By Tim Wallace
North Carolina State University
Here in the East Coast heat and humidity of August, March seems like a long way off, but it will here before we know it. But October 15, the deadline for submitting a session, paper or poster for the 2012 SfAA meetings in Baltimore is just around the corner. Bill Roberts, the Program Chair for the 2012 meetings in Baltimore, has his work cut out for him, especially after the wonderful Seattle meetings earlier this year. He asks us to get to work contacting colleagues, readying session and paper abstracts and developing ideas for new activities for the meetings. We only have a month and half to prepare our part of the plans, i.e., getting those session, paper and poster proposals in http://www.sfaa.net/sfaa2012.html.
Baltimore with its picturesque waterfront, its aquarium and the people will be a wonderful venue for our own “March Madness.” Its location makes it practical for potential attendees up and down the Atlantic corridor. I, for one, intend to travel their by train from North Carolina. As many of us know from our various domestic and international travels, the journey is at least half the fun of the trip. Bill Roberts has given us some great suggestions for making our journey to and stay at the meetings one of the most memorable ever.
Change and the SfAA News
In the last few years, the amount and (maybe) diversity of information has increased. The “Student Corner” column has become an important outlet for student members about their interesting research projects. Two of SfAA’s key standing committees, the Human Rights and Social Justice Committee and the Public Policy Committee have committed to publishing topical pieces each issue. The Topical Interest Groups have been good partners with SfAA News to get important ideas and information out to their members. Each issue John van Willigen gives us another wonderful interview with an influential member of our senior applied members. And, often there are reports on new applied programs, field schools and more, much more. As the editor, I hope that you will continue to send us your own ideas for content and your own commentaries and news items. There is always room in this publication for another good idea and few good words!
The SfAA News continues to develop and transition from its origins as purely print publication to a pdf and an html, online publication. As you can see the trend is eventually away from a pdf version towards a “website” type of design. This change has many positive benefits. Among them are enhanced search capabilities, faster access and navigability to articles and content, blogging capabilities, as well as interactive responses to authors about their ideas and comments. The change also reduces the cost of mailing copies to members and probably saves a few trees in the process.
SfAA News is also, of course, a key venue for the SfAA Office to get information out quickly to the membership. Now that we have moved in the direction of a news website, eventually, the SfAA News will have monthly updates or at least more frequent updates. We are not sure what the exact format will be for the SfAA News five years from now, but it will definitely continue to evolve. I am asking that you help us figure out the direction of this evolution. So, please, do send me your thoughts and suggestions about what you would like your SfAA News to be in the future.
And, if you have anything you want to put in the next issue (November), please send me a note about it as soon as possible. The deadline for the November submissions is October 31, 2011. Have a good Fall season!