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Fryxell Award for Interdisciplinary Research

Current Committee Charge: The committee solicits nominations and selects recipients for the Fryxell Award for Interdisciplinary Research. The award is presented in special recognition of interdisciplinary excellence by a scientist (not necessarily an archaeologist) whose research has contributed significantly to American archaeology. The award rotates among five categories: general interdisciplinary, physical sciences, zoology, plant sciences, and earth sciences.

Committee Composition: Committee composition is one chair and four members. Each member's term lasts 5 years, during the last of which the member serves as chair. The terms are staggered so that only one member (the chair) rotates off each year. Committee chair rotates among topical foci. Committee membership is by appointment rather than by volunteers. All members require Board approval because everyone may become chair at some point in time.

Term Length: Term length is five years, following the award cycle.

Award Cycle: The award cycles through five categories: general interdisciplinary [2015], zoology [2016], plant sciences [2017], earth sciences [2018], physical sciences [2019]… ).

Committee Chair and End of Term: Ben Fitzhugh (general interdisciplinary) [2015]

Committee Chair Contact Information: Ben Fitzhugh, Department of Anthropology, University of Washington, M32 Denny Hall, Box 353100, Seattle, WA, 98195-3100, tel: 206-543-5240, e-mail: fitzhugh@uw.edu

Committee Members and Ends of Terms: Michael Glascock (physical sciences) [2014], Mary Stiner (zoology) [2016], Lee Newsom (plant sciences) [2017], Rolfe Mandel (earth sciences) [2018]

Board Liaison: Suzanne K. Fish

Award Description: The Fryxell Award is presented in recognition for interdisciplinary excellence of a scientist who need not be an archaeologist, but whose research has contributed significantly to American archaeology. The award is made possible through the generosity of the family of the late Roald Fryxell, a geologist whose career exemplified the crucial role of multidisciplinary cooperation in archaeology. The award cycles through zoological sciences, botanical sciences, earth sciences, physical sciences, and general interdisciplinary studies. The Fryxell Award for 2015 will be presented in the GENERAL INTERDISCIPLINARY category.

Who Is Eligible to Submit Nominations or Apply for Award: Any professional archaeologist may submit nominations for this award. Nominees must be SAA members by the time of their nomination.

Nomination/Submission Materials Required: Nominators must submit a letter that describes the nature, scope, and significance of the nominee’s contributions to American archaeology, as well as the nominee’s curriculum vita. Support letters from other scholars are helpful. Four to six are suggested. Please send submissions to the committee chair.

Nomination/Submission Deadline: February 4, 2014

Other Special Requirements: None

Selection or Evaluation Criteria: Nominees are evaluated on the breadth and depth of their research and its impact on American archaeology, the nominee’s role in increasing awareness of interdisciplinary studies in archaeology, and the nominee’s public and professional service to the community.

Committee Deliberation Process (e.g. dates, venue): The committee meets electronically after the nomination deadline has passed.

Nature of Award (e.g. monetary, medal, symposium): A half-day symposium is held in honor of the awardee at the SAA Annual Meeting. In addition, the awardee is recognized by the SAA through a plaque presented during the business meeting held at the Annual Meeting, a citation in The SAA Archaeological Record, and acknowledgment on the awards page of the SAA Website.

Awardees

2013    Anthony Aveni

Anthony F. Aveni has earned the Society for American Archaeology’s Fryxell Award for Interdisciplinary Research (Earth Sciences) based on his prominent role in developing the interdisciplinary fields of archaeoastronomy and cultural astronomy, as well has his service to the profession through scholarship, student training, and public dissemination. Dr. Aveni’s extraordinary contributions to archaeology have included the integration of the scientific and humanistic studies of astronomical principles in ancient calendars, record keeping, urban planning, architectural design, and cosmologies. He has undertaken fieldwork in Mesoamerica, the Andes, the American Southwest, Italy, Israel, and other parts of the globe, often incorporating student training through study groups run through his long-standing home institution, Colgate University. The methodologies that Anthony Aveni has developed and taught to generations of students, for rigorously testing astronomical assertions within the cultural framework of anthropological archaeology, represent a most laudable contribution to the field.

2012    Christine Hastorf

Christine Hastorf has earned the SAA’s Fryxell Award for Excellence in Interdisciplinary

Research in the Botanical Sciences for her significant contributions to archaeological method and theory on two fronts: her investigations and their publication, and her teaching and mentoring. Through the rigorous application of paleoethnobotanical data and direction of interdisciplinary research projects, Dr. Hastorf has made significant contributions to the archaeological study of food systems, household production, gender, and political complexity. Her work has been particularly influential in Andean South America, but she has also contributed to North American and Near Eastern paleoethnobotany and archaeology. While her numerous published books and articles have advanced interdisciplinary archaeological research, she has also done so through regularly organizing collaborative symposia and projects with her colleagues, and is a tireless mentor to both undergraduate and graduate students. Dr. Hastorf’s career exemplifies how biological approaches to the archaeological record contribute to theoretical topics in anthropology, as well as a wide range of regional archaeological studies.

2011    R. Lee Lyman

No single person has brought such strong taphonomic and paleontological rigor to the discipline of zooarchaeology as R. Lee Lyman. His work has been instrumental in convincing Quaternary scientists and conservation biologists on the value of archaeological records to understanding past ecosystems. Early in his career, Lyman initiated leading-edge research by devising rigorous methods for measuring animal bone density, which greatly increased our ability to assess the role that human and nonhuman forces play in creating faunal assemblages. His research on cervids was immediately embraced by the archaeological community, and later expanded to include numerous taxa from diverse geographic locations and temporal periods. His problem-oriented research revolutionized the study of marine mammals with regional-scale analysis of butchery, prey demography, biogeography, and modern conservation. His publication record by any measure is extraordinary. Lyman’s meticulous, quantitative methods have become the gold standard to which his students and peers are always striving to achieve. It is for these reasons and more that we honor R. Lee Lyman with this award.

2010    Jane E. Buikstra

2009    Michael D. Glascock

2008    Paul Goldberg

2007    Vaughn M. Bryant

2006    Oscar Polaco Ramos

2005    Bruce D. Smith

2004    R.E. (Erv) Taylor

2003    George Rapp

2002    Deborah M. Pearsall

2001    Melinda A. Zeder

2000    Richards S. MacNeish

1999    Henry P. Schwarcz

1998    John W. Weymouth

1997    Vorsila L. Bohrer

1996    Elizabeth S. Wing

1995    Robert J. Braidwood

1994    Garman Harbottle

1993    Herbert E. Wright, Jr.

1992    Richard Yarnell

1991    Paul W. Parmalee

1990    Patty Jo Watson

1989    Joseph B. Lambert

1988    David M. Hopkins

1987    Richard I. Ford

1986    Donald K. Grayson

1985    Roger T. Saucier

1984    None

1983    John E. Guilday (posthumous)

1982    David J. Baerreis

1981    Karl W. Butzer

1980    James B. Griffin

1979    Peter J. Mehringer

1978    C. Vance Haynes

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