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20th Annual Conference Educational Sessions
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ACRA's Conference Committee is working diligently to finalize a slate of workshops and educational sessions that will cater to professionals across all of the various fields in the CRM industry. Below, you will find a sampling of these workshops along with a brief description for each.

Don't forget to check back here periodically, as this page will be updated with additional sessions and details as they become available.


Fee: $75.00 per person


Bringing it to the People: Making Archaeology Public after 50 Years of Cultural Resource Management (CRM)

Thursday, September 18 | 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon


The Florida Public Archaeology Network (FPAN) plays a large role in creating community interest and support for archaeological research projects and site preservation throughout the state. Archaeologists with FPAN are employing a diverse set of strategies, from building relationships with local governments and organizations, to employing new technologies to reach a wider audience. This workshop will look at several case studies of successful projects implemented by FPAN that engage local communities and ethnic groups, build interest in archaeological research and resource management, and generate political support for CRM, all crucial elements in developing a sustainable future for the CRM industry. The second half of the workshop will be devoted to a roundtable discussion that is intended to engage ACRA members and other participants with FPAN representatives on increasing the relevance of archaeology to the general public and devising creative partnerships for cultural resource management in the future.


Cemetery Law and Identification: A Primer for CRM Professionals and Planners

Thursday, September 18 | 1:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

You have a cemetery on your property. Now what? As urban centers continue their cultural evolution, and rural areas become increasingly developed, more and more historic-period cemeteries are requiring identification, evaluation, research, and treatment. The role of descendant communities as they seek to plan for the futures of these sacred grounds is also critical. This workshop will provide a primer on historic cemeteries for both preservation professionals and for those who deal with historic cemeteries from a research and planning perspective.

This seminar will present an introduction to cemetery law—notably the presence of cemetery legislation in various local, state, and federal regulations—and examine the place of cemetery law in the context of environmental review. Following this, information will be disseminated on how to record above- and below-ground cemetery remains, including how to identify historic cemeteries, the proper way to record headstone data, and how to delineate burial shafts. A basic chronology of headstones and funerary remains will also be provided so that you can start to understand the context of your graveyard. The goal of the workshop is to provide attendees with a working knowledge of the legislative framework surrounding historic cemeteries and pertinent information on the identification and analysis of cemetery remains to inform your research objectives and to aid you in project planning.

The workshop will be taught by nationally-renowned cemetery expert, Dr. James Davidson. Dr. Davidson is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Florida, author of the country’s most comprehensive catalogue of historic coffin hardware, and mortuary expert on cemetery disinterment projects across the country, including Freedman’s Cemetery in Dallas, Texas.


Session One

Friday, September 19 | 8:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.


President's Welcome


President Wade Catts, John Milner Associates, Inc., opens the first general session day of ACRA's 20th Annual Conference with a few words to welcome all of those in attendance.


Session Two

Friday, September 19 | 9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.


Government Affairs Update


Recent polls show that Congress is less popular than zombies, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and mothers-in-law. With fiscal cliffs, stalemates, and backbiting dominating Hill headlines, Congress is on track to have the least-productive session in history. Nevertheless, ACRA continues to advocate on important issues, block ill-considered proposals, shore up key partnerships, and work with federal agencies to get things done. With our partners in Washington, we are crafting a strategy to achieve full funding for the Historic Preservation Fund, which is up for reauthorization next year, and we’re working to support a number of pro-preservation bills introduced during this Congress. We’re also making sure proposed changes to the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) won’t put the CRM industry at risk. Come hear the details about these and other issues on ACRA’s government affairs agenda and how you can get involved.


Session Three

Friday, September 19 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.


Cultural Resource Management: Beyond Compliance and Beyond the United States


Objectives of the Session

While compliance-related cultural resource management remains the core focus of most ACRA firms, there is a growing interest in making use of our now wide-ranging expertise in other types of work and in other countries. This panel session enlists the skills and insights of four individuals engaged in a range of heritage-related initiatives. They will each make a short presentation on their particular topic, and outline any opportunities for, or obstacles to, ACRA firm engagement.


