States and territories that have received a major disaster declaration as part of the three listed disasters (those eligible as part of H.R. 2157 include Florida, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, and Virginia for Hurricane/Tropical Storm Michael; Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina for Hurricane Florence; and the Northern Mariana Islands for Super Typhoon Yutu)
    • Will remain available until September 30, 2022 unless otherwise revised
    • Is not subject to a non-Federal matching grant requirement

    The funding bill also provides $78 million to the National Park Service for construction repair and replacement of assets damaged in the disasters; $134 million for the U.S. Forest Service for Forest Inventory, capital improvements, and maintenance; and $1.64 billion for military construction to address impacts to Marine Corps installations in North Carolina, Air Force Base Tyndall in Florida, and National Guard facilities across the areas impacted by the disasters. A summary of the activities funded by the legislation is available here.

    CRM firms may see contracting opportunities as a result of this legislation associated with military construction, emergency mitigation, and a system of competitive grants that SHPOs and THPOs may use to address cultural resources impacts of these events. During previous disaster relief bills like that for Hurricane Sandy, funding in affected states was provided to counties specifically listed in the disaster declaration. Funding disbursement varied by SHPO, but commonly addressed mitigation by documenting or updating site recording in affected areas, providing assessments of storm damage and sea level rise vulnerability, and developing disaster management plans for some historic resources.


  • 06/10/2019 4:20 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    The voting period for the 2019 ACRA Board elections opens today! The candidates in this year's slate are vying for 11 open positions, including:

    • President
    • Vice-President - Membership
    • Secretary
    • Treasurer
    • Small Firm Representative
    • Medium Firm Representative
    • Large Firm Representative
    • 4 At-Large Board Positions

    Each candidate has submitted a biography and statement to help you make your selection. The slate of candidates is very strong, and thus we urge you to review the statements carefully and choose those candidates who you feel best understand the needs of our industry and are committed to providing leadership on the ACRA board.

    Read the Candidate Statements and Bios

    Per ACRA's bylaws, each member firm gets one vote. Only member firms are eligible - student and associate members do not vote in elections.

    Bundle administrators only will receive an invitation from SurveyMonkey later today. If you do not receive your invitation by tomorrow morning, please first check your spam folder. If you still do not see it, contact us. Voting will be open until July 1, 2019 at 11:59 pm EDT.

    Your firm can help shape the future of ACRA - submit your vote before the deadline!


  • 06/07/2019 1:38 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    Whether you are new to ACRA or a long-time member, getting involved with the organization is essential to maximizing your membership benefits. The best way to do so is by joining an ACRA committee!

    There is an ACRA committee to serve all interests in CRM. Whether you want to improve continuing education opportunities, influence policy at all levels of government, or work on benefits for firms of all sizes, there is a committee for you to work on the interests you are passionate about. Check out the full committee list below, and let us know where you would like to get involved!

    • Academic Outreach
      Originally created as a task force, this newly-minted committee focuses on fostering collaboration between the CRM industry and academic professionals.
    • Collections Management & Curation
      ACRA works in partnership with other archaeological organizations to review collections and curation best practices, address challenges in the discipline, and develop new methods. This committee works as part of the Archaeological Collections Consortium (ACC) to focus on the use, preservation, and management of archaeological collections.
    • Communications
      Members of this committee help guide and implement ACRA's communications strategy, including social media. New initiatives include the very blog you are reading this on!
    • Conference
      Among the largest of ACRA's committees, members work to plan and execute ACRA's Annual Conference.
    • Continuing Education
      This committee works on professional development and instruction, especially of ACRA member firms but also in terms of students and early career professionals. Committee members work to expand ACRA's webinar program, develop new opportunities, and more.
    • Government Relations
      Members of this important committee advise on and help shape ACRA public policy, grassroots initiatives, and congressional outreach. If you are interested in being the first to hear about issues affecting CRM in Washington, this is the committee for you.
    • Health & Safety
      Members of this committee work on developing best practices for industry safety, both in and out of the field. With a new chair on board, expect a lot to come from this committee over the next year.
    • Membership
      The Membership Committee is responsible for member acquisition and retention initiatives. This is the committee to get involved in if you wish to have a direct effect on developing new member benefits.
    • Metrics & Standards
      The Metrics & Standards Committee is responsible for developing, collecting, and analyzing data and trends pertaining to the CRM industry. Committee members were integral in developing the recent 2019 Salary Survey.
    • Small Business
      One of ACRA's newest committees, the Small Business Committee attends to needs and concerns of ACRA's small businesses. Members are committed to addressing the needs and challenges unique to the industry's smaller firms.
  • 06/04/2019 3:53 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    Do you know of an up and coming CRM professional or student looking for an immersive cultural heritage research experience?

    Now in its third year, recruitment is underway for a fall semester joint ACHP-Smithsonian Institution Cultural Heritage Fellowship position, supported by the ACHP Foundation and the Smithsonian’s Office of Fellowships and Internships.

    This year’s theme is the Music Heritage of the District of Columbia. This place-based cultural heritage fellowship will consist of a research project exploring the integration of historic sites and museum collections to tell fuller stories about the development, impact, and role of music in the history and heritage of Washington, D.C.

    Details about the fellowship and how to apply can be found here. The application deadline is June 16.

    Find other interesting job opportunities on the ACRA Jobs board.

  • 05/31/2019 12:05 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

    Readers can now find relevant news items compiled all in one place! In our CRM Firms in the News series, we feature recent mentions of ACRA member firms and their projects across the country. Was your firm recently featured in a news article or on social media? Send it to us to be included in our next volume of the series!

    • Along with students from Willamette University and the city of Salem, Archaeological Investigations Northwest was awarded the Virginia Green Award for their research at the construction site of the new Salem Police Station. Read more about the project which uncovered more than 17,000 artifacts here.
    • When construction in downtown Grand Forks, ND uncovered trolley tracks from the early 1900s, Metcalf Archaeological Consultants was part of the team brought in to study what had been found. Read about how the project team plans to balance development and historic preservation in the Grand Forks Herald.
    • Staff from New South Associates, Inc. have been excavating the site of a settlement first established by emancipated slaves right after the Civil War. Read more about the project and what they found on the site, which will eventually be used to widen U.S. Route 17, in the Brunswick News.
    • Statistical Research, Inc. (SRI) is excavating the old Chinatown in Redlands, CA, and President Donn Grenda gave a tour of the site in which he detailed what has already been uncovered. Discover more about the project in Redlands Community News.
    • Brockington and Associates was a part of a fascinating project which inspired a community art exhibition that engaged all age groups, from children to elders alike. Learn about the Anson Street African Burials and more in the Charleston Chronicle.
    • New South Associates has found a potential Native American burial site and other culturally significant artifacts, causing the TVA to reassess a planned transmission line installation. Read more about the project in the Times Free Press.
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