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

Monthly Report: March 2004

Objective 1: Management and Administration

A completed Workplan was submitted to Jessica Jordan on 2-Feb-04 for review by USAID.

1.1 Activity: Identify, Recruit, and Hire Program Staff

B. Task: Hire Program Administrator

A search was conducted and completed for the hire for the position of Program Administrator.  After reviewing and interviewing from list of applicants Nancy Rifkind was selected and approved through the SBU offices of Human Resources and Diversity and Affirmative Action. Nancy comes to us from her previous position as Program Administrator at an SBU center for research and education funded by the National Science Foundation.

C. Task: Hire Program Translator/Administrative Assistant        

An informal search was conducted for a Translator and Administrative Assistant to assist with activities involved in the administrational aspects of the program.  An SBU Ph.D. candidate in linguistics from Syria was identified and hired to work on the program.

1.2 Activity: Set up Administrative Offices (U.S.)

A. Task: Obtain Offices
B. Task: Furnish Offices
C. Task: Establish IT/Telecommunications
D. Task: Secure Equipment

Administration offices were established located within the Department of Archaeology at SBU.  Computers, furnishings, office equipment and supplies were purchased and secured.  Phone and fax lines were established. 

Objective 2: Archaeology Project

1.1 Activity: Identify, Recruit, and Hire Program Staff, Archaeology

1.6 Task: Hire GIS Lecturer (PI Replacement)

Recruitment efforts resulted in the hire of Jason Ur as replacement lecturer for E. Stone while she is involved in the USAID program.

1.1.9: Task: Designate Institution Coordinators (Iraq)

Based on meetings while in Iraq in December a Chief of Party was nominated for the archeology challenge.  Local office facilities were visited and contrcats for services were established with Neareast Resources. Institution Coordinators were established in Baghdad and Mosul.  These coordinators will be instrumental in coordinating the activities directly related in working with the universities.

2.2 Activity: Equipment and Facilities Rehabilitation

B. Task: Establish IT capacity to support libraries, teaching and research, Baghdad.

Asst. Dir. Jennifer Pournelle solicited bids for networking, computers, and other IT elements.

2.3 Activity: Instruction in Iraq

B.  Task: 4ICAANE

The 4ICAANE is the 4th International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East to be held at Berlin from March 29-April 3.  http://www.ctw-congress.de/4icaane/  This conference hosts the most prominent scientists in the field of Near East archaeology.  This will the first opportunity for 15 faculty and senior graduate students to hear papers that reflect the advances of the past  fifteen years.  Arrangements have been made also for SBU faculty including registration, travel and transportation.  The Booking of flights for Iraqi personnel is awaiting successful award of visas which are in process at the German consulate.

2.4 Activity: Instruction in the U.S.: Intensive M.A. Program In Archaeology

2.4.1 Task: Intensive English Prep, SBU

E. Stone met with SBU organizations to secure support and determine needs for coordinating meals, dormitories and campus logistics for the students who will participate in the M.A. Program in Archaeology starting in the summer of 2004.

The American schools of Oriental Research in Amman (ACOR) has undertaken to arrange for travel between Baghdad and Amman for Iraqi students and faculty, provide them hostel services (and SBU staff), to aid those seeking to apply for US visas in Amman, and to purchase air tickets for those traveling from Amman to Europe or the United States.

4.4 Activity: Remote Sensing and GIS, Archaeology

Donations have been made by Environmental Research Systems, Inc. in support of the USAID-Iraq HEAD program of ArcView 3.3 software plus extensions for 60 computers and manuals  We have also obtained a donation for ArcGIS software.

4.5 Activity: Library, Archaeology

4.5.1 Task: Supply books and journals for current research and teaching
B. Task: Purchase and ship Books

Asst. Dir. Jennifer Pournelle examined options for load consolidation, transoceanic freight, and local freight.  Potential vendors for the shipment of books to Iraq include ARAMEX, FEDEX, and DHL for load consolidation and transoceanic freight, and Neareast Resources for local freight.