After a brief introduction by the Moderator, each panel member will have 10 minutes for their presentation (7.5 minutes) and specific questions from the audience (2.5 minutes). For the final 20 minutes the Moderator will invite first the Panel members and then the audience to respond to general issues that have come up during the presentations and questions.


Session Four

Friday, September 19 | 11:15 a.m. – 12:00 noon


Tools You Can Use: Integrating the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Section 106


This session provides an overview of how A Handbook for Integrating NEPA and Section 106, produced by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the Council on Environmental Quality, benefits CRM practitioners.


Session Five

Friday, September 19 | 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.


CRM and Disaster Preparedness


Session Description Coming Soon


Session Six

Friday, September 19 | 2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.


Compliance with Section 106 using the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) Approach: More Preservation, Less Process


Too often NHPA compliance can be an afterthought, especially for clean-up projects. Then your clients are angry with you because you can’t fix things fast enough. There is a way to comply with NHPA as a part of clean-up, integrated with all of the planning and analysis, and without separate agreement documents. Join Lesley Cusick, Regulatory Specialist with Restoration Services, Inc., and learn how and why substantive compliance works. Substantive compliance is for clean-up projects under CERCLA, but the principles of it have far-reaching and positive implications as an alternative method of NHPA compliance in general.


Session Seven

Friday, September 19 | 4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.


Update from the Gas and Preservation Partnership


Session Description Coming Soon


Session Eight

Saturday, September 20 | 9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.


Federal and State Audits: What You Need to Know


Pre-award audit evaluations of prospective consultant engineering firms’ cost proposals and accounting systems are conducted to determine the accuracy of cost proposals and the adequacy of a firm’s accounting system. The purpose of an audit is to determine if firms maintain their books and records in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)/Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circulars. Final incurred cost audits determine the reasonableness and accuracy of costs billed to a project as well as compliance with contractual terms. Field audits and desk reviews are performed to determine if firms maintained books and records in accordance with GAAP and FAR/OMB Circulars and contract terms.

Whether or not your firm is experienced with the audit process, this session provides much useful information on why audits are required and how a firm can be prepared.


Session Nine

Saturday, September 20 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon


CRM in the Decade Ahead


What will the CRM industry “look like” in the next 10 years? What needs to be done now to ensure sustainability of the industry into the future? By surveying industry practitioners and encouraging dialogue on the issue, ACRA has identified key areas that need to be addressed proactively, starting now. Come and participate in what promises to be a lively discussion and see how you and your firm can become involved in shaping the future of the industry.


Session Ten

Saturday, September 20 | 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.


Ensuring Industry Sustainability and Quality: Educating the Next Generation of CRM Practitioners


CRM firms are only as strong as their staff. From archaeological field technicians to senior historians, myriad professionals are required to conduct cultural resource studies—all under the management of business owners, boards, and principals. Although some of our employees come to us from another firm, others enter the business world directly from school or from non-industry contexts such as museums or government agencies. The question is, what skills do these individuals bring to the table, and which are generally lacking? Are employees adequately prepared for a career in CRM? What should we consider basic entry-level skills/knowledge, and what should we expect to teach “on the job”? This session brings together CRM professionals and university professors to launch a discourse on the future of preservation education. The goal is to commence a dialogue between the industry and the academy, resulting in a set of best practices for education at the undergraduate and graduate levels.


Session Eleven

Saturday, September 20 | 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.


Best Practices


Session Description Coming Soon



Who should attend?


ACRA leadership understands that the CRM industry is very diverse, and we are committed to building a program that caters to CRM practitioners, private industry, public agency, and other professional services providers, including planners, engineers, architects, and landscape architects.

Registration for ACRA’s 20th Annual Conference is now open! Remember to check the ACRA website periodically for further details on workshops, social functions, and the event schedule.

If you have an idea about how to improve this year’s annual conference, please contact Chad Moffett, ACRA Conference Committee Chair, at (916) 971-3961, or via email at


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