Higher Education and Development for Archaeology and Environmental Health Research
SUNY at Stony Brook

Monthly Report: September 2004

Objective 1: Administration

Four weekly employment reports were submitted, detailing non-U.S. personnel supported by the program.

Objective 2: Archaeology Project

Overall, the intensity and duration of military counter- insurgency operations in Baghdad limited opening hours, increased travel time, or prevented movement altogether. Movement to and from Mosul became especially difficult for on-the-ground personnel. Nevertheless, work did proceed.

2.1.2 Activity: Refit Department Libraries

  • PI Stone completed negotiations with OCLC Online Computer Library center to conduct training for archaeology librarians from Mosul and Baghdad Universities on use of the WorldCat online catalog system.

2.2 Activity: Equipment and Facilities Rehabilitation to Support Instruction.

  • Task B: Establish IT capacity to support libraries, teaching and research, Baghdad. Contractors completed VSAT connection to the server and established live internet access to the first two user computers. All remaining computers and networked equipment were delivered, and all computers, printers, and scanners distributed.
  • The internal telephone system was connected, tested, and each phone labeled with assigned phone numbers. However, the local phone company still has not restored service to the university, so the two outside lines could not be connected.
  • Task C: Establish IT capacity to support libraries, teaching and research, Mosul. Engineers purchased a generator for Mosul Universityís archaeology/Assyriology department, with sufficient additional capacity to provide backup power to the co-located Library and Information Science computer lab.

2.3 Activity: Instruction in Iraq

  • PI Stone arranged with Dr. Benjamin Fostor of Yale University to hold a one month tablet reading and conservation workshop for Iraqi students following the Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale meetings next summer.

2.4 Activity: Intensive M.A. Program in Archaeology

  • The four graduate students (two from Baghdad University, two from the Department of Cultural Properties) currently at Stony Brook all graduated to higher levels of English following their initial 6-week training program. Three are in Intermediate English, one in Advanced.
  • The students have begun a seminar in Mesopotamian Archaeology, taught by Professors Stone and Zimansky, designed to improve their reading, writing and comprehension skills in their field and to develop critical thinking.

4.4 Activity: Remote Sensing and GIS, Archaeology

  • PI Strone arranged to run an archaeological field school for Iraqi students and faculty for six weeks next summer, in eastern Turkey.

4.5.1 Activity: Library, Archaeology; Task B: Purchase and Ship Books

(L) OCLC Online Computer Library Centerís Kathy Runnels catalogs one of nearly 1,500 volumes. (Photo: OCLC) (R) Stony Brook University Graduate student Brian Bingham inventories eight pallets of archaeology books headed for universities at Baghdad and Mosul in Iraq. (Photo: J. Pournelle)

  • OCLC Online Computer Library Center completed processing nearly 1,500 books and catalog records for shipment to Baghdad and Mosul University (see press release).
  • Over three tons of hand-picked archaeology books are now boxed and inventoried at our shipment consolidation facility, and formal application to the Denton program for Military Space-Available shipping has been made.

Objective 3: Environmental Health Project

3.1.1.B Task: Establish 3 national EHERC

  • Three candidates for the positions of Center Lab Supervisor have been identified. In preparation for their training at SBU, request for visas are being processed.
  • EHERC site preparations are near completion at the centers in Mosul and Baghdad. Renovations for Basra center has recently commenced.
  • A standardized list of furniture to be purchased locally for each center has been sent out. The centers have been asked to evaluate the list and customize it as per their individual needs.

3.4.4 Training of Environmental Health Specialists in Iraq†

  • Extensive discussions have been conducted with Iraqi partners to determine the location and timing of the training course for Iraqi physicians.
  • A list of participants is being composed by each of the centers in Iraq. Upon completion the names will be presented to the universityís admissions offices in order to register the participants for academic accreditation upon completion.

†3.4.5 Delivery of Environmental Laboratory Equipment

  • Equipment and supplies for testing lead exposure have been purchased and are being consolidated for shipment. This critical resource will be used to conduct a key environmental health study to be done under the program. The study will focus on exposure of children and pregnant women to lifeĖthreatening environmental lead in urban communities in comparison to those in rural locations. Through this study data will become available to asses severity and exposure variations.
  • Additional laboratory equipment to screen for other environmental contaminations have also been purchased according to the Work Plan.
  • An environmental assessment consultant has been hired to assist in the determination of appropriate air sampling equipment.

3.4.6 Activity: Organize an Environmental Health Conference in Iraq

  • Preparation continues with Iraqi partners for the national environmental health conference for physicians.

3.4.7 Mini grants

  • A significant number of proposals for mini grants have been presented and are being reviewed by the centersí leadership in Iraq as well as by the SBU review committee. Award of the grants is anticipated to be complete as soon as funding can be transferred to Iraq.

4.1 Information and Communication Tools

  • The Coordinators at each of the EHERC are currently making their final determinations for the purchase of computers and communication systems. After review in the US the purchase will be coordinated in Iraq.

4.5 Library Resource Development

  • The vast majority of the environmental health and science texts have already been purchased for each of the centersí libraries. A portion of the books have been shipped and received in Iraq. The remainder of the literature is being consolidated for shipment and will be shipped to Iraq as soon as possible.

Additional Activities

  • Drs. Hailoo and Marqus attended an event at the Iraqi Embassy in Washington for the Prime Minister of Iraq, Dr. Ayad Alawi and the Minister of Health, Dr. Alaa Alwan. The Prime Minister highlighted the constraints and obstacles facing the new government in rebuilding infrastructure of the country especially the services sector such as health and sanitation.
  • A brochure , in English and Arabic, was designed, written and printed internally for distribution in Iraq and the US.
  • The SBU-HEAD environmental health program website has been revised.