Material Studies Program
The new SRI Materials Studies Program has replaced the existing departmental structure for the analysis of prehistoric materials in SRIís Research Branch and is at the same organizational level as the Historic Program.
The program is be responsible for coordinating all analysts and ensures consistency and excellence in research design, data collection, interpretation, and presentation of the results of primarily prehistoric (i.e., nonindustrial or aboriginal) material analyses for projects (e.g., primarily testing and data recovery), including lithic, ceramic, human osteological, faunal, and archaeobotanical data, as well as understanding the context of these materials through chronometric, paleoenvironmental, and geoarchaeological [geosciences] studies.
In this new structure, the former research departments has been replaced by sections. The program acts as a forum for discussing these issues, identifying problems, recommending solutions, and suggesting new directions for material studies research. The program director fosters SRIís team approach, which brings together research directors, project managers, analysts, PIs, and project directors. The director works with research directors and project PIís to coordinate the separate analyses into a single coherent approach for a particular project or related set of projects (e.g., Fort Bliss, Phoenix Basin Hohokam, coastal California). The director then works with senior analysts to coordinate, direct, and review the work of other analysts, assistant analysts, technicians, and when necessary, subconsultants. This approach, however, does not preclude developing innovative research methods and alternative theoretical approaches, which would be encouraged.
The program director also coordinates project-specific staffing needs with office directors and the PIs, using the framework currently established in operations for project staffing. Program staff can now be involved in projects as early as the proposal stage, but certainly be during the development of the research design and carry through its implementation and project reporting phases.
Materials Studies Program Director, Bradley Vierra