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Friday, June 23, 2017

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SHUMLA: New Tech, Changing Staff
Shumla Archeaological Research & Education Center

July, 2014

 Shumla's Toys of Summer
 
The speed of technological innovation at Shumla almost keeps pace with the mutability of Texas weather. If you think you know what our research team is taking into the field, wait five minutes and you'll find that something has changed.
 
No, The Predator isn't on the loose in the Lower Pecos.  That's Shumla's FLIR thermal imaging camera.
 
The new kid on our technology block is a FLIR thermal imaging camera.  Using this camera, our staff can actually monitor the thermal variation between rock art panels. 
 
Rock art...so hot right now.
 
This summer, we are also using a new Dino-Lite with greater image resolution to conduct more detailed analyses of the stratigraphical relationships of the paint layers. New technology including weather stations, a light meter and a protimeter will also enable the collection of conservation data such as the amount of moisture in the rock substrate, relative humidity, wind speed, wind direction, temperature and light intensity on rock art panels. 
 
Stay tuned. You never know what they'll think up next.
 

Goodbye at a Crossroads

In July, staffer Andrew Freeman will leave Shumla. By way of announcing his resignation, he wrote this letter to eNews readers.

 

In July I'll be leaving Shumla.  The decision to resign was among the hardest I've ever faced, as I would have spent the remainder of my professional life happily engaged in and by Shumla's work.  During my three years at Shumla, I've worked in the eye of a maelstrom of fascinating people, places and ideas, most of which I'm still struggling to make sense of.  But family life is calling me to San Antonio, and I have to leave.

 

One of the few things I can say with certainty is that I'm leaving just when the organization's work is starting to get really exciting.  And if you're not amazed by what Shumla's research team is doing week by week, you need to learn more. 

 

When we think about what draws us to participating in the life of a nonprofit organization, more often than not, it's the people.  Anyone personally familiar with Shumla will remark favorably on the staffers and collaborators who are a part of the organization's daily life. I'll miss conversations with Carolyn, Missy's irreverent cackle and Brenda's rousting the team out for break-time walks around Comstock. And that hardly does credit to the eclectic cast of folks whom one meets as extended members of the Shumla familia. 

 

What's not to love?

 

Being able to participate in the lives of the people who make up Shumla and its extended family is an incredible experience; Shumla is a close-knit community comprised of people with vibrant intellectual lives, deep integrity and a breathtaking compassion for their work and for each other.

 

But what we feel for these amazing people needs to be tempered with a greater degree of respect for what they are accomplishing. Shumla's archaeologists are racing to preserve the oldest-known texts in North America.  Take a minute to think about the implications of that statement.  Think about what this work could mean to our understanding of human history.

 

If there's a surplus of anything around Shumla, it's good feeling for the people who form the organization.  Love Shumla's staff; they certainly deserve it.  But don't give Carolyn Boyd an encouraging pat on the back or an "atta-girl," and walk away feeling good about yourself.  She's running a non-profit organization in the middle of deep West Texas while untangling one of the most important human narratives.  Encouragement is not enough.  She, and the people who make up Shumla, need more from us. 

 

The rock art of the Lower Pecos is a subject of enormous complexity. Understanding why Shumla needs your support is not.

 

For those of you who have been giving so generously through the years, thank you.  For those of you who haven't yet given your support, it's time to step up.  The coming year could well determine the future of the organization.  Shumla should be more than a footnote when people look back on the archaeological renaissance underway in the Lower Pecos. 

 

There are many ways in which you can help, and they all require intention.  Make routine giving to Shumla a part of your financial planning.  Remember Shumla in your will.  Watch the wish list, and, if you're not comfortable giving money, give books and materials to the research effort.  Do you have spare time?  There are incredible opportunities to volunteer to support ground-breaking research.

 

But all of it requires your intention to plan to support Shumla.  I will always regret that I could not do more with the time I had, but that won't stop me from giving what I can as I am able.  What do you have to give?


Shumla Wish List

Another eNews, and another great haul from our donors.  Brenda is happily exploring the wonders of a new version of Quickbooks. The research team is busily integrating new technology that will open up exciting avenues for exploring rock art. 
 
And it's all thanks to an awesome community of donors.  You know your support is appreciated, but we need to say it again. Thank you!
 

 

SHUMLA / PO Box 627 / 148 Sanderson / Comstock, TX 78837 USA

enews@shumla.org    432-292-4848      www.shumla.org 

SHUMLA eNews is a free eNewsletter published by The Shumla School, Inc. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2014 by The Shumla School, Inc.

Article submissions, questions and comments can be sent to: afreeman@shumla.org  



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