November marked the start of my official term with the Advisory Council (AC) as an elected member. My involvement with the AC started months before as part of the Early Careers Group (EC Group). After sitting in on some of the AC meetings as a representative for the EC Group, I realised that the AC was where I could have the most impact to improve archaeology. Most notably and recently, the AC has been addressing issues of the standards of work, pay, and the well-being of archaeologists, taking into account recent research and broader discussions. One of the most interesting topics of discussion is about Chartered Archaeologist, something I think that not only has the potential to dramatically improve the careers of all archaeologists but also create immense value for volunteers, the community and anyone who loves archaeology.
The EC Group was my first real introduction to the inner workings of CIfA and the incredible resource that the Special Interest Groups (SIG) provide, not only to archaeology but more specifically to us as archaeologists. I joined the EC Group committee after attending their joint CIfA and Council for British Archaeology (CBA) conference for early career archaeologists and students, which provided a welcoming and positive place to get better acquainted with conference proceedings. After presenting at the conference, I quickly became aware of the value that joining CIfA would provide to my research and my goals as an archaeologist. I have also been getting involved in the many groups and organisations that support archaeologists – as a member of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA): Education, Training, and Professional Development Advisory Board; the Vice Chair for CBA London; I have joined the CIfA committees for International Practice SIG and the London Area Group, in addition to being elected Chair for the Information Management Group.
I feel privileged and excited to bring my experience and perspective to the AC as we work to understand some of the most challenging problems archaeology is facing. We rely on the most valuable resource at our disposal: the knowledge and skill of our members and archaeologists around the world. I hope to use my own experience to ensure that CIfA is providing the best support for making archaeology a stronger and more sustainable career for all archaeologists.
Mike is an archaeologist who has worked in US governmental archaeology (adjacent to US CRM) and on academic digs in Europe. Now a postgraduate teaching assistant at UCL and photogrammetry specialist with Archaeology South-East and the Centre for Applied Archaeology, he has had the rare opportunity to work in various parts of sector and thus better understand the reality of our discipline.