4.5.3 Task: Digitize Out-of-Print Books and Journals

A presentation to the archeology staff by Jason Torre and Richard Feinberg from the library team concluded in the selection of two resources for the digitization of printed material.  Northern Micrographics, Inc. will complete the digital image production.  Digital collection management software entitled CONTENTdm, designed by DiMeMa, Inc. was determined to be the most flexible user interface.

Objective 3: Environmental Health Project

1.3 Activity: Ensure Personnel Safety and Security, Environmental Health

1.3.2 Task: Issue Body Armor to Iraq Travelers

Body armor was purchased as per guidelines.

3.3    Scope and Strategy

B 2. Task: Identify, appoint center leaders and coordinators

In our goal to establish three national Environmental Health Educational & Resource Centers (NEHRC) we have Appointed a Center Coordinator for the Southern Center in Basra.

C.  Task:  Establish Program Coordinating Office, Iraq (PCO)

C.5. Orientation/training in the US

J-1 visa applications have been submitted and are now pending for the participants.

D.2. Hire Program Assistant / Coordinator

A petition for an H1 visa was submitted and approved and is currently pending issuance by the US Embassy in Jordan.

D. 5. Assign Librarian: Dr. Spencer Marsh

Director of Health Science Center Library, Spencer Marsh, will oversee the coordination of the library resources for the Environmental objective.

D.6 Assign IT person.

Staff to handle the IT elements of the library team were identified.

E.  Task:  Advisory Board       

A meeting of the Advisory Board, chaired by Yacov Shamash, was held on 9-Jan-04.

Detailed Workplan 

3.4.1  Task: Workshops for Deans, Coordinators and staff of centers in Iraq.

Dates were set for the workshop.

3.4.4. Task: Organize an Environmental Health Conference in Iraq

A first meeting of the conference coordinators was held in Babylon, Iraq on 2-Feb-04. A subsequent meeting was held with the University President.

3.4.5. Mini-Grants

An advisory board sub-committee was formed and through ongoing publicity we have received 6 applications.

In addition:

Ongoing follow up on program aspects and needs with the program director in the US and with the centers in Iraq.



Jan. 16, 2004       Meeting at Babylon University. Discussed preparation for the future center in Babylon and the upcoming first Environmental Conference.

Jan. 22, 2004       Follow up with the US Embassy in Amman to discuss the visas for the program participants who are supposed to attend the program education and training activities at SBU.


Jan. 25-26, 2004   Meeting with presidents of 8 Universities (Univ. of Baghdad, Babylon, Rumady, Dywanyia, Najaf and Vice President of Basrah, Mousel, Mustensyria).  Discussed university and regional participation in Environmental Health program and upcoming conference


Jan. 30, 2004       Meeting with Minister of Higher Education and his Deputy.  Discussed Environmental Health program and travel to the US of program leadership.

Objective 4: Information and Communication Tools Project

Chris Filstrup, Director of SBU's Central Library, visited with library automation vendors at the American Library Association meeting in San Diego.  He identified four library systems that handle Arabic as well as Roman script input and display.  He also identified university libraries in the Arab world that use these systems.

Filstrup then gave presentations of his trip to Iraq to SBU library staff and university deans.

1.1 Activity: Identify, Recruit, and Hire Program Staff

D. Task: Assign Library Support Team

University library services team assembled and held its first meeting. Members include:

Daniel Kinney/Lib  Digitization, acquisitions

F.Jason Torre/Lib  Digitization

Min-Huei Lu/Lib Acquisitions

Barbara Brand/Lib Document Delivery

Dennis Andersen/Lib Serials subscriptions

Richard Feinberg/Lib  Digitization

Elaine Hoffman/Lib  Selection

Richard Reeder/DoIT  Server

Nathan Baum/Lib  Subscribe to electronic resources

Diane Englot/Lib  Document delivery


E. Task: Identify and Assign Library Chief Information Officer

SBU’s Chief Information Officer, Rich Reeder was integrated into the program to address the technological needs in completing the digitization process.  He will coordinate directly with Chris Filstrup and the library digitization team.