Once called the “most ambitious” of the early efforts to profile the demographics of archaeologists in America (surveying over 800 practitioners of historical archaeology in 1991), the newest edition of the SHA Member Needs Assessment Survey will be sent out next week (Zeder 1997:3). The survey has a three-decades-long history of documenting the pulse of SHA members – our ages, our salaries, our careers, our thoughts on social issues, our dreams for the organization, and the nightmares that keep us up at night.  The first survey was conducted in 1980 followed by one in 1991, 1998, 2005, and 2008.

The results of the survey reverberate in decisions made about finances, public policy, publications, and conferences. Your feedback has helped formulate the mission statement and strategic priorities. The 1991 survey documented disparities between men and women in areas such as publication and research funding and the SHA immediately responded by “reforming its election and publishing practices” (Beaudry 2002:577). One important goal of the SHA is to stay relevant, which is reflected in the addition of survey questions addressing diversity among the membership, the organization’s social media presence, and more detailed questions on salaries and benefits.

This is your chance to share your data and opinions by taking the survey!  Please help contribute to shaping SHA’s future.


Beaudry, Mary
2002    Women in Historical Archaeology.  In Encyclopedia of Historical Archaeology, Charles E. Orser, Jr., editor, pp. 576-578.  Routledge, London, England.

Zeder, Melina A.
1997    The American Archaeologist: A Profile.  AltaMira Press, Walnut Creek, CA.

Interested in reading more about surveys past?  Follow these links to relevant newsletter articles:







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