Made it to Austin

This is the first long trip since I came home from back surgery.  It involved connections in Anchorage and Seattle.  I was lucky enough to score upgrades from Anchorages all the way to Austin, but I still arrived in less than ideal shape, although the trouble seemed to be my hip, not my back.  I went to sleep with an ice pack, and everything seems fine except my right big toe, which really hurts.  With my luck, it’s probably gout…

Anyway, the GHEA RCN steering committee, of which I am part, is having a meeting about a mile from the Hilton.  I suspect it may take me a bit longer than Google maps thinks to walk it, so I am heading out now.  My paper is tomorrow afternoon, so we’ll see how that goes.

Actual incremental progress on several fronts!

Now that the storms have passed for the moment, and I can once again get to the office, I’ve actually gotten a few things done.  I managed to take the few comments on the mission statements for the GHEA working groups and finalize them.  That done, I set up, not one, but two (!), working groups.  The first is focused on coastal erosion, and the second on global change effects on the archaeological and paleoecological records.   They are now open for members (a few have already joined).

Monday’s time-sheet approvals were particularly onerous, because a change of user ID in the time-sheet system didn’t work quite right, and not only detached users from approvers until they logged in again on Monday, it also rescinded submitted and approved time-sheets from last week which were done before the update!  Much confusion and a royal pain for us and for the IT/accounting folks, I can assure you.  But we persevered and everyone should get paid on time!  There were a few other accounting and proposal related details to deal with today, but they’re pretty well in hand, and I just need a few more numbers to get the proposal out the door.

That done, I moved on to drafting a summary for newsletters (several paragraphs) of the Polar Archaeological Network meeting in Tromsø, which somewhat coincidentally (since I am the only overlap between the two groups at the moment) was all about global change and threats to the Polar archaeological and paleoecological records.  That’s been circulated and I’ve made several revisions based on comments.  I’ve gotten one more set from Maribeth Murray at UAF, which actually suggests two versions, one for social science audiences and one speaking more to the paleoecology/global change folks, so I should have that ready for final circulation to the attendees tomorrow, and then it should be ready to go to out.  Maribeth and I (and the other meeting attendees) are also doing a poster at the Alaska Anthropological Association annual meeting in Fairbanks next week.  PAN had a preliminary poster, which I am majorly rewriting and putting Alaska-specific images on (since this version is for an Alaska meeting).  I’ve got to get that finished, circulated, and down to Maribeth in Fairbanks so she can get it printed up (since large-format printers are almost as scarce as hen’s teeth in Barrow).

Also needing finishing and polishing is my paper/PowerPoint for the meeting.  I am in a session in honor of Ernest S. “Tiger” Burch Jr., one of the most renowned ethnologists who ever worked in the North, who passed away unexpectedly last September.  He was a brilliant and meticulous researcher, widely admired among Iñupiaq people, particularly those of Kivalina, where he and his wife lived for some time, and an all-around good person.  I was proud to have him as a friend, as was my husband, Glenn Sheehan, and it’s an honor to be asked to be in this session.

I had somehow lost track of when the meeting was, and had rather a jolt today when I opened an email about a side meeting, which mentioned the attached agenda for next week’s meeting!  A mad dash to make travel plans ensued, so I now have a room, a car, a plane ticket and am registered for the meeting.  All told–1.5 hours.  Practice makes perfect (or at least faster